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Lecture 11

MUSC 102 Lecture 11.docx

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Queen's University
MUSC 102

MUSC 102 Lecture 11 - The prepared piano (from last week) - Short clip of how it is actually prepared - Can take up to 24 hours to prepare a piano for a John Cage work - Much more control as well as what’s possible with new sounds and traditional instruments - Much more increased freedom, especially in 1950s - ‘Chance Music’: 4’33” (1952)(the silence one from the beginning of the course) - Relying on the extra music in the room and the sounds around us in order to create the music “Years ago, after I decided to devote my life to music, I noticed that people distinguished between noises and sounds… I decided to… fight for noises, to be on the side of the underdog” – John Cage “ Everything we do is music” – John Cage - He would sit in his apartment in NYC and open his music, listen for sounds, counted it all as music - There are a lot of attitudes (and Western biases) to what we consider music - Imaginary Landscape 4 (1951) - Cage wrote a series of these pieces - All about exploring the sound landscape around us - Asong written for…12 radios and 24 performers - Short clip - Has settings for each radio, i.e. how loud…but is chance because you have no clue what the channels will be playing that night - Cage would roll the dice in terms of musical decisions - He’d also throw the dice and bang chains and things to see how they hear - This kind of thinking ties into Postmodernism - Postmodernism, said to begin 1960s but can be traced back all the way to 1930s - Sometimes music follows after the other arts - The things we thought we knew, we start to bring into question- a self-questioning - Why do we have these particular biases? - Why do we have to have a full orchestra for it be to constituted as music? - Starts to intersect with something like writing for the people - We can come in from the every day, like a radio - Andy Warhol’s “100 Cans of Campbell’s Soup” 1962 - What constitutes art can be anything around you at any point - Encompasses people, we can all be artists in a sense - Changes to Music in Postmodernism: 1) There is no “high” or “low” art, only “art”. Genres become more blurred. - We started that a bit last week with Copland, who was writing easy things for people to understand - Music for the people, but postmodernism is a bit further than just that - In terms of genres, we’ll be studying a musical tonight but it’s just as important - Starts to blur between the concert hall and the rest of life 2) Each culture is as important as the next, so that we don’t “other” people in the same way - More music borrowings, not meaning to stereotype cultures and such when borrowing styles, like in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly 3) Anew agenda to create music: classical music forms such as sonata form or a theme and variations are no longer operative. Each musical work must fashion its unique form according to the demands and create urges of the moment. - Meant to break conservatism, something we can all participate in - It’s a part of who we are - Picture on p. 243, radical new score that is up to interpretation for the performer - Role of the performer becomes more important - Composer gives up a little bit, lets performer take some control - Sounds like things are becoming a bit idealistic, it’s more about globalization and such - Make informed decision on who I am instead of somebody else - Dangers come with this as well - All sorts of different ways to listen to popular music, especially in modern times - International Repertoire: primarily in English, usuallyAmerican networks broadcast to the entire world, almost force local artists to sing English in order to get out there - i.e. there are a lot of international Bieber sound-alikes - (Thanks MTV!) Americans basically dictate what other people get to sing Leonard Bernstein and the Broadway Musical - Aform that emerged in the early 1900s - Started off in its early days as a vaudeville show - An array of different performers - Dancing dogs, group that singsAmazing Grace, somebody else - All kinds of performers with different aptitudes and skills, organize them - Usually 10-15 totally unrelated acts that came together, like a variety show - Musical is kind of a mix of the vaudeville show and opera, had all of these little shows with different characteristics and aspects, but is all fused together with a single narrative that carries through, and is written by one compose (about the 1930s) - Dialogue is usually spoken, with songs that come in between - Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) - Like Copland, was trying to bridge the gap - Enough art music and sounds being separated, let’s bring them all together - Gifted musician and conductor, New York Philharmonic - Studying West Side Story tonight (1957) - Essentially an updated version of Romeo and Juliet “All around, Puerto Rican kids were playing- with a huge causeway as a background in a classic [design of]…pillar and Roman arches. The contrast between the setting and the kids was striking, fascinating. Right then and there we had our theme for West Side Story- a contemporary setting echoing a classic myth.” – Leonard Bernstein - Jets (Americans) vs. Sharks (Puerto Ricans) - Guy and girl fall in love from opposite sides, whatever - Astudy of musical opposites: 1) Dissonance- songs involving the lovers have much more conso
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