Why Mondays are awesome

Violin Tricks

Wish the kids and I already sounded this good with our Mondays ensemble…  πŸ™‚

But we’re working on it, and discovering this beautiful music together.Β  Well done my first violinist for some quality sight-reading in the Presto.

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34 thoughts on “Why Mondays are awesome

    • Nope. I’m not a music communist. I can’t find much in rap, house or metal. There are distinct types of music that to my ears are only noise, and e.g. that includes some 20c classical composers even. No. Not all music. πŸ™‚

    • I think you’re missing the point entirely. A tapestry loses value if it has holes in it, even if one’s eye is drawn most easily to delight in specific parts of it. Music is not a ‘canon’, it’s a ‘corpus’.

      [No, not THAT sort of ‘canon’ πŸ˜€ ]

    • Nope, not missing the point – expecting me to like and mission for all music alike would be the same as expecting me to accept all P’kaboo submissions, no matter how badly written.

    • Ok, clearly not from the planet where I come from. I remember frequenting night clubs with that kind of background noise at such levels that one couldn’t even communicate (if one shouted, one had a 20% chance of being understood), and my response has always been the same – get the h* out of there!!

      There are plenty of groups whose music I do enjoy – but this one… well, certain sounds they make remind vaguely of Depeche Mode, but not enough to… nope, I’m sure as hell not going to promote them alongside Beethoven! πŸ˜€

    • I am begging you please not to keep missing my point entirely, and I’m begging you not to turn kids into musical snobs. I’m thinking how poor my life would be if I only bothered with music I liked – or thought I liked. If I could not appreciate that music/s was/were not ‘high’ or ‘low’, not ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but had its own valid cultural context. If I could not be surprised to find something that delighted me in a genre I was tempted to dismiss. If I did not know that it was perfectly okay to like House and Haydn, Rachmaninov and Rollins and Rap, Metal and Mozart, or to be surprised by an English morris dance. These things are not exclusive. And even if there are musics you don’t like, it is wrong to ignore therm, to know nothing about them, to close your ears, mind, and emotion to them. Being open has enriched my life beyond belief, and if I were teaching kids anything, i would teach them that!

    • The world is turning kids into musical snobs – AGAINST classical music, terming it “old”, “calcified”, “snobbish”, “passe” and “eurocentric”. There are enough radio stations and TV ads that push all other genres and literally drown out the classical genre. Every film is laced with non-classical – Barbie movies excepted. They exchange songs from modern groups in school and go through waves and phases of what is “cool”, and I like some of it and dislike some of it, but NOWHERE do they even get exposed to classical, unless people like me push it. The world is full of un-classical. You don’t hear what I’m saying. I’m not rejecting all genres except classical: I promote specifically classical. I don’t forbid my children to listen and enjoy all the other stuff, but my mission, specifically, is classical. I’m not making vibes AGAINST anything (though I thoroughly dislike some genres of noise myself), but it is not my mission to promote the departure sound of Boeings; it is my mission to focus on classical and promote that. (I teach my violinists gypsy and Irish too at the lower levels, but that’s by the way.) If having an opinion makes me a snob, then so are all of us – because all of us have opinions.

  1. The Beastly Boys offer primitive rhythm. Not really music. Even though the major percentage of what is pumped out through radio etc these days fits the same description. Trite, repetitive, predictable, and ultimately boring.

    • Except that they scream instead of rap, they do remind me of “house” music. It’s house music that has been gravely mistreated.

    • An opinion shared by many highly qualified to have one – and in any case, backed by obvious fact. What has mere rhythm got which will enable it to compare with rich subtlety?

    • I guess the proof of the pudding is kids who have heard neither. Try them on Mozart and try them on Beastly Boys, and see which way they swing. Best, go into the shanty towns for this experiment, because you’re unlikely to find much “bourgeoisie” there.

    • I totally have to agree with Col. Sorry. Opinions.

      In my early days on Facebook I found a poetry group and sniffed around in it and found a guy who insisted he writes better sonnets than Shakespearre.

      Essentially, music, art, poetry and fiction are all about enrichment. The sound of a train engine or a rioting mob does not enrich me emotionally and I don’t see why I ought to elevate it in my opinion to the level of high art that is classical music. It is also an insult to grab an empty benzene drum and bash rhythms on it and then expect to be compared favourably to a professional cellist who spent all his childhood and adulthood honing his art and skills.

      If these opinions make me a snob then I’m proud to be one. Snobs like me are needed to prevent a culture from being murdered off.

    • “The sound of a train engine […] does not enrich me emotionally and I don’t see why I ought to elevate it in my opinion to the level of high art that is classical music.”

      Well I’ve got you there! One of the most wonderful pieces for full orchestra that I have ever heard is Artur Honnegger’s ‘Pacific 231’. Composed in 1923, it is the fullest expression in music of sheer mechanical effort I have ever heard. Perfect composition, gripping music, and emotionally engaging.

    • There is a vast difference between that composition and the simple sound of the engine. As with so many classical themes, something like the sound of the sea or a birdcall has been taken to form the basis, and thereafter invention, ingenuity and invention transform it into a complex expression of art.

    • “An opinion shared by many highly qualified to have one” – a bold assertion. An opinion that becomes closed, or that bars other opinions, is in fact a prejudice.

