Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2013 - 11:11 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

I'm wondering how many contributors to this messageboard are lovers of serious art music (kunstmusik)? Usually there's some kind of a corollary between film music and kunstmusik, from my experience. If you are a kunstmusik lover please tell us which are your favourite composers and pieces.

Presently I'm listening to and working my way through the organ works of Bach and right now I'm listening to "Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor" BWV542 which I can only describe as devastating and VOLCANIC.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 1:08 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

If by serious art music, you mean classical music (the general definition, not necessarily just the exact musical period), I think you'll find plenty of fans here.

However, the term you use is wider and would also encompass stuff like 'noise music' from Japan or electronic art music like that of Karlheinz Stockhausen or Brian Eno's installation music. In that meaning, there may still be fans here, but considerably fewer.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 1:59 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

If by serious art music, you mean classical music (the general definition, not necessarily just the exact musical period), I think you'll find plenty of fans here.

However, the term you use is wider and would also encompass stuff like 'noise music' from Japan or electronic art music like that of Karlheinz Stockhausen or Brian Eno's installation music. In that meaning, there may still be fans here, but considerably fewer.


I don't like the term "classical music" since it relates to that style period, but some people aren't comfortable with the term "art music" and I can understand that. Thank you for your thoughtful response and I'm very glad to know there are fans here for that art form. I'm such a "tragic" when it comes to serious music (and film and it's wonderful music, of course) that I do need that dialogue with others about it - all the time. Feel sorry for me please!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 2:05 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I know what you mean.

In film music forums like this, the 'art music' (classical) that is most often discussed and that gets the most replies is the type of programmatic music that was a precursor to film music in many ways, especially from the 19th and 20th century -- Ralph Vaughan Williams, all the Russians, Holst, Debussy, Ravel, Strauss, Wagner etc. I've seen long threads about all of these and others.

However, the more esoteric is less talked about. For example, I love a lot of organ music from the ages, but believe the interest is limited.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 2:35 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

I know what you mean.

In film music forums like this, the 'art music' (classical) that is most often discussed and that gets the most replies is the type of programmatic music that was a precursor to film music in many ways, especially from the 19th and 20th century -- Ralph Vaughan Williams, all the Russians, Holst, Debussy, Ravel, Strauss, Wagner etc. I've seen long threads about all of these and others.

However, the more esoteric is less talked about. For example, I love a lot of organ music from the ages, but believe the interest is limited.


Organ music - just what I'm exploring at this very minute.

I'm a frustrated PhD wannabee - I haven't got the guts to actually embark on a program because I'm retired and don't have the confidence in my intellectual capabilities, but the need and desire is absolutely overwhelming.
First, I must get my harmony studies up to scratch as I've forgotten a lot since my undergrad days in Musicology!!

Meantime, I enjoy the discussions of quality film music from composers who were essentially under-rated by their 'concert hall' counterparts - and that wasn't fair or justified.

Program music - such an interesting topic, right back to the time of Biber and his "Battallia" in the early baroque!! I've always thought of the music of Mahler and Bruckner as similar to film music, and plenty of people have scoffed at that comment. Think about it: the huge canvasses they painted and they were intensively emotive and 'visual' IMO. And, consequently, much serious film music has emulated Mahler: that orchestration and the expansive, at times amorphous, 'themes'. It's an interesting area as is the invention of cinema itself, for I've always regarded Dickens as intensely 'cinematic' in conception. But this was before the age of the moving image....yet the idea is insistent - how else can one explain the DETAIL - like no other author before him!! Think of the "little stone lozenges" arranged in a graveyard at the start of "Great Expectations" from which Philip Pirrip found his sense of identity and place within a family.

Perfection.

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 2:40 AM   
 By:   Mr Drive   (Member)

Count me along these uncomfortable with the 'art music' term, since it very much implies that most kinds of music aren't art. It also sounds to me like 'serious' composers aren't allowed to have fun, in which case I pity them smile Personally, I have somehow accepted the general use of the 'classical' term as broader than would be musicologically correct.

Be that as it may, with me it changes over time. I had a heavy period of listening to romantic composers, especially Schubert, Schumann, Brahms. Later I got into Bach. I also listened a lot to Alan Hovhaness for a while. Or I discover certain works, like Gorecki's 3rd symphony.

Since I study Italian exploitation cinema at the moment, I'm focused very much on soundtracks from that time and place: Morricone, Nicolai, Goblin, and others. Often I'm very much into a certain composer, like Fielding, Shore, Goldenthal, Simon Boswell, Jack Nitzsche or - to whom I return most often - Goldsmith.

So I guess yeah, I'm into 'serious' music, but as said I don't like to make that distinction. These exploitation movies that I'm studying blur that line as much as it is possible. Just listen to what 'serious' composers like Morricone (or even Bruno Maderna) did for these. It transcends these terms.

