But I'm back now and the first item that caught my eye was this one about a young man who got hearing aids that enabled him to properly hear for the first time in his life. So he binged out on music!! What's really fascinating is what music comes out on top for him. In order:
Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Bob Marley, blues, Queen, Beatles, Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Ros, and Radiohead.Obviously he hasn't had the opportunity to listen to any Haydn yet...
Here is a comment on aesthetic value;
Wait, "classical ended"? And no-one sent me a memo?How would you describe the evolution of music? You're in a pretty unique position to comment on it.I wouldn't call it evolution. It's easier to find good songs pre-digital age. They end up sounding more authentic. Modern music is so much louder. But there are a few modern bands pushing music to the next level. I just didn't expect to love classical more than any genre. So, from my point of view, music has been in a confused and downward spiral ever since classical ended. Some got close but no one has touched on Mozart’s requiem. I rank classical 99/100, the blues 91/100 and Reggae 85/100.
Memo to: Bryan Townsend, classical composer
Re: The End of Classical Music
Text: Yes, Bryan, it is unfortunately true: classical music is all over. It's just as Frank (Zappa) said, all the good music was written by dead white guys in wigs. The precise moment it ended was during one of John Cage's "happenings" in New York in 1968. The confirming evidence was the release of The White Album by the Beatles in November of that year, which showed that popular music was now where all the action was.
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Since Austin Chapman's favorite piece of music is the Lacrimosa from the Requiem of Mozart, let's have a listen:
The Guardian has an interesting article summing up the year in music with numbers. The most-performed composer, in the UK at least, was Benjamin Britten, partly because of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Mozart just edged out Beethoven as most-performed in the world. Tom Service is most disappointed that there are not more prominent female conductors and composers. Well, sure. But apart from onerous government regulation I'm not sure how we would get to actual gender equality in these areas.
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As the traditional models for the studies of the humanities fade under the Long March through the institutions of cultural Marxists, new models seem to be coming to light. Witness the development of a more rounded "creative" curriculum for undergraduates at Stanford University in California. This is not as innovative as it might sound. I used to teach a very similar kind of course at McGill in Montréal called The Art of Listening. It was basically a music appreciation course for non-music majors. With about a hundred students in the section, it was both fun and challenging. I remember starting off one year with a semiotic analysis of a song by Stevie Wonder.
For the life of me, I can't remember which song I chose. But here is some Stevie Wonder to contemplate:
Coolio's Gangster Paradise is based on it:
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And finally, via Norman Lebrecht we have a street guitarist that he raves about:
His name is Estas Tonné and yes, very good player. But he is very much in the Paco de Lucia mold: i.e. a lot of fast notes, flailing around and tossing of hair while sticking to the same dreary chord progression that they all seem to. Of no actual musical interest therefore. Or is it just sour grapes? No, I swear not! What he does is so carefully crafted to match exactly what the guitar does best that if you listen closely it really isn't very interesting musically. But virtuoso, certainly...
For comparison, here is a little Manitas de Plata from 1975: