Poll: What do you identify with more?
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View poll results: What do you identify with more?
Make it good or make it bad, but make it new.
6 16%
Make it old or make it new, but make it good.
32 84%
Voters: 38.
Page 1 of 2
#1
Part who knows of my ongoing series: Xiaoxi Steals Organized_Mathcore_Groove's Discussion Series Idea

Jan Swafford: A Grand Tour of Contemporary Music

As most of you guys know, I am deeply and unapologetically entrenched in the cliched music of the past. And the music that I'm writing is very much in line with what has already been done.

I say unapologetically because, in my experience, it seems that most artists (or at least academia) frown upon dwelling in the past. Even our very own JRF, though not the least aggressive about it, embodies the mindset that we should be moving forward.

As an artist, you are engrained with the need to "be yourself" yet at the same time "be unique". This is potentially a paradox--what if you are just not that unique?

That is a paradox that I constantly grapple with, and I hope I'm not alone in this.

I feel that this is a paradox that is unique to our times. This is because in the 20th century, we've reached a fever pitch in self-perception, and subsequently self-importance.

Prior to the baroque period, artists were unburdened by the notion of history. They simply created art without expectations of their place in the context of history. To be sure, they were innovative and unique, but it was intuitive. In fact, the concept of being credited and recognized for a work of art is a relatively new thing.

But as we get closer to the 20th century, as we become more aware of history, we started to think about how we as individuals would fit in history. Brahms, for example, carried the enormous weight of having to live up to Beethoven, an expectation that the public designated for him. With a keen awareness of history himself, he held himself to the rigors of Bach and Mozart.

Brahms was at the beginning of a long line of composers who thought to themselves "how can I secure my place in history?"

I believe Wagner, Mahler, Bruchner, Strauss, and finally Schoenberg answered that question definitively. They broke the universally self-imposed and artificial limitation of the western musical arts: functional tonality.

Now, a Moore's Law of sorts really kicked into action. The limits of music starts stretching at an exponential rate. It started with "what is tonality?" and very quickly and inevitably lead to "what is music?" Even in this very forum that question was being debated, although by now it is technically an outdated debate.

"What is music" is a question with enormous repercussions:

Quote by Article
As a prominent composer noted, with a touch of despair, about 25 years ago: "It's hard to make a revolution when, two revolutions ago, they already said anything goes."


Anything goes.

That brings me to the heart of our discussion. If anything goes, is anything truly new? Does it even make sense to create new? Does the attempt to create new give validity to our artistic individualism?

Am I derivative of the lowest form and not a "serious artist", as early in the article suggests, by writing music that has already been mastered by towering geniuses? (That's not a defensive question, btw, you can rip me a new one if you'd like)

Should I be pursuing "new", and if so, why?

Is it a deficiency that I am unable to reconcile with the "new" and so utterly enamored with the old?


I read this article a few years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. It gave me the drive to keep going with this part:

Quote by Jan Swafford
Here's two cents more. The archetypal avant-garde sensibility was captured in the dictum "Make it good or make it bad, but make it new." I suggest that it's time to take that attitude out behind the barn and shoot it. Standing in the middle of the sometimes interesting chaos and anarchy that is the scene in all the arts, I suggest in its place: Make it old or make it new, but for chrissake make it good.


Right now I am writing a piano sonata in the old style. I want it to be as good as I can possibly make it. But next, who knows? I'll probably write without any tonal center. But still I want to make it good. Still with a definitive form such as the sonata, still with conventional chromatic notes, still with many things that many would scoff as beating a dead horse. But I don't know if I could ever bring myself to even try creating the kind of music that JRF has mentioned. It is not to say that they are not good, but that they are so irreconcilable to me at this time, that I would not even have any bearings on how I could make it good.

So ultimately I wonder, will I even have a chance of having a place in history, if I'm not at the forefront of what is new? Am I alone in feeling despair, given the artistic anarchy that we live in today?

Feel free to address me directly, but also I hope you'll provide some reflections of your own on all of this.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#2
Nothing's new.

All Frequencies in 20-20k Hz have been played in all the different mathematical waveforms, and all of the basic sonic processing techniques have been discovered. All possible rhythms can be calculated with a little math.

The only thing "new" left to do is to put all that stuff together in a combination that is interesting.