I hope I didn't insist on terminology too much here but I feel it's important. As Thor said, if 'classical' music is discussed on here it often has an obvious film music connection. I wouldn't say I have seen plenty of threads (at least on this side of the forums - I don't check the 'general' side regularly) but it comes up in relation to certain scores. Like on Jerry Fielding threads, you certainly find mention of Stravinksy, Bartok or Ravel.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 5:13 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Meantime, I enjoy the discussions of quality film music from composers who were essentially under-rated by their 'concert hall' counterparts - and that wasn't fair or justified.


"Concert hall" music is what I'm trying to use as a replacement description for "classical" music - yes, partly because of its specificity to a particular period, but also because when you mention classical music to most people they think of Mozart and Beethoven and Vivaldi and utter boredom.

And in fact my tastes run to the more modern era anyway, from about Sibelius and Nielsen onwards. In a recent thread, someone referred to Jerry Goldsmith as being a better composer than Carl Nielsen, in a way that precluded any discussion, it was so obvious! Personally, having this week gone through Nielsen's symphonies on a business trip involving about nine hours of driving in one day, I couldn't disagree more. However, it would make a fascinating discussion on a film music message board for those able to talk in a slightly more technical way than the usual level of discourse.

A recent concert hall favourite is Boris Tishchenko, whose seventh symphony, played at volume, is wonderfully tumultuous.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 6:23 AM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

It's very simple.

Most music that was written between about 1740 and 1820 is Classical period music.

Music that encompasses the general Western art music tradition starting about in the 11th century and still existing today is called classical music (note the difference in capitalization). Denying this just makes you a dick.

And it definetly doesn't have to be serious - Mozart wrote a canon that translates to "Lick me in the ass"....is THAT serious? -- but even stuff like Prokofiev's 1st Symphony, to give an easy example, or perhaps even better Saint-Saens's Carnival of the Animals are hardly the most serious things in the world.


And Bach's Toccata and Fugue BWV 545? Possibly not even written by him.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 7:12 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

Then "art music" or kunstmusik is right after all!! I wouldn't regard Ferneyhough as "classical music".

But I wouldn't regard profane language/insult as serious debate or discussion either.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 7:20 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Miklos Rozsa used to speak of his "serious" music as opposed to his film scores. This tended to make admirers uneasy, for we obviously felt that the best film music was deserving of serious study and appreciation. Under pressure, Rozsa would then agree that, yes, he was "serious" about his work in films. And he would accept the term "concert music" for his other work. Of course "concert music" isn't precise either, since it excludes opera, ballet, and liturgical music -- all of which most people would consider to be both "art music" and "classical music." For Rozsa the real distinction was between writing solely to please himself and writing for other people's purposes.

Words acquire multiple meanings over time, and no distinction is absolute. Get used to it!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 7:20 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

It's very simple.

Most music that was written between about 1740 and 1820 is Classical period music.

Music that encompasses the general Western art music tradition starting about in the 11th century and still existing today is called classical music (note the difference in capitalization). Denying this just makes you a dick.


I'm sorry - did you call me a dick because people talking to me can't tell when I'm capitalising words? big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 7:57 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

All of a sudden I'm quite bored about being in a playground with six year olds.

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

All of a sudden I'm quite bored about being in a playground with six year olds.

Sorry, but unfortunately you're going to find some kunst no matter where you are on the internet.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 9:11 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

All of a sudden I'm quite bored about being in a playground with six year olds.

Sorry, but unfortunately you're going to find some kunst no matter where you are on the internet.



big grin Shaun.

But be careful, lest you too be subjected to breath-taking condescension...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 12:23 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

My screen name speaks of my passion for music of the classical period, especially Beethoven. A teacher of mine once said that when she listens to classical-period music, she feels that everything's all right in the world. That's about how I feel.

I find the music of that period to have an efficiency, elegance, and directness that is all its own. Here's an example of the kind of what I mean by this. If you listen to the famous opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, after the first eight notes of introduction, starting at 0:10, we hear a statement of an idea, a responding statement of the idea, then shorter ideas that accelerate the music towards an explosive cadence:



This structure of:

Idea - Idea Repeated - Acceleration - Cadence

is not at all unique to this piece. In fact, it's all over the place in all music. What it does here is give a real sense of coherence and progression to what we're listening to.

In fact, it's even in John Williams' Superman March - hear it from 0:41-0:57 below:



In case anyone's wondering, this structure is called a "sentence" in music. I believe it is one of the most effective and elemental forms a theme can take.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 3:15 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

Thank you for those excellent examples! You know, I've always thought good music was 'conversational' and that it was 'narrative' in the sense that it is driven in a certain direction and never remains static. Well, let's say that WHEN music is static - example, purely sonic forms of 'wallpaper' - it is of no interest to me. Our natural inclinations as human beings to want to hear 'stories' is formulated in those very direct, large-scale kunstmusik works with their sense of shape and direction. You've hit upon it with your description of the 'sentence' and, of course, the cadence is a 'period'. There are a great many similarities between the written word, speech and music and Bach was very aware of all this. Also, the 'conversation' between the parts in counterpoint. It's compelling.

