Weird, weird oboe.

Discussion in 'Oboe' started by PrincessJ, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    4
    I grew up on full conservatory. It is not challenging at all--just gives you good alternatives to cover any situation.

    After years of classical oboe study and being asked by my teacher to go pro, I gave it up to go to the blessedly easy flute. The fingerings on oboe are easy, but the reeds are a nightmare from hell and the embouchure an endurance contest.
     
  2. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    23
    It also occurred to me that I haven't heard any concertos for oboe and orchestra...

    A gentleman named Heinz Holliger would like to speak to you about that...
     
  3. kevgermany

    kevgermany

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's a huge repertoire for oboe - and even more that can be transcribed for it. Just look at the recordings of Albrecht Meyer for instance. He's done so much to promote the instrument.

    But I respect your decision. We have to do things for ourselves. Not because others tell us to.
     
  4. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    4
    He doesn't play full conservatory?

    Of course with practice the embouchure is OK, and one can learn to make and adjust reeds on the fly, but compare life to a single reed or air reed instrument...
     
  5. catty

    catty

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    One more reason for folks to be "uncomfortable" with me here: I'm using my oboe to play Irish/Scottish tunes, among ther things. But hey, they don't much care for it over on the ITM boards either.. :tongue:
     
  6. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    23
    I think that we are a bit more ecumenical than that here...

    It's quite common when talking of the art music world to get wrapped up in some very snobbish behavior pretty quickly. However, this bunch came to the party from a variety of strains, not just from 'jazz', not just from folk. not just from Celtic.

    I started out playing straight art music (more specifically, Romantic music - it's hard to do much of any other period on the bass clarinet), morphed into the classic swing/Broadway strain (doing a lot of shows in my twenties), but had a hard detour into pop when I did the boat back in the very early Seventies.

    These days I play mostly pop and rock/R&B - I've not done any art music for fifteen years or so at this point in my life. But, I have found that the "art" music crowd and the 'jazz' music crowd are just about as bad when it comes to the snob aspect.

    In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the 'jazz' crowd, being over-represented in the saxophone field, are worse with their occasional contempt, not always expressed in the kindest of manners. My art music friends (I still have quite a few) may think that they're better than pop and jazz folks, but at the same time they are usually quite envious of those who can cross the boundaries between the two genres. They don't like the modern stuff, but they realize that they have to tolerate something that (in effect) "pays the bills" for music with the general public.

    Not so the jazz snobs - they are often so convinced of the righteousness of their "cause" as to exclude all other types of music. Not pleasant to be around when it occurs.

    The other, "non-mainstream" strains of music are often even more marginalized, but they are just as legitimate as any other. Here, we are more about the means to produce the music than we are about the music itself. That's a big difference, and one that I think the Woodwind Forum does quite well.

    There's a lot to talk about these instruments of ours - everything from collecting to fixing to using them. The use of the "expert" tag here (well, for most - here, I go by my consistent "Old King Log" title, same as everywhere else) gives guidance to those new to the game, and the general control of the moderators ensures that we co-exist in a sort of "Era of Good Feelings" - a much more "conducive to civil discourse" environment than you are likely to find anywhere else, be it classical or classical jazz.

    Not looking down noses is hard for some people, but there's very little of that here...
     
  7. catty

    catty

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I couldn't resist the thread--when I saw two of my favorite words: "weird oboe"
     
  8. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,649
    Likes Received:
    378
    I just keep thinking that every time you change your reed it's like me changing my mouthpiece. That's a thought that's hard to bear, thus I have respect for anyone that plays double reeds.
     
  9. kevgermany

    kevgermany

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Na - no discomfort.. Just something many wouldn't do.

    Just don't ask me to agree that Boulez is a composer of music.
     
  10. catty

    catty

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    What prevents many from activities is tradition and "properness"; someone on the forum posted: "seems that no pipes are allowed in ITM unless there is a bag attached to it" :geezer1:
     
  11. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,649
    Likes Received:
    378
    The first item I came across in YouTube was called, "Plaint of the Lizard in Love."

    It's a little too discordant for me. Besides, I can't dance to it.
     
  12. catty

    catty

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    But, can music be art? (must music be strictly concordant...?)

    At least, it's an alternative to piano piece after piano piece...
     
  13. kevgermany

    kevgermany

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    You get the idea, then... lol
     
  14. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,649
    Likes Received:
    378
    Answering catty's questions, I believe music is art. I don't know if you could say art = music, but I have seen pieces of art that make noise, so it could be that art = music, too. Of course, if you have Synesthesia, the question could be moot. (My wife has this. I should ask more about it, as she's a sax and clarinet player and math teacher.)