Genre and style are just terms that we use to describe sound to those who haven't heard it. There are no old or new styles, it's just frequencies (or lack thereof) in patterns.

Genre should not be a concern, because it only leads to self-imposed limitations. We need these limitations to begin creating; it is hard to begin creation with infinite possibility.

Writing "something" is MUCH harder than writing a piano trio in Bb.

But once we are out of the gate, we need to discard that which forces us to subconsciously throw a valid idea away.

In this way, the "new" way, is not so much about acquiring new language/techniques, but discarding previous conventions, removing what limits us in order to seek out new combinations of frequency and silence.

But what if maybe you are writing a chorale; and then the next section goes off into something completely different? That isn't very coherent, we can't throw out logic, you might say.

But I would argue the "new" frontier, the "new" challenge for us as artists is to go off track like that and make it coherent, a musical singularity of sorts.

Not EVERY idea has to be used all the time, but EVERY idea is always on the table, a valid option.

Everything is becoming so connected both societally and artistically, musical "one-ness" across style/genre and culture is inevitable at this point. For the first time in art history maybe, there are actually infinite possibilities.

So while we may not be making a revolutionary art, it may very well be because that isn't possible. The new "new" is a syncretic and combinatorial style of "old" elements. All we have left to do is make sure it doesn't suck.

If I want to combine a Bach Chorale and Salsa music, there is no longer any reason preventing me from doing so; my only concern now is making it "good."

inb4 Jet's a malignant narcissist who misses the point.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Oct 3, 2014,
#4
It really doesn't matter.

Why not do what you like, and worry about no one? If you mirror history you do so because its what you want. If you don't it's because you don't want to. It's liberating. In the end it doesn't matter anyways. If your music touches and reaches someone, that's a gift, the scope of which, is in many ways beyond you.

Aside from that, it doesn't matter. Love what you do, and do it for that reason. Go back to purity. And seriously, once your own opinion matters the most, everyone else's, is secondary, and aside from those who have been reached in a positive way, no one else should matter or have any weight or bearing.

Best,

Sean
#5
You know I have thoughts on this. Get to it tomorrow likely.

My initial reaction is that I love that I've become the symbol for the destructive musical avant garde when much of the music that I write in real life is really not. I accept this role.
#6
Quote by Sean0913
It really doesn't matter.

Why not do what you like, and worry about no one? If you mirror history you do so because its what you want. If you don't it's because you don't want to. It's liberating. In the end it doesn't matter anyways. If your music touches and reaches someone, that's a gift, the scope of which, is in many ways beyond you.

Aside from that, it doesn't matter. Love what you do, and do it for that reason. Go back to purity. And seriously, once your own opinion matters the most, everyone else's, is secondary, and aside from those who have been reached in a positive way, no one else should matter or have any weight or bearing.

Best,

Sean

I feel this is a bit simplistic though.

Of course we do it because first of all there's a passion for it. Hell, if it weren't for the fact that I love tonal harmony and want to create my own....creations with it, I wouldn't waste my time. I'd probably be trying to think of something "new" instead.

But art is not created in a vacuum. And artists are notoriously neurotic people. It is not good enough that we're happy with our own works (in fact oftentimes this is rarely the case). There is great insecurity that must be fulfilled by external validations.

Schoenberg, for example, had very strong self conviction in his own works. He even endured physical beatings because of it. Yet I'm convinced there is still a source of external validation--he knew he was on the brink of a true, inevitable revolution. To him, there is absolute logical validity to his works.

But that is now long past. And as mentioned earlier, if anything goes, there is no true logical direction of that sort. We are now completely dependent on ourselves for validation, and that is not a very reliable source.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#7
Yeah but we'll just have to adapt. Such is life.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#8
the first option is the best but making new stuff is hard. making stuff thats similar to old stuff is cool but dont make it too similar okay
#9
@Zach I really hope you'll read that article in its entirety. Curious to see your opinions/reactions.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#10
I will although when I saw it was slate I lol'd irl.

This actually ties in to a thread that I was gonna do from the other perspective using babbitt's famous article.
Last edited by jazz_rock_feel at Oct 3, 2014,
#11
Quote by Xiaoxi
I feel this is a bit simplistic though.

