This passage is rather interesting:
Mr Ball believes that many traditional composers such as Mozart, Bach and Beethoven subconsciously followed strict musical formula to produce music that was easy on the ear by ensuring it contained patterns that could be picked out by the brain.In the early twentieth century, however, composers led by Schoenberg began to rally against the traditional conventions of music to produce compositions which lack tonal centres, known as atonal music.Filtered through the ignorance of the journalist, it is sometimes hard to tell if the source, Mr. Ball in this case, is also musically ignorant. "Many traditional composers subconsciously followed strict musical formula [sic]"? How bizarre! As if they simply had no conscious awareness of what they were doing! I would be a lot more sympathetic to these fumbling efforts to do research into music if the researchers did not constantly exhibit the most insulting condescension to their subject matter: composers and music.
My two basic problems with this article and virtually all the others in the popular press on music is that they display such a shallow understanding of music as to be barely worth reading and due to this, the research and the report on it are so misleading as to constitute misinformation about music.
For example, one researcher says in the article that the structures of modern music lead to
an overwhelming feeling of confusion, and the constant failures to anticipate what will happen next means that there is no pleasure from accurate prediction."If you happened to know something about how music is structured and how all composers constantly set up expectations and defeat them, then you could talk about this with a little more significance.
There are three areas in which you need to have real knowledge and understanding before you can write about music. These are
- The history of music
- The theory of music
- The aesthetics of music