Re: Academic or Not?

Subject: Re: Academic or Not?
From: Alexandra Hettergott (
Date: Thu Jul 15 1999 - 05:22:58 EDT

Linda A. Seltzer replied :
+AD4-I am however, saying that there is a positive place for academic
+AD4-music, that it is not an esoteric and wasteful exercise.
Nobody did say so (the latter), at least not me.

+AD4-The inclusion of folk melodies or motifs in more theoretical types of
+AD4-music achieves the effect of a piece within a piece, or a piece dramatizing
+AD4-another piece.
Should be an instrumentalization rather.

+AD4-In such cases the result is either poor
+AD4-quality academic music or music that really isn't academic but, rather,
+AD4-just music based on a general impression or reception of Asian or African
And why this is to be necessarily exclusive ? (the academic and the +ACI-just+ACI- music)

+AD4APg-Is it a low-level and a higher level folk between which you distinguish ? +AFs-etc.+AF0-
+AD4-I have not used the terms +ACI-low+ACI- and +ACI-high.+ACI- Those are not very specific
+AD4-terms. +AFs-...+AF0-
+AD4-I do not place a negative value judgment on either academic
+AD4-music or folk music. +AFs-...+AF0-
+AD4-I didn't bring up issues of tolerability. +AFs-...+AF0-
+AD4-Again contamination isn't a concept I would think about. +AFs-...+AF0-
+AD4-I don't see this statement as a logical outgrowth of my statements. +AFs-etc.+AF0-
I was just extrapolating...

+AD4-Bartok and Aaron Copeland both used folk elements in their music.
+AD4-Bartok's result seems more academic to me.

Well...+ADs- at least two of them...

+AD4-At some point music which started out as +ACI-folk+ACI- could become +ACI-academic.+ACI-
+AD4-I.e. more theoretical elements could be worked into folk music, and
+AD4-then the result is either academic music or a hybrid.

Well, this is at least a concession +ADs- honestly, I was/am finding your fomer :
+AD4APgA+-In EA music +AFs-sic +ACEAXQ-, a composer of folk music may use very sophisticated
+AD4APgA+-techniques, but might not understand them or might not be experimenting with
+AD4APgA+-the technologies in a consciously analytical way.
a pretty superficial prejudice.

+AD4-Clearly some of the influences are carried out in an intellectual way.
+AD4-Some of the influences are so oversimplified and superficial that they
+AD4-cannot be considered academic.
I join the asking for examples +ADs- btw what value do have non-intellectual items like
intuition and accident to you -- not any, I presume ?

+AD4-I don't understand the questions about tolerability. I am not
+AD4-interested in setting myself up as a +ACI-judge+ACI- of which music is
+AD4-to be +ACI-tolerated,+ACI- like a right wing parent dictating to a child
+AD4-what is to be +ACI-tolerated.+ACI-

+AD4-In a previous post I think I offered an opposite opinion. Sometimes
+AD4-non-intellectual technological music can still be interesting.
And why the /still/ ? In a former post of mine I was bringing up the self-righteous
attitude in academics...

+AD4-I am distinguishing between different approaches, but one should
+AD4-not construct a value judgment system and project it onto my statements,
+AD4-when, in fact, I did not imply any value judgments.
Okay, admittedly, I love being polemic.

Yet no offence : these are /no/ personal wars...

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