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Prog and classical, baroque, and romantic music

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Tethro Juul View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tethro Juul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Prog and classical, baroque, and romantic music
    Posted: August 22 2021 at 12:00
Lately I've been listening to actual "classical" music more, and it got me thinking about how it influences prog. Specifically, I am curious on which era lended the most influence to prog- romantic, baroque, or classical?

From just listening I feel like romantic is probably the correct answer because of the often emotive sound in prog as well as the very dramatic stylings and drastic tempo shifts and colorful palette; all characteristics of the romantic era.

But then, when thinking about the baroque era's characteristics such as ornamentation, continuo, counterpoint, and steadier but faster tempo I can certainly hear some of that in songs like The Musical Box, or in Keith Emerson's very ornamented improvisations... or the blatant counterpoint in "Fugue" on Trilogy by ELP. I think at the very least JS Bach's handprints are all over symphonic prog.

Last off is classical which seems to be more about clear and simple textures and perfect "rational" form. To me, I hear less of this in prog than the other 2 eras. I'm sure the influence is there but I don't hear that as much.

And of course, I know that the modernist and minimalist composers had a very direct influence on prog, especially krautrock bands like Can and Neu which have members associated with major composers from the 20th century.

What do you think, which era lended the most influence and how?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2021 at 12:16
Hi,

I'm not sure that there is an answer to your question. I think that a lot of things go into it, and sometimes it is really hard to find a thread that works, and continues.

I "started" into "progressive music" with things that were done within the rock idiom of various classical music, and thus, I think that something like what is considered "symphonic" might have the upper hand, but that's misleading, because rock music breaks that up, when the singer starts his go and sometimes it is not the same as the music itself, or at least the story telling seems to go against the thread of the music ... IF we take the usual idea that musical passages have a certain (somewhat!) meaning ... for example, "pastoral" often suggests that you are looking at a massive field. maybe with some animals grazing. Something silly like that. 

The "visual" definitions for Bach, are very different. I find him to mechanical and metronomic, when compared to Vivaldi, let's say, whose music flows much easier. And perhaps that is what "symphonic" really means ... that the music flows along sweetly, but a lot of rock bands destroy that feeling when the singer is not exactly flowing along, but telling us a "different" story that is supposed to mean what the whole thing is about. And this, of course, is one of the greatest fallacies in rock music ... that you are supposed to imagine this and that via the lyrics, but you and I would expect the music to follow it and maintain it ... it doesn't happen a lot and then the nice flow the piece started with disappears and is never used again! Kinda meaningless for me in a way and takes away from the "complete" flow of the whole thing.

I have not exactly studied this, but I wonder how much jazz influenced rock music in making changes on the scales and what not, and sometimes these end up bringing up another segment, or riff, for the whole piece, and in some ways that fits better than the symphonic design, which is tougher and many folks, including DD can not seem to find it in one band, but can find it if the lyrics tell him about it!

Believing the words is a touch go and thing. A good singer, can mislead you in 3 seconds. A famous, not so great singer, can keep you excited because he is loud and strong. But then, you get some singers that are more "actors" on their words, and how they use them, and this (at times) forces the music to adapt a little so the voice addition is stronger. Mick J. is very good at this. PH is very good at it, but my thoughts are that his friends and band members know how to help him intonate even better all around, and that is different from a thought out musical design ... you could say there isn't one, just an attempt at making the words stronger.

A nice topic ... I look forward to hearing some more comments as well. I'm not sure that we will be able to come up with a solid design or idea. The best example is the music concrete folks and the ones so far out in left field, that it is very difficult to even link what they do to the atonal and different classical music that came up in the later 1900's when dissonance and everything else was the biggest idea and thought.

I tend to look at literature, film, theater and painting as a "sign post" for ideas, since those experiments often take on designs and thoughts that we can only say ... wow ... what was that? But it worked and sounded fine! Literature is quite like that in the 20th century ... up and down and all around and where it leads and goes? Doesn't matter! ... or does it?
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2021 at 13:46
I tend to see it a bit differently and have always felt that classical music has more of an influence in prog music, especially if you listen to the 20th century and newer composers.  But it also makes a difference what area of progressive music you are looking at.  Of course, fusion has more of a jazz/blues influence, but avant prog is more influenced by modern composers such as Debussy, Shostakovitch, Bartok, Varese, while symphonic prog is influenced more by classical composers like Beethoven, Mozart and also Romantic composers such as Chopin, Grieg and Rachmaninoff.  Then you get Progressive Folk and Canterbury influenced more by Baroque composers like Bach, Haydn and Handel.  This of course is in typical cases and can easily vary among styles, sub-genres and bands.

I always felt that ELP was more influenced by both Classical and Romantic, at least as far as Emerson and Lake was concerned.  Palmer's compositions were more jazz and 20th century-centered.  




Edited by TCat - August 22 2021 at 13:47

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrufordFreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2021 at 19:56
Great discussion topic! I look forward to reading along as more people contribute as I know very little on the topic and look forward to the inputs of some of our esteemed musicians and musicologists.

Always loved the "classical" feel of many compositions as well as the use of "classical" instruments--Renaissance, Rick Wakeman, Jan Akkerman, After Crying, Änglagård, Gryphon, early Karda Estra and Faun, Corde Oblique, Rational Diet/Five-Storey Ensemble/Olga Podgaiskaja, Kotebel, even PFM and Banco seem to all present a "classical" face, for example.


