What is the point

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by HBB, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Just composing Serialism for GCSe, and I though ... what is the point?

    It sounds horrible, and most of the time it's horrible to play.

    Will upload my score later, but have you got any preferences?
  2. Nuke

    Nuke Active Member

    Mainly GCSE music is about not having a point.

    GCSE composition is all about fulfiling criteria and so no matter what you think your piece sounds like as long as its written within the boundries set by serialism, or whatever style of music your writing in, it will get a good grade.
    If you want to change from serialism then ask ure teahcer if you can do sommat different. If the guy (or woman) has any sense theyll want you to be happy with what ure writting so you can get a better grade. Good luck anyways.
  3. That's why it's called 'chance music'. You take the chance it'll sound good. It is the equivalent of throwing paint on a canvas and hoping someone will call it 'art.'

    Ken Friedrich
  4. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I don't mind composing it.... easy to get full marks (like I did for my Varations piece ;)... just I don't understand why people have used this style. The normal listener can seriously like listening to it?
  5. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    No. Serialism is music which predetermines certain elements, usually pitches; chance music is indeterminate, ie not fixed in advance of composition. Serialism and chance are at the opposite poles of the modernist style although some composers (notably Stockhausen and Boulez in his 3rd piano Sonata) used elements of both.

  6. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    If it sounds horrible to you the composer then you're doing it wrong! The challenge of using serialism as an organising tool is to use the series to make music that you like. Sure, the order of the notes is fixed by the series, but how you combine them is up to you so long as you don't break any rules, such as changing the order.

    Serialism was invented by Schoenberg in the early 20th century as a way of organising music that wasn't in a key; once he had abandonned tonality he felt that his music no longer sounded coherent so serialism was intended to provide structure and unity. But it's a tool, not a style, and you should concentrate on making good music whatever system or techniques you use.

    Listen to Alban Berg's Violin Concerto just to reassure yourself that it can be done!

  7. louise0502

    louise0502 Member

    i was just composing a concerto for a bassoon for my integrated assignment GCSE music all day today.

    I agree that all GCSEs are just about showing the examiner what he wants to see, not actually knowing how to do it thoroughly!
  8. HBB

    HBB Active Member

  9. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    There are some good ideas there and I think you should get a good grade at GCSE with that standard of work...

    Check that all the LH chords are playable by humans with five fingers of the normal sizes!

    I think you're being too modest!

  10. My apologies. Aleatory and serialism were taught together, so I get them confused. I thought 12-tone and chance music were branches of serialism, actually.

  11. HBB

    HBB Active Member

  12. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I thought that 12-tone-music was serialism!?
  13. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    It is! Although Serialism only implies composing with a series; some composers, notably late Stravinsky, composed with series' of fewer than twelve notes.

  14. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Oh. Ok. Can you be my music teacher. Mine know's nowt!
  15. I thought both were. Serialism is about using a series of tones, either by tone row, rolling dice, picking out of a hat, whatever. Your serial piece was not unlike the works of Webern, Shoenberg, and the like. Put together some movements, call it 'Any title for piano' and you'd have seller there. I would notate L.H. and R.H. for those high interval passages. Don't want those pianists' hands going numb.

    Ken F.
  16. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Thanks Ken, and David.
  17. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Ben, you're a good composer... These pieces are really good... (heard the variations before, I remember it well :))

    The serialism piece is brill... I like it a lot... doesn't sound horrible at all... As David said; if it sounds horrible to you as the composer, then you're doing it, or something wrong...
    What is the point? Well... if all, or one part of music didn't have a purpose, it wouldn't exsist... the reason it's there is because someone invented it :)-P;-)) again as David has already explained...

    Can't really add much to what has already been said really...
    But stick at your guns Ben :D You'll get top marks in your GCSE I'm sure.

  18. HBB

    HBB Active Member


    Thanks Guys. Let's she what she has to say tomorrow!
  19. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Sounds like the next 1st section test piece to me :D ... actually sounds BETTER than some test pieces (Sword, Jewel & Mirror .. ugh I HATED that piece, think that was all Serialism too !)