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Garrybl  (Level: 275.9 - Posts: 6605)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 12:13 PM


I was reading the thread about politics, which had a lot of interesting stuff about music. I wanted to move the thread into a non-political arena.
i enjoy all sorts of Western classical music up to lets say Boulez. I have not so far got into Eastern classical music at all. But i am aware that a high percentage of classical performers are born in Asia. is it a reciprocal deal? Do people brought up with Eastern music have to learn to appreciate Western music?

What are the music teachers experiences here? How about classical enthusiasts like slicko? Do you like or have you learned to appreciate non-traditional Westrern music?

Davidf  (Level: 102.1 - Posts: 746)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 12:53 PM

I am afraid to say I am stuck in Europe when it comes to classical music, Albinoni and Beethoven being my favourites (favorites for my American cousins) their music paints a colour (color for my American cousins) in note form

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 1:55 PM

I have several friends from the Orient who spend more time learning western music than they do music from their homeland. If you attend any major orchestra concert here in the US you will see a very high percentage of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean musicians. Those countries still seem to place tremendous value on classical music. Classical music is not emphasized very much at all here - music appreciation and theory is barely taught in the schools and you can see the results.
I do enjoy music of other cultures although my CD of Thai music is rough listening. I also find Chinese opera rather difficult. Give me Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Mozart, or Tchaikovsky any day. And Puccini and Verdi operas rock.

Oogie54  (Level: 198.5 - Posts: 1120)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 3:00 PM

I tried to cultivate an appreciation of classical music in my ex, but she said,"That ole Joe Vosky makes my skin crawl". Sadly we never got past pronunciation of Tchaikovsky, much less a nine minute symphony like "Pathetique".

Pennwoman  (Level: 151.8 - Posts: 2478)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 5:45 PM

I wish I appreciated classical music, but sadly its lost on me. My children some how despite my lack of any musical sophistication, all like it. I guess it skipped a generation!

Garrybl  (Level: 275.9 - Posts: 6605)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 6:07 PM

So is there anyone here who does like Indian music or Chinese music, having been brought up on Western music?
Is it a flaw in us or is the music simply not as natural to our ears as Western music is to people of other persuasions? (And is that due to some mathematical harmony issues)?



Lucimoore  (Level: 180.5 - Posts: 1678)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 6:40 PM

Barry, I wish I could say I was familiar with both but the Romantic Period won my heart. One small saving grace, when I was a young adult I heard Ravi Shankar perform (Hush! I heard that and it was not the horse and buggy days.). All I can say is I fell in love with that sound and have never looked back. To me it is one of the most peaceful, haunting sounds and stirs my soul. Can't say I listen to his music now in the same relaxed mode as I once did , but a cool beverage and a chaise by the pool with Ravi Shankar playing is not half bad.

For anyone with small children or grandchildren I absolutely recommend Rocky Mountain Learning Systems "Music for Babies." My two month old grandson hears the "Peaceful Baby" CD everyday and it is beautiful. The older grandchildren and great nieces and nephews don't reject classical music when its played like I have seen so many other children do. It has just become part of their music listening enjoyment.

Lodi  (Level: 95.9 - Posts: 2144)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 7:00 PM

I'm a Vivaldi girl.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 7:06 PM

There's a theory that the baby boomers enjoy classical music because it played in the background of most Saturday morning cartoons. My folks listened mostly to Broadway show music, which I enjoyed, but yeah, something soul-soothing about Mozart.

Pennwoman  (Level: 151.8 - Posts: 2478)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 7:16 PM

Want to know HOW unsophisticated I am?
I took my then 10 year old daughter, to see the Nutcracker Ballet.
She loved it. Every minute of it, except for when I leaned over to her and asked
"Aren't there any words to the music?"
Talk about a withering stare!

Carreau  (Level: 234.4 - Posts: 140)
Fri, 13th Mar '09 10:40 PM

I don't know about mathematical harmony issues, but it seems to me that most of us gravitate toward music that is familiar, be it classical, rock, country-western, or whatever. As for Chinese or Indian music, other than as film scores when do we ever hear it? My musical tastes are pretty eclectic, and I hear lots of classical music, both at symphony concerts, opera, and on FM radio. However, it's rare that the selections wander far from the old familiar standards. So I look for what I like within that framework. With certain exceptions, contemporary or fairly recent classical music usually comes across as either boring or unpleasantly dissonant. I suspect this phenomenon isn't unique to our age. Some of Beethoven's symphonies, I've heard, were slow to catch on with the public, with audiences booing and walking out.

Collioure  (Level: 102.3 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 14th Mar '09 12:10 PM

No wonder kids don't want to be seen with, of all people, their parents!!!!!

Pennwoman  (Level: 151.8 - Posts: 2478)
Sat, 14th Mar '09 12:21 PM

Actually I knew my life had come full circle when my then 15 year old yelled at me to "turn that noise down!!

