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The Modernization of Classical Music


Rue
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While I can't directly relate with some of the comments (since I have never lived in that totally immersive musical world), I  do think this is an interesting discussion on the need to "update" old, immovable, classical music ideals.

I can't see why one can't marry the old with the new and by doing so keep it all alive and thriving.

https://www-rollingstone-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.rollingstone.com/pro/features/juilliard-modernize-classical-music-education-1134208/amp/?amp_js_v=a6&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D

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2 hours ago, Rue said:

While I can't directly relate with some of the comments (since I have never lived in that totally immersive musical world), I  do think this is an interesting discussion on the need to "update" old, immovable, classical music ideals.

I can't see why one can't marry the old with the new and by doing so keep it all alive and thriving.

https://www-rollingstone-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.rollingstone.com/pro/features/juilliard-modernize-classical-music-education-1134208/amp/?amp_js_v=a6&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D

Some aspects of the conservatory model could use updating.

I think there's an overemphasis on harmonic analysis. Not enough training in improvisation. Music history curriculum spends too long talking about European music c. 1300-1685.

But my education was very traditional.  And while I think it could have been better, the main absurdity of the conservatory system (hours spent alone in a practice room), can't really be improved upon.  And it's also hard to improve upon a really good symphony orchestra as a compelling example of organizational discipline.

The article mentions Caroline Shaw as an example, she was a year ahead of me at Rice... a very traditional conservatory model.  Gabriel Prokofiev might be doing modern things, but, again, he got degrees in composition.  Ben Sollee also attended music school to study cello.  The author mentions someone leading a class in groove who was a Juilliard grad.

Sounds to me like music schools are doing at least some things right since they're producing these people that the author admires and holds up as examples.

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Ooooh, considering the number of rich and famous popular musicians who were ignorant of music theory, and couldn't read music at all, maybe the conservatories can do away with those entirely!  Sorta like teaching physics without higher mathematics, you always get more students.   :D  :lol:

You know you are on a very slippery slope, right?   :huh:  :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, Stephen Fine said:

And it's also hard to improve upon a really good symphony orchestra as a compelling example of organizational discipline.

So what happens when virtual reality and AI replace entire orchestras, and human listeners are unable to discern the difference, visually or aurally?

And how many more videos of the same European classical music need to be made by modern virtuoso musicians before any additional recordings become superfluous and dilutive?

Somedays I wonder how long it will be before people no longer have any interest in doing the work required to learn to play music using actual orchestral instruments.

 

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6 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Ooooh, considering the number of rich and famous popular musicians who were ignorant of music theory, and couldn't read music at all, maybe the conservatories can do away with those entirely!  Sorta like teaching physics without higher mathematics, you always get more students.   :D  :lol:

You know you are on a very slippery slope, right?   :huh:  :rolleyes:

That itself is a slippery slope fallacy, VdA.  When I taught 20th century music theory at WSU, I horrified my colleagues by jettisoning Stockhausen, Boulez, and Babbitt for two weeks learning transcription skills, working on Robert Johnson's oeuvre.  I will happily debate anyone who thinks I made an unwise choice.  These students learned how to work a tone row (and yeah I taught that, because they've got to know it for GRE/grad school whatever), but they couldn't get a decent sound up on a mixing board.  What is important for a music student to know?  I felt that any student leaving a 20th-century music theory course without studying an oral tradition like the blues and learning transcription was dangerously ignorant in the 21st century.  The threat thrown at innovations in music pedagogy is as Vda stated--if you challenge it, the house of cards will collapse, and it's--where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

