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pianist, composer, conductor and musicologist

Season 2. July 2011 - June 2012. Number: 1, July 2011
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Contemporary Art Music
Sometimes called "modern-classical" the "new" music is facing serious challenges. Did it find its "niche"? Why it is banned from most concert programs? Who's to blame: composers, concert presenters, the public or the performers? Read some search results on the topic...
Why the composers keep on composing "un-melodious" music?
Start a discussion on that topic in my Facebook page... Click here to connect with me on my personal space, or here to visit my Fan page...
Did you know that copyright societies exerce  harsh budgetary constrains on the (few) presenters who have the guts to present contemporary music?
Start a discussion on that topic in my Facebook page... Click here to connect with me on my personal space, or here to visit my Fan page...
When all around us is so radically changing and evolving why shall we composing as centuries before?
Our sensibilities and our perception of the world outside us changed radically and they are continually changing as we live on. That is the life itself. A composer who sees the universe and thus is reflecting on it as did others composers centuries before is simply "useless"!  What is "melody"? What is "consonance"? Are those things set once for all. Don't they evolve in time? Mozart's Piano Concerto N.27 has been received as "very dissonant" and disconcerting on its time. Now how "melodious" and consonant it sounds to us. Our perception and composers "reflexions" evolve and change through the ages. We should not listen the music of the XXth. century as we do for music 300 years old.
Authors and composers copyright societies... Who are they "protecting"? The composers or themselves?
I put all my work under Creative Commons license.

This enables me to allow everyone to freely copy and share everything, my CD's, my mp3's, my writings so the information can move freely. Is it not the point of the Internet-Age? Information moving freely across the world at light-speed is the true essence and meaning of the Internet. Those companies claim to "protect" the authors and composers... Actually are they protecting the authors or themselves? Do they protect the composers by requesting large sums of money and thus discouraging future presenters to program their works "under" the copyright rule? The concept is outrageously outdated in our epoch. There are many forms of licensing available to the so called "intellectual-property-owners" so they can freely select what amount of exposure they want
If conventional musical education "stops" with the early XIX.th century composers, how can you expect performers attempting to perform any contemporary music?
We are in a deadly circle here. Teachers do not teach modern music to their students because they do not want the extra burden. Students do not attempt to learn them for the same reason. Those students will then mature and anything without a clearly set tonality (key-signature) will appear dreary to them for all their life. And they will eventually start teaching and the thing re-starts...

Some interesting search results:

Crisis in Contemporary Music  | Music Articles

To be fair the BBC has had considerable experience and a proven track record but in todays musical environment there are many more factors and unknown social variables. I believe that they do need to keep in touch with public taste and interest and not always consider it can dictate the evolution of the language of music. By the nature of both reputation and cultural heritage, it has to walk a tightrope of academic and artistic validity. Sometimes I feel in the last forty years it has stumbled, and as we all know it is the stumble that provokes the gasp that the crowd remember.

Classical music: Its place in life | The Economist

The gulf separating audiences and modern music is the subject of Ivan Hewett's ambitious and passionate book. Each chapter examines an aspect of the crisis which arose when a sense of musical taste shared by listeners and composers was replaced by more romantic notions of personal inspiration and ever more extreme forms of expression. Mozart and Wagner represent quite different attitudes towards subjectivity and musical experience, but they are both part of the Austro-German tradition.

Acclaimed Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble to perform with Violinist Jennifer Koh at New York City's Miller Theatre

One of the world's best-known living composers, György Ligeti is widely acknowledged as a musical pioneer of the late-20th century, forging his own musical alternative to a general stylistic crisis in the mid-century avant-garde.  That alternative, based on texture and sound density, has become one of the major influences on contemporary music. The Oberlin and New York programs will include  Ramifications;   Mysteries of the Macabre   from the opera  Le Grand Macabre,   with Evans as trumpet soloist;  Sippal, Dobbal, Nádihegedüvel,  with the Oberlin Percussion Group and Manz as soloist; and  Violin Concerto   with Koh as soloist.