    • I would like to assert on similar lines that we should treat a 5-line essay by a first-grader with the same literary respect we afford Shakespeare, lest we be prejudiced in favour of old dead Eurocentric males.

  2. I would suggest that people have been deriding popular music since day one, and yet for all the ”bad press” most genres of music have received over the years – including jazz – consider which musical form is still around today?
    Classical.
    Which composers are probably known to even the crudest Rapper? I’ll venture, Mozart, Beethoven and Bach.

    My old tutor thought the Beatles were a skiffle group the first time he heard them. ( he still thinks they didn’t rise much about this level!)
    A lot of Classical music grates me something rotten, but I drift away on clouds of sheer joy listening to Piazolla … and Hendrix, or Retuirn to Forever.
    I enjoy some House – Modjo, for example, yet become irritable as hell when I hear Michael Buble.

    • πŸ˜€

      I could kiss you – I think you have captured exactly what I’m trying to say. (For me, certain works of Schoenberg and even some Shostakovic makes me want to run, and I simply have to take my hat off to Ingwe Malmsteen.) It’s not so much the genre of the music, as what one “resonates” to.

      As for mission, I see it as a total responsibility. Avici (btw I quite like his stuff) is famous quite without my help. But there are many kids out there who ask, “Dvo- who?”

    • 1. The Beatles WERE a skiffle group originally, called The Quarrymen.

      2. A long and documented case could be made (if anyone had the patience to) for the survival of classical music being mostly due to the dominance of bourgeois taste and the establishment of a musical ‘canon’ in the first half of the 19c based on that taste. The same argument could be constructed for painting, literature, and any other branch of the arts. An equally long and documented case could be made (ditto) for that survival being dependent on technique, or on the ability to delight, etc. etc. etc. I would hazard, however, that notwithstanding the probability of an intricate and complex combination of many factors, the first has a lot more to do with it than we would care to admit.

      3. Jazz has, in fact, also achieved a surprising longevity. if you don’t believe me, visit New Orleans. However, it can’t be measured against classical forms, for the simple reason that they have been around longer, in comparison to the relative newcomer, Jazz. Here’s a piece which I think will never go away; it’s ‘Harlem Air Shaft’ by Duke Ellington, composed and recorded in 1940. I consider Ellington to be the greatest American composer of the 20c; the fact that he composed in the jazz idiom has meant that this accolade has rarely been acknowledged, and again I think that has to do with bourgeois taste, and, in the case of the USA, inherent racism. I mention this only to show that there are many, many factors that influence our judgments about music. In ‘Harlem Air Shaft’, a musical impression of the hollow inside a NY tenement, we hear a variety of sounds drifting out from windows on a hot summer evening…

      4. What is ‘Classical’ music? The narrow definition includes only music from the late 18c and early 19c. As a term it was not even used until the 1830s – coincidentally the period which saw the prominence of the European bourgeoisie. When we speak of classical music, we generally use the term to encompass anything from early Baroque (e.g. Purcell), through Baroque (e.g. Bach), early Romanticism (e.g. Mozart), the 19c, on to the 20c English Romantics, and basically anyone using the recognisable forms (concertos, symphonies, sonatas, string quartets, etc. etc. etc.). Sometimes we include more modern forms such as late 20c serialism, or earlier Renaissance music. But whatever we include, that inclusion implies a value judgment. Thus film scores seldom make it into the canon, notwithstanding the technical skill of the composers, because of the association with a ‘popular’ medium of entertainment. It is this ‘value judgment’ with which I, personally, have the most problem.

      There is a telling episode in Thomas Mann’s ‘Buddenbrooks’, set in the mid 19c, in which a piano teacher denounces ‘Liebestod’ from Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde’ as tuneless rubbish, pretty much as our debate has done for rap or the sound of a railway engine.

      Well, personally I adore Wagner. However, I don’t set him up as being great just because I adore his music.

      5. Piazolla! Now you’re cooking with gas! Here’s the Swingle Singers’ version of ‘Libertango’, to round off my diatribe with some sheer pleasure. πŸ˜€

    • I was defending your initial assertion, in actual fact.
      As they say, no need to preach to the choir, sister. πŸ™‚

      And yes, I am well aware the Quarrymen were a skiffle group. My guitar tutor first heard the Beatles in 65/66 on the radio in South Africa when such pop music was not easy to come by so I’m told. He considered they were a fad.

      The general (uneducated/street?) understanding of Classical music would be something like , ”Music written by a bunch of dead white dudes for pianos, violins and cellos.”
      Variations on a (similar) theme (sic) using less vernacular would likely be appropriate.

      The point being, while it may not be the basis of all modern music – for example, we can state with reasonable confidence jazz likely derived from Negro slaves – classical ( ”pianos, violins and cellos”) has stayed the course and will, in all likelihood outlast every other form.
      Credit where credit is due.

      ”Please note: a minor rather than major point: just watch where your poking that stave.”

      coda.

      Ark.

    • But it is such an interesting subject! πŸ˜€

      From a sheer socialistic job creation effort, classical composers win hands down. They didn’t just compose for themselves and their best buddy; they put hundreds of musicians into a paying job, for centuries after.

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