Comparing the standard academic music curriculum to higher mathematics/physics is truly apples to oranges.  You cannot understand physics without calculus.  Newton couldn't understand physics without it.  However, Bach could write fabulous music without 12-tone theory.  I would argue that just about anyone can write fabulous music without 12-tone theory.  Art is not science.  It is easy enough to come up with stupid hoops to jump through, and I jumped through all of them in academic music. A lot of the curriculum in music academia pretends that nothing really happened in music after 1920, because that's when European music confronted a world of music that was getting recorded, and they decided that they would no longer be the "study of music," but the "study of notated European music." Oh sure, we carved out a niche for the most European of the African-American music forms--jazz (and applied the death grip of European music grammar, aka "theory," to it--how'd that work out?), and we shoveled 99% of the world's music into "ethnomusicology," but we made sure that NONE of that touched our theory/history courses.  The other liberal arts had to confront diversity, embrace voices other than those of white European men, but music?  Nah, we're good (we think).  One of the best moments in recent music history was when Kendrick Lamar got the Pulitzer, but none of my colleagues understood it.  In fact, they freaked out.  A kid walking into a music department today with a head full of rhythm and blues, guitar chops, a notebook full of lyrics, and a great ear for mixing--they will be out on their butts in any music department I know.  Or they will be in my office, as we craft a "liberal arts" degree program that will enable them to study American music and songwriting/producing because my colleagues wouldn't give them the time of day.

I don't think we're good.  I think European music needs to be integrated into a less classist/racist system if it's going to survive, and that doesn't mean (just) celebrating every new African-American woman composer who writes like their white European mentors.  It means embracing the range of human musical expression.  We teach music grammar for the music of dead white guys, and I am going to BE a dead white guy, but I am sick of grammar passing as theory in our field.  Notation and the analysis of it will never go away--it's a great tool, but it neither makes sound nor exists in time, so obviously, folks, it's going to miss some things on its way to eating the recipe instead of the dinner.  I have actually given up on reforming the system.  I gave it, literally, the old college try.  Got nowhere.  My colleagues had fought tooth-and-nail to get their gigs and they won't give up without fighting tooth-and-nail to cling to it.  Oh well.  

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3 hours ago, palousian said:

That itself is a slippery slope fallacy, VdA.  When I taught 20th century music theory at WSU, I horrified my colleagues by jettisoning Stockhausen, Boulez, and Babbitt for two weeks learning transcription skills, working on Robert Johnson's oeuvre.  I will happily debate anyone who thinks I made an unwise choice.  These students learned how to work a tone row (and yeah I taught that, because they've got to know it for GRE/grad school whatever), but they couldn't get a decent sound up on a mixing board.  What is important for a music student to know?  I felt that any student leaving a 20th-century music theory course without studying an oral tradition like the blues and learning transcription was dangerously ignorant in the 21st century.  The threat thrown at innovations in music pedagogy is as Vda stated--if you challenge it, the house of cards will collapse, and it's--where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

Comparing the standard academic music curriculum to higher mathematics/physics is truly apples to oranges.  You cannot understand physics without calculus.  Newton couldn't understand physics without it.  However, Bach could write fabulous music without 12-tone theory.  I would argue that just about anyone can write fabulous music without 12-tone theory.  Art is not science.  It is easy enough to come up with stupid hoops to jump through, and I jumped through all of them in academic music. A lot of the curriculum in music academia pretends that nothing really happened in music after 1920, because that's when European music confronted a world of music that was getting recorded, and they decided that they would no longer be the "study of music," but the "study of notated European music." Oh sure, we carved out a niche for the most European of the African-American music forms--jazz (and applied the death grip of European music grammar, aka "theory," to it--how'd that work out?), and we shoveled 99% of the world's music into "ethnomusicology," but we made sure that NONE of that touched our theory/history courses.  The other liberal arts had to confront diversity, embrace voices other than those of white European men, but music?  Nah, we're good (we think).  One of the best moments in recent music history was when Kendrick Lamar got the Pulitzer, but none of my colleagues understood it.  In fact, they freaked out.  A kid walking into a music department today with a head full of rhythm and blues, guitar chops, a notebook full of lyrics, and a great ear for mixing--they will be out on their butts in any music department I know.  Or they will be in my office, as we craft a "liberal arts" degree program that will enable them to study American music and songwriting/producing because my colleagues wouldn't give them the time of day.

