Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Music and Rooms - the medium and the message

The speaker in this one points out how the content and form of music is partially determined by the kind of place it is meant to be played in. Put like that, it sounds rather mundane, but I find the whole thing fascinating and rather inspiring as a way to think about music.

I think it's a little bizarre to say that Allegri's Miserere hasn't got rhythm - I've performed this piece (not very well) and rhythm is absolutely crucial - but I suppose I know what he means.

The revelation to me was how small the hall is for which Wagner wrote his operas. Just that piece of information makes that music make significantly more sense to me.

Added: I have no idea what's wrong with his neck.


cassiel said...

... just added your blog to my blogroll. I like it very much!

Kind regards from Germany

(Eine Plauderei über den Tango Argentino)

Tangocommuter said...

David Byrne usually has something interesting to say! But I'm not sure music is written for venues: I think it's written for audiences, with cultural expectations, who gather in fairly specific venues, yes. & it's written (or just played) with the background of the music that was written before in mind.

So Bayreuth is small: did Wagner want it that way, or was it just too expensive to built the opera house he really wanted?

msHedgehog said...

@Tangocommuter, I don't know, they didn't say. The space isn't particularly small, but it looked to me substantially smaller than the venues often used now (to fit in the audience that wants to come). I think the music would have been completely overwhelming in that small space, and very focused and dramatic.