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Old 09-13-2009, 08:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Genius of Bach

I wonder if he had any idea.

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Old 09-14-2009, 02:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Isn't he amazing? I'm pretty sure he knew. Those polyphonics were no accident. No way.
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I actually sat through 2:37 min of that. Terrible piece of music and I DO enjoy classical music. Just that this one sucked.
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just that this one sucked.
Why?
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I actually sat through 2:37 min of that. Terrible piece of music and I DO enjoy classical music. Just that this one sucked.

Its not his strongest piece of work, Ive just never seen music on a mobieus string before or more surprising have it turn out like that. If that was intentional he was thinking on planes that rival the best.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Clever idea, but yeah, key changes galore made it sound like more of an experiment than actual music. And given some of the dissonant sounds, would definitely been rejected during the Baroque period.

Now if Pachelbel's Canon in D turned out to resemble a mobius strip, then I'd be blown away.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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uh...i don't think folk are used to listening to canon-based forms. these days, following on the practices that have been dominant since the 19th century in euro-classical music, and across most pop and pop related forms since, folk anchor themselves to harmonic underpinnings and are not thinking in terms of development. there's alot of music out there that's not like this--beethoven is often cited as the pivot figure, so before him in general, a different relation to development. within euro-music, that approach to thinking about sound (and by extension listening, but obviously it doesn't necessarily follow) resurfaces with schoenberg.

there's something kinda cool about a crab canon, like there is about palindromes in general.
it's a little odd to abstract this from the musical offering.
and stranger still to read that it "sucks"
the music offering is a curious piece, a kind of intellectual show-stopper offered to frederick the great i think. who was a musician. so it's musician's music, and it's also a bit of courtly flattery--and it's also very much about the rules that shaped how canon works, so is a virtuoso piece of composition.
depends how you look at it, i suppose.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Clever idea, but yeah, key changes galore made it sound like more of an experiment than actual music. And given some of the dissonant sounds, would definitely been rejected during the Baroque period.
I completely disagree with this. The conversion to equal temperament (tuning so that the octave is divided into 12 equal half steps) at the end of the Renaissance meant that the keyboard could remain in tune with the other instruments no matter what key they were in, and this was like letting Pandora out of the box. The Baroque was loaded with music that changed keys all over the place, specifically because they were finally able to do so and remain in tune.

Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier was two volumes of keyboard pieces in each of the 12 major and 12 minor keys, which forced the performer to switch to equal temperament in order to be able to play each volume.

The advent of equal temperament also meant that chromatic music was available, and they experimented with that like crazy, too. The Baroque composers and consumers loved dissonances and modulations galore.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I love Bach. Thanks for sharing this. Very cool.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I smell a Dan Brown novel.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I smell a Dan Brown novel.
Oh, thank god. I thought I stepped in dog shit.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I wonder if he had any idea.
Extremely interesting. If he had any idea is an intriquing thought. Also, how did someone 'discover' this was possible?
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Moist inner sting.
Wish I could do that.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm a science nerd and love number patterns. Of course I like Bach. This is good too.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by warrrreagl View Post
I completely disagree with this. The conversion to equal temperament (tuning so that the octave is divided into 12 equal half steps) at the end of the Renaissance meant that the keyboard could remain in tune with the other instruments no matter what key they were in, and this was like letting Pandora out of the box. The Baroque was loaded with music that changed keys all over the place, specifically because they were finally able to do so and remain in tune.

Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier was two volumes of keyboard pieces in each of the 12 major and 12 minor keys, which forced the performer to switch to equal temperament in order to be able to play each volume.

The advent of equal temperament also meant that chromatic music was available, and they experimented with that like crazy, too. The Baroque composers and consumers loved dissonances and modulations galore.
This is different from a larger piece or anything from WTC. It's an excercise based on form rather than key, and as such, has dissonances that wouldn't have played well to the public. If it was for Frederick the Great, then it makes more sense. It's fun for a musician to share with a musician, just like one of my fellow composition students who composed a piece to be lit on fire as she played it.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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my understanding is that equal temperment spread as a tuning system alongside the breakdown of the older court/church patronage system (bach was still a part of that...but these breakdowns are spatially and temporally dispersed even as historians [whom i know about] like to write in ways that amount to that line from virginia woolf [which i paraphrase]--on june 14 1910, as x descended from a train [or something else], everything changed.)
that meant you as a composer wouldn't be working with the same groups of musicians over extended periods, so this continuo business, which was the practice, became a problem.

it's also connected to the development of the piano in it's more-or-less modern form.
and it's linked to changes in how detailed scores came to be (which links to the above, but isn't the same).
so alot of this gets pegged to beethoven, whose work marks the far side of all this, the point at which these diffuse, gradual processes give way to something else.

i like the musical offering though. i think it's interesting to listen to, interesting to look at.
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Old 09-18-2009, 04:36 AM   #17 (permalink)
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To clear a couple of things up here:

1. YES Bach knew what he was doing the invertible counterpoint.

and

2. There are NO key changes in the excerpt above.

Not to be curmudgeonly, but it takes more than a 3 minute YouTube clip to discover the magic of J.S. Bach.
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Old 09-18-2009, 05:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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True, there are no key changes. There are liberties with the key, which I can't make out on that clip. These are the liberties my theory professor used to chastise me for.

Not that he was the end all authority on baroque music, or that I know as much a pro like you. Other than that, you're being curmudgeonly. I don't think anybody in this thread considers that clip the extent of his composition.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I had to say something... people were making judgments based on the clip. To think that Xerxys spent 2:37 on it!! A life wasted.

Of course your theory professor used to chastise you for taking freedoms. To write counterpoint you have to learn in a set-by-step process. Our ears now are accustomed to hundreds of years of Western art music where pretty much anything goes at this point. "Rules" in counterpoint help us keep our sound in the style of Bach and understand a little of what the process might have been like.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I would tend to think that someone as focused on production as Bach was, and by that I mean finished pieces, he probably knew exactly what he was creating as he composed it, whether he was playing it backward or forward. It doesn't surprise me that it works either way and it works together. I am not musically trained beyond the rudiments, nor am I an academic on Bach, but I do understand the musical creative process well enough to know that trying things out backward is part of the fun of creating music. Musicians were doing it long before The Beatles did.
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