Does Beethoven need to be "cancelled"?

spiritofmusic

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So do you Al, as you move your spkrs an inch at a time Lol.
 
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Ron Resnick

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Al M.

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the sound of Tao

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Carl, that's immaterial. Beethoven comes before the great post modernist deconstruction of modern society. Therefore its tainted by association w the old guard, and all its imperial faults.
And since Beethoven is the greatest of the great, he's the one that needs to be pulled down the hardest.
It's as simple as that.
God help us all if that's allowed to happen.
We’ve had at least two complete changes of the guard since the Modernists and the work of Beethoven is still with us. I’m sure that his work will out-survive the words of the writer in the journal Peter quoted and also many other ideas and words including our own.

The Post Modernists looked back to the classical period as have the Contemporary composers and new romantic forms have littered music on and off ever since the Romantic era. It’s just the nature of a cultural cycle that forever turns and swings and roundabouts through time testing itself and our limits and finding its way back to centre again before heading off again into a flight into it’s opposite.

When the dust is settled from this idea the next will come. This seems possibly a particularly small blip... greatness sustains us, endures and ultimately out survives most all.

Reading this thread also propelled me to go and read more on Beethoven like Peter and this was of much greater value than the Vox piece. It reminded me of how marvellous we can be and how extraordinary some have since proven to be.

It’s easy, we can take great music and great art and overlay and call whatever meaning we want to it but if it’s great it’s true meaning resonates through time... and if it’s not then it just won’t.

That it can make Ked dance and air conduct is the proof in the pudding that this is truly enduring and timeless music for us all :)

But I’d also possibly suggest that music that brings us together is probably more now in need than ever.
 
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cjfrbw

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That it can make Ked dance and air conduct is the proof in the pudding that this is truly enduring and timeless music for us all :)

Ked toe conducts now. We have the video proof.
 

howiebrou

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Ked toe conducts now. We have the video proof.
As long as he doesn't keep extending this to other body parts, i am okay with this...
 

HughP3

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They do symphonies outside that are free in some places. When I lived in Missoula is was always a big draw. The issue was they would play stupid pop stuff the whole time so I never cared.

Shakespeare on the campus outside for free was always popular. I however have yet to appreciate Shakespeare and have no issues with saying maybe a woman wrote it all :)

I had to dissect Sonets in Hi School fortunately I dont remember any of it.
 
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the sound of Tao

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As long as he doesn't keep extending this to other body parts, i am okay with this...

Uninhibited twirling of the baton in the audience is clearly not nice during a classical music performance. Next there’ll be a mosh pit and a pole dancing rig in there as well. PS Don’t get any ideas Ked... :eek:
 
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Ron Resnick

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Come on....lighten up Ron and read some Orwell.

Why would I read Orwell when I can observe in real life the dangers about which he warned us?
 

tima

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Yeah I am not understanding how the Americans on this forum have only two categories, audio or politics. There is nothing political about this. Nothing related to your constitutional rights either.

I see the 'cancel Beethoven' topic largely as a cultural issue. Of course it is much broader than Beethoven alone, it is about the Western tradition of Classical Music. Virtually every culture has a musical tradition or heritage. I agree these and their 'cancellation' can be discussed in terms of the right of every culture to their own and take it out of the political realm. One just needs a broader perspective and choosing to refuse turning it political.

But .... I don't think we need sniping at Americans.
 

tima

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And I was curious to know if others here had heard about it and what they thought. Thank you Tim for bringing it to my attention. With two daughters in school, I am interested in learning more about what is being taught and more specifically, how art history is being taught. I was an art history major is college before studying architecture. Music, art, and architecture live beyond the lives of those who created them. We should try to better understand these creative forces and their creations rather than try to erase them from history.

I share the concern that drives your interest in how topics such as art history are taught and passed on to your daughters.

I was surprised to see your creation of this thread which I appreciate - I don't know if I'd have the courage to raise its issue overtly given the forum proscription on the political or the potentially political or the even getting close to something that might be political. I figured my singular comment elsewhere could be deleted. If even that could bring to light the topic we're now talking around, then it's worth a hand slap. It is a shame because where else can or should such discussions occur? When should decorum take precedence over cultural black-out? Who is to blame if we remain silent?

