Monday, January 24, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
I was sitting in a composition seminar one day when a fellow composer presented a piece that was fairly atonal (meaning there was no tonal center, or key- see Natalie's previous post on tonality for a brief explanation). The discussion after the piece was presented focused largely on whether or not there was a melody at one point, which clearly outraged several of my colleagues. Part of the problem was that they felt a melody didn't fit in the piece based on the rest of its contents, which may have been a perfectly valid point. But a few disparaging comments about melody were made, and that bothered me. What's wrong with a good melody? And what have melodies done to deserve our wrath?
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I know we’re long past the days of the mid-20th century, when serialism and high modernism reigned in the American academy. Yet, despite the academy’s relatively more recent embracing of minimalism and post-modernism, you still run into people here and there who suggest that there’s no place for tonality in the art music of today.