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  1. #101

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    One does not necessarily have to be a musician to teach music. Teaching involves imparting knowledge, not performing. Some of the greatest musicians are poor teachers, and mediocre musicians can be great teachers. Performing and teaching are not the same. Teaching music requires knowledge of music, without doubt, but not playing ability.

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  3. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    Interesting thoughts, as always. The subject of Schoenberg'12-tone method of composition, and his impact on music has always fascinated me. As you said, specifying an aesthetic, rather than letting it emerge, which I believe was the case with Schoenberg's system (and I don't care about the Tristan Chord argument), could have been the greatest mistake Modernism ever made (besides Fraud, I mean Freud)
    Unlike Bartok, Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, Hindemith, Honegger, Copland, etc..., AS' 12-tone method specified a mathematical formula to compose music that had nothing to do with Wagner. Even his "Transfigured Night" was ersatz Wagner, IMHO, and hardly qualified him as a "Master".
    What music did it emege from? Nothing I can think of. Every other type of music had a tonal center, and his "all notes are equal" theory emerged only from AS' theories.
    As time went on, and the 12-tone system took over academia, classical music began to whither away.

    Even Gunther Schuller, Schoenberg's biggest champion of AS' 12-tone method of composition in the US, wrote in an essay on the subject, "The concert halls are emptying, we have to do something about it."

    He then compared the 12-tone system to other innovations in music, and said, "Genius is often ten or twenty years ahead of his time, but it's been over 50 years (this was back in 1960, so add another 60 years to that-120 years!!!!), and there is still no indication that this music has been accepted by any fraction of the public".
    I can hear the theory heads replying to this (noses slightly out of joint), "But the 12-tone system is the only valid method of writing truly 'new' music!
    You're just not up with the times. WE all use it."
    Ha Schoenberg gets a lot of shit. I like the dude. Bloody minded. Self taught. Incredibly annoying to a lot of people. I suppose that says a lot about my self image lol.

    Verklarte Nacht is, I think, an attempt to unify the advanced harmony of Wagner with the formal and contrapuntal brilliance and motivic discipline of Brahms. Those were AFAIK Schoenberg's two main influences. In fact, we can actually see the 12 tone system as a sort of sideways mad scientist sort of encapsulation of those two things - the advanced non tonal harmony mixed with extreme motivic discipline and conservation of melodic material. And then he spent his later years getting ridiculed for writing wrong note Brahms by the young Turks who preferred Webern.

    Anyway, the stuff Schoenberg fans generally actually like the most is the 'free tonal' era, pre 12-tone; so Pierrot Lunaire, Erwartung, Second String Quartet, Five Orchestral Pieces. And they are - utterly amazing, unprecedented bolts from the blue. No-one was writing that stuff. It still sounds out there today. Schoenberg's use of this dissonant musical language to evoke extreme emotional states was actually very influential. Just ask a horror movie composer.

    Schoenberg himself didn't actually believe that only 12 tone music was valid; that was the younger generation. He was tennis doubles partner with George Gershwin after all. And wrote this late in his career...


    If I had to pick something I like about Schoenberg's tonal works it is that like Brahms I find them quite hard to understand at times. There's a lot going on in Brahms's music; I often feel it is much better than it sounds... But his free tonal music has no such issues. Of course, that wasn't enough for him.

    So 12 tone music? Well... I dunno. Best to listen to music with an open mind and ears. I have had some musical epiphanies listening to 'advanced music' - take this for instance. This work is just stunning to me. I have literally no idea how Boulez wrote this and I don't care.


    Here I think I am mostly responding to Boulez's brilliance with orchestral colour. But I actually find it easier to appreciate than a lot of 19th century symphonic writing which is reliant on formal expectations that go completely over my head, and endless connecting tissue and 'development'. Give me some Ariana Grande any day.

    Anyway these dudes are all dead now. We are post orchestra, post minimalism, post everything.

    But dots on paper and attention to form is still a thing for some.

    This is what New Music sounds like now:

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    One does not necessarily have to be a musician to teach music. Teaching involves imparting knowledge, not performing. Some of the greatest musicians are poor teachers, and mediocre musicians can be great teachers. Performing and teaching are not the same. Teaching music requires knowledge of music, without doubt, but not playing ability.
    I completely disagree.