I don't think we're good.  I think European music needs to be integrated into a less classist/racist system if it's going to survive, and that doesn't mean (just) celebrating every new African-American woman composer who writes like their white European mentors.  It means embracing the range of human musical expression.  We teach music grammar for the music of dead white guys, and I am going to BE a dead white guy, but I am sick of grammar passing as theory in our field.  Notation and the analysis of it will never go away--it's a great tool, but it neither makes sound nor exists in time, so obviously, folks, it's going to miss some things on its way to eating the recipe instead of the dinner.  I have actually given up on reforming the system.  I gave it, literally, the old college try.  Got nowhere.  My colleagues had fought tooth-and-nail to get their gigs and they won't give up without fighting tooth-and-nail to cling to it.  Oh well.  

This is all very interesting and true, except that there is a big difference between studying music as an intellectual discipline (its history, psychology, structures, etc) and learning how to do it as a craft tradition.

All different musics as performing arts are immersive craft traditions - I remember talking to Malian kora players, they talked about how they basically studied full time with their relatives from childhood (it was an uncle and nephew I met) in order to master their music and performance art. I don't see that as much difference from learning how to play the violin in a symphony orchestra; neither better nor worse, just different.

The mistake is to think that Classical Western music is the "pinnacle" or the "standard" against which other music traditions can be compared, or into which they can be assimilated.

We occasionally have friction here in discussions of top-level violin-making, and organological theoretical analysis of violins - two utterly different ways of studying "violin making", with different methodologies and different outcomes (the maker produces fine instruments, the analyst produces technical papers). I think there is a parallel with studying music.

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Emma S-W's arguments are rather stale, if I may say so. 

Yes, more people listen to pop music than to Beethoven. It has always been that way. Even when Beethoven was alive and working, even though popular music wasn't yet reproduced in the way it is now.

It's only natural more people pass the lower bar of sophistication (and yes, there is some rock that is very sophisticated).

Obviously that doesn't mean classical musicians should cross over or even, play standing up so as to look more 'with it' (though, if they want to, I'n fine with that). There is a solid audience for hard core classical music, the only thing is that pie ain't getting bigger.

You can win over an audience by the strength of your enthusiasm, and the other thing is too many people graduate from music schools. 

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I believe that a point being misunderstood here is that functionally, "conservatories" aren't equivalent to "music departments", any more than a "school of ballet" equates to a "dance department".  They are specialized places where the "immersive craft tradition" of Western Classical Music is transmitted to future generations of performers and composers.  :)           

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What is great about music?  There are many genres.  That is the whole point.  Is classical music dying?  LOL It died already.  But that doesn't mean classical music isn't around.  By "died" I mean that we still listen and play it, but when was the last time you heard or played a modern composer's piece of music that sound like and had the tradition structural composition of let's say Beethoven?  

Instead, we began getting wonderful works from Stravinsky, Dvorak, Copland, Gershwin, Glass....(not in chronological order).

Back in the early 90s, the Kronos Quartet recorded a string version of Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze.  I loved it.  I began thinking of how music was changing.  Look at John Williams, he takes the old, applies some of it to the new.  Nigel Kennedy started pushing the envelope by wearing spoons on his jacket (I kinda thought it was cool).

It is quite exciting to see cross-over artists like Lindsey Sterling (even though I am not a huge fan).  

I say open your mind to all genres, love or hate them, but just open your mind to them.  

I'm pretty sure that when Bach started composing those before him, who considered the Gregorian Chant "pop music" at the time, probably thought what is this?  Sonatas and Partitas? What's next? Brass instruments?  

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I certainly don't think the author's article was stale, it can't be because she's living it.

She could have written an academic dissertation on the topic, that no one, outside her committee and a handful of others, would ever read, or she can share her entirely valid opinion in such a manner that everyone can read it.