Drew Fisher
https://progisaliveandwell.blogspot.com/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 23 2021 at 06:50
Depends on the era and the band, the influences vary, but overall, I think the romantic era had more influence on the earlier prog bands. I don't hear much clasical, baroque or romantic on modern day prog, but I could be wrong.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 23 2021 at 09:52
 My kind of baroque.

Edited by SteveG - August 23 2021 at 09:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 23 2021 at 13:07
Rock is Bach! Seriously, though, there seems to be multiple levels of influence. It all depends on the artist.  Most rock music, including Prog, is quite Baroque in structure. The original word means, 'broken," which indicates that there are multiple qualities that make up the music, not the least of which are a variety of unrelated instruments. Breaking up a piece into different sections is also a big part of the style, and this is where we see the influence on Prog.  Jethro Tull and Richie Blackmore have expressly cited Bach as an influence. Other artists are clearly influenced by modern composers such as Stravinsky. Many artists have used classical melodies as inspirations - sometimes this is obvious, but other times it is something quickly thrown into an instrumental section. The upshot is that, yes, there is clearly classical influences on progressive rock; which composer/era is entirely a matter of the individual artist as well as the individual song. Geek
The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tethro Juul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 23 2021 at 14:29
I think Bach is one of those composers that almost transcended his era. Not even other baroque music sounds like Bach. I think most classical influenced prog has at least some of Bach in it because most people who are classically trained played him so much and probably carried at least some of the tools his music gave them to their own work.

I think that perhaps it is an issue that classical music is only defined by 3 or 4 eras when there is just so many stylistic variations even within these eras. Perhaps classical music could use a forum similar to progarchives that has more "subgenres" of classical music and gives people more of a feel for classical composers.

For instance, the North German Organ school of the baroque era which influenced Bach hugely has some of the most transcendental and complex music I've heard in classical. It's a far cry from Vivaldi. Oh, if you're interested in this subgenre of baroque then check out Dietrich Buxtehude, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, and Girolama Frescobaldi. Their organ music is unlike any other.

Edited by Tethro Juul - August 23 2021 at 14:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frenetic Zetetic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 24 2021 at 00:00
I feel bands like Gentle Giant took everything about everything and smashed it in to a traditional rock band setting, and made it work.

"I am so prog, I listen to concept albums on shuffle." -KMac2021
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rednight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 24 2021 at 12:34
Il Rovescio della Medaglia (RDM) comes to mind. "They are most famous for their symphonic rock piece Contaminazione, released in 1973. It contained four pieces from Bach's Well-tempered Clavier seamlessly integrated with RDM's own music, which often was inspired by rock or hard rock." - Wikipedia
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2021 at 09:04
Originally posted by Frenetic Zetetic Frenetic Zetetic wrote:

I feel bands like Gentle Giant took everything about everything and smashed it in to a traditional rock band setting, and made it work.

Hi,

The funny thing is that Gary Green has stated before that they didn't write anything down in the early days ... they just played! I think the "smashed" part is more like, anyone could do anything and they did, and when you hear it ... it works!

Because we are into such riff oriented stuff, we often fail to hear/see things that are formulated totally different, but they are just as good. Sadly, too much of the listening public is sentimentally tied to their pillows and melodies, to the point of not seeing different melodies being created in heaven and the universe!
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omphaloskepsis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2021 at 18:53
I listen to Igor Stravinsky at least a few times a month. Lately, I've been getting into Gustav Mahler.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2021 at 02:07
Originally posted by Tethro Juul Tethro Juul wrote:

I think Bach is one of those composers that almost transcended his era. Not even other baroque music sounds like Bach. I think most classical influenced prog has at least some of Bach in it because most people who are classically trained played him so much and probably carried at least some of the tools his music gave them to their own work.

Hi,

I think I would rather have Vivaldi than Bach any day!

And if you don't know this, please see Rick Wakeman's special about Vivaldi ... it's fantastic and one of the better things he has ever done!
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beautiful Scarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2021 at 20:52
Mont Campbell who wrote a good chunk of Eggs music was a fan of Igor Stravinsky and the Soft Machine fellows were fond of Terry Riley.




Edited by Beautiful Scarlet - September 02 2021 at 20:53
Music Music Music
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2021 at 00:00
I quite like Russian ballets, they are packed with high drama and great emotion!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2021 at 03:28
Though I am not a musician or musicologist, I have been listening to "Classical Music" almost every day since I saw the movie "Amadeus" in the summer of 1985 (coincidentally, the same time I started to listen to progressive rock) and I number something like 40 composers I appreciate and listen to.
             As far as transcriptions go of the classics, I don't see any one period dominating things; from my collection of progressive rock, I can site anything from Bach (Le Orme, Triumvirat), to Mozart (Triumvirat), to Bruckner (Novalis), Suppe and Rossini (Beggar's Opera) and of course 20th Century ones like Copland, Prokofiev, Bartok (ELP).
         Why this is, I am not really quite sure, but it suites my own varied tastes in the classics, and I can appreciate it to no end!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2021 at 12:27
I like a bit of baroque & roll. I guess you could call it art rock, although Mozart rock I've heard is more pop than classical, if you can Handel that. If I'm not too Bizet tomorrow, I may hop on Debussy into town with a Chopin Liszt of CD's to buy, unless my carefully laid plans un-Ravel. I'll be Bach later, although I'm Offenbach sooner. In the meantime, I'm Orff to bed now. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2021 at 08:07
Originally posted by cstack3 cstack3 wrote:

I quite like Russian ballets, they are packed with high drama and great emotion!  

Hi,

(drunken voice!) ... yeah fool and bubbly ... whatever. You just like the legs and the feet! And that make up made you sick! Embarrassed
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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