Modern Music vs. Classical Music

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet guy, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Trumpet guy

    Trumpet guy Forte User

    Feb 9, 2008
    How come it seems that older, more classical style (Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary) music is considered more serious music than movie scores and video game music?

    I've heard several solo pieces and classical style music that are whimsical and "happy" like some modern music and modern music that has engaging solos and beautifully written parts like the classical solos.

    Now, auditions at my school for class placement next year are a choose your own solo pieces to perform for one part. And when I asked what kind of music would be good to select, I got a big warning away from modern music like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Final Fantasy, and the like even though I know there are several solo worthy pieces from each of those, for the musicianship display if not the technical display. What is the reason for this?
  2. speakingmusic

    speakingmusic New Friend

    Apr 28, 2008
    It has a lot more to do with the perception of difficulty in both performance and composition of the piece. A great deal of film and pop scores do not get "credit" because they are based and fairly elementary concepts, harmonic progressions - orchestrations are simple or at least formulaic. Pop music is (for the most part) strophic which is considered a simple form of music structure. The music composed in computer games tends to be very short and based on loops.

    Having said all that - I do not want to say I think the above mentioned compositions are simple.

    Trying to score a film is a craft all it's own, trying to get the elements of music to represent what best enhances the images on the screen is extremely difficult (IMHO). John Williams gets raked over the coals for everything sounding the same - however, Star Wars is very different from Schinder's List which is very different from Catch Me If You Can. And all of his music is thoroughly composed, not simple structures, harmonic progression or traditional orchestrations.

    The composers who are writing music using new electronic tools are creating some amazing new sounds. Perhaps, written on a piece of paper the music isn't particularly complex harmonically or structurally, but the layering of sounds is certainly as complex as anything Mozart did - just in a very different way.

    Computer composers are difficult in their need to create music which can be migrated as situations in the game change. Some do it very well, with the music seemly to move seamlessly from one scene to the next, while others the music seems to jump and jerk throughout. So, with all forms of music, you have some good and some not so good.

    It terms of getting to perform the music for competition - you have to deal with the Educational Establishment which (unjustifiably) looks down on these forms.

    Interchanging Idioms
  3. lou gonzalez

    lou gonzalez New Friend

    Feb 18, 2009
    henderson nv
    i tutor at a middle school. the kids are beginners, and play a wide variety of new band stuff, and movie stuff, and pop. When the director pulled out a piece by schumann, and one adapted from pachelbel, and a few small-group things from bach, haydn, and mozart(wow, mozart) the folks were very outspoken as to the "real music" vs. the "made up stuff." the consensus- movie music by williams don't hold a candle to Holst. mozart is much happier, frothier, celebratory than "Under the Sea." These guys hit it-the old masters were writing music meant to be listened to for itself. the new band music and pop and scores came down to musical effects meant to evoke some feeling or image...they dug the Pastoral and agreed it was like, uh, meadows. but they still thought the score for bambi was real cool, but bogus in some way.
    go figure. they are into guitar hero, and jonas brothers. and they listen to the Firebird, and the marriage of figaro....
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    trumpet guy,
    WHO considers it less serious? Certainly no working pro! Granted, the NON-WORKING player very often comes up with the CRAZIEST stuff and unbased criticism of the employed. That is their problem.

    As far as auditions and competitions go, I believe the issue is a bit different. Of course an "anything goes" approach could be taken, but at the end of the day one would have to take those pieces that you mentioned and write a REAL solo around them. The reason is that a concerto or sonata is a lot more than just a tune. There is generally an intro, theme, development and finale. I could imagine someone doing that with film music, but until they do, there is just not enough "meat" when taken out of the film context.

    So my advice: if you feel strongly about it, write an arrangement like "Variations on a Theme by John Williams" or "Nintendo Passacaglia" with a real piano part, 2 or 3 movements and fine tuned to your playing skills. This, if reasonably pulled off, would for sure dazzle ANY jury. Add a bit of multimedia and you have material to put your own stamp on the music world!
  5. Trumpet guy

    Trumpet guy Forte User

    Feb 9, 2008
    This thread was from last year around placement times for bands. If memory serves, "serious" was the word my band director used. The first no-no out of his mouth was the raider's march. :shock:
  6. tony h

    tony h Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2008
    Music from the movies , sci-fi mostly I think , are our modern classics as good as Bach , Haydn, Mozart etc. and I'm not taking away from them but there's room for every one , I think it's just one persons opinion on Raiders etc.
  7. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    Interesting thread, but I think it has lost a bit of focus. If you're auditioning for placement in a symphonic band (or any band for that matter) it is reasonable to expect that you should prepare an audition piece that will be representative of the kind of music that the group plays and that the director prefers. (Yes, if you are auditioning for someone you should probably listen to them when they tell you what to play and what not to play).

    To the stray part, I don't think anyone would dare to compare the works of Mozart to those of John Williams side by side. Apples and oranges. Both are fruit, but still ver different. Both were born with gifts to create OUTSTANDING music, but they did it differently.

    Similarly I don't think your director dismissed the 'Raiders Theme' because he thought it was bad, he likely did it becausehe didn't feel that hearing it at a trumpet audition would give him an accurate feel for what he was looking for.

Share This Page