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Oh God, I've been scooped. I'm much bitchier, though...

 

This, incidentally, is hardly rare or clever in pop music...:

 

'What's so clever is it starts with an absolute deluge of F sharp minor. Then finally when Alex Turner comes in it's actually on a C sharp major chord, which is what's known as the dominant chord in music theory.'

 

I also totally disagree, as I suspect I've made obvious already, with this assertion:

 

"He is, though, a big fan of Deep Purple, the Who, Radiohead and Kylie whose songs, like all great pop work, in a similar way to classical music."

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I asked my children what they thought was the best piece of pop music of 2007, and they said Mardy Bum by the Arctic Monkeys. Which is a good song.

 

They could have asked what was the best piece of "classical" music composed in 2007. Yikes.

 

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I asked my children what they thought was the best piece of pop music of 2007, and they said Mardy Bum by the Arctic Monkeys. Which is a good song.

 

They could have asked what was the best piece of "classical" music composed in 2007. Yikes.

 

I have to admit I don't think I heard anything written last year that I would be willing to stick that label on either (although I heard some fantastic music from the last 25 years or so), and given that it's my job that's either alarming or embarassing.

 

Best piece of the millenium so far, though, Concertini by Helmut Lachenmann (from 2005). I was at one of the early performances and said to a friend afterwards, 'this is like being at the first performance of Beethoven 9'. I do genuinely believe the best music being written at the moment will pass into the canon as it has always done, assuming we still have a canon, or music.... Getting there may be a rather rocky process, though.

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Doesn't have to be GOOD literature.

You'll have to explain this. Yesterday you were saying that for a rock band to be great they had to be ironic. Today the songs have to be literature. Definitions. Are you sure you're not Nathan?

 

Just to be clear, I never said ANY of that.

 

I did draw a distinction between ironists and non-ironists, but I never said anybody had to be an ironist to be great.

 

And I didn't say the songs have to be literature. I said that I thought rock was perceived, at least by a certain kind of intelligent listener, in a way that's closer to the way we perceive literature than the way we perceive music.

I oversimplified. Having said that, I think both irony and literary subtext form a minor component in most rock music. (I'll exclude pop here - acts like Madonna and the Spice Girls are pure contrivance.)

 

Back when I was much younger I used to buy into the "complexity is better" analysis. I've since recanted. Overly complex rock songs tend to have much of the life sucked out of them when they're carrying the weight of big thoughts.

 

Lets strip things down to their essentials. The vast majority of rock bands are composed of kids 25 and under singing songs of love, lust, and extended teen age rebellion. There's plenty of anger in many of those songs. And that's all understandable when you consider the demographic of the people performing them and their audience.

 

That 25 and under crowd for the most part isn't interested in big thoughts. They want loud songs with good chord changes and a bit of attitude.

 

ETA- I went back and put my qualifiers in italics to emphasize them. Yes, there can be exceptions but that doesn't counter the overall point. If I said "most rock music doesn't feature the flute" it wouldn't be disproved by citing Jethro Tull.

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I asked my children what they thought was the best piece of pop music of 2007, and they said Mardy Bum by the Arctic Monkeys. Which is a good song.

 

They could have asked what was the best piece of "classical" music composed in 2007. Yikes.

What was the best piece of "classical" music composed in 2007?

 

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(I'm not trying to be provocative, I'm curious. And I'm interested in listening to new music.)

 

I don't listen to much: the only new piece that I heard that I liked at all was Steve Reich's Daniel Variations; which was 2006 I think. But I much preferred some of his earlier work in the same performance. In fact people like Reich and Aarvo Part and Glass are the only contemporary composers I listen to on purpose. Maybe I should get out more <_<

 

 

 

 

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ETA- I went back and put my qualifiers in italics to emphasize them. Yes, there can be exceptions but that doesn't counter the overall point. If I said "most rock music doesn't feature the flute" it wouldn't be disproved by citing Jethro Tull.

:lol:

Dengue Fever also has a guy who plays flute once in a while.

 

BTW, I'm over 25 and generally want loud songs with good chord changes and a bit of attitude.

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Back when I was much younger I used to buy into the "complexity is better" analysis. I've since recanted. Overly complex rock songs tend to have much of the life sucked out of them when they're carrying the weight of big thoughts.

 

Yeah, overly complex rock music tends to suck.

 

I don't see how that contravenes anything I've said.

 

That 25 and under crowd for the most part isn't interested in big thoughts. They want loud songs with good chord changes and a bit of attitude.

 

But I'm not talking about the 25-and-under crowd. I'm talking about people like, say, Wilfrid.

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Lex, although I'm sure it's my fault, I still think you're missing my point.

 

I'm not asking why the hormonal anti-intellectual young people you talk about listen to (or make) rock music. I'm asking why intelligent older people, who are conversant with lots of art forms that involve subtlety and complexity, do -- to the exclusion of other musical forms that actually are subtle and complex. And I'm positing that they find subtlety and complexity in rock music, but it's just not musical.

 

Here:

 

I was never talking about "large numbers of people around the world". I was talking about a certain type of intellectual listener. My inquiry was, why are there intelligent people, clearly capable of seeking and appreciating formal complexity in other types of art, who respond very heavily to rock music, but just don't like classical or jazz? I posited that a lot of this type of listener responds mainly to extramusical aspects of rock music (I used the term "literary", which may have been confusing). That they respond to rock as a package, where music is as much a signifier as it is a thing in itself. I further posited that in fact their main interest is "literary" (again, perhaps a bad word choice) -- that they don't really respond much to music qua music. Because if they did, they'd probably respond more to these other musical forms, which instead they reject. (I hope it's obvious that none of this is meant as a value judgment.)
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There was an album released last year of compositions by someone named Alexandra Gardner that I liked very much.

 

The album, named after one of the compositions, was called Luminoso.

 

(I'm not saying that music will last 200 years. I don't think it's the job of contemporary audiences to try to make such calls. I think it's up to us only to decide what we like.)

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Also, Lex, just to be clear, I'm not talking about dancing-around-your-apartment-while-you're-doing-chores listening. I'm talking about serious, attentive listening. Your post doesn't explain why an intelligent grown-up would devote serious time, thought, and attention to the kind of music you're discussing. But of course they do.

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As to why it is the case, I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise as people are just different, but I suppose as a general principle Wilf would be marginally happier if he enjoyed more things.

 

Not in this modern world. Too much input about too many things I enjoy. I am constantly trying to increase my selectivity.

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