Music 1710F/G Lecture Notes - Christos Hatzis, Richard Taruskin, Minimal Music

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6 Feb 2013

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November 21 Readings/Class Notes – History
“Contemporary” Music
What might be some features of “contemporary” music and what might be its
aesthetic aims?
1980s-today - “Contemporary”?
Later Twentieth Century (post 1945)
“... there has been a general tendency to listen to music with less interest in the
works themselves than in the trends they represent.” (Dahlhaus, 23)
When musical style does Beckwith identify as the only commercially succssful
classical music at the moment – a style he, following Richard Taruskin, suggests
be the “death rattle” of Western Art Music?
Musical style he refers to is “meditative and minimalist music” (12)
Beckwith on features of the “meditative/minimalist” style:
“slow, steady, sustained; uniform in tone-colour; built in repetitive simple
patterns; ‘spiritual’ and/or melancholic in mood; low in intervallic profile;
dynamically curving in a long steady crescendo which either ends high or
sequences into a long decrescendo
eg. Arvo Pärt (b. 1935)
Passio (1982)
Discussed on Monday: Somers' music synthesized modernist musical values with
uniquely Canadian cultural concerns.
What are some of the concerns on the minds of Canadians today?
How might Christos Hatzis’s String Quartet No. 1 (“The Awakening”) illustrate
some of these features?
Christos Hatzis (b. 1953)
Born in Greece, member of the Greek Orthodox faith
Emigrated to Canada (via the US) in 1982. Lives in Toronto
His musical values: inclusiveness, universally shared by listeners of no particular
musical background, opening up a series of layers to allow people to have
competing viewpoints which allow the structure of the composition to deepen,
usefulness to the end user (determined by the end user)
String Quartet No. 1 (1994)
Written for string quartet and pre-recorded soundtrack. Pre-recorded elements
include sounds of a locomotive and Inuit throat singing.
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