Author Topic: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"  (Read 2261 times)

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Ron

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As some of you are aware the founder of the Delian Society, Joe Ford, died a few months ago. The Delian Society is dedicated to promoting what they call "tonal" music. I have remained a member of it for many years, despite my profound belief that contemporary music ought to reflect contemporary topics and issues using contemporary tools. I did so out of respect for Joe, and a few of its other members, and because the society gave me an outlet to get some of my works performed by professional musicians from around the world.


They are currently casting about for a decision on the future of their group. I suggested that they start a forum modeled on this one. Some looked at our forum and suggested to others that they simply come over to our forum, possibly setting up a section devoted to Delian interests. I have not encouraged that, nor actively discouraged it either, trying to present a realistic picture of what members of the Delian Society might expect. Then this zinger appeared in one of the email exchanges:

Quote from:  (name redacted)
I do think what I've seen of the mysterious "compose forum" looks too restrictive and over-moderated."

I suspected some Delians might feel that way. The author did not even attempt to mask his condescension.

In any case, I thought I'd ask: Do members feel that our forum is "too restrictive" (whatever that means) and "over-moderated" (whatever that means)?

...and, not to worry, I am not about to hand over our forum, or even a chunk of it, to another group with different interests than the majority of active members here. At least not without an open and honest discussion first.

PS. I will be out of touch for the next couple of days...at a Duplicate Bridge tournament with my wife. So, have at it and I look forward to reading your reactions when I return on Sunday.

Cheers! :)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 10:54:37 PM by Michel.R.E »
Ron
Rules? What rules?

Michel.R.E

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 10:18:28 PM »
Personally, I'm perplexed by what it is that makes our forum "mysterious"!!
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

RJB54

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 10:35:51 PM »
I also don't know why this site would be considered 'mysterious'. 'over-moderated', or 'restrictive'.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
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amdg

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 02:05:22 AM »
Whoa!  From a place that promotes contemporary tonal music to a place that examines tonal, atonal, serial, and just about anything in between?  I've got to admit that's a bit of a head-scratcher. 

Mysterious and over-moderated?  May just have to chalk this up to the eye of the beholder, but I certainly don't see it.  Besides Ron, I wonder if any other members of the Delians have tried to participate in this forum at one time or another.

Brian

tbmartin

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 05:14:46 AM »
Ooooh! I like hearing that we're "mysterious!"  Does that mean we can develop a secret handshake now?

But seriously, I don't think "restrictive" and "over moderated" are accurate. I'm firmly in the tonal camp, which is perhaps a minority here, but I haven't felt at all "restricted." I've gotten helpful comments about my tonal music from people who never use key signatures. I've commented on pieces that I really don't like much and have offered them with the attitude of "Perhaps I can learn something from this" and "Perhaps the composer would appreciate knowing how some people might react to this piece." No hints of consension given nor received.
Terence Martin

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sandalwood

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 09:49:44 AM »
That sounds like charisma to me. Could we monetize it? Merchandise...mugs and t-shirts for 39.95 a piece, or better do it big-time, collectively nominate in the next...

Or perhaps best, tell Delians we are regular, harmless people (at least most of the time) and ask them what they mean.

Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2017, 02:48:28 PM »
It might be worth putting this in some sort of context.  The Delian Society is an odd duck.  It is as much philosophical group as a musical group.  The document describing it is called a "manifesto": http://newmusicclassics.com/delian_manifesto.html
and, at times, reads as a polemic directed at modern music academia.  At times it seems like it's goal is not the support of tonal music (to remain undefined) but to argue that no other music has the right to exist. 

And then there were the non-musical aspects of the group.   At irregular intervals there would be outbursts against the US government for supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) rather than liberal arts in the educational system.  (I thought I was left-wing until I read Joe's postings.)   At times there would lengthy semi-mystical descriptions of how quantum mechanics demonstrates that time doesn't exist and so there is no difference between Michael Praetorius and Pierre Boulez (or something like that - I get confused). 

I'm certain that such rants would (justifiably) get "over moderated" out of existence on this forum.  And perhaps someone truly at home there might consider this forum's down-to-earth practical attitude towards music composition and performance "mysterious".

Nobody familiar with the two groups would think that the Delian Society belongs on this forum.  Ron mentioned this forum as an example of what can be set up and someone at the Delian society misunderstood.  In fact, the two groups have next to nothing in common except, occasionally, music is discussed.

On the other hand, there are a number of good composers and performers in the group that in no way feel bound be the group's "manifesto".  Even Joe occasionally wrote atonal or nearly atonal works.

I actually hope the group continues to exist; I think there is a place for newly written good tonal music.  But I definitely don't think the group should live on this forum.