Of course we do it because first of all there's a passion for it. Hell, if it weren't for the fact that I love tonal harmony and want to create my own....creations with it, I wouldn't waste my time. I'd probably be trying to think of something "new" instead.

But art is not created in a vacuum. And artists are notoriously neurotic people. It is not good enough that we're happy with our own works (in fact oftentimes this is rarely the case). There is great insecurity that must be fulfilled by external validations.

Schoenberg, for example, had very strong self conviction in his own works. He even endured physical beatings because of it. Yet I'm convinced there is still a source of external validation--he knew he was on the brink of a true, inevitable revolution. To him, there is absolute logical validity to his works.

But that is now long past. And as mentioned earlier, if anything goes, there is no true logical direction of that sort. We are now completely dependent on ourselves for validation, and that is not a very reliable source.


It might be simplistic. Your points are thought provoking. And I cannot argue with your feelings that there's a great insecurity that must be fulfilled by external validations. To an extent, I see your point - but maybe it's because music is a manifestation of us trying to find a voice that's all our own, an expression of something, maybe that thing is something we don't even know to the extent that we can identify it.

I also agree with your point that many times we are not fulfilled or happy with our own works. I definitely have experienced that. Maybe that is why it's hard for me to accept compliments and accolades.

I'm drawn to depth, but initially I didn't really think that deeply about this. I saw it as a problem or condition that did not need to be there (self imposed), but you've made me think more about it.

Best,

Sean
#12
Hi Xiaoxi,
Remember the saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". There's a great deal of meaning imparted in that. Musically, at one level, it's recognition of what's already been done as something worth doing again. Which leads to the question, "worth it for whom"? If that answer is "for anyone that'll try and listen to it", and the goal is mass reach, then the answer is driven by whatever is currently the favourite style. But then, for what age group, culture ...? If the answer is "worth it for me", then that's easy, right?

For me, music is something to share as widely as possible, and given today's technologies, music distribution gets to much wider reaches, and it's incredibly unlikely that you've created a musical niche with a membership of one :-)

I also think that I'd be incredibly arrogant (not to mention extremely lucky), if I didn't pay heed to what's gone before (in my case, I draw a lot from be-bop, and fusion, but love the sound and aggression of hard rock, metal), and somehow came out with something totally new and unheard of. Which would be a major challenge on guitar, whose construction forces note groupings based on semitones ... I guess synth's can break out of that with microtonal tuning.

At an even more fundamental level, music psychology research shows humans have some innate recognition of melody and resolution (if you've never looked into such research, it's an eye opener), which could be saying that by going for something never been heard before , one is potentially battling nature? For example, if a piece is written with purely random pitches, both melodically and harmonically, then no one, including the composer, could latch on to that on one hearing ... it's totally inaccessible to cognitive processing. Us humans need structure (repetitive phrases, melodies that are physically easy to sing, so we can engage the senses, and as a side effect, remember). Our brains can't make sense of chaos.

Interesting topic indeed. For me, unless I'm getting feedback that every tune I write is hated by everyone I know, and similar feedback from strangers, then I'll press on.

For me, music is a fundamental need for humans, and pretty much everyone wants to join the conversation of music, somehow.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 3, 2014,
#13
Quote by Xiaoxi
There is great insecurity that must be fulfilled by external validations.

Picking out this one line even though this really addresses that whole post, but mainly this idea.

I think this is definitely true. For the most part, everyone needs some sort of external validations, and as you said, artists are neurotic, often times more insecure, and oftentimes in need of more validation.

Two people come to my mind: Van Gogh and Nick Drake. Both absolutely amazing in their respective works. Van Gogh is regularly hailed as one of the greatest painters of all time. Nick Drake, though he hasn't quite reached that status, has exorbitant amounts of critical acclaim, and has influenced a great number of musicians. Both were commercial failures in their time. Van Gogh I believe only managed to sell paintings to his brother. Nick Drake sold (I think) 500 records in his lifetime out of three full length albums (might have been more than 500 but it was incredibly low).

Van Gogh died from gunshot wounds to the stomach, that some speculate was suicide, others speculate he was accidentally shot by some boys (but didn't do anything about it cause he didn't want them to get in trouble). Nick Drake overdosed on sleeping pills, anti-depressants, and anti-anxieties (they don't know if it was intentional suicide or not, but pretty much everyone agrees that he didn't care about life by that point).

