Category Archives: Music

UPDATED (11/30/022): Complex, Masterful Music Is Not Marxist; Atonal Arnold Schoenberg Is

Art, Cultural Marxism, Culture, Music, The West

Schönberg’s music sounds as ugly as it looks—behold the the sheet-music heading this blog post

People throw about the term “Cultural Marxism” with abandon, without always understanding what it means. Like antibiotics, the overuse of  the term diminishes its potency.

About the virtuoso progressive metal band “Dream Theater,” a reader wrote on Twitter:

It is not MUSIC, it is the INSIDIOUS cultural Marxist degradation of music into a WALL OF NOISE that passes itself off as progressive. In actual fact, it is a step backward for civilization.

The reader is confused. Highly accomplished and polished progressive rock groups like “Dream Theater” or “Symphony X” follow Western rules of harmony, which go back hundreds of years. Layers of complexity in composition are being conflated here with Cultural Marxism.

The fact that it takes some dedication to listen to music that isn’t all of three chords—as is the blues or the country music twang—doesn’t make it Marxist.

What the reader is hearing in Dream Theater is, again, complexity. Highly accomplished and polished progressive rock groups like Dream Theater and Symphony X follow Western rules of harmony. And, odd time signatures, “irregular, complex, asymmetric or unusual time signature,” (my fav) are not Marxist.

While Dream Theater uses exceptionally complicated rhythms, their music is at its structural core traditional Western music.

What the reader says about Dream Theater—some would say about the genius of Béla Bartók or Igor Stravinsky. They would be wrong.

I was trained by a tough father, no longer with us, to listen to classical, in particular, chamber music, starting at a tender age. No option was given. The love followed the discipline, hence the ear for complexity.

If we wanted to spend time with dad, Friday, it was 5 hours of nonstop music. One night it’d be Bartók, the other Beethoven, but dad also introduced us to The Beatles. (Western civilization, parent. Do it up, not Kanye West.)

The routine dad enforced seemed awfully oppressive then. Today, I am grateful for the gift of knowing—nay, seeking out—the greatest music, which is, indubitably, Western music. Thus transitioning from Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” to gifted progressive rock guitarist Tony MacAlpine is organic.

Dad, a rabbi, once whispered sheer blasphemy to me as a kid, “Don’t tell anyone, but Bach is really God.”

Without going into Cultural Marxism and doing the hard work of applying the concept to music, let me say only that the music mentioned is not Marxist as it adheres to traditional scales and structures.

WHAT IS MARXIST is the G-d-awful Arnold Schönberg and his atonal technique. Schönberg’s  music sounds as ugly as it looks—check out the sheet music heading this post.

The reason he’s Marxist is that Schönberg treated all 12 semi-tones as equal, seeking to weaken harmonic progression. This rigidly ruled out patterns and familiarity, and with it the pleasant sensation that comes with beauty and symmetry.

MORE here:
http://barelyablog.com/category/music/
www.ilanamercer.com/category/music/

UPDATED (11/30/022)

Arnie Schönberg would think “Brother Of Mine,” a sublime piece by “Yes,” kitschy in the extreme.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5LNojKALxc

https://youtu.be/U5LNojKALxc

While it has plenty odd time signatures; it also has exquisite compositional complexity, masterful execution, top-notch musicianship. AND THIS IS LIVE. Indistinguishable from the studio version.

Most so-called musicians today, other than classical, are inaudible and tuneless live without the mighty Auto-Tune: the “holy grail of recording,” that “corrects intonation problems in vocals or solo instruments, in real time, without distortion or artifacts.”

UPDATE III (8/13/022): Trump Raided: Fate Of The 4th Amendment & Due Process In Police State USA

Celebrity, Constitution, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Law, Music, South-Africa

UPDATE III (8/13/022):  TAKE NOTE: “The American Gestapo A.K.A. FBI” by Paul Craig Roberts: DOJ, Judiciary, FBI: “…none of these people are good people. They are not people we can have any confidence in. These are not people we would let our sons and daughters marry. These are very bad people. Yet these very bad people are in control of our lives. ..”

****************

Ashleigh Banfield of News Nation, ACTUALLY covers the raid of Trump’s Florida mansion, whereas other leftist channels are lying low. Waiting to have the matter focus-group tested given the impending primaries? I bet they are.

Banfield lets a conservative radio mouth, one Bill Cunningham, roar about 4th Amendment violations and the revolt the raid will ignite among Deplorables, all crucial points.

News Nation clearly provides more substantial coverage than does Fox News, which, unlike Cunningham, hardly mentions the Constitution, and only rabbits on about how unprecedented the raid is and about logistics, such as:

“If only the FBI coordinated better with Trump”.

Fox is also indulging in “what aboutism”, namely, “If this were Hillary Clinton… blah, blah”.  As I said, nothing substantial. These people aren’t smart. Tucker excepted, Fox News is about ratings, not deep reflection.

Violations of due process, in the case of the Mar-a-Lago raid today, in search of classified material and presidential records removed,  have become more common in police state America than in Apartheid-era South Africa, which, as chronicled in Into The Cannibal’s Pot, was unsurprisingly legalistic and by-the-book. But then, rooted in Roman-Dutch law, South Africa was a minority ruled, first world civilization at the tip of Africa.

