Re: A brief essay on development

Subject: Re: A brief essay on development
From: Richard Wentk (
Date: Wed Aug 25 2004 - 16:30:41 EDT

At 01:44 25/08/2004 -0700, you wrote:
>This appears to have been the only thing I did today. I'm posting
>this so that I don't trash it. I hope someone gets something out of it.
>What is development?
>Development is that which creates the sense that the music is mutating
>and progressing towards a felt goal, which may itself change:

I think you could be confusing the how and the why here. There's a
difference between intent and technique.

I'm not convinced the intent of all development is goal-oriented. E.g. What
about aleatoric techniques, or pieces which use development to reveal new
facets of relationship within/around musical objects rather than assuming a
linear process?

I suppose you could argue that the goal is felt by the composer and not the
listener. ;-)

>it implies the idea of moving somewhere new by transforming something old.

That's probably all you can say meaningfully about development. Everything
else is particular to specific techniques rather than general to the

It's to me interesting that one of the things that distinguishes pop from
non-pop is a relative poverty of development in the former. Academic/art
music seems much more interested in exploring different techniques for
their own sake, while pop hardly seems interested in development at all.


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