If they were more commercially accepted, would they have lived and died in such a fashion? Van Gogh was in an asylum, and cut off his ear. Nick Drake has such low self-esteem that he could barely perform in front of audiences. Although I can't say this about Van Gogh with certainty, I know that Nick Drake craved more commercial success, not for the money, but just for the recognition that his life's work, and essentially who he was, was respected by people.

Nick Drake wasn't quite as revolutionary as Van Gogh was. Van Gogh was definitely the 'creating new art' type, and Nick Drake was more of just badly marketed and undiscovered. But they both needed that external validation.


crap I always write more than I intend to.


Anyway, I think that validation is a lot easier to get in the modern world, even if you are creating 'new' 'progressive' 'evolutionary' etc. Because of technology, the internet, social media, etc, it is much easier to establish contact with the people who also crave the "new". Tht validation is easier to achieve, because it's easier to get your work out there, and it's easier to connect with people who have similar viewpoints.

So while I agree that the validation is something that everyone, and sometimes especially artists (in the broad term), needs, it's much easier to obtain now.

And as you said, people can often get their own validation knowing that they are part of a musical revolution, if you were.


So basically, this post is just about meaningless. But I wrote it all up and don't really want to delete it so I'm posting it anyway I'll try to come up with something more relevant tomorrow
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it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#14
I've actually been thinking of this same question quite a bit (all the time, lol). I think it's better to create what YOU think is good. There are so many variables in music, that you're bound to make it at least a little bit different than most other people. It of course also depends how far you take it and the amount of sources you draw influence from.

But yes, I think that making new only for the sake of making new is a really stupid concept. Create what you love and I'm sure it will eventually be "unique" enough intuitively. If it's new, but not at all enjoyable, what is it worth? I don't know, but I listen to music for enjoyment. It can take me to all kinds of places just by listening.

Essentially though, I feel this composing thing is a battle with myself rather than primarily creating for others. I have an urge to be amazing at it, really damn good. I feel it's a gift I've been given that will go to waste if I don't develop it. But will it also go to waste if no one is to hear the results (years from now when I will actually be able to create something worthwhile)? This shit is too deep XD

Good topic, btw.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Oct 3, 2014,
#15
I think music needs to have something familiar in it for it to be enjoyable. I mean, you can clearly see how music has evolved. It wasn't just random styles that people came up with. What was before has always had an effect on what came after it. Everything is influenced by something so you can't be completely original.

I do want to make something new and not repeat all the same things people have made in the past. But for me the most important thing is that I enjoy what I do. I don't want to write music for the sake of writing new stuff if I don't enjoy the outcome. But yeah, of course there has to be something "new" in my music. If there was nothing new in my music, it would sound exactly like something else. I think you can write new stuff in an old style. And as I said, I think everything new also has something old in it.
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#16
Read the article. I found it hard to find really salient points to respond directly to, especially reading around the digs at the avant garde and the flowery descriptive language for old music (also s/he's tooooooootally a neoromantic lol).

At any rate, to be perfectly honest this actually isn't something I think about a lot. To me it seems so natural to want to progress in some small way and so unnatural to transport myself back the they year 1900 and progress outward from there. I find it's a question of language. On the one hand, we're so distant from the language of the romantics and classicists that I just have no relation to it. On the other hand, we're still very close, all things considered, even to the language of Schoenberg and Stravinsky and the early modernists. There's such a cliff at the 20th century and whether that's just me thinking that or it's really true, I don't know.

There's also a familiarity aspect. When I hear music I want the composer to tell me something I don't already know. I find that even going back to Stravinsky this can happen, but going to a fully tonal world I just feel as though I've heard it all before. And when I write I want to discover something new, something fresh to me just for my own sake of hearing things I've never heard before. And this doesn't necessarily mean deconstructing the idea of 'what is music' like they did in the 60s. You quoted, "It's hard to make a revolution when, two revolutions ago, they already said anything goes," but I actually think the more impactful quote for me was Takemitsu's, "We are free now." Just because we've gone so far into the question of what is music doesn't mean we've delved into everything that is music. What it did was enabled us to explore anything we want without being rejected.