Beethoven himself may have held what some might call political thoughts. There was a time when Napolean was a hero to the composer. He was considering giving the name "Bonaparte" to what we know as his Symphony No.3 (Sinfonia Eroica), having wrtten "Sinfonia intitolata Bonaparte' on its original manuscript cover page. After Napolean attacked Austria and upon learning that he declared himself Emperor, Beethoven marked out that title, giving it the name we now know. Would the monarchical (and later revolutionary) European world of that time have repudiated Bethoven and his music, if he'd kept the original title? When is art worthy of destruction? On a political whim?

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. In 2016 the German government declared Beethoven a "matter of national importance" and allocated 27,000,000 euros toward anniversary celebrations. Beethoven is a cultural "asset" in Germany and to Germans. (cf. here) Some may claim he is a cultural asset of humanity, an exemplar of what a singular human can achieve in the face of extreme adversity and disability. That he becomes anathema is a repudiation of the potential of mankind, of ourselves.

edit: correct anniversary date
 
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zerostargeneral

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Dear All,

This posited repose is the foundation of cultural demise and I shutter the Mercury that couriers it.

As an individual I abhor the newest forms of low end hate on both sides. The wealth of eloquence and intellectually reasoned arguments around preference should not be governed by impatient or inadequate partisans with vested bias on their T-shirt.

On another note the thread illuminates the clear differences between coincidence and irony.

Kindest regards,G.
 

rando

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Has anybody dropped acid and listened to Beethoven? Maybe that would make it sacred to the wokes instead of on the supremacy hit list.

1601985549293.png

Source


*Not advocating for or admitting to drug use by any stretch. Nor did I attend any of these "Rug Concerts."
 
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montesquieu

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Has anybody dropped acid and listened to Beethoven? Maybe that would make it sacred to the wokes instead of on the supremacy hit list.

This is a bit of a trip - I love it.

 
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PeterA

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I share the concern that drives your interest in how topics such as art history are taught and passed on to your daughters.

I was surprised to see your creation of this thread which I appreciate - I don't know if I'd have the courage to raise its issue overtly given the forum proscription on the political or the potentially political or the even getting close to something that might be political. I figured my singular comment elsewhere could be deleted. If even that could bring to light the topic we're now talking around, then it's worth a hand slap. It is a shame because where else can or should such discussions occur? When should decorum take precedence over cultural black-out? Who is to blame if we remain silent?

Beethoven himself may have held what some might call political thoughts. There was a time when Napolean was a hero to the composer. He was considering giving the name "Bonaparte" to what we know as his Symphony No.3 (Sinfonia Eroica), having wrtten "Sinfonia intitolata Bonaparte' on its original manuscript cover page. After Napolean attacked Austria and upon learning that he declared himself Emperor, Beethoven marked out that title, giving it the name we now know. Would the monarchical (and later revolutionary) European world of that time have repudiated Bethoven and his music, if he'd kept the original title? When is art worthy of destruction? On a political whim?

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. In 2016 the German government declared Beethoven a "matter of national importance" and allocated 27,000,000 euros toward anniversary celebrations. Beethoven is a cultural "asset" in Germany and to Germans. (cf. here) Some may claim he is a cultural asset of humanity, an exemplar of what a singular human can achieve in the face of extreme adversity and disability. That he becomes anathema is a repudiation of the potential of mankind, of ourselves.

edit: correct anniversary date

Thanks Tim. I took a risk and look where we are. the original thread title was too provocative. I understand that now.

I have been paying attention to what is taught and how curriculums have changed for years now. Some is good, some not so good. I think these two people are certainly entitled to their opinion about Beethoven, but I say don't advocate "cancelling" him out. Share your opinions in a broader mix with others' opinions based on source material and evidence. Encourage a wider discussion and debate and let people decide what is nonsense. All views, or most/many views should be tolerated and welcomed. Just look at the discussion this article has encourages in certain circles.

The better solution at Yale would have been to add more art history courses for those students who are interested in learning about other cultures and traditions. Discuss the issues inherent with a European Art centric view and include other views. Don't simply eliminate something that is popular, established, and has been taught for generations and generally considered important and the foundation of art culture and thinking for centuries because others don't like it or it no longer seems appropriate when viewed through a contemporary lens. Widen the lens instead.

