Classical Music Criticism and Judgment
Classical Music Criticism and Judgment
Classical music is one kind of the art music from various style of music. On Oxford Dictionary give the meaning of classical music as serious music following long-established principles rather than a folk, jazz, or popular tradition, and even give more specifically meaning by the period of music(since the music has 6 periods; middle age, renaissance, baroque, classic, romantic and contemporary) that classical music is the music written in the European tradition during a period lasting approximately from 1750 to 1830, when forms such as the symphony, concerto, and sonata were standardized.
How do we judge the classical music, and what is the musical value of classical music? I think this is the hard thing to critics about the good or bad of the things that we call it as one kind of art. We could analyze music by their elements such as the musical form, the harmony, the rhythm, orchestration, register of that piece etc.
But also the problems is everyone has different taste and also some have the same taste too such as one composer love the way dominant chord run to sub median chord and then resolve to dominant again then end with tonic chord but another one like the way to begin the phrase with sub median then dominant for two bars to extend the dominant longer (could call it as dominant prolongation) until tonic in the last bar. The question is what is the best chord progression of those two ideas? , and how do we judge what is the best chord progression? And interesting question is how do we judge that one piece copy from any other pieces?
Another example is if we judge one of the phrases in symphony no. 9 by Beethoven “Ode to Joy” as the best phrase that compound with many good melodies, best chord progression and orchestration and great idea to add choir to that movement but there is also a question that who judge that this phrase is the best. How do they judge? , and what is the material that they use to judge this kind of classical music to make it the best of Beethoven’s pieces? The Best music in all kind of area not only includes by best music by creativity composers but also has to have best performers that can perform the best performances too.
In classical music the performers have to do analyze and interpretation the music that they will perform, have to know the period of that music so they could play as the style of each period, have to practice in the right way to gain more techniques to their muscles to control their musical instrument, have to perform as natural as possible like they are speaking, eating or walking. The best performers have to bring all emotions and energy from the music that is just a music note on the paper to touch their audiences’ heart. The problems are what is the best performance? , and how do we judge the performance?
As a classical guitarist I used to compete in one competition. All juries have to fill in the form for all competitors there topics are Technique, Dynamics, Balancing, Precision and Rhythm, Style and Expression, and Stage Performance. Maybe those topics could judge the best performance but the problem I could see was one song that I performed called Marley’s Ghost by Andrew York the main part of first section was the melody on the bass line. One of jury wrote on the Balancing blog that I played too loud but another on said I played too soft so I got the question that who is correct?
This could show that it is hard to judge the best performance. It is depend on what do you like? What is your feeling? What are the things that you used to experiences. At last the way we critic and judge classical music could be judge from both quality of pieces and the quality of performance. The performers should know the aesthetic of composers who composed the songs that they will perform so they can perform in the way right way from performers’ interpretation. And definitely the listeners will judge it by their experience and feeling.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 December 2016
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