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Classical Stockhausen


Old Indian
Half way up a hill
Try playing all 3 vids simultaneously - sounds a bit more like Rock'n'Roll - Hot Rock'n'Stock'n'Hausen - You gotta shake the tree after you sweep the yard - too much Zen before dinner is not good for the digestion! Can cause dial ear. ;-)

No love it - really - but these days I just like whistling tunes and listening to bird songs, hedgehogs making love, wild hogs grunting in the corn fields, dogs barking at the postman, hawks calling their siblings, the wind in the trees, raindrops falling on my Casa Mia Hausen roof, the water flushing in the toilet and the hum of the ventilator, the crackling of logs and the air whistling through the wood burning stove and last but not least the sound of the garbage truck guys emptying the bins every Tuesday morning.

No love it - but reeelly - Bit too serious for me - I just gotta cry, burp, fart, larrf out loud and love life these days.


Well-Known Member
I'm afraid that some aspects of music lost their ability to communicate at this time. It took 50 years to grow out of it.

In Freundschaft was written in 1977, Solo in 1966 and Spiral in 1968 - so none of these pieces are 50 years old yet.
Karlheinz Stockhausen's music communicates to some people, why else would they pay good money to listen to it?
I don't think it was his intention to not communicate and he certainly did his best to explain his compositions in many lectures, interviews and writings.
Even if it doesn't communicate, is that a bad thing? Can we not admire the flawless technique of the performers or the ingenuity of the composer. Is there some immutable law that says that all music must communicate with everyone? Define "communicate" and please explain how a bunch of wordless sounds are meant to communicate anything, I've yet to find a music text book that explains what a major triad or a minor 7th actually means - or is it up to the listener to find his/her own meaning? I've no idea what Charlie Parker was trying to communicate, but that doesn't stop me enjoying his music.
What if the composers intention is to communicate "non communication" - not everyone wants to be Justin Bieber.

Personally I listen to this stuff because I don't always want to be communicated at, I like to hear things I don't understand and have my preconceptions challenged.
Obviously I'm naive in thinking that other people might also like to do so.. I apologise for my apalling act of cruelty and forcing you to click on these links and listen to something that isn't top 40 fodder. Hopefully you'll find it in your heart to forgive me and not sue for compensation... :crying:

Please explain what you mean by "grow out of it" for the benefit of the thousands of people around the world involved in contemporary composition and avant garde music, I'm sure they'd like to know what they're doing wrong. :confused:

Perhaps if you were to post some links to compositions that you've written, then we could all learn how to be better human beings :popcorn:


Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Please explain what you mean by "grow out of it" for the benefit of the thousands of people around the world involved in contemporary composition and avant garde music, I'm sure they'd like to know what they're doing wrong. :confused:

They probably don't really care about us, potential listeners. Because they know and we don't. We are still listening to things with notes. Old! Boring!
Luckily the arts council knows how to feed the avant garde, if a form is properly filled and an art statement correctly written.

Asking to express with word the meaning of Charlie Parker 's music is like asking to dance the shape of Saint Paul Cathedral.
I think Mahler said "if i could express it with words, I wouldn't bother writing music".
If you don't get this concept, give up the challenge of understanding a minor 7th.
If anyone cares about my relationship with minor 7th: the first time I heard one on a major triad on a blues, I thought it was the coolest note ever. When I understood a 7th sliding from a dominant chord to the 3rd of the tonic, I thought it was hot.

Since you are picking on TV, I would love to mention the pleasure of perfect fifths on a viol ensemble: no wonder the interval had a religious meaning.

Yes, I strongly believe that music is a language to communicate emotions. People like KH Stockhausen (Marcus is cheesy: he played with Oregon; boo boo, commercial!) or Cage changed the language. Not many people understand it? Their choice. Some people pretend to understand them? Possibly: it feels good to look intellectual.

Until 150 years ago, in Europe, people with some basic education were humming Verdi or Schubert. Now they don't even listen to Arvo Pärt (boo, boo, tonal!)

As a composer, I can decide to use a well known language or some solipsistic soliloquy. It is up to me and to my skills: I wish I could write a hit, I wish people could hum "Looking Glass".
I write (or improvise) my stuff in the hope to communicate with someone that shares the same language, or is willing to learn it. Probably it is just exhibitionism or other psychological perversion, but is what makes me want to be a musician.

I have no intention to teach people how to be better human beings: it is often a hopeless challenge, if someone doesn't understand the language.


ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Just north of Munich
Music's like rolling up all the shops in the world into one. And the customers come in and pick what they want. The choice is huge. Some departments are very busy, so full of customers you can't move. Some have only the shop assistant. Many are in between. Your choice which department you wish to supply, or create your own. Most of us will browse, looking for stuf which we want to take home, sometimes we wnat something old and familiar. Other times we want something different.

Our choice. Not the seller's. And we're all guilty of looking down on other's choices that don't appeal to us - be it music, cars, art, clothes, make-up, choice of beer....

Good composers push and break boundaries. Great ones create music that lasts and is still sought after by later generations. Those pushing the boundaries are often ostracised and ridiculed. Think of chemistry which evolved from the alchemists, or surgery which evolved from the barbers - not the physicians of the day, or the church's view of the heliocentric universe proposed by Copernicus and supported by Galileo. In music we have Stravinsky, Debussy, even Beethoven who pushed boundaries, yet are considered mainstream today. But what happened to punk or adventurers like John McLaughlin? Where is Bebop today? or going back further - where are the madrigals? Most music has a short life. Much has a very limited audience. Does that make it less valid? And are the mainstream pop/elevator music makers any less valid?

Altissimo's given us a good insight into why he/she listens to Stockhausen. We should respect his/her views. Evaluate them for ourselves. Discuss. But we should also shop according to our individual tastes, not buy because of peer pressure - or even worse, fashion.


Well-Known Member
Manchester, UK
FWIW, I find Stockhausen's music interesting and often quite beautiful. But it takes some effort (ie close attention and preferably repeated listening) to get anything out of it. And I find I don't have the appetite for that as much as I used to when I was young. These days I prefer my culture on the lighter side. Eg I like Mendelssohn much more than I used to and Beethoven much less. But that's all it is, a preference.

As for pop/elevator music, it's never done anything for me (since the age of about 10, anyway). This contributed to a certain level of isolation as a teenager, but at least now I get to feel smug about it :w00t:.

Some nice playing on those clips. Thanks for posting them, Altissimo.


Well-Known Member
Skabertawe, South Wales
North European..................................................................................nuff said!

I still have fond memories of attending the first UK performance of "Donnerstag Aus Licht" at Covent Garden in 1985.

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