    Music teaching that doesn't involve playing is bullshit. The teacher has to able to communicate on a musical level and musical learning is profoundly experiential. You can't teach music based on words and concepts.

    Tacit knowledge is far more important than explicit.

  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I completely disagree.

    Music teaching that doesn't involve playing is bullshit. The teacher has to able to communicate on a musical level and musical learning is profoundly experiential. You can't teach music based on words and concepts.

    Tacit knowledge is far more important than explicit.
    you can be the greatest player ever, and not be able to teach!!! very difficult for a player out there on the edge to teach!

    a true teacher, realizes that they must inspire and illuminate their students moreso than just pass on their own take on things!

    the latter is a road to nowhere...suggest, and let it develop...every good teacher is learning as much as giving

    cheers

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    One does not necessarily have to be a musician to teach music.
    I assume you mean great musician or full-time performer. But isn't it obvious that one must or should be a serious musician to teach music? Maybe teaching to beginners would be different.

  7. #106

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    You can liken it to sports also (and many other professions)
    Some of the greatest minds/coaches either didn't play or were less than mediocre. But they knew the game.

  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    You can liken it to sports also (and many other professions)
    Some of the greatest minds/coaches either didn't play or were less than mediocre. But they knew the game.
    Not the same. To teach music, you need to know music. To be a coach, you can spot and recruit talent, motivate, organize, delegate.

  9. #108

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    you can ultimately learn as much about art from a cooking class or art history class as you can from a dedicated music program...or from a good bassoon teacher...not that that's all you should do...but helpful!!

    playing guitar starts in the mind...the fingers just follow..most of our celebrated artists have been artful in their jazz...rather than learned...or the perfect ratio of the two!

    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 08-05-2020 at 09:41 PM.

  10. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59
    Not the same. To teach music, you need to know music. To be a coach, you can spot and recruit talent, motivate, organize, delegate.
    Sorry, its exactly the same.
    You can teach football if you know the X's and O's, doesn't matter if you can play it well or not.
    Same w music.

  11. #110

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    im a boxeo man


    love my boxing since sonny liston

    the greatest boxing cornermen of all time never were pro boxers...angelo dundee!!!..ali and sugar ray leonards man!...gil clancy...tysons cuss 'd'amato..even the great present day teddy atlas!

    one is in no way dependent on the other

    smarts beats skill...always has

    cheers

  12. #111

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    "love my boxing since sonny liston"

    NA, did you like the phantom punch?
    Just kidding, Liston was a great champ

  13. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    "love my boxing since sonny liston"

    NA, did you like the phantom punch?
    Just kidding, Liston was a great champ
    liston was one of the scariest fighters/guys of all time..when mike tyson was a young teen boxer, they used to say he was listons nephew or somesuch....lt scared off all the kids! liston was possessed, but deadly..sad

    cheers

  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Sorry, its exactly the same.
    You can teach football if you know the X's and O's, doesn't matter if you can play it well or not.
    Same w music.
    Wrong. Of course you can teach football without playing it well. My whole point.But to teach music, you have to know to play it to some degree, as I made very clear.

  15. #114

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    Not all university music classes actually involve performance. One need not be a musician to appreciate music, nor to learn how it is composed. This even extends to jazz, where there are historians and other writers who never played a note. I'm not talking about teaching someone to play an instrument, but about music in general.

  16. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    You can liken it to sports also (and many other professions)
    Some of the greatest minds/coaches either didn't play or were less than mediocre. But they knew the game.
    Yes one of the best high school swimming coaches in the SE—has trained many Olympic athletes—was a mediocre swimmer. In fact he consistently finished behind me, which is saying something.

  17. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59
    Wrong. Of course you can teach football without playing it well. My whole point.But to teach music, you have to know to play it to some degree, as I made very clear.
    I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Knowing theory etc doesn't necessarily involve performance, does it?
    If someone recognizes the relationships of notes on a keyboard, do they actually need to be able to physically play them to understand them or teach them?