Classical music certainly isn't dead, but we're not keeping it exciting and vigorous by insisting it remain locked with a rigid framework of outdated etiquette (for lack of a better word).

I don't have a problem with the formality of a classical music concert or event either.  It's nice to dress up and sip on champagne and nibble on canapes during intermission, but it has to be part of a bigger picture, not insist that it IS the bigger picture.

Maybe conservatories have to rethink their education.  Maybe students need two years of broad music related classes, and then go on to specialize in their primary area of interest.  Yes.  It can be 'that easy'.

I gotta say...I have never understood why 'classical music' has been reduced to The Messiah at Christmas time and a handful of symphonies by other composers. That in itself speaks volumes.

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On 3/8/2021 at 11:14 PM, palousian said:

That itself is a slippery slope fallacy, VdA.  When I taught 20th century music theory at WSU, I horrified my colleagues by jettisoning Stockhausen, Boulez, and Babbitt for two weeks learning transcription skills, working on Robert Johnson's oeuvre.  I will happily debate anyone who thinks I made an unwise choice.  These students learned how to work a tone row (and yeah I taught that, because they've got to know it for GRE/grad school whatever), but they couldn't get a decent sound up on a mixing board.  What is important for a music student to know?  I felt that any student leaving a 20th-century music theory course without studying an oral tradition like the blues and learning transcription was dangerously ignorant in the 21st century.  The threat thrown at innovations in music pedagogy is as Vda stated--if you challenge it, the house of cards will collapse, and it's--where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

Comparing the standard academic music curriculum to higher mathematics/physics is truly apples to oranges.  You cannot understand physics without calculus.  Newton couldn't understand physics without it.  However, Bach could write fabulous music without 12-tone theory.  I would argue that just about anyone can write fabulous music without 12-tone theory.  Art is not science.  It is easy enough to come up with stupid hoops to jump through, and I jumped through all of them in academic music. A lot of the curriculum in music academia pretends that nothing really happened in music after 1920, because that's when European music confronted a world of music that was getting recorded, and they decided that they would no longer be the "study of music," but the "study of notated European music." Oh sure, we carved out a niche for the most European of the African-American music forms--jazz (and applied the death grip of European music grammar, aka "theory," to it--how'd that work out?), and we shoveled 99% of the world's music into "ethnomusicology," but we made sure that NONE of that touched our theory/history courses.  The other liberal arts had to confront diversity, embrace voices other than those of white European men, but music?  Nah, we're good (we think).  One of the best moments in recent music history was when Kendrick Lamar got the Pulitzer, but none of my colleagues understood it.  In fact, they freaked out.  A kid walking into a music department today with a head full of rhythm and blues, guitar chops, a notebook full of lyrics, and a great ear for mixing--they will be out on their butts in any music department I know.  Or they will be in my office, as we craft a "liberal arts" degree program that will enable them to study American music and songwriting/producing because my colleagues wouldn't give them the time of day.

I don't think we're good.  I think European music needs to be integrated into a less classist/racist system if it's going to survive, and that doesn't mean (just) celebrating every new African-American woman composer who writes like their white European mentors.  It means embracing the range of human musical expression.  We teach music grammar for the music of dead white guys, and I am going to BE a dead white guy, but I am sick of grammar passing as theory in our field.  Notation and the analysis of it will never go away--it's a great tool, but it neither makes sound nor exists in time, so obviously, folks, it's going to miss some things on its way to eating the recipe instead of the dinner.  I have actually given up on reforming the system.  I gave it, literally, the old college try.  Got nowhere.  My colleagues had fought tooth-and-nail to get their gigs and they won't give up without fighting tooth-and-nail to cling to it.  Oh well.  

This is an excellent comment, I have a degree from a good university, and I just helped one of my colleagues prepare for a certification test in music. She already has a certification in English, but she wanted to expand it.

I helped her with all of the history and some of the theory, but except for a couple of “trivia questions” about 12 tone music, which I loathe, and jazz, there was almost nothing that would be of any real assistance to today’s musician.

