Re: Thoughts on music/sound
Fri, 18 Jul 1997 11:30:00 -0700

---------------------------- Forwarded with Changes ---------------------------
From: at @UCSD
Date: 7/17/97 10:36PM
*To: at @UCSD
Subject: Re: Thoughts on music/sound
forwarded from the Silence list:

10:44 PM 7/17/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Greetings all,
>A general topic I'm interested in discussing is that of music, and how we
>go about it. As young children, banging away on the piano, we don't care
>about wrong notes, there aren't even right notes to be there! We hear the
>notes we want to hear, right? Then we start lessons on something, or just
>getting more serious about it, adults pretty much ruin it, by showing us
>what can be done, orchestras, the radio, tonal music. Now we think lower
>at our "banging away" skills on the piano or whatever instrument it is. We
>study, and we improve, but we're never as happy as we were when we were
>first as that piano.
>Salutations, Thanks much,
>Jon Singer
I remember in my Freshman year of college, which was only three years ago,
they told me that I couldn't compose in a 20th Century style until I had
mastered the 18th Century style. I frankly could've cared less about the
18th century and still could. That's probably a niave viewpoint, but so be
it. Learn the 18th century I did. I even memorized the 17 or so Bach rules
of part-writing (thank you, Bruce Benward).

The thought is a good one. Why must we teach our children that the tonal
way is the only way. We so engrain it into their skulls through the means
of radio, television, movies, nintendo, etc, that all they know is tonality.
Where does that leave people like us? Must we write tonal music in order to
"make it" as composers?

I ask this because I am a Senior-level composition student who deals with the
"weird and the wacky" (to quote my instructor, Dr. Jerry Hatley who also is a
"weird and wacky" composer). I guess that this brings the question that I
have asked my self and Dr. Hatley, "Will I be able to work once I graduate?"
(His reply being that Europe is a nice continent.)

It is interesting that when I was a wee lad at Granny's house and would bang
away on the piano it was cute. Now when I do it and play my works it is
obnoxious. Naivity? On whose part?

Michael Simants-McDonald

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