I don't have anything against people that want to write tonally and "in the style of" music, but I also reserve the right to not like their music. Much as they reserve the right to not like mine (although seemingly much more rarely do they extend me the courtesy of not having anything against me). I also accept that there's a stigma around old music in academia. However, in my experience (which is obviously limited to just my school) it was less about making students little avant garde monkeys and more about encouraging them to find their voice.

I also fundamentally agree with the idea of make it new, make it old, but make it good. That said, I'll go to a show of terrible, but really cutting edge music before I'll go to a show where they're performing Beethoven. New bad music is more entertaining to me and a better experience than good old music. There's a lot of cultural stuff about concert halls and the hyper-conservative classical concert culture wrapped up in that too though, not just music.

I think that postmodern hyper-self-awareness plays into why music has become increasingly fractured over the course of the 20th century, but I don't buy that insecurity and looking for a place in history is what drives people to create something new. I think it definitely can and definitely has, but I think at a more fundamental level it's just about curiosity and exploration. And again, when you hear my music there's nothing particularly avant garde about it. In many ways I think it's hopelessly traditional, but it's in a language that I relate much more strongly to.

I realize this post hasn't really been about answering the question at hand. It's more just a reflection of why I do what I do.
#17
I wonder about this as well. Some of the newspapers' music sections act like unless something is totally original that it's worthless- I disagree (and that's before you even consider that the "original" stuff said-newspaper-I'm-talking-about likes is just as derivative as anything else, just it happens (IMO) to be derivative in a way its critics like!).

Don't get me wrong- (genuinely) original and great is totally awesome. No arguments there.

But I'd rather have something which is derivative and good (assuming it's merely a bit derivative and not just flat-out plagiarism) than something which is original but crap. Apart from anything else, other people may well have come up with the original-but-crap idea previously but discounted it on account of its being terrible...

So basically the second option in your poll there.
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#19
No one has to do anything really. However. Most people can appreciate the development of an artform or genre.Therefore, to maintain the largest audience, one should consider trying to do new things
#20
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I also accept that there's a stigma around old music in academia. However, in my experience (which is obviously limited to just my school) it was less about making students little avant garde monkeys and more about encouraging them to find their voice.


My experience in college was similar to this, but the implication was that if you were not trying to be avant garde, then grad school was probably not in your future. It’s a double-edged sword: Progress through the academic world of music (grants, fellowships, awards, degrees, tenure, etc), or compose the music that resonates with you, regardless of the consequences otherwise. Not that those two outcomes have to be mutually exclusive, but the two different approaches to composing might be. I was generally unconcerned about this situation, myself – I didn’t care about grad school; I just wanted to bring into focus the fuzzy ideas that I had bouncing around in my head. Realizing this “imaginary” music was, to me, the most exciting thing of all.

As for truly composing something revolutionary, and, thus, being remembered, I think most serious composers have grappled with this on one level or another. I knew several composers who wrote with posterity in mind. As for me, I think it would be nice to be remembered, but I don’t lose sleep over it, nor is it a consideration when I compose. If I’m composing something for film/video, then I have the dual objectives of pleasing the director/producer, and pleasing my own ear (as far as possible), and none of it is new. If I compose for myself, then I just need to be happy with it. I don’t worry if it’s “new” or not, but I’m certainly not opposed to coming up with something new.

“The archetypal avant-garde sensibility was captured in the dictum "Make it good or make it bad, but make it new." I suggest that it's time to take that attitude out behind the barn and shoot it. Standing in the middle of the sometimes interesting chaos and anarchy that is the scene in all the arts, I suggest in its place: Make it old or make it new, but for chrissake make it good.”

I basically agree with this statement, and it’s the policy I compose under. However, there is still something to be said for making new music at any cost – it may ultimately succeed, or fail, but it’s worth the effort for those who are driven to push the boundaries. It’s worth writing terrible new music if it eventually leads to good new music. History has demonstrated that new music is no accident. I’m not sure if the real question is “Should we concern ourselves with being remembered?” or “Should we concern ourselves with composing music worth remembering?” Ultimately, I think we should all follow our own muse, and let history take care of itself.
#21
Quote by Harmosis
My experience in college was similar to this, but the implication was that if you were not trying to be avant garde, then grad school was probably not in your future. It’s a double-edged sword: Progress through the academic world of music (grants, fellowships, awards, degrees, tenure, etc), or compose the music that resonates with you, regardless of the consequences otherwise. Not that those two outcomes have to be mutually exclusive, but the two different approaches to composing might be. I was generally unconcerned about this situation, myself – I didn’t care about grad school; I just wanted to bring into focus the fuzzy ideas that I had bouncing around in my head. Realizing this “imaginary” music was, to me, the most exciting thing of all.