    To sgosnells point for ex, if you're trying to teach someone to play piano, of course it helps the student to be able to teach more than just pointing out notes/chords etc on the keyboard, but that's a different point.
    I think you're confusing "teach music" w "play music"
    Last edited by wintermoon; 08-05-2020 at 11:04 PM.

  18. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Knowing theory etc doesn't necessarily involve performance, does it?
    If someone recognizes the relationships of notes on a keyboard, do they actually need to be able to physically play them to understand them or teach them?
    Yes. If you can't show it and I can't hear how it sounds, how will I want to learn and then practice it? I thought we we were talking about learning to play, not just studying theory. What about improvisation? Bb dim over A7, E dorian over A7, Pat Martino stuff over A7, Jimmy Rosenberg lick over A7. Examples from a teaching musician.

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59
    Yes. If you can't show it and I can't hear how it sounds, how will I want to learn and then practice it? I thought we we were talking about learning to play, not just studying theory. What about improvisation? Bb dim over A7, E dorian over A7, Pat Martino stuff over A7, Jimmy Rosenberg lick over A7. Examples from a teaching musician.
    I thought we were talking about knowing music, which involves some of the examples you posted, as opposed to physically playing it on a given instrument, regarding technique etc, Obviously the combo of both is the best teaching method on a particular instrument.
    But "knowing" music isn't the same as "playing" it. If you know it and can play it/teach it any student will benefit moreso obviously than from a teacher that can only point out notes, chords and relate theory.

  20. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    I thought we were talking about knowing music, which involves some of the examples you posted, as opposed to physically playing it on a given instrument, regarding technique etc, Obviously the combo of both is the best teaching method on a particular instrument.
    But "knowing" music isn't the same as "playing" it. If you know it and can play it/teach it any student will benefit moreso obviously than from a teacher that can only point out notes, chords and relate theory.
    I think we now agree. I wasn't talking about technique. For example, if the guy teaching me this stuff was a piano or sax player, I could still learn it. But he would be a musician, not just a theoretician.

  21. #120

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    Gotcha man.
    Personally I'm kinda glad my old teachers knew how to actually play guitar instead of putting decals on the fretboard. I just wonder what my students think of them?

  22. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    you can be the greatest player ever, and not be able to teach!!! very difficult for a player out there on the edge to teach!

    a true teacher, realizes that they must inspire and illuminate their students moreso than just pass on their own take on things!

    the latter is a road to nowhere...suggest, and let it develop...every good teacher is learning as much as giving

    cheers
    I quite agree

    these statements can both be true:
    - all good music teachers are musicians
    - not all musicians are good music teachers

    EDIT - I'll add that some musicians are much better teachers than they think they are, because they think good teaching means for instance, structured classroom teaching.
    Last edited by christianm77; 08-06-2020 at 06:14 AM.

  23. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Not all university music classes actually involve performance. One need not be a musician to appreciate music, nor to learn how it is composed. This even extends to jazz, where there are historians and other writers who never played a note. I'm not talking about teaching someone to play an instrument, but about music in general.
    True. To be fair, the vernacular understanding of 'learning music' would not be generally understood to mean 'study music theory' or 'learn to research music as an academic subject.'

    And this takes us back to the aesthetics vs praxis debate; teaching someone 'about music', suggests aesthetic and historical narratives, (which themselves are open to question and debate.) Learning 'about music' OTOH is obviously worth doing, but without wanting to be rude, many musicians simply parrot what they were told at college regarding theory, history etc, appeal to authority etc. There's no actual thinking going on, no critical engagement with these narratives, which makes me doubt the value of such classes. You even see it in jazz.

    But they can PLAY, so it doesn't matter, which underlines my basic point. I don't need a great fusion player to know what Louis played on this or that record or who invented the altered scale. I don't need a violinist to critically engage with the social praxis of classical music. I just want them to play music!

    Anyway, I do find this an interesting area to explore; to what extent is music an academic taught subject? I must say I am heavily influenced by the more praxis oriented thinkers on music education, which as I understand it is actually more an American trend?

    Beyond purely academic music courses, there is the issue of 'non-playing' classes in music schools; harmony etc. These often seem taught in a very dry, classroom way that I find very odd because I really like playing around with harmony like most jazzers.

