Re: art music/pop music

Subject: Re: art music/pop music
From: Eliot Handelman (
Date: Tue May 18 2004 - 09:10:52 EDT

Kevin Austin wrote:

> Comparing popular and art musics, the popular music was simpler in
> terms of melodic structure (diatonic / chromatic, and notably phrase
> length in dance music), and harmony,

Not necessarily so -- the essener collection of german folksongs --
mostly pre 16th C --
is filled with typically irregular phrase lengths, which I'd guess to be
due both to
textual influence and a preference for that kind of unevenness. Many of
tunes have shifting meters as well, or sometimes no meter. One guy very
keen on
this kind of irregularity was Mozart -- and I wonder whether some sort of
folkloric influence isn't at the center of that phenomenon.

> Many art music composers feel there is not enough 'depth' to pop music
> to integrate it fully into their style / idiom / language.

But also there are strong social demarcations involved, the formality
and expectation
of the "art music" scene, the fear of looking foolish, the desire to fit
in, the need to
be taken "seriously," etc. And these borders are sometimes politically
enforced. Despite
all the talk of postmodernism, consider
the relation of the EA concert techno concerts. I personally don't
experience these
distinctions as pertaiining to 'depth' but rather to 'territory.'

-- eliot

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Sat Dec 22 2007 - 01:46:01 EST