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Sat, 14th Mar '09 12:44 PM

I appreciate almost everything, but I don't know classical music well enough to recognize anything beyond a couple dozen favorite works - mostly things I've bought over the years and play from time to time. Top of the list being Beethoven's 6th, which I sometimes send to friends who are grieving.

I have Carmina Burana in the car along with Bob Seger, Don Henley amd Jesus Christ Superstar; Gregorian chants, Dire Straits (on the excellent advice of Tom Robbins), Kitaro, Vangelis and Journey in the bedroom; Mozart in the kitchen stack right now, mixed in with Bobby Darin, John Denver, Camelot, and the Three Tenors.

I have a lot of eastern music, stuff I call "whirling dervish music" which is wonderful, but whether it's classical in its own culture I have no idea. Same with a lot of favorite folk music from Klesmer to pan pipes. I love Native American music, too. Recommendations welcome!

Bokeelia  (Level: 185.5 - Posts: 114)
Sat, 14th Mar '09 1:36 PM

I enjoy most western classical and I'll try anything. Eastern music just doesn't seem to resonate. If you want something "different" try Meridith Monk. Rutter's works are still underappreciated as well.

Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Sat, 14th Mar '09 3:48 PM

I like anything with unusual (i.e. non-European) time signatures and then try to match it (or 'mash it up', if I may be so bold - I can see my nieces & nephews shuddering as I type this... ) with something I already know. Both Indian & Chinese music seem to work fine - Arabic is trickier.
Mongolian 'xoomii' is trickier still but has similar roots to Scottish 'bothy ballads' - even though I cannot understand the language, (if language it is!), the sense is something I can grasp.

This probably (or possibly) means I don't enjoy those respective musics for themselves, but search for a way to equate them with Western styles - or at least look for commonality. But hey, I'm British: once an empire thief...

I do think if you try and play various types of music, (if you're lucky enough to have some instrumental or vocal ability at your disposal), then the margins between cultures become a lot narrower.

Bokeelia  (Level: 185.5 - Posts: 114)
Sat, 14th Mar '09 4:28 PM

Another guy you might not have tried is George Walker. He's a black Pulitzer prize winning composer who's still writing. A group I'm involved with just commissioned a piece from him, cost us $15 grand, I hope it was worth it.

Wordster  (Level: 155.7 - Posts: 892)
Sat, 14th Mar '09 4:55 PM

My father listened to classical music a lot when I was growing up. (He drove my mother crazy listening to Wagner & Mahler). Now my brother is a music teacher and his wife also studied music at college. It's all around me! I can Handel a little Mozart or Vivaldi once in awhile. Lol In my youth I went to Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall with my brother and friends. We even went to the last night once! Indian music can be pretty good on the ear too.
Just an aside: One local supermarkets (The CO-OP) plays Vivaldi's Four Seasons over a PA system outside the store at night (rather loud). To accompany people as they use the cash machine? or calm the rowdy local youths?

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Thu, 19th Mar '09 11:06 PM

Yes, some Eastern music is built on scales with different intervals than we're used to in the West. (There is music written using a scale with fewer notes than the usual and instruments that tune to quarter steps rather than the half steps of our chromatic scale. Nothing fancy- chromatic scale just means all the white and black keys on a piano. But if an instrument is tuned to quarter steps that means if we're used to half steps it might sound out of tune to us until we get used to it.)

We also, since Bach, use tempering, which just means rather than our tuning being exactly mathematical (A 440, A 220, A 110) we tune a bit off the mathematical so it sounds more pleasing to the ear - the frequencies don't smack each other around so much between octaves.

My favorite story about Beethoven is based on the fact that music in the Baroque period (Bach and back a bit) had a smaller range of dynamics, limited by the instruments that existed and the tastes of the time. But music and instruments were evolving and dynamic ranges were expanding into the classical period. The piano (pianoforte) was invented (piano meaning soft and forte meaning loud) with mechanics that afforded a much louder loud and softer soft (as opposed to a harpsichord that, no matter how hard you smack the keys, they just pluck a string with only one level of volume).

So, Beethoven liked to write for and play piano. With the now extreme volume changes, men started forbidding their wives/women to attend Beethoven's performances because the ladies would swoon and faint with emotion and want Beethoven's body! Not much different from rock concerts the past 50 years. Except I doubt they threw their underwear at Ludwig.

Garrybl  (Level: 275.9 - Posts: 6605)
Fri, 20th Mar '09 2:18 AM

That last comment is fascinating and just what I wanted to know (about the mathematics not the underwear).

So somehow this must be hardwired into us to recognize these sequences. Is there anyone tone-deaf out there?
Does tone-deafness really exist?

My sister can't sing at all but that has nothing to do with her enjoyment of some quite eccentric sounds.....

Wordster  (Level: 155.7 - Posts: 892)
Fri, 20th Mar '09 3:50 AM

And the women still swooned over Mozart even though he didn't have a pianoforte. I don't know too much about the maths of music but I seem to remember my brother was into something called the natural octave I think. It has different intervals from the standard system?

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