Author Topic: Challenge: Upbeat atonal music  (Read 3259 times)

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Ron

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Challenge: Upbeat atonal music
« on: July 20, 2011, 07:44:49 AM »
This is a renewed thread back on topic. :)



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Challenge: Upbeat atonal music
« on: Yesterday at 13:52:21 »
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On another forum the following comment was recently made
Quote
... atonal music is utterly incapable of conveying an important range of emotions of a more "positive" kind.  Even if you animate it in a rhythmically "playful" manner (which also requires the use of certain emotionally intelligible conventions), atonal music won't come across as happy or optimistic or upbeat.  Tonal music, on the other hand, can communicate a far wider range of affective content.

That sure sounds like a challenge to me.   Smiley  Any takers?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 07:50:08 AM by Ron »
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Ron

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Re: Challenge: Upbeat atonal music
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 02:00:12 PM »
Here you go. I hope it's atonal enough. Like I said: hard to do.

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Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: Challenge: Upbeat atonal music
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 09:29:30 PM »
Sounds good to me. 

Should I be satisfied knowing it could be done (which I already knew, of course) or would you be willing to have it presented to the doubter?

Ron

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Re: Challenge: Upbeat atonal music
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2011, 07:48:39 AM »
If the "doubter" is who I think it is, he's already had "atonal upbeat" (as well as very downbeat) pieces from me that he's published on his website. As well, he has forwarded them to two groups who performed them. Whenever he calls for "atonal" works, the other members contribute random noise while I work really hard on creating something more interesting. I'm not trying to be a techie-know-it-all, but I hate it when people play fast and loose with technical definitions, especially in the field they are supposed to be expert in.
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RJB54

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Re: Challenge: Upbeat atonal music
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 12:56:16 PM »
Ron, I am not going to present a response to this insteresting challenge not because I am ignoring it but because I have a composition close to completion some of whose movements would be appropriate as a response. I will be posting that piece sometime in the near future.
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mike1127

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Re: Challenge: Upbeat atonal music
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2012, 03:50:27 PM »
I'm sure that his logic is circular, because the problem is he actually defines atonal music as "dissonant and unhappy." If you gave him a piece mostly in consonant quartal harmonies that was completely lacking in triadic harmony or a tonal center, he'd probably call it "tonal."

MikeL

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Re: Challenge: Upbeat atonal music
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2015, 02:20:31 PM »
Just a got a warning about how old this topic is but thought I would post this fragment here. Started writing this four years ago but never got further than this. Was meant to be last movement of a quartet.

Is it atonal by any stretch?

Is it humorous or give any other emotional response?
These aren't the chords you're looking for.

Michel.R.E

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Re: Challenge: Upbeat atonal music
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2015, 02:39:22 PM »
Mike, it's actually quite lovely. It is light, and has a certain humour to it.

As for the "atonal" part, it isn't common practice tonality. But I don't think it entirely eschews tonality.

let's just say I dislike the term "atonal". I don't think it describes in any way what the music IS. it describes what the music is NOT. not tonal. that's like describing a painting as "not sculpture". we do use it as a short-hand to describe something, but it's still a term I find repugnant.

Back to your excerpt:
there seem to be a lot of thirds between parts (which isn't wrong by any stretch of the imagination), but which help to imply tonality even where none might be present.
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Jamie Kowalski

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Re: Challenge: Upbeat atonal music
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2015, 09:25:56 AM »
Like Michel, I have a lot of trouble with the term "atonal." Some things are clearly atonal, such as 12-tone serial music, or music that relies on giant tone masses.

But I prefer to see it as a continuum when I think of these things at all. There really isn't a line that music crosses where suddenly it's no longer tonal. I think if there is such a point, it is within the individual listener, and therefore is different for everyone. Once the complexity of the tonality becomes enough that the listener feels lost, they are likely to label it atonal. But "complex tonality" is not the same thing as "atonality."

I hear your example as tonal, but I hear most music that way, even some of the most complex stuff. The more music you are exposed to, the less music you are likely to call atonal. For example, there isn't a single measure of Le Sacre I would call atonal. On the other hand, Pierrot Lunaire is past my personal point of harmonic comprehension, and probably considered atonal by almost everyone.

By the way, nice start to your work. It's a shame you haven't taken it further.