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The moment you have time to intellectualize your perceptions, established certainties will begin to crumble, and the "other side" of any controversy will beckon appealingly. The inevitable result is that one's liberalism becomes stretched to the point of absurdity. It is a Hamlet-like torture to be truly liberal; everything becomes susceptible to contradictory interpretations; bias is impossible, opinion wobbly, and immortal words out of the question.
It is in this context that I have been thinking all year about music, especially about the present crisis in composition and its possible consequences in the near future. What has happened to symphonic forms? Are symphonies a thing of the past? What will become of the symphony orchestra? Is tonality dead forever? Is the international community of composers really, deeply, ready to accept that death? If so, will the music-loving public concur? Are the new staggering complexities of music vital to it, or do they simply constitute pretty Papiermusic?

Having mulled over these questions for a year or more, with openmindedness ad absurdum, I naturally cannot provide a single answer. Or, to be more accurate, I can provide far too many answers, all of them possibly true. For each question there are two answers, roughly corresponding to yes and no, and attended by innumerable variations.

For example: are symphonies a thing of the past? No, obviously they are still being written in substantial quantity. But yes, equally obviously, in the sense that the classical concept of a symphony-depending as it does on a bifocal tonal axis, which itself depends on the existence of tonality-is a thing of the past.


Does that mean that symphonies can no longer be created? No. In a loose sense the word symphony can be applied to all kinds of structures. On the other hand, yes. In a strict sense the decline of the symphony can perceptibly be dated back to the beginning of our century.
Then, if the symphony as a form is all but over, what will happen to our orchestras? Will they become museums of the past, with conductors as curators who hang up the old masterpieces with solicitude as to position and lighting? Yes, inevitably, since our orchestras were created specifically to perform those masterpieces. But also no; there can conceivably be any number of new forms of composition that could gradually and subtly change the shape and content of our orchestras. No, yes; no, yes; yes, no. What is really true?
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Thank you Teo.

This is a very interesting topic, and requires quite a bit of thought.

I think that a single answer cannot be found. Yes or No?
I don't know.

I think that in the far east we will find a lot of new young composers, and they are also interested in keeping the old symphonies alive. I think that it all depends which groups of people will answer these questions.

Originally posted by Teo

Or, to be more accurate, I can provide far too many answers, all of them possibly true. For each question there are two answers, roughly corresponding to yes and no, and attended by innumerable variationsuestions Confused


There are very many young music students in Asia who will probably compose for the symphony, as well as keep the old symphonies vibrant and alive, in the near future, but I really don't know what will happen after 2 or 3 generations.

Love,
yoko
Last edited by yoko
quote:
What has happened to symphonic forms? Are symphonies a thing of the past?


Thank you Teo.
I don't know. Who knows?

I knew that at some point we would get a long and complicated post from you, however, this is quite an interesting topic and a very good question. We will just have to wait and see.

Love,
Sue
Good question Teo.

I am afraid that I do not have the answer either.
yoko mentioned that there are very many young music students in Asia, and I do believe that they work very hard and take a deep interest in intelligent music. Maybe it will depend on them if the symphony in its present state survives. The same goes for composition.




quote:
Having mulled over these questions for a year or more, with openmindedness ad absurdum, I naturally cannot provide a single answer. Or, to be more accurate, I can provide far too many answers, all of them possibly true. For each question there are two answers, roughly corresponding to yes and no, and attended by innumerable variations.


For the moment, let's enjoy the orchestra as it is.

Last edited by Inda
Very good question.

I am not sure that the symphony will disappear completely, but there may be some modifications to its existing structure.

As yoko pointed out, we really are depending on the young Asians to keep intelligent music alive. Ther seem to be quite a number of excellent Asian musicians emerging on the wold's classical music scene.

Sincerely,
Gisele
The downturn walloping the entire economy has hit non-profit arts organizations especially hard. With millions of people scrambling to pay for food and other basics, a night at the opera can seem frivolous. So museums, symphonies, theaters, ballet companies and opera companies have cut staff, canceled performances, shortened seasons and, in some cases, shut down.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/t...01-artseconomy_N.htm

I am not sure that this is true for all countries of the world? We will have to wait and see.
This is quite alarming information Inda.

I think that in Continental Europe the situation is not quite as critical, although their economy is at a very low point as well. Now I live in North America, and
personally enjoy the symphony very much. I still try to go as often as I can afford to go, even if I get an inexpensive or last minute seat.

Sincerely,
Gisele

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