Monday, January 24, 2011

Writing with a Purpose

In the past couple weeks, Sarah and I have been discussing harmony, specifically trying to defend the use of tonality (in its broad definition) and melodies (both “tonal” and abstract) in new music.  In adding to this, I want to discuss the idea of harmonically purposeful composing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why is Melody a Dirty Word?

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

The “Tonal” Composer

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.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy New Year!

We will resume posting shortly- please visit again soon!