    For an example; a good friend of mine who teachers at the junior Royal College (and a PhD student haha) pointed out that Figured Bass for instance, is rarely taught as what it actually is; a way of creating music. So, she would argue that rather than shunt it into the world of 'music theory', we should put it in the realm of tools for composition and improvisation. You don't lose anything by this, and gain a lot. A lot of the time it's just teaching the same info in a more imaginative and effective way than lectures.

    (Although there may be issues with resources - lectures are cheap 'n' easy. But there are still changes that can be made.)

    While I know many musician teachers of my age and younger who understand this (there is a movement to bring improvisation back into classical performance, for instance), this has to start early on with lessons and by necessity is a slow change, but will actually align the teaching of Western Music with its deeper traditions (those of the baroque and classical eras.)

    This seems all seems like 'well, duh....' to me, but of course classical music education has shifted towards veneration of the Greats more than encouraging students to see harmony etc as a tool box to use for their own musical creations.

    Increasingly, if my tutors and friends are anything to go by, the trend is to move towards more practically oriented and creativity focussed teaching. The interesting thing is the work of Keith Swanwick, Lucy Green, David Elliot and so on is revolutionary for them, but to me as a jazzer just seems like a codification of how we all instinctively teach music already. For example, CST is still primarily used as a resource for improvisation and composition by jazz musicians, never solely a tool of analysis.

    So, I come back to the same basic theme - JP Rameau fucked it all up haha.
    Last edited by christianm77; 08-06-2020 at 06:12 AM.

  24. #123

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    This is not HIP but is hip (ha my classical music joke no doubt went way over the heads of you jazz cats)




    re Schoenberg, everyone should check out the Piano Concerto, a late, non dogmatic 12-tone piece that is just absolutely fantastic. Beyond the ‘Brahms with wrong notes’ jibe he often gets tagged with

    as for pure serialism (beyond 12-tone, applying serial principles to rhythm, dynamics etc), this is a great piece


  25. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Yeah, but 100 years is long enough for the wheel to turn full circle. Old stuff can seem fresh again if it has been ignored sitting in the attic corner gathering dust and cobwebs for that long. I'm pretty sure Beethoven was considered "square" in the 1950's (at least Chuck Berry may have thought so! ) ...
    Everything is considered hip by somebody, and everything is considered square by somebody [shrug]. I think big band music in general was perceived by the generations of youth culture that came after as music for old people (by definition, at least to the young, square), but I think that has mainly passed, following several swing revivals. I'm as guilty of that as anyone (born in '62). Heck, my parents (born in the mid 30s) thought big band music was old stuff. I'd also say that once you actually hear a big band in person, everything changes. Stuff that sounds small and old-timey on a scratched record has a completely different character in person, and I know a lot of people whose views of big band music were transformed by actually hearing it played (mea culpa).

    Considering Goodman specifically, hip/square is not the lens that occurs to me. Rather, it's the whole controversy of the "King of Swing" label being conferred on him (instead of, say, Ellington, Basie, or Webb) as emblematic of the racism of the times.

    John

  26. #125

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    Things change quickly. My parents were born in the twenties, and loved big band music. The era didn't last long.

    People then and now promote themselves, and are promoted by companies with an interest in them, with lots of titles. In reality there was no "king of swing", there was too much competition for the title. But Goodman was willing to do what few other white bandleader were, and regularly participated in "battles of the bands" at the Savoy Ballroom and other places, competing against the likes of Chick Webb and many others, with the audience being the judges. From what I've read, his band held its own. The concept doesn't make a lot of sense logically, but it packed the ballrooms, generating big gates. Stompin' At The Savoy came out of those contests. I think that shows that Goodman was considered hip at the time. Certainly Lombardo couldn't have pulled it off, and neither could Miller.

    Music is a very broad subject, and easily encompasses those who play it, listen to it, theorize about it, and just dance to it, or even just hear it in elevators. It's so broad and universal that I don't believe any one viewpoint can ever be "the" correct one. Every culture has music, and while the music and attitudes about it vary widely, all are equally valid. For some, music is praxis. For some it's more theoretical. For some, it's just something to dance to in a club while looking for the ideal partner for the night. I don't care, as long as there is music to hear and play.

