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View Diary: The Evolution Of The Orchestra: An Army Of Generals (30 comments)

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  •  Cleansing is a VERY good word to describe it. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SherwoodB, zenbassoon, slksfca, ER Doc

    I think I could, might even, write at length about how it was Mozart that finally taught me how to listen to music.  Hear music.  Many years after I thought I was a musical know-it-all, and somebody that had already amassed a fairly large collection of records, much of it also Mozart.  

    There is something cleansing about it.  There is music out there that is more passionate, more stirring at the visceral level, etc.  But Mozart's attention to detail makes you listen to the notes, because that's where all the cool stuff is.  It lets you shrink your head down and pay attention to the sounds without having to create a storyline narrative in your head.

    On the other hand, when you go to great romantic works like Tchaikovsky's Sixth, there IS great narrative and visceral feeling and a storyline is necessary to make sense of it -- but the details in the music lose some of their importance in the process.

    I was thinking about that a lot this week.  I thought about that movie, Pulp Fiction.  If you ask people to tell you what it was about, they get all confused and give you bits and pieces of things that happened but no clear narrative, because it's hard to make one.  All the really coolest stuff in Pulp Fiction does nothing to move the story forward.  Like, "You know what they call a Big Mac in France?  A Royale!"  As soon as you hear John Travolta say that, you know it's interesting and entertaining and at the same time it has no over-arching purpose.  When you watch it again and again, you learn to relax and just enjoy all those parts -- it's a very different way of watching a movie than, say, Raiders of the Lost Ark.  

    To me, Mozart and the other classical period composers (Mozart and Haydn in particular) are more like Pulp Fiction in that respect.  

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