Originally Posted by Pollyanna
Haha - love the link! Well, for about 45 seconds :)
I'm with you there.lol
Originally Posted by Pollyanna
Some think that art shouldn't need explanations to be clear, but I think that's too precious. Nothing wrong with providing explanations. The explanation becomes part of the art and allows it to be appreciated on another level. I guess that's marketing. And marketing - explanations - plays a much bigger role in art than we often care to admit, or we rail against it. But in a sense that's genre messing too, just on a broader scale.
So I don't care much for the connoisseur attitude of "pure music" being superior to other forms. As far as I'm concerned it's more a matter of "whatever it takes" to say what you want to say, just as long as it's not fraud like miming when people expect live music. Some musics are deeper than others, but depth rarely pays the rent. Probably because life itself is only occasionally deep, if at all - lol
The music is rarely pure. That's the problem:)
Historically, music was largely vocal so there was always a text. People knew what the music was about. The text that was paramount; the music served its needs. As music became more instrumental the Romantics created a programmatic context for it. Music was representational and had a story to explain it. Debussy questioned if music was really representational and Stravinsky came along and said "music doesn't represent anything but music." The twentieth century was defined. But he himself later admitted that in retrospect he was wrong about that.
The notion that music needs no explanation is going out of favor. And in today's post-modern world the notion that anything comes to us narrative-free is questioned. C-F-G has significant historical meaning, and as 'absolute' and pure as one may want to believe it is, it just ain't so. The definition of the chords and scales is a long historical narrative. It took a millennium to get to bubble gum. :) People used to argue that the narrative was to get us to C-F-G; but now we see that was only one stop on the narrative.
On the other hand you have a piece like Appalachian Spring, which evokes the gentle breezes and blossoming of spring in the mountain, it's cool, it's breezy, it's light and airy, and it was not named by the composer. All that was 'unintentional.' it's nice to sit in the middle and enjoy the wonderful narrative of a piece of music; but also be able to hear the beauty of the instrumentation, the counterpoint and harmony, the melodies and rhythms without them having any significance but that of music.
Today, some conductors will turn and address the audience, which had long been a faux pas. It certainly breaks down the forth wall. One can learn a lot from going to pre-concert lectures, and listening to conductors, composers and noted scholars. That's where you can get insights and education. Add good programming and people will come. It's the woman, woman in the 60s esp. really get into great music, and they get roused by music that is provocative, interesting and somewhat out of the ordinary of what we normally hear.