I watch YouTube videos of people making serious music, and I realize that I have almost none of the skills that they have, except the skill of being a fine musician. I’m a very good cellist, and I can make a video of myself performing, but I can’t make a professional quality video with all the miscellaneous gobbledygook that these guys do. They have skills that I do not have, And they have artistry that I may or may not have, but that I certainly have not developed.

However the traditional education is very important and must remain. There is a funny instruction in general music, to whit:” learn how to write a fugue, and then don’t.“

And I add my own:”before you can break the rules, you must first obey the rules.”

(I have since learned that that concept is an age-old philosophy in martial arts, but I came up with it independently. I’m gratified that 1000 years ago people were agreeing with me.)

learning the new is important, because music evolves just like anything else(You have to understand 12-tone in order to intelligently reject it, after all.)When it stops evolving, it becomes extinct.

But learning the old is extremely important.

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I'm rather surprised that people seem to be concentrating on the failed 20th. Century experimental accretions to the art, rather than on the Western mainstream that leads from Hildegard von Bingen to current composers like Dobrinka Tabakova and Jennifer Higdon, by way of hundreds of great and well-remembered names along the way.  :huh:

I'll however note that what appears to me to be the mainstream, got to us today more through Broadway and Hollywood, than through academia.  :)

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Well, no music program takes months of your life making you study von Bingen or Higdon, whether-you-like-it-or-not, as they do with the 2nd Viennese School.  Yeah, dodecaphonic music is built out of numbers and architecture, which lends itself to a pedagogy of a sort, but the reason people (me) are concentrating on it is because it absorbs substantial chunks of your education cramming nearly useless information into your skull.  Time that could be better spent learning the blues or technology.  (Apologies to PhilipKT, but...) You don't have to study dodecaphonic music to intelligently reject it.  Your ears can do that, and you don't have to waste years as I did being able to reproduce and analyze the style.  It's just a hoop.  You could spend your time on Machaut's contrapuntal style (more relevant to von Bingen anyway), and no one makes you learn your Landini cadences any more. The coolest part of Schoenberg's style wasn't introduced in my education until grad school, and that is understanding the manipulation of motives (inversion, retrograde, etc), something I wish they had done about year 3 of my undergraduate program--using J S Bach, who was much better at it than Arnold.  Certainly, for composers (my training), limiting training to focus only on the European tradition, where tenured composers with tiny audiences of 43 fans (mainly their colleagues) earn big grants and prizes, while an American composer wanting to study the great traditions of American songwriting, recording production, or bluegrass fiddling, or Hindustani raga must do that "on their own time," represents the death rattle of the European classical tradition, where nearly every composer of importance was born before WWI.  One thing that drove me nuts about music in higher education was that writers showing up in creative writing programs, actors in theater departments, sculptors and painters in visual art are all understood to be artists, even at age 18, but I came into a top graduate program at 30 with a record deal and ten years in the music business, wanting to finish an opera, while I had to accept being told that the faculty "didn't think I was ready to write opera" and should concentrate on chamber music.  The writer who had commissioned me to compose the opera seemed to think I was ready, but I had to do that "on my own time."

While conservatory training of professional-quality performers of classical European music is truly an important part of Western music culture--and they've got that pedagogy down pretty well--that's not the only music that matters.  If we're going to be the "study of music," it's high time we actually became, you know, the study of music.  I think the ideal future would be to establish different tracks in higher-education training of musicians.  Let the pianists wanting to carry on the European classical tradition do that.  Let the students wanting to learn to write Motown-style horn charts do that--help them find the resources to learn it.  Let a fiddle player learn Clare-style bowing or Turkish makams.  The idea that European classical music is the be-all and end-all is ridiculous, and when, say, literature in academia had to start embracing racial and gender diversity in "the canon," it didn't destroy the study of literature.  No, it improved it, even though there was all sorts of yelling from now-dead white guys that this or that dead-white-guy author would be cut out.  In art, when Picasso started embracing African art on the way to cubism, it didn't destroy visual art, and it sure didn't hurt for the field to embrace art by non-Western and non-traditional artists. Music is no different, except that the field refused to open its doors and ears to the expanded palette of global music in the 20th (and now 21st) centuries.  I don't see how it's going to reform itself, though.  Hm, we'll see, I guess...   

