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Discussion Starter #1
Recently I've noticed (maybe I'm late to the game) an influx of electroacoustic or percussion driven avante garde music presentations in academia. Something, which quite frankly, boggles my mind. Colleges and universities complain they are constrained by limited budgets. Then why on earth would these departments and schools spend precious dollars to present these ideas in the wraps of a 'musical' concert?

From my, maybe limited, perspective these concerts are the equivalent of the farts and burps contests of teenage boys in their formative socialization experiements.

If they were offered with the ideas of access to musical expression by an audience which traditionally has extremely limited access (handicapped indivduals) or to an audience of engineers, computer scientists, etc. for integration into software/hardware possibilities, I would understand. Yet, that doesn't seem to be the audience they're seeking.

It's hard enough to monetize a music education and harder yet to justify a return on investment into any artistic pursuit. Why would these schools pile on more reasons to push little Janey into the pursuit of a STEM degree?

It would seem to me that investment into coursework that helped students manage their musical career path would be dollars better spent. Navigating the business of music, the legal aspects of composition, etc.

I'm not asking for the choir which finds these endeavors to be as ridiculous as I do to pile onto the thread and affirm my position. I'd like those that have a larger perspective than I do to help me understand what I'm missing.
 

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They're doing what the public wants in order to make more money. Berkeley had a "turntablism" class years ago for DJs and scratching and all of that. Not sure if they still do.

I agree that academia should kind of be the gatekeepers and uphold a higher standard. But the value today's society puts on noises created by the talentless shares a lot of the blame. It creates legions of young people who want to major in that and will ironically have a much higher chance of making a living than a highly talented and trained classical or jazz musician or composer.
 

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I'm not sure what you're talking about. Can you post an example video or audio link.

Oh! One more post and I hit the 1000 milestone. Yay for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
They're doing what the public wants in order to make more money. Berkeley had a "turntablism" class years ago for DJs and scratching and all of that. Not sure if they still do.
That one I understand, since rap and Disc Jockey gymnastics have a wide audience in dance music. From a sound effects perspective, again, I get it, integrated into multimedia for support of visual expression, easy to understand the value.

Maybe that's the problem. The universities are trying to pass this stuff off as music rather than sound effects which can be integrated into the next Pixar movie.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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Okay, sorry I asked. That person with the snare drum was a treat. How is that music? It's just noise. I sound like my dad now.

The piano guy was closer to what people would call music. Not a lot different than some of the more "out" jazz I've heard.

To the definition below I would add that music, in general, has an element of rhythm to it. Random noises with no theme or rhythm aren't music. Or am I just an uninformed rube?

MUSIC
[ˈmyo͞ozik]

NOUN
vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.
"couples were dancing to the music" · [more]
synonyms:
tune · air · strain · theme · subject · line · part · song · refrain · jingle · piece
the art or science of composing or performing music.
"he devoted his life to music"
a sound perceived as pleasingly harmonious.
"the background music of softly lapping water"
synonyms:
stress · tension · nervous tension · anxiety · exhaustion · fatigue · [more]



This post was a milestone for me. My 1000th! Yay!
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I listened to a couple of the sound clips and I have to be devil's advocate.

Sounded good to me and appropriate within an academic context. At least it is something more refreshing and adventurous than a lot of stuff that seems to be taught in performance programmes - same old bebop from 70 years ago.

I'm not sure what else academic composition programmes are supposed to do if it isn't avant grade and experimental. It is academia after all. I make a decent living as a composer, but as a commercial composer these days. I did teach commercial composition in university for a while, but in the end I believe it is better to just do it in the real world and leave academia to do research. Most of my colleagues and competitors in the field are not academic.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I listened to a couple of the sound clips and I have to be devil's advocate.

Sounded good to me and appropriate within an academic context. At least it is something more refreshing and adventurous than a lot of stuff that seems to be taught in performance programmes - same old bebop from 70 years ago.

I'm not sure what else academic composition programmes are supposed to do if it isn't avant grade and experimental. It is academia after all. I make a decent living as a composer, but as a commercial composer these days. I did teach commercial composition in university for a while, but in the end I believe it is better to just do it in the real world and leave academia to do research. Most of my colleagues and competitors in the field are not academic.
(I had to edit my link post as the search result link was returning a variety of videos that weren't what my original search had produced. Modified the first link in the list.)

I suppose teaching Jackson Pollack methods of composition is one way to go. I am reminded of Phoebe Buffay's immortal lyrics, 'Smelly cat, smelly cat, why are you so smelly?'
 

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The "click, beep, squawk, screech" school of composition in university composition departments has been alive and well since at least the 1940s if not before. Basically, no one outside university composition departments pays any attention to this stuff whatsoever.

There are any number of disciplines where graduate study is largely recursive navel gazing. I think it comes about because they hvae to publish or perish, yet there's not really any new information. In music composition, of course, lots of people are busily composing, but almost all of it is in well-established genres. That doesn't constitute "new material" well enough to justify the academic papers that professors and graduate students need. (Although it can make a few people a reasonable living.) Thus the compositions that come out of that community have to "break new ground" even though there's not actually any new ground to be broken. I mean, after Stravinsky Bartok Messiaen Revueltas Ginastera Golijov and Persichetti, how much further can you go and still remain music?

Same thing in education where PhD. candidates continue to churn out papers on teaching children how to read even though no new idea that actually works has been invented in centuries. (Lots of new ideas that don't work have been tried, though.) Same thing in studio art. And so on.

It's the academic industry self-perpetuation machine at work.
 

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Art is subjective...........
Exactly. I think if you come from the perspective of calling it "hooey" then asking how to understand,maybe understanding is not going to happen.

Perhaps an open mind is the best road to understanding. But maybe understanding is not as important as either appreciating or enjoying.
 

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Exactly. I think if you come from the perspective of calling it "hooey" then asking how to understand,maybe understanding is not going to happen.

Perhaps an open mind is the best road to understanding. But maybe understanding is not as important as either appreciating or enjoying.
HEH, I had to laugh a little. Art is subjective, no question. I can appreciate the delicacies surrounding the identification of 'art.' In Minneapolis exists a fine 'modern' art museum. There are some spectacular works both inside and outside its walls. Illustrating your point exists, on one exhibit wall, a framed blank piece of paper. To call it art is to suggest everything is art. Which, by a liberal definition, may very well be. In that spirit, one could suggest humans flush works of art most every day. I suppose it's in the eye of the beholder as to the standard which we claim is art. A slippery slope indeed.

At one time, I felt Jazz to be complete Hooey. I have learned a bit since then and now both appreciate and enjoy much of it, thanks in large part to education by people in my circle. Still, some strains of jazz remain 'Hooey' and others have graduated to 'Bushwa.'
 
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