Western classical music - Definition

Classical composition often aspires to a very complex relationship between the affective (emotional) content of the music, and the  idea  content. There is, in the most esteemed works of Classical music, an intensive use of  Musical development , the process by which a musical germ idea or  motif  is repeated in different contexts, or in altered form, so that the mind of the listener consciously or unconsciously compares the different versions.  The classical genres of  sonata form  and  fugue  employ particularly rigorous forms of musical development.

Atonality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1)

The twelve-tone technique was also preceded by nondodecaphonic serial composition used independently in the works of  Alexander Scriabin ,  Igor Stravinsky ,  Béla Bartók ,  Carl Ruggles , and others (Perle 1977, 37). "Essentially, Schoenberg and Hauer systematized and defined for their own dodecaphonic purposes a pervasive technical feature of 'modern' musical practice, the  ostinato " (Perle 1977, 37).

Atonality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2)

Swiss conductor, composer, and musical philosopher  Ernest Ansermet , a critic of atonal music, wrote extensively on this in the book  Les fondements de la musique dans la conscience humaine  (Ansermet 1961), where he argued that the classical musical language was a precondition for musical expression with its clear, harmonious structures. Ansermet argued that a tone system can only lead to a uniform perception of music if it is deduced from just a single interval. For Ansermet this interval is the fifth (Mosch 2004, 96). Modern atonal music, incomprehensible to Ansermet, chooses interval relations seemingly at random and cannot achieve such an impact, ethos, or catharsis for an audience.

Apart from these broader cultural influences which contribute to the shaping of our contemporary musical psyche, we also have to take into account the rather bewildering legacy of the earlier twentieth-century composers in the matter of compositional technique and procedure. Although we must be impressed by the enormous accruement of new elements of vocabulary in the areas of pitch, rhythm, timbre, and so forth, I sense at the same time the loss of a majestic unifying principle in much of our recent music. Not only is the question of tonality still unresolved but we have not yet evolved anything comparable to the sure instinct for form which occurs routinely in the best traditional music. Instead, each new work seems to require a special solution, valid only in terms of itself.

Opera Today : Return to the Origins — Chamber Opera in Crisis Times

Much current popular culture assumes that its audience is knowledgeable of the American musical. References to, and parodies of, specific musicals are frequently a part of episodes of  The Simpsons  and  South Park , and ads for companies as diverse as The Gap and the World Wrestling Entertainment promotion recently have restaged numbers from  West Side Story  to plug their products or events. Rarely, if ever, are the sources acknowledged; it is simply taken for granted that a general audience will understand the quotations and parodies.

My recording of the 48 Preludes and Fugues (The Well-Tempered Clavier) by Johann Sebastian Bach is entirely available for listening here...
image from Wikimedia
I recently published August Wilhelm Ambros (1816-1876) Enlightenment in Musicology you can read it here...
image from Wikimedia
I recently created inventor-musicae.com which is a blog dedicated to music and musicology, please connect, publish, comment and share if you like. 

C.Debussy "Etude pour les Quartes" ~ A. Scriabin Sonata N.9  "Black Mass" op.67

Live performance.
The Gina Bachauer Int. Piano Comp. Salt Lake City, UT. 1991

Mehmet Okonsar is a pianist-composer-conductor and musicologist. Besides his international concert carrier he is a prolific writer.  He is the founder of the first classical music-musicology dedicated blog site: "inventor-musicae" as well as the first classical-music video portal : http://www.classicalvideos.net. Mehmet Okonsar's official site: http://www.okonsar.com
Inspiration by Tzvi Freeman...
A philosopher cannot pray--unless he loses his mind. A pragmatist does not pray until he loses control. Prayer, like love, is more about losing yourself than it is about finding any great truth. [read more...]
Fortune: A musician of more ambition than talent composed an elegy at the death of composer Edward MacDowell. She played the elegy for the pianist Josef Hoffman, then asked his opinion. "Well, it's quite nice," he replied, but don't you think it would be better if..."
"If what?" asked the composer.
"If ... if you had died and MacDowell had written the elegy?"

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