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8 minutes ago, palousian said:

Well, no music program takes months of your life making you study von Bingen or Higdon,

If we're going to be the "study of music," it's high time we actually became, you know, the study of music.  I think the ideal future would be to establish different tracks in higher-education training of musicians.  Let the pianists wanting to carry on the European classical tradition do that.  Let the students wanting to learn to write Motown-style horn charts do that--help them find the resources to learn it.  Let a fiddle player learn Clare-style bowing or Turkish makams.  The idea that European classical music is the be-all and end-all is ridiculous, 

"Classroom instruction advocates historically informed performance practice, not only for music written before 1800, but for every type of music, including non-Western and popular music."

The above quote is from the Julliard website.  

I am not sure where people are getting this notion that mainstream music education is limited only to "classical" music.  It simply is not.  

However, do most music programs lean heavily on Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, etc?  Of course they do.  Why?  Because there are decades to hundreds of years of history, structure, and method behind those composers.  I am not sure how much material there is for a 4 year degree in hip-hop, or bluegrass, etc.  I don't know.  Maybe there is?

Julliard isn't going to start teaching ONLY music from 1980s on, and neither will they completely abandon the current system.  My point is, our conception of "classical" music is still the foundation of most music and I hardly think this will change.  It is like saying that social media language is the new norm, so let's stop teaching and using proper grammar.  I really hate reading news articles with blatant disregard for grammar and diction.  Just saying.

 

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4 hours ago, violinnewb said:

I am not sure how much material there is for a 4 year degree in hip-hop, or bluegrass, etc.  I don't know.  Maybe there is?

Not what I was advocating, BTW.  Just that these things be respected, and especially the students who love that music.  Interesting that you focused on hip-hop and bluegrass, though, because in fact, their roots are in West Africa.  Mandinka jelis (the kora players "bungling_amateur" referred to, above) were reciting epics like Sunjata, with improvised tropes in rhythmic speech called sataro back when Landini was figuring out his odd cadences (there's rap).  They improvised solos (birimitingo) over polyphonic/polyrhythmic grooves (kumbengo) before the first European improvised a chorale prelude (there's jazz).  And the features that distinguish bluegrass fiddling (indeed, just about any American vernacular music) from European fiddle traditions can be found in West Africa, in the one-string fiddles found throughout the region.  Kendrick Lamar did get the Pulitzer, you know... I don't think curriculum development would be too difficult.

4 hours ago, violinnewb said:

I am not sure where people are getting this notion that mainstream music education is limited only to "classical" music.  It simply is not.

I got the idea from attending great music schools and teaching in a major university music department for twenty years.  Based on my experience, you are wrong about that, at least about higher education.  Yeah, Julliard says it teaches "every type of music," but--give me a break--that is nothing but advertising copy. They aren't admitting al'ud players or bluegrass mandolinists in the first place.  Programs do admit jazz studies, so there's that, but I was told point-blank that Gershwin didn't belong in a 20th-c. music theory course in my institution (which is why I gave them Robert Johnson). 

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1 hour ago, violinnewb said:

My point is, our conception of "classical" music is still the foundation of most music and I hardly think this will change.  It is like saying that social media language is the new norm, so let's stop teaching and using proper grammar. 

There's that slippery slope again.   And it isn't true.  The silly myth that "classical music is still the foundation of most music" is not supported by the evidence.  Even the violin played oral tradition dance music before it was admitted into the hallowed halls of the European classical tradition.  You've presented a powerful example for exactly why we need to reform professional music education, IMO.