Michel.R.E

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2017, 04:52:30 PM »
I was very briefly a member of the Delian Society.
I thought it would be a good environment, of composers who were open-minded about using tonality in new music.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
There were some very nice people in the mix, but there were also a number of highly intolerant individuals who were very vocal about their hatred for anything that deviated ever so slightly from their definition of what tonality meant.

The difference here is we encourage our composer-members to explore their material and expand on it, to seek out new means of expressing themselves, of finding that voice that is uniquely theirs rather than an echo of some other long-dead composer.

And I think the success of our group is that there are so many of us who continue to write music that is, in essence, "tonal" but demonstrates a willingness to step off the (well-)beaten path.

"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2017, 05:16:19 PM »
I thought it would be a good environment, of composers who were open-minded about using tonality in new music.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
I think those open-minded composers were there.  They would sometimes post their composition.  But they (wisely) did not join in the often absurd discussions.  I think they stayed more to temper the tone of the group than to get support.   At least I hope they weren't looking for support; they certainly found little of it there.

There were some very nice people in the mix, but there were also a number of highly intolerant individuals who were very vocal about their hatred for anything that deviated ever so slightly from their definition of what tonality meant.
It's unfortunate that those highly intolerant few - and I believe there were really not too many of them - were very vocal and tended to drive the more tolerant ones underground or away altogether.

MikeL

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2017, 03:35:17 PM »
I am a member of another composing forum.

It couldn't be any more different than this one.

Posts are routinely hijacked. Squabbles erupt over simple turns of phrase. "Fake" members get banned, reappear, post bizarre nonsense.

If this site is restrictive and over moderated in order to remain "sensible" I am all for it.

And I still enjoy the other site, must be the masochist in me.
These aren't the chords you're looking for.

perpetuo studens

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2017, 03:44:54 PM »
Can't say I understand either the "over-moderated" or "restrictive"  comments, especially the "restrictive" comment - look at the extremely wide variety of musical interests represented and welcomed here!

Things are fine the way they are...s***w 'em.

Jamie
The perceived object...is not a sum of elements to be distinguished from each other and analyzed discretely, but a pattern, that is to say a form, a structure: the element's existence does not precede the existence of the whole, it comes neither before nor after it, for the parts do not determine the pattern, but the pattern determines the parts: knowledge of the pattern and of its laws, of the set and its structure, could not possibly be derived from discrete knowledge of the elements that compose it.

That means that you can look at a piece of a puzzle for three whole days, you can believe that you know all there is to know about its colouring and its shape, and be no further ahead than when you started. The only thing that counts is the ability to link this piece to other pieces...

Georges Perec - Life: A User's Manual

Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2017, 04:40:39 PM »
Can't say I understand either the "over-moderated" or "restrictive"  comments, especially the "restrictive" comment - look at the extremely wide variety of musical interests represented and welcomed here!
Those that think this forum is over-moderated and restrictive will self-moderate themselves are restrict themselves to other fora.  And it will hopefully be nobody's loss but their own.

The person Ron quoted is not a member of this forum (unless under an assumed name) and may not be very familiar with it.  Based on his compositions I'd say he would musically feel more at home here than in the Delian Society, but maybe he would miss the political rants, occasional rambles into into pseudo-science, and other non-musical discussions that might get moderated out of existence here.

Ron

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2017, 09:53:52 AM »
Thanks for all the support.

One of my difficulties with groups like the Delian Society who claim they are promoting "tonal music" is that they are using the term as a code word. They dismiss much 20ieth and 21st-century music as "atonal," when, in fact, it is very tonal, just not in the 18th, early 19th century meaning of the term. What they mean by the term "tonal music" has a more accurate description: "common practice." This is a set of guidelines derived from 18th and 19th-century practice used to help those writing hymns, simple pop songs, and other musics that could be performed by non-trained musicians. In "classical" music the system had broken down by the mid 19th century. (I set the first performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in 1865 as the critical point.)
Even much popular music had stepped outside its restrictions by the 1920's.

If one wants to write within common practice guidelines, that's fine. Everyone needs some sort of set of guiding principles. However, some members of the Delians, and other groups like them, dismiss all other forms of expression as inferior or lacking in some way, some with extremely condescending airs. I'll always remember a young "tonal" composer claiming, "I listened to some 20ieth century music once and threw up."

With Joe gone I will not be joining any new rejuvenated Delian Society.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 10:27:54 AM by Ron »
Ron
Rules? What rules?

Gillespie

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2017, 04:21:25 AM »
Ooooh! I like hearing that we're "mysterious!"  Does that mean we can develop a secret handshake now?
All hail, Sinfonia!  Phi Mu Alpha, Class of '82.  I can neither confirm nor deny we have a secret handshake.  Any PMA brothers here?

tbmartin

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Re: June, 2017: Are we "too restrictive" and "over-moderated?"
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2017, 05:25:46 AM »
....  Any PMA brothers here?

Not here. I'm KKPsi and TBS
Terence Martin

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