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  1. #1
    Dejavudoo
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    Classical music and diversity

    As I woke up too early and was listening to some New Year's PBS rebroadcast of the Vienna Philharmonic performing some waltz-a-thon. The music was uber-familiar, so my mind wandered as the camera panned the penguin suits over and over.

    Then, it struck me. The Philharmonic was an Ole Boys Club. It looked like it was 90% or more male and even more Caucasian. I can believe that Vienna has little ethnic diversity, except for the odd Turk here or there, but it should still be 51% female, or close to it.

    Here is a link to their roster -- hardly a woman on it: http://www.wienerphilharmoniker.at/orchestra/members

    (I just noticed the link has wiener in it instead of Vienna. Are they synonymous in the German?)

    