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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000461.txt from 2001/07

From: rgarrett@-----.edu
Subj: Re: [kl] music and musicianship
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 17:39:16 -0400

At 09:42 PM 07/16/2001 +0100, you wrote:
>One function of music must be to do with emotional response. Many of you
>have reported various types of music you enjoy, that which you tolerate,
>that which leaves you cold or which you couldn't live without. For me, the
>music I rate as great is that which provokes a certain emotional response

And begins the problem with the argument - for it is a subjective opinion
deciding which music provokes a certain emotional response.......

> - for instance a Beethoven symphony, or a Brahms Piano trio, within
> which I discover new depths every time I hear or play them.

Yes, yes - but what of the person who could care less for the Brahms Piano
Trio yet is moved by the next level - which you speak of:

>A level below that comes that which I enjoy, but which I find lacks depth
>for me - the kind of music that I tire of listening to repeatedly. The
>Beatles go in this band. At the bottom of the pileI would put music which
>leavs me cold -

If we are discussing emotional responses to music in which we tire of
listening to, then the Brahms Trio, Op. XXX takes a back seat to Beatles
Penny Lane and Sgt. Pepper...........why? Because I have listened to it
more times than any single Brahms Trio.

But lest you think I think it (The Beatles) is deeper
musically......................I don't.

>.....among which (since we are discussing the Beatles) is the program of a
>concert broadcast in memory of Paul McCarteney's wife. If I remember
>correctly, it was a program of 'classical' music (orchestral, string
>quartets etc) written by him. I found it completely flat and uninvolving,
>as i do all his solo work. It lacks the x-factor which makes me like the
>Beatles.

How fortunate that Paul McCartney, by himself, is not the Beatles. I would
be somewhat careful comparing a single band member's attempts at "serious"
music, as opposed to pop or rock-n-roll, to the composers who have written
that genre - and then make claims about their musicianship - levels and
all. The question, and don't forget the question.......was - What is Good
Music? Not, What is Better Good Music?

>But perhaps another day? I've run out of steam, and started to disagree
>with myself. This is a hugely complicated subject which I have tried, and
>failed to get to grips with so I think I'll leave it to stew and hope I
>haven't offended or bored too many people. What I am trying to say, I
>think, is that in order to pass judgements on who is or isn't a musician,
>you have to know what a musician (or artist, as someone suggested) is, and
>what their function is, what you expect of them. There are many levels one
>could judge
>the Beatles on and none of them are wrong. Differences of opinion are what
>make life interesting!

Well put!

Best wishes,
Roger Garrett

Roger Garrett
Clarinet Professor
Director, Symphonic Winds
Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Music
Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
Phone: (309) 556-3268
Fax: (309) 556-3121

"A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes
another's."
Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825)

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