Art music

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Periods of
Western classical music
AD / CE
Early
Medieval c. 500–1400
Renaissance c. 1400–1600
Common practice
Baroque c. 1600–1760
Classical c. 1730–1820
Romantic c. 1815–1910
Modern and contemporary
Modern c. 1890–1930
20th century 1901–2000
Contemporary c. 1975–present
21st century 2001–present
Ludwig van Beethoven's manuscript sketch for Piano Sonata No. 28, Movement IV, Geschwind, doch nicht zu sehr und mit Entschlossenheit (Allegro), in his own handwriting. The piece was completed in 1816.

Art music—also known as formal music,[1] serious music,[2] erudite music,[3] or legitimate music[4][5] (often shortened to legit music)[6] —is an umbrella term used to refer to musical traditions implying advanced structural and theoretical considerations[7] and a written musical tradition.[8] The notion of art music is a frequent and well-defined musicological distinction, e.g., referred to by musicologist Philip Tagg as one of an "axiomatic triangle consisting of 'folk', 'art' and 'popular' musics."[9] He explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria.[9] The main tradition in the Western world is usually called classical music. In this regard, it is frequently used as a contrasting term to popular music and traditional or folk music.[8][10][11] The term also covers non-Western classical traditions such as Chinese classical music and Traditional Japanese music.[citation needed]

Definition[edit]

This term is mostly used to refer to music descending from the tradition of Western classical music. This is the common definition referred by many musicologists and scholars including Susan McClary,[12] Lawrence Kramer,[13] Theodor Adorno,[14]Deryck Cooke,[15] Joseph Swain,[16] Nicholas Cook, Nicola Dibben,[17] Philip Tagg,[18] or Gregory Booth and Terry Lee Kuhn.[19] Many of these authors, however, tend to be critical or prudent with respect to certain implications of this classification. Those authors most particularly associated with critical musicology movement and popular music studies like Tagg tend to reject latent social elitism that has sometimes been associated with this classification.

Some other authors interested in music theory may define art music differently. Musician Catherine Schmidt-Jones for example defines art music as "a music which requires significantly more work by the listener to fully appreciate than is typical of popular music." In her view, "[t]his can include the more challenging types of jazz and rock music, as well as Classical."[20]

While often used to refer primarily to Western historical classical music, the term may refer to:

  • The classical/art music traditions of several different cultures around the world;
  • Modern and contemporary classical music, including serialism, electronic art music, experimental (art) music and minimalist music, as well as other forms;
  • Some forms of jazz, excluding most forms generally considered to be popular music. Jazz is generally considered as popular music. (Adorno for example refers to jazz as some kind of popular music.[21]) But some more technical forms of jazz have blurred borders between art music and popular music.
  • Music which is highly formalized, that is, in which all or most of the musical elements are specified in advance, usually in written notation, as opposed to being improvised or otherwise left up to the performer's discretion.

While earlier musicological approaches tended to consider art music in an elitist way, asserting the superiority of art music over other forms of music (for example Adorno[22]), many modern musicologists (most particularly ethnomusicologists) dispute the notion of superiority. In a recent international musicology colloquium dedicated to music and globalization,[23] some ethnomusicologists such as Jean During insisted that no matter the technicity and difficulty of music, every musical tradition has the same dignity and no one can claim any superiority over another.[24]

Furthermore, many art music composers have made reference to popular music including Johann Sebastian Bach, Milton Babbitt, Ludwig van Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein, Vincent D’Indy, Guillaume Dufay, George Gershwin, Josquin des Prez, Darius Milhaud, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Manuel M. Ponce, Arnold Schoenberg, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and William Walton, while others like Béla Bartók, Pierre Boulez, Johannes Brahms, John Cage, Claude Debussy, Antonín Dvořák, Lou Harrison, Zoltán Kodály, François-Bernard Mâche, Gustav Mahler, Olivier Messiaen, Maurice Ravel, Steve Reich, and Claude Vivier have drawn influence from regional or extra-European traditional music.

Moreover, in some cases the distinction between popular and art music has been blurred, particularly in the late 20th century.[8]

Characteristics[edit]

The term primarily refers to classical traditions (including contemporary as well as historical classical music forms) which focus on formal styles, invite technical and detailed deconstruction[7] and criticism, and demand focused attention from the listener. In strict western practice, art music is considered primarily a written musical tradition,[8] preserved in some form of music notation, as opposed to being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings (like popular and traditional music).[8][25] Historically, most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe beginning prior to the Renaissance period and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period. The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is usually defined by the notated version, rather than a particular performance of it (as for example with classical music).

