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Topic: 12 tone nursery rhymes!

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  1. #1

    12 tone nursery rhymes!

    I HIGHLY recommend watching the entirety of this video. It's well worth the 30min. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4niz8TfY794
    Warning: clicking on these links may result in spontaneous combustion.


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  2. #2

    Re: 12 tone nursery rhymes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael135 View Post
    I HIGHLY recommend watching the entirety of this video. It's well worth the 30min. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4niz8TfY794
    Really super, Michael - This is from the people who did the history of music video I think, same style of artwork and animation. Believe it or not, that one's even more amazing. This one's incredible too though, and I like the way 12 tone music is so effecitvely mocked and exposed for the hoax it is.

    Thanks!

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: 12 tone nursery rhymes!

    Vi Hart is amazing. She does all sorts of mathematical and/or music related videos!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: 12 tone nursery rhymes!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Really super, Michael - This is from the people who did the history of music video I think, same style of artwork and animation. Believe it or not, that one's even more amazing. This one's incredible too though, and I like the way 12 tone music is so effecitvely mocked and exposed for the hoax it is.

    Thanks!

    Randy
    12 tone music is a hoax? A little more input on that hypothesis please.

  5. #5

    Re: 12 tone nursery rhymes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Davis View Post
    12 tone music is a hoax? A little more input on that hypothesis please.
    Lol, yes, "hoax" was a rather odd word to use to describe 12 tone music, Tom, I agree. I just reached for a single word that could indicate my personal dislike for 12 tone, but it wasn't really an accurate descriptor.

    Watching this fantastic video came on the heels of having recently suffered through listening to some 12 tone music, and so my decades old distaste for it was in the fore. To me, it may as well have been a joke when the 12 tone concept was arrived at, like a prank pulled off with a straight face. I would just as soon listen to a cat walking over a keyboard, there's as little interest to me in the resulting noise. I find it just random chaos which, ironically, has been assembled with arbitrary but very strict rules, "use all 12 tones without repeating, that's your row - now use only that progression however you want, cluster it, arpeggiate it, whatever you want."-- Years ago I went through having to do some 12 tone stuff, and it was amusing, but I couldn't take it seriously as art, and still can't.

    To me, it's just banging around on a scale that produces nothing but tedium. The only people who profess to actually like it are academics who dutifully listen, study it, and play it for other academics. The rest of the population can only shrug in response when they hear it. The average person might experience agitation listening to it, and that's at least a reaction - but that's the one reaction they consistently have when listening to any 12 tone "composition." It all sounds the same, and the strict but arbitrary rules for composing this way are, to me, like a con man's trick, resulting in "music" which is very much like the proverbial emperor who's wearing no clothes.

    That's what I meant, something more like that.

    Randy

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: 12 tone nursery rhymes!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Lol, yes, "hoax" was a rather odd word to use to describe 12 tone music, Tom, I agree. I just reached for a single word that could indicate my personal dislike for 12 tone, but it wasn't really an accurate descriptor.

    Watching this fantastic video came on the heels of having recently suffered through listening to some 12 tone music, and so my decades old distaste for it was in the fore. To me, it may as well have been a joke when the 12 tone concept was arrived at, like a prank pulled off with a straight face. I would just as soon listen to a cat walking over a keyboard, there's as little interest to me in the resulting noise. I find it just random chaos which, ironically, has been assembled with arbitrary but very strict rules, "use all 12 tones without repeating, that's your row - now use only that progression however you want, cluster it, arpeggiate it, whatever you want."-- Years ago I went through having to do some 12 tone stuff, and it was amusing, but I couldn't take it seriously as art, and still can't.

    To me, it's just banging around on a scale that produces nothing but tedium. The only people who profess to actually like it are academics who dutifully listen, study it, and play it for other academics. The rest of the population can only shrug in response when they hear it. The average person might experience agitation listening to it, and that's at least a reaction - but that's the one reaction they consistently have when listening to any 12 tone "composition." It all sounds the same, and the strict but arbitrary rules for composing this way are, to me, like a con man's trick, resulting in "music" which is very much like the proverbial emperor who's wearing no clothes.

    That's what I meant, something more like that.

    Randy
    There is a great deal of truth in what you say; especially about academia. One of the frustrations of composers is being boxed in by the symbols we use. The 12-tone system was first created as an exercise to help composers step outside that box, to get away from traditional restrictions and to explore ways to bring organization to chaos. Many composers simply could not get their creative souls around the concept. But as Berg's (a student of Schoenberg) opera Wozzeck showed by using Schoenberg's Cycle, the portrayal of human madness and social frustration provided a path to bring such musical creation to the masses in a digestible form. A few summers ago I attended a performance of new music by young composition students and was honestly amazed at the mature melodic lines and subtle integrated harmonies being developed via tone-row music. As with all radical departures from the norm, such music takes decades to find a public ear and, equally important, to justify it's existence through many, many permutations as it matures.

  7. #7

    Re: 12 tone nursery rhymes!

    As Eric Morcambe famously said 'It's the right notes but not necessarily in the right order'

    It always feels to me to be limited in it;s descriptive nature. Angst, loneliness, dis-pear etc

    All part of the musical language though

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