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Re: Is lilypond really suitable for composing?

From: Guy Stalnaker
Subject: Re: Is lilypond really suitable for composing?
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2018 10:13:15 -0500

Haven't been a fan of some of the posts in this email thread (not too keen on prescriptions for How. To. Compose. Music.) But this bit is damned fine. 

I developed an idea about the history of music when I was working on my PhD in Music Theory - there are two fundamental (note that - fundamental, there is overlap of course, few human beings fit binary distinctions well) types of composers: those who are evolutionary--who take what they are given from their predecessors and change it by the force of their unique genius into something new, perhaps revolutionary, and thereby alter music for those that follow them (here we have Machaut, Gesualdo, Monteverdi, CPE Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Mahler, Verdi, Debussy, Schoenberg, Stravinsky); and those who absorb the influences of their predecessors and peers and by their genius write music that surpasses them (here we have Dufay, Palestrina, Victoria, Handel, J. S. Bach, Mozart, Bellini, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Puccini, Strauss). This is not iron-clad classification, of course, but it's been useful for me, especially when talking to "non-professional" people about the Western classical music tradition. 

Thanks everyone -- this has been wonderful reading, especially Mr. Walsh's Plato. 


Guy Stalnaker

On Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 9:11 AM, N. Andrew Walsh <address@hidden> wrote:
Pfft. Amateurs.


". . . But later, an unmusical anarchy was led by poets who had natural talent, but were ignorant of the laws of music...Through foolishness they deceived themselves into thinking that there was no right or wrong way in music, that it was to be judged good or bad by the pleasure it gave. By their works and their theories they infected the masses with the presumption to think themselves adequate judges. So our theatres, once silent, grew vocal, and aristocracy of music gave way to a pernicious theatrocracy...the criterion was not music, but a reputation for promiscuous cleverness and a spirit of law-breaking."

Plato. Laws, 701. 

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