UPDATE II (8/9/022):  Fox News continues to voice support for the “men and women of the FBI.” It’s only those at the top who stink, said a guest agent. Speechless. The FBI is among the most corrupt government agencies.

When in recent memory has the FBI stopped an attack on the homeland other than attacks originating in its own entrapment schemes, where a low-IQ Abdul is persuaded to purchase explosives from the FBI “for Jihad” and then is “caught” in the act. A presser follows. (HERE)

The FBI is progressive to its core.  And Trump hired the last of its major swamp creatures. President Trump hired Christopher Wray, whose heroes, as stated in his confirmation hearings, are Directors Robert Mueller and James Comey. How did Trump imagine Christopher Wray, who looks up to the two and swam in the same polluted waters, would reform the FBI? (“Hiring Another Swamp Creature For The FBI“)

Michelle Malkin offers an excellent summary of FBI depredation in “FBI: Feds Behaving Incorrigibly.


Notes in the margins:

RIP Olivia Newton John. She had had breast cancer. It always comes back to claim its victims, eventually. “Seize the day” has become a cliché, but it should not be. The passing of a vital, rather young woman is a reminder of how often we squander the gifts and opportunities we are afforded, because we would rather play it safe than experience life to the fullest.

I loved this one: Olivia Newton John, 1974, “I Honestly Love You”:

So-called musicians today lack the emotional depth, the facility with language and the skill (for chord progression) to compose a love song. When we were growing up, these kinds of aching tunes were in abundance.

UPDATE (8/9/022): Another youngish woman felled, aged 64: veteran anchor Uma Pemmaraju. Time is something we run out of fast.

Original Fox News Channel Anchor Uma Pemmaraju Dies at 64

NEW COLUMN: Bleeding Russia Dry And Then Next ‘Color Revolution’

America, Culture, Foreign Policy, Just War, Music, Russia, Sex, The West

NEW COLUMN, now on WorldNetDaily, The Unz Review, and the New American, is “Bleeding Russia Dry And Then Next Color Revolution,” wherein a distinction is made between a “justification” for war and a “reason” for war, I ponder whether Putin’s avid patriotism is matched by that of a younger Russian generation, and dole out some love for Tsarist Russia and Tchaikovsky.

Excerpt:

… A trickier question for those of us on the Old Right is this: Putin is a Russian patriot. This, in-depth interviews with the Russian president amply evince. He adores and is deeply acquainted with the nation’s “ancient faith,” its history and traditions. But could it be that we of the Old Russell Kirk Right, nostalgic for the very same things absent in our own societies, are romanticizing the Russian people? This writer shares Dr. Cathey’s love of Tsarist Russia’s great culture before communism. (Boyd says Rachmaninov; I say Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique,” his Symphony No. 6 is a singularly intense and sublime expression of the agonies of the individual, caught between salvation, sin and love of Mother Russia.)

But is this same sensibility present in younger Russians? No doubt, Putin is steeped in Russian culture. But do younger Russians share his traditionalism? True, very many hate communism, but that hatred is devoid of a civilizational dimension. I fear younger Russians are already in the market for a Western life filled with sexual titillation and consumerism. …

… The Rest of “Bleeding Russia Dry And Then Next Color Revolution” is on WorldNetDaily,  The Unz Review, and the New American.

 

 

UPDATED: Masses Crave An Opiate: From COVID Compliance To Religion On Ukraine

COVID-19, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Music, Propaganda, Religion, Russia, War

Note how Covid conformity had been replaced with the requirement that we all find religion on Ukraine.

Duly, one of the world’s greatest conductors, Russian Valery Gergiev, was fired from his position as head of the Munich Philharmonic because he wouldn’t denounce Putin. The Free World in action!

Will they bring in the Rack? Unnecessary. Banishment from polite company and professional cancellation by right-thinking people is worse than the pain of torture on the Rack.

The masses crave an opiate. Leaders know how to exploit this quest for group-think. As soon as the usefulness of one faith (Covid) expires; another takes its place (Ukraine) courtesy of the ruling elites, and with the willing complicity of the crowds. Those who do not think in lockstep—why, they need to be banished, punished.

Illness and war involve matters of life and death. The heightened emotions surrounding matters of life and death ensures a state of constant emotional arousal, in which reason recedes.

UPDATE: His columns got Boyd Cathey a threatening phone-call. Dr. Cathey asks:

It got me to thinking about questions I ask anyone who approaches me about my stance on what is going on in Ukraine: Why the over-the-top passion on this topic? Why Ukraine? Why such an hysterical response when Ukraine and its position in Europe and in the world are not strategically important to us? After all, the United States has been on the invading-end of conflicts for decades…Bosnia, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and so on. Yet, somehow our foreign ventures are always virtuous and noble? And what kind of outrage did we express for those hundreds of thousands of Tutsis killed in Uganda or the thousands of Kurdish inhabitants eliminated by our ally Turkey?

READ Dr. Cathey’s column. Column archive is here.

* Image via Wokeipedia