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26 minutes ago, palousian said:

There's that slippery slope again.   And it isn't true.  The silly myth that "classical music is still the foundation of most music" is not supported by the evidence.  Even the violin played oral tradition dance music before it was admitted into the hallowed halls of the European classical tradition.  You've presented a powerful example for exactly why we need to reform professional music education, IMO.

[Gathers her lab coat closely around herself, keeps her face straight with great difficulty, and makes an exaggerated bow towards palousian.]

So, if I follow all of your learned and extremely well-constructed arguments, you are arguing for the foundation of a modern flow (mentally translate that into Japanese....) of higher music study?   Sort of a Toyama-ryu or Takayama-ryu of music?   :ph34r::huh:  :lol:  outtahere.gif..gif.5ac50b18a234640b7fc7f5acf739d191.gif

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18 hours ago, palousian said:

There's that slippery slope again.   And it isn't true.  The silly myth that "classical music is still the foundation of most music" is not supported by the evidence.  Even the violin played oral tradition dance music before it was admitted into the hallowed halls of the European classical tradition.  You've presented a powerful example for exactly why we need to reform professional music education, IMO.

I tend to shy away from using absolute and binary statements because there are always exceptions and very few things in life are 100%.  

Having said that, you say that my statement that most modern music has foundations in classical music "isn't true" and "not supported by the evidence."  Really?

1. Structure: time signatures, key signatures, rhythms, scales...these things may have already been around before the 1600s, but there is very little doubt that these things were more fully developed into systems through classical music.

2. Melodies, harmonies, dissonance, etc....same here...classical music developed these concepts into a structured and/or unstructured (Stravinsky) manner suitable for endless study.

3. Instruments: Take for example the violin and bow.  The current overall shape, structure, and sound has very much stayed stagnant from the 1600s to now.  Jazz violinists, folk violinists, country/bluegrass violinists, pop violinists, pretty much use what was developed during between 1600 to the 1900s.  Influence much? Why do synthesizers still have string settings, harpsichord settings, etc? The answer is because modern music still utilizes and is heavily influenced on classical music.

I do not disagree that music education needs to change and reflect a broader, maybe even a more current curriculum.  Having said that, reformation is not over night.  And as I said before, you take for example about 300 years of music that we generalize as "classical music" and can teach a 4 year course.  Not sure you can do that with the 27 year or so history of K-pop.  

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On 3/8/2021 at 2:10 PM, Stephen Fine said:

Some aspects of the conservatory model could use updating.

Sounds to me like music schools are doing at least some things right since they're producing these people that the author admires and holds up as examples.

Yes. And Yes!  I couldn't agree more with you Stephen Fine.  

Slow and steady, but not "out with the old, in with the new."  

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What I am objecting to here is the lumping of "conservatories" strictu sensu with "music education" in the broader sense.  The handful of dedicated conservatories are trade schools strictly for the Western classical tradition, are ethnically rooted in Europe just as other musical traditions are rooted in their home regions and eras, and should be viewed and respected as such.   :)

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30 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

What I am objecting to here is the lumping of "conservatories" strictu sensu with "music education" in the broader sense.  The handful of dedicated conservatories are trade schools strictly for the Western classical tradition, are ethnically rooted in Europe just as other musical traditions are rooted in their home regions and eras, and should be viewed and respected as such.   :)

Agreed.

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

What I am objecting to here is the lumping of "conservatories" strictu sensu with "music education" in the broader sense.  The handful of dedicated conservatories are trade schools strictly for the Western classical tradition, are ethnically rooted in Europe just as other musical traditions are rooted in their home regions and eras, and should be viewed and respected as such.   :)

I agree somewhat...

They operate as trade schools in the Western classical tradition, but not only do they not adequately prepare most students for a professional life in that particular field, but there's plenty to argue for opening the tradition up a good bit wider to accommodate modern tastes and to correct for past stupid ideas.

I don't think we need to throw out the classics, I just think we should rebalance how we interact with them.

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