Sunday, June 03, 2007


Was reading a 'novel' (a very factual one) this morning about the history of (piano) music in the 20th century; a mixture of theory and anecdotes. The author wrote about Schoenberg and his ilk, and the additional dissonances they and other people introduced - which people had not been used to until then. There were regular riots in concert halls, with people clambering over rows to hit other people, different parts of the concert halls shouting at each other - how did anyone hear the music? There's a lovely quote about a concert where Mahler is in the audience, and the audience is once again erupting. So Mahler draws himself up to his full height in front of a guy and says to him 'You are not to hiss'. The guy, who is stated to be frightened of his own concierge, here feels proud in front of the kings of music and hisses back 'I also hiss to your music'.

Dissonances are interesting; they are coming up in my course just now - my main problem though is that I hardly hear anything as a dissonance, apart from a screaming minor second and a seventh. I'm so used to all kinds of music that I find nothing wrong with most intervals - that does not make the studying any easier....