These kinds of things should be discussed openly and encouraged for greater, more comprehensive understanding. There should be more taught about Beethoven and all great figures with many new perspectives introduced as research uncovers. And teach about smaller works, less influential and often forgotten. I say more, not less. Broaden the listening window and ask what more is out there? Don't just play the same stuff that always sounds best.
 
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I know that the article we are referring to singles out Beethoven, but I think in this context he serves as the representation for all classical music and musicians and what it stands for. One of the reasons behind the gradual decline of classical music is the growing accessibility and diversity of music. The internet makes it so much easier for the otherwise less-known artists to raise funds or gain popularity, so the competition to classical music is growing. In the past, it was almost the only music genre available. On the other hand, it is no longer exclusive. I can only hope that Beethoven, Bach, Chopin or Mozart will remain the all-time reference point.
 
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montesquieu

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I don't know what the situation is in the US, but in the UK classical music is slipping rapidly from being part of the mainstream education system, to the point where only those in private education (less than 10% of the total) are even exposed to it.

It is even vanishing from the exam system. My daughter plays the harp. Some years ago when she was chosing her GCSEs, the certificate taken in England, Wales and Northern Ireland at 16, as opposed to A Levels which are at 18-19 for university entrance (Scotland has its own system). I had assumed music would be one of the 10 or so subjects she chose to take at GCSE level. But it wasn't on her list.

Rather annoyed at this (my bachelors' degree is in music and the house was filled with music when she was growing up) I had words with her about it. She then showed me the syllabus, which was so dumbed down (in comparison to the exams I sat back in the 1970s) as to be utterly pointless. 'Relevance' dominated, mediocre pop music was the main focus of study, the classical canon of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert minimised to the point of invisibility. No ear tests, no counterpoint and harmony, no real attempt at understanding music's historical evolution, instrumental and vocal pieces of the most utterly banal quality. On looking at I readily agreed with her to drop Music as a formal subject.

I fear we are reaching a point of no return, where classical audiences will be self-reinforcing in their exclusivity, in turn further alienating this music from the masses. The sad thing is that any serious music - be it classical, jazz, jazz rock, electronic - relies on the same discipline and knowledge acquired through studying classical music not just in the development of performers, but in the development of critical listeners and enthusiastic audiences. Dumbing down for 'relevance' is short-sighted in the extreme.
 

PeterA

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I remember reading how the members of Deep Purple, particularly Jon Lord, organist, was a student of Bach's music. The group did some interesting collaborations with classical orchestras. Picasso knew how to draw formal figures. These artists learned a foundation and then moved beyond it to create their own expressions.

Al M., Madfloyd, and I have attended student performances and seen how many good musicians are out there. Frankly, we are surprised by and have discussed the sheer amount of talent out there. Perhaps we are exposed to it because Boston has a concentration of superb young musicians, classical and otherwise.
 
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bonzo75

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I remember reading how the members of Deep Purple, particularly Jon Lord, organist, was a student of Bach's music. The group did some interesting collaborations with classical orchestras. Picasso knew how to draw formal figures. These artists learned a foundation and then moved beyond it to create their own expressions.

Al M., Madfloyd, and I have attended student performances and seen how many good musicians are out there. Frankly, we are surprised by and have discussed the sheer amount of talent out there. Perhaps we are exposed to it because Boston has a concentration of superb young musicians, classical and otherwise.

Blackmore used bach progressions often. Here is his quote on highway star: "“And that is one of the only times I have ever done that. I wanted it to sound like someone driving in a fast car, for it to be one of those songs you would listen to while speeding. And I wanted a very definite Bach sound, which is why I wrote it out—and why I played those very rigid arpeggios across that very familiar Bach progression—Dm, Gm, Cmaj, Amaj. I believe that I was the first person to do that so obviously on the guitar, and I believe that that’s why it stood out and why people have enjoyed it so much."

This is blackmore playing Beethoven's ode to joy. The whole piece is excellent


And this is where Jimmy page slips in Bach's bouree into his solo

 
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