As for truly composing something revolutionary, and, thus, being remembered, I think most serious composers have grappled with this on one level or another. I knew several composers who wrote with posterity in mind. As for me, I think it would be nice to be remembered, but I don’t lose sleep over it, nor is it a consideration when I compose. If I’m composing something for film/video, then I have the dual objectives of pleasing the director/producer, and pleasing my own ear (as far as possible), and none of it is new. If I compose for myself, then I just need to be happy with it. I don’t worry if it’s “new” or not, but I’m certainly not opposed to coming up with something new.

“The archetypal avant-garde sensibility was captured in the dictum "Make it good or make it bad, but make it new." I suggest that it's time to take that attitude out behind the barn and shoot it. Standing in the middle of the sometimes interesting chaos and anarchy that is the scene in all the arts, I suggest in its place: Make it old or make it new, but for chrissake make it good.”

I basically agree with this statement, and it’s the policy I compose under. However, there is still something to be said for making new music at any cost – it may ultimately succeed, or fail, but it’s worth the effort for those who are driven to push the boundaries. It’s worth writing terrible new music if it eventually leads to good new music. History has demonstrated that new music is no accident. I’m not sure if the real question is “Should we concern ourselves with being remembered?” or “Should we concern ourselves with composing music worth remembering?” Ultimately, I think we should all follow our own muse, and let history take care of itself.



This is my experience with grad and doctoral students. I remember one year my schools orchestra played a piece with film a doctoral composer wrote. The first was her playing with vagina. The music wasn't that great, the piece was completely for shock value

But then another time I did cages game music with contact mics on an x box controller. It was well received
Last edited by bassalloverthe at Oct 3, 2014,
#22
You know, I thought I had stuff to say but then Organized_music_Feels said it way better than I could. We're practically twins when it comes to this, it turns out. I feel it should be said, I like the "make it good, make it bad, but make it new" mindset. Sometimes to make something new it has to be bad. First time for things isn't always good, but the right person could latch onto it and turn it into something beautiful. Pushing the boundaries isn't always pretty.

I find myself constantly battling with the idea of "old" vs. "new". Cause, really, a lot of "new" music sounds like - and could very well be - noise. It's also interesting cause I'm dating a nostalgic. Like, old music is her thing. And I'm the total opposite. I love some old music, but I would rather listen to a modern piece in concert than a classic/romantic era (baroque isn't even a question, I more or less completely dislike most of it) piece.

As far as external validation, THAT is something I struggle with. Moreso than I probably should. But it's not so much that I want my place in history, it's that I'm getting dated. With home recording becoming more affordable and "prog metal" being the new "in" thing in the metal world I feel like by the time I release my album everyone will say "I've heard this before, it sounds exactly like [X band]". And that is the complete opposite of what I want. I'm ok with "It reminds me of [X]", but I don't want people to say that I sound like an band from 5 years ago, or that it sounds exactly like someone else.

Having said all of this, Impressionism > all modern and "antiquated" music.

#23
Quote by Harmosis
My experience in college was similar to this, but the implication was that if you were not trying to be avant garde, then grad school was probably not in your future.


This is the same situation I felt, even the undergrad degree was very pushy about finding something new at what often felt like the expense of everything else.


Quote by feel
(although seemingly much more rarely do they extend me the courtesy of not having anything against me).


This works strongly both ways. Not you in particular, but the two loose groups that you see at universities are equally ridiculous towards eachother. I went the avant garde route for a short while until I firmly decided it had little to interest me. Like you said with how you would like someone to say something you don't already know - to me much of the avant garde is someone rambling or just talking because (think about the 90% of everything is shit rule, when avant garde is created by a shitty composer it really stinks). I still recognise that there is more potential for something new to be said, but I find less and less interest with invention than I do innovation anymore. It was a real bummer going through the rest of my degree after eschewing the avant garde. A real bummer, even though I wasn't against it at all, but professors and classmates were tough to deal with.
Last edited by Vlasco at Oct 3, 2014,
#25
What annoyed me most is that they presented it in an ideal way as you described.