However, other cultural classical traditions may refer to oral transmission. Treatises on the structural and theoretical considerations underlying Indian classical music have been available for millennia, notably the Natyashastra of Bharata, dated to between 200 BC and 200 AD. Some Western classical composers, notably Messiaen, relied on Indian rhythmic frameworks for their rhythmically more sophisticated compositions.[26]

In some western modern or experimental forms, the written notation of art music may depart from standard musical notation and use a variety of new types of notation to facilitate the exploratory nature of these new forms of music. In other words, while the notation may not be formal or traditional, there remains an element of formality or intellectual discipline to the construction and communication of the content of the work.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ramón Pagayon Santos, Tunugan: Four Essays on Filipino Music (Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 2005): 184. ISBN 978-971-542-488-2.
  2. ^ Does Serious Music Belong in Pop?—Borrowings from Stravinsky in the Music of Frank Zappa. Article by Andre Mount, Boston University (USA), February 2010.
  3. ^ Eero Tarasti, Semiotics of Classical Music, Walter de Gruyter, 2012, p. 394.
  4. ^ Chip Chandler, "Symphony Celebrates Aaron Copland", Amarillo Globe-News (Monday, 22 January 2001).
  5. ^ Mervyn Cooke, “Jazz among the Classics: The Case of Duke Ellington”, in The Cambridge Companion to Jazz, edited by Mervyn Cooke and David Horn, 153–74, Cambridge Companions to Music (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002): 163. ISBN 0521663202 (cloth) ISBN 0521663881 (pbk).
  6. ^ David Ake, “Learning Jazz, Teaching Jazz”, in The Cambridge Companion to Jazz, edited by Mervyn Cooke and David Horn, 255–69, Cambridge Companions to Music (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002): 266. ISBN 0521663202 (cloth); ISBN 0521663881 (pbk).
  7. ^ a b Jacques Siron, "Musique Savante (Serious music)", Dictionnaire des mots de la musique (Paris: Outre Mesure): 242. ISBN 2-907891-22-7
  8. ^ a b c d e Denis Arnold, "Art Music, Art Song", in The New Oxford Companion to Music, Volume 1: A-J (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1983): 111. ISBN 0-19-311316-3
  9. ^ "Music" in Encyclopedia Americana, reprint 1993, p. 647.[full citation needed]
  10. ^ Philip Tagg, "Analysing Popular Music: Theory, Method and Practice", Popular Music 2 (1982): 37-67, here 41-42.
  11. ^ Susan McClary,Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality, second edition, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991-2002): xv-xv
  12. ^ Kramer Lawrence, Musical Meaning: Toward a Critical History, Volume 1 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002): 81 & 203.
  13. ^ For the use of the "serious music" term: Theodor Adorno, "On the Social Situation of Music" (1932), in Theodor W. Adorno, Richard D. Leppert, and Susan H. Gillespie Essays on Music (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002): 395 et passim. See also Theodor Adorno,"On Popular Music" (1941), in Theodor W. Adorno, Richard D. Leppert, and Susan H. Gillespie Essays on Music (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002): 437-453 passim. For the use of the "art music" term, see Theodor Adorno, "On the Social Situation of Music" (1932), in Theodor W. Adorno, Richard D. Leppert, and Susan H. Gillespie Essays on Music (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002): 427 et passim ; see also Theodor Adorno, " Alieneted Masterpiece: Missa Solemnis" (1959), in Theodor W. Adorno, Richard D. Leppert, and Susan H. Gillespie Essays on Music (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002): 665. Both terms ("art music"/"serious music") are dealt as equivalents in the context of the book and this is reflected in the index of the book: the "art music" entry is reported on the "Serious Music" entry of the index (cf. Theodor W. Adorno, Richard D. Leppert, and Susan H. Gillespie Essays on Music (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002), 717).
  14. ^ Deryck Cooke, The Language of Music (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001): 53 and 96 and passim
  15. ^ Joseph Swain, Musical Languages (new York and London: Norton and Company, 1997): 124 and passim
  16. ^ Nicholas Cook and Nicola Dibben, "Musicological Approaches to Emotion", in Music and Emotion: Theory and Research, 45–70 (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001): 56
  17. ^ Philip Tagg, "Analysing Popular Music: Theory, Method and Practice", Popular Music 2, 37-67 (1982): 39-42 passim
  18. ^ Gregory D. Booth and Terry Lee Kuhn, "Economic and Transmission Factors as Essential Elements in the Definition of Folk, Art, and Pop Music", The Musical Quarterly 74, no. 3 (1990):[page needed]
  19. ^ Catherine Schmidt-Jones, "What Kind of Music Is That?", from the website Connexions, last edited by Catherine Schmidt-Jones on 10 January 2007 8:58 am US/Central, retrieved on 12 December 2008.
  20. ^ Theodor W. Adorno, "On Popular Music", in Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, 17-48 (New York: Institute of Social Research, 1941): IX.[full citation needed]
  21. ^ Theodore Gracyk, "The Aesthetics of Popular Music", The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (accessed 13 June 2011).
  22. ^ Colloquium "Musique et globalisation"[full citation needed]
  23. ^ Discussion during François-Bernard Mâche's conference: «Musique au singulier» Colloquium "Musique et globalisation"[full citation needed]
  24. ^ Philip Tagg, "Analysing Popular Music: Theory, Method and Practice", Popular Music 2 (1982): 37-67, here 41-42.
  25. ^ Mirjana Šimundža,"Messiaen's Rhythmical Organisation and Classical Indian Theory of Rhythm (I)", International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 18, no.1 (1987): 117–44, here 117 et passim.