7/27/08

Grand Re-opening!

Thanks for being patient, everyone. Both Sator and I have been on a weeklong hiatus without easy access to the intertubes, hence such stagnant content. But be warned! We’re back. Refreshed and invigorated from our repose, it’s full-steam ahead!

First up, some fun with silly opening premises.

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Cheryl North of the Oakland Tribune treats us to this opening doozy:

Is the music of Mozart really "classical"?

Just what does it mean when the word "classical" precedes the word "music"? The answer can be a bit confusing.


Upon first reading, I was excited by all this. It sounds like something one might find in some scholarly journal. You know, a fine essay probing the etymology and epistemology of the term’s usage.

Bzzzt! Wrong.

In current common usage, "classical music" usually means serious music from the educated Western European tradition appropriate to concert halls, churches and other, more or less formal venues. Folk, rock and pop music would generally appear at the other end of this spectrum.

I’ll bite. Go on.

Or — "classical" more properly means the very specific style of music composed from about 1750 to around 1810. The definitive composers of this era were Franz Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven during his early years. The period's signature music, as well as much of its architecture, painting and literature, was characterized by an emphasis on well-defined form, clarity and harmonious, balanced proportions. More often than not, classical art forms were beautiful, esthetic and pleasing to both the senses and the soul.

Sure. (skeptically) Your conclusion?

A majority of musicians agree that Mozart's music almost perfectly meshes with all the classical criteria.

Four out of five doctors agree that...

Cheryl, I want the names and addresses of those musicians who did not agree, so I can slap them upside their heads. That is, if you actually polled musicians. And some of them actually disagreed with your definitions. Which would be actually pretty lame. Because you probably didn't need to poll musicians in order to find a majority that agreed. And the rest of your article had nothing to do with the opening premise.
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5 comments:

Sator Arepo said...

So, to paraphrase:

Classical music...fits all of the definitions...of classical music?

Therefore...Mozart...who wrote in the classical period, by definition, wrote...classical music.

Fantastically circular argument [sic].

Gustav said...

Oh, how I love a bit of hero worship in the morning. Tell us, Cheryl North, how lovely his farts smell, and how it was Mozart who saved the Jews from the legions of Cobra Commander and Kahn, from the 2nd Star Trek movie, and taught everyone the true meaning of Flag Day.

By the way, this was written by a high school sophomore, right? As though the extent of her research was having heard of Mozart, and then looking up 'classical music' in the encyclopedia and reading only and the first paragraph and a half. The Oakland Tribune is the paper for a school for the mentally handicapped, right?

Tor Hershman said...

Now Mozart would approve of this YouTube film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LubuSAgB5s

orrrrrrr, was that Moe's Art?
Curly's Art?

Empiricus said...

Now why would Mozart approve of your YouTube film, again?

orrrrrr, how did that add to the discussion?

This discussion?

Seriously.

Sator Arepo said...

It was pretty funny, though.