  27. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59
    Wrong. Of course you can teach football without playing it well. My whole point.But to teach music, you have to know to play it to some degree, as I made very clear.
    The best teachers are players too.

  28. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    This is not HIP but is hip (ha my classical music joke no doubt went way over the heads of you jazz cats)




    re Schoenberg, everyone should check out the Piano Concerto, a late, non dogmatic 12-tone piece that is just absolutely fantastic. Beyond the ‘Brahms with wrong notes’ jibe he often gets tagged with

    as for pure serialism (beyond 12-tone, applying serial principles to rhythm, dynamics etc), this is a great piece

    If you want to hear some real music on that album, listen to the George Russell piece "All About Rosie", written before his Lydian Chromatic Concept obsession.
    Gunther Schuller, the conductor of "ALL Set" at that 1957 Brandeis Concert, was amazed to find that Bill Evans was able to sight read the piano part of the piece, even getting the dynamics and articulations right on his first playing.
    The other musicians had to rehearse the piece for hours before they could even come close to a performance. And we're talking about Art Farmer, Hal McKusick, etc...

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Ha Schoenberg gets a lot of shit. I like the dude. Bloody minded. Self taught. Incredibly annoying to a lot of people. I suppose that says a lot about my self image lol.

    Verklarte Nacht is, I think, an attempt to unify the advanced harmony of Wagner with the formal and contrapuntal brilliance and motivic discipline of Brahms. Those were AFAIK Schoenberg's two main influences. In fact, we can actually see the 12 tone system as a sort of sideways mad scientist sort of encapsulation of those two things - the advanced non tonal harmony mixed with extreme motivic discipline and conservation of melodic material. And then he spent his later years getting ridiculed for writing wrong note Brahms by the young Turks who preferred Webern.

    Anyway, the stuff Schoenberg fans generally actually like the most is the 'free tonal' era, pre 12-tone; so Pierrot Lunaire, Erwartung, Second String Quartet, Five Orchestral Pieces. And they are - utterly amazing, unprecedented bolts from the blue. No-one was writing that stuff. It still sounds out there today. Schoenberg's use of this dissonant musical language to evoke extreme emotional states was actually very influential. Just ask a horror movie composer.

    Schoenberg himself didn't actually believe that only 12 tone music was valid; that was the younger generation. He was tennis doubles partner with George Gershwin after all. And wrote this late in his career...


    If I had to pick something I like about Schoenberg's tonal works it is that like Brahms I find them quite hard to understand at times. There's a lot going on in Brahms's music; I often feel it is much better than it sounds... But his free tonal music has no such issues. Of course, that wasn't enough for him.

    So 12 tone music? Well... I dunno. Best to listen to music with an open mind and ears. I have had some musical epiphanies listening to 'advanced music' - take this for instance. This work is just stunning to me. I have literally no idea how Boulez wrote this and I don't care.


    Here I think I am mostly responding to Boulez's brilliance with orchestral colour. But I actually find it easier to appreciate than a lot of 19th century symphonic writing which is reliant on formal expectations that go completely over my head, and endless connecting tissue and 'development'. Give me some Ariana Grande any day.

    Anyway these dudes are all dead now. We are post orchestra, post minimalism, post everything.

    But dots on paper and attention to form is still a thing for some.

    This is what New Music sounds like now:
    When I studied composition in University, my first teacher (a renowned student of Nadia Boulanger) called Schoenberg's music, "Disgusting", and said he much preferred Webern.
    My next teacher loved Schoenberg, and said that Webern's music sounded like a "Bunch of little farts".
    I listened to a great deal of 12-tone music, and found it all non-musical, until I found a piece by Wallingford Riegger (Sextet For Woodwind Quintet and Piano") whose third movement I fell in love with. THEN I read the liner notes, and it said that the other three movements (which I couldn't stand)
    were written in strict 12-tone style, BUT the movement I loved was written in a purely modal style!
    That was it. I got my degree, and got the hell out of there.