    Music doesn't have to be strictly anything. I'm just stating my opinion of that "Lizard" piece. To my ear, a lot of the music of the 20th century that tried to break the mold of "traditional" music styles start to sound about the same and I just don't care for it. That's me, though. I've got no problem if someone else has a different opinion. Also note that I do like a bunch of "20th century" composers and compositions, including some of Philip Glass' stuff: Gandalfe turned me on to this piece, which I find very nice.

    Even if you talk about "pop" music, I rather like Cake, where the lead singer doesn't necessarily sing (or "rap"), such as in this number.

    Another way of looking at, say, 12-tone system music and computer-generated pieces, is that they have an inherent mathematical beauty. You could also argue about this mathematical beauty in works as old as JS Bach's or older. Hey, he had a template for most of his stuff. He was just really good at using those templates.

    However, I take kevgermany's comment to heart. I do think that some "art pieces" of "music" are either over-complicated for the sake of being over-complicated -- "Lizard" may or may not be an example of that; Rascher's 24 Intermezzi with the key signatures with several double-sharps and soul-crushingly hard to finger passages were made that way to exercise sax players and thus have a reason -- or aren't exactly "music" in the sense of the Oxford English Dictionary sense: "Vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion." Easy example: John Cage's 4'33" (this version is transcribed for full orchestra and the announcer tells you a bit about the piece before it's performed. Ideally, 4'33" should be performed before an audience that has never heard of the piece before). Most people thought Cage was joking -- until he copyrighted the piece.
     
  15. kevgermany

    kevgermany

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    The OED has it about right - and it's really the point of departure for a lot of modern compositions. An optional extra they don't mention is telling a story.

    For 'expression of emotion' is what's lacking. As soon as there's no emotion, there's no music. It's why muzak drives us nuts. And it's why so much popular music irritates with it's banal ditties that are the analogues of mindless chatter. There are plenty of pieces by 'great' composers that would fail this definition, but many wonderful pieces of simple folk music that, even today, can inspire us. In a more modern genre, what about the anti war songs of the 60s?

    I struggled for a long time with Rites of Spring. Until one day I saw a video of Leonard Bernstein rehearsing it with the European Youth Orchestra. His explanation to the musicians not only elightened them, but also me. Suddenly the discords made sense. The aggressive/terrible emotions it evoked made sense.

    Maybe there's a place for mindless chatter on musical instruments. Maybe there's a place for the emotionless atonal exercises that some modern 'composers' grind out. But for me it's not music.
     
  16. catty

    catty

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it is evident that Boulez (as well as the players playing the "lizard..." piece) are conveying "emotion"

    I will point out that--one of the primary functions of "art" is to elicit "emotion" in the receiver (viewer, listener, etc). It sounds to me, kev, that you do indeed react with an emotional response to Boulez, for example.

    The typical sentiment invoked when we begin discussing art is that people tend to make assessments based on "how" we respond--in other words, "music/art must be beautiful/concordat/etc," and if we cannot relate, understand, or find pleasure in a work, then it has no value (or is "emotionless").

    Of course, we "like what we like"... Just want to point out that there is far more to consider in Art (and music), if we are iinclined
     
  17. kevgermany

    kevgermany

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, but no. The emotion raised in me is anger - anger that he expects me to waste my time listening to a random jumble of noises, with long gaps in between. It's not a response to emotions contained in his works. Frankly I feel that he, and many other composers are mocking their audiences. Like many modern 'artists'.

    But - each to his own. If it works for you, great.
     
  18. catty

    catty

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I can see that you seem angry (I think that is typical reaction to much art music, and much art in other mediums as well)

    Are you certain this is the only response you have to the music? Perhaps if you listened again...? ( But even still, there is usually much more beneath the anger, and is worth pursuing to see what dwells beyond)
     
  19. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,649
    Likes Received:
    378
    BTW, my standard response when I see that Magritte pic is, "|."

    Anyhow, I think that you might have wanted to stroll into the, "Art that makes you angry is good" argument. I don't think it's applicable because it's not the subject matter that's making one angry -- although, I really didn't try to follow the subtitles for "Lizard," so the subject might make me angry -- it's the waste of time kev feels because he thought there'd be music, but got cacophony, instead. If, say, a painting of a | made me angry enough to, say, squirt | smokers in the face with a fire extinguisher (or, using a better and historical example, Verdi's operas supporting the revolution), I'd think that'd be good, if that was the artist's intent.

    I don't necessarily think that Cage was mocking his audience with 4'33", although he definitely could have been. If I give him the benefit of the doubt, he noticed that an audience, itself, makes its own "music."

    BTW, this is rather off-topic from weird oboe fingering systems. Look for this topic to be split off, when I get around to it.
     
  20. catty

    catty

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well that's not unexpected. Art tends to invoke vigorous thought (and emotion) for those inclined. I realize it's not for everyone, and not always suitable for general discourse--its not an easy subject

    Thanks while it lasted
     

Share This Page

Our staff's websites:


Loading...