My husband is taking a much greater interest in kunstmusik since we returned from living in Vienna for a year in 2011. I was discussing this idea of narrative and dialogue with him when he was asking about the symphonic form. 'Why did it have more than one movement', is one question he posed. My answer was that the symphony is like an essay or a short story. It moves from one place to another in telling it's 'story' and that, like speaking and narrative, we have new 'chapters' and 'paragraphs'. And, of course, this segues nicely into film music because film is the ultimate form of 'narrative' and this nexus is intravenous - going STRAIGHT to the heart.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 3:28 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

I don't like the title Serious art music if it's meant to represent that body of work which others have more appropriately, IMHO, referred to as Concert Hall music. I call it Classical ... either upper or lower case ... and I use this to distinguish the music from Soundtrack, Easy Listening, Jazz, ... in my collection.

Having eschewed Classical music for most of my early years (other than liking the odd TV theme for which, at the time, I did not know the source) one of my earliest recollections of suddenly liking Classical music was watching The Music Lovers on TV - I found I enjoyed the music!

I initiated myself into this world in the early 1980's - partly on the back of some excellent TV advertising and largely because, at that time, soundtrack scores in the UK were hard to come by. I'd been collecting film soundtracks for 10+ years, didn't have enough money to buy expensive imports (even when these could be sourced) and fell for an advertisement campaign: 52 2-weekly parts entitled The Great Composers and Their Music presently high quality (conductors/orchestras/performers) of the classics, Vivaldi et al to Stravinsky et al on vinyl LPs, accompanied by glossy magazines.

Some of these works remains favourites (e.g. Vivaldi's Le quattro Stagioni ... I Musici/Roberto Michelucci (1969)) whilst others led me to works I prefer more (e.g. I love Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto ... but his third is even more enjoyable) and others which I struggled with then but find more acceptable now (e.g. Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du printemps).

The internet age saw my collection of soundtracks mushroom but it is only recently I've turned to Classical music to the extent that my purchases of such works this year far out-number additions in all other genres combined. So much so that I have many CDs which I've yet to play, taking my time to work through the symphonic cycles of Beethoven (x2), Mahler, Mendelsshon, Sibelius, Dvorak, Brahms (x2), Bruckner, Schubert (with those of Shostakovich and Schumann on their way), not to mention collections by famous conductors (Ormandy, Barbirolli, Stokowski, Tennstedt) or soloists (du Pre).

Has Classical music replaced Soundtrack music as my favourite? No, but it may do so.

Just don't call it art ... that's something outside my reach/understanding.

Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2013 - 4:23 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I don't like the title Serious art music if it's meant to represent that body of work which others have more appropriately, IMHO, referred to as Concert Hall music. I call it Classical ... either upper or lower case ... and I use this to distinguish the music from Soundtrack, Easy Listening, Jazz, ... in my collection.

Having eschewed Classical music for most of my early years (other than liking the odd TV theme for which, at the time, I did not know the source) one of my earliest recollections of suddenly liking Classical music was watching The Music Lovers on TV - I found I enjoyed the music!

I initiated myself into this world in the early 1980's - partly on the back of some excellent TV advertising and largely because, at that time, soundtrack scores in the UK were hard to come by. I'd been collecting film soundtracks for 10+ years, didn't have enough money to buy expensive imports (even when these could be sourced) and fell for an advertisement campaign: 52 2-weekly parts entitled The Great Composers and Their Music presently high quality (conductors/orchestras/performers) of the classics, Vivaldi et al to Stravinsky et al on vinyl LPs, accompanied by glossy magazines.

Some of these works remains favourites (e.g. Vivaldi's Le quattro Stagioni ... I Musici/Roberto Michelucci (1969)) whilst others led me to works I prefer more (e.g. I love Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto ... but his third is even more enjoyable) and others which I struggled with then but find more acceptable now (e.g. Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du printemps).

The internet age saw my collection of soundtracks mushroom but it is only recently I've turned to Classical music to the extent that my purchases of such works this year far out-number additions in all other genres combined. So much so that I have many CDs which I've yet to play, taking my time to work through the symphonic cycles of Beethoven (x2), Mahler, Mendelsshon, Sibelius, Dvorak, Brahms (x2), Bruckner, Schubert (with those of Shostakovich and Schumann on their way), not to mention collections by famous conductors (Ormandy, Barbirolli, Stokoski) or soloists (du Pre).

Has Classical music replaced Soundtrack music as my favourite? No, but it may do so.

Just don't call it art ... that's something outside my reach/understanding.

Mitch



I'll be fascinated to know your views on the Schumann, Mitch. I always liked the first, could never get along much with the others.

Chris

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.