Context and Methodology guest speaker, David Stoll, came by to give us a 2 hour presentation on the history of music (harmony, rhythm, and history) of the last 2000 years about. Starting with the Medieval to the present, he spoke about:
- The progression of harmony from Gregorian mono phony to present day counterpoint and beyond
- The changes in rhythm from cannon-like madrigals to present day house electronic music
- The impact of politics, philosophy, science, economics, religious, etc on music throughout these times
"David Stoll was born in London, and studied composition at Worcester College, Oxford University and at the Royal Academy of Music. After completing his education, he worked as a free-lance composer for concert, theatrical and TV/film music. Stoll is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He served as chairman of the Association of Professional Composers. In 1999 he was elected co-chair of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), and also serves on the boards of several other music organizations. Stoll operates school and corporate training programs in creative thinking based on music, and founded and directs the In Tune In Europe seminar and Building Music for primary schools."
His presentation was more of a skeleton than a full lecture of the topics because each of the pivotal points in history merit their own lectures. Two points he made that stuck with me are that no music would exist without the background of silence and no music would exist without listeners.
From the birth of what some would call tonality in the 1600's Baroque period to present day music.
We did a lot of listening rather than talking about the changes in harmony, which was nice. Using our previous knowledge of musical history and theory gave us a reference. At least it did for me.
We then backed up to the beginning again and went over the same time period with rhythm in mind rather than harmony.
Rhythm had a much more complex start in my opinion because harmony was monophonic when we started, and rhythm was almost madrigal-like at first listen. So rhythm seemed to not have as far to go in terms of complexity and experimentation.
Here are some of the pieces we listened to during the lecture. My personal favorite is Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
(I have a deep appreciation for Fantasia. Especially the Dinosaur section, which was animated to Rite of Spring)...
Finally the world view time line came around and this was the quickest section and yet, felt like the most dense...
As time goes by, man became more and more independent and nationalistic beginning to think for themselves and create for the individual rather than the patron or higher class. I liked the fact that you can hear these socio-political changes reflected in the music of the time.
As the lecture came to an end, we touched upon my personal favorite topic right now, the digital age and its impact on music. Once the millennium hit, digital took over analog in every sense, not just in music. Global market forces become more the leading decision makers, listeners crave a more interactive experience with music, and people lack the attention spans we once had for music. People become less willing to pay for entertainment and the machine has won.
He passed out these handouts before leaving along with a quick survey asking about how the lecture could be better and so on. I appreciated his love for the subject matter, which gripped mine and the classes attention very well. Thank you David Stoll :)
On to my research paper! Here are a few new research topics that I am playing with:
- Transformation: Analyzing the Rising Standards for Songwriters in the Music Industry in the 21st Century.
- Transformation: Analyzing the Relationship Between the Rise of Technology and the Fall of Artist Labels in the 21st Century.
- Transformation: Analyzing the Effects of the Music Business Paradigm Shift on the Songwriter During the 21st Century.