Let us help you find your voice.

But then hidden in the fine print:
(as long as it suits our tastes and ideals)
#26
To me, the priority is to make good music. What I feel. But at the same time, I think it needs to be fresh. I won't be excited by something that isn't fresh. But that doesn't mean that for me, it has to be crazy completely different, or odd.

You know, not every song has to be like memento was for a movie, or even more different, like all in blue with no dialogue. But also not "just another sports movie". I am more striving for "The Matrix" fresh interesting story (lyrics) good entertainment/special FX (appealing musical aspect) a good general recipe, which I think makes movies good, plot, climax, maybe love interest or whatever.

If I could make something completely different but I loved like crazy, then I definitely would, and that would be totally awesome. But good and new, I find is a tough combination. What I would consider good and new to be.

I think that's sort of the goal in a sense. It's honest expression, but the funniest comics are fresh different ones. They must be funny though. If you're different, but not funny, then I find there is no point. If you're funny but too much the same, it comes off as a cheap knock off, and that dulls the funny a lot.

So, I think it's not black and white, but shades of grey, and I'm just trying to find the best shade I can.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Oct 3, 2014,
#27
I voted for the second option.

I used to think about this a lot, but it doesn't really bother me anymore. I agree with jazz_feel that I'd personally rather see something bad and 'new' than a master concert pianist playing Beethoven. That doesn't discredit that musician though. I think there is value to, say, a classical musician who only plays older works. There's still a chance their performance skills could be unique (not in conservative classical culture as described earlier but if they were to branch off maybe).

As far as composition goes there are musicians who aren't really doing anything 'new' (or are only making a few very minor innovations here and there) but still unique in the sense that it reflects their own personalities. If it's music with actual merit that can still be an impactful composition.

It is true that pretty much every melody that sounds good has been discovered, but you're not going to find two albums that are identical. Just placing pre-existing ideas in a new context can be unique. Look at how many records are just based on sampling other works. As far as sound goes, we still have a while to go. Most importantly, individual personalities can really make a work feel unique even if the ideas have for the most part already been done before. I think as long as their are interesting, dynamic personalities we'll have unique, new music.

I'll admit, I think about my place in history a lot (not that I necessarily imagine my face in a history book >_>. When I'm making music I try to do something new or at least 'unique'. That's more to do with me being bored of canned sounds and cliches though, not so much that I'm trying to make history. Most of the music I currently have recorded isn't too unique (not that my past self made any good music lol) but as long as it's good it's still valid music. I'm not big on it but I can still appreciate watching a classical guitarist play centuries old work, and the big names deserve credit for being such great performers.
#28
Quote by willT08
you can make old stuff if you want

but i'll call you a wuss on the internet


i'm a badass on the internet

i'm a wuss in real life

get it right!
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#30
agreed
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#31
SON OF A BITCH why did they ban my rock feelsies? Why?

I'll formulate a thorough response but just briefly, a lot of you guys are talking about "innovative" and "new", but I feel most of you glossed over my initial concerns on this...

Is it truly even new?

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
#33
Quote by Xiaoxi
SON OF A BITCH why did they ban my rock feelsies? Why?

I'll formulate a thorough response but just briefly, a lot of you guys are talking about "innovative" and "new", but I feel most of you glossed over my initial concerns on this...

Is it truly even new?


Yeah I realised that after I typed it all out so I just said "**** it" and hit reply.

I guess that nothing is "new" in the sense that it's revolutionary from purely a compositional standpoint. As you pointed out, everyone already decided that 'anything goes' decades ago.

In a sense you are right, we can't live up to the 'towering geniuses' who already advanced the art of music to the state it is in now. I don't think there should be any pressure to create 'new' in that sense of the word (though the type of music you compose is very different from what I make). The reason I got sidetracked by 'innovation' last post is because I think sound and performance are the ways in which there will always be 'new'. And I maintain that personality is what will continue to make musicians unique. Even if you were just to rework Brahms work in a new context and with a different vision, that could potentially be something 'new' even if it's just reworking the old. Entire genres, like hip-hop, have (at least instrumentally) been born from the scraps left by the old. Yet it's entirely 'new' and 'unique'.

I know I'm basically not addressing your point again, but it depends on what you consider to be 'new'. I think you can be 'unique' without being 'new'. It's hard to say who from today will secure their place in history, but I think that artistic vision rather than musical advancement (from purely a compositional standpoint) is what will determine this. Or maybe we'll operate on an entirely different perspective on the past as music becomes more 'democratised'.
#34
Quote by Xiaoxi

a lot of you guys are talking about "innovative" and "new", but I feel most of you glossed over my initial concerns on this...


Were we meant to read the original post? I just read the title
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#35
Quote by Xiaoxi
SON OF A BITCH why did they ban my rock feelsies? Why?

I'll formulate a thorough response but just briefly, a lot of you guys are talking about "innovative" and "new", but I feel most of you glossed over my initial concerns on this...

Is it truly even new?


How new do you need it to be? It's ambiguous. What is a new dish? Is a new way to prepare steak, new? Does it need to be all new ingredients nobody has tasted before? Does it have to come from a new eco system on another planet? Does it have to be inorganic to truly be new? Does it have to be made of something other than atoms?

I mean where do you draw the line for new? I think there a number of things you can do in music, which are fresh, and new. I personally even think you could do that within a common progression.

It's like a sport. It might be the same rules, the same surface and all that, but someone can still be innovative. You can still trick the opposition, and not be predictable. But football will still be football. I don't find you have to play hockey in order to be an innovative football player.

To me, music is music, nd it will all share what makes it music in common. But there is a shitload of play in there. a ton of things that have not been done. Tons of ways to make it cool. It's endless.

I can't stand playing the same piece twice the same way. It is too boring for me. Every single time I play, I try to make it innovative and interesting, to me. There are always endless more possibilities. I never worry about depleting them. I might play the same song a bunch of times, but it is still, to some extent, new to me every time. At least. Enough so that I am interested.

The kind of ironic thing is sometimes it can be something old that's cool. Like, if I'm playing over something some well known melody might pop into my head, and I'll incorporate it over the song I'm doing. I never set out to try and do that, but sometimes it occurs, and I love that shit. It's old, but it is sort of new as well.

When I write, it is coherent, hopefully. I use english letters, and english words, and sometimes manage to be grammatically correct. It's the same old english. If I want to write poetry, I won't go out of my way to try and change any of that really. My aim would be the message I want to deliver. sometimes changing some of the rules of english might help that. The manner english is used might be a little uncommon, for effect. But The message, to me, is important. It must be understood and coherent. It is not a desire of mine to write, so that nobody understands. But, sometimes, in poetry, that can be the effect. I've had people not understand some of my lyrics before. But that would never be my intent.

Music is also that way to me. I want to deliver, what I perceive to be, a cool fresh message, in a language people speak.
#36
I've tried to force myself to write something "less tonal", but it never turns out well. It always sounds like shit and forced. Writing catchy and easily understandable melodies is just too natural for me.
#37
Well yeah, you say that now. But with a little practice the "less tonal" language, will become more second nature.

Also did they really ban OJRF GHIJKLMNOP?

MT just got waaay less Canadian.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Oct 4, 2014,
#38
I can't imagine why anyone would play guitar if they're not playing the music they enjoy, and if what you enjoy isn't "new" then what are you supposed to do, quit? LOL. The idea is to express yourself, you don't have to create a new language in order to do that.
#39
Quote by Jack Strat
I can't imagine why anyone would play guitar if they're not playing the music they enjoy, and if what you enjoy isn't "new" then what are you supposed to do, quit? LOL. The idea is to express yourself, you don't have to create a new language in order to do that.


That's how I feel about it. I'm writing surf rock music at the moment, despite the fact that it's a relic of a decade that's fifty years old right now. **** off. I enjoy it no matter how "tired" you think 12-bar pentatonic rock is.*

*"You" in the general sense, not "you" specifically.
#40
Quote by CarsonStevens


*"You" in the general sense, not "you" specifically.


This is why I think people that say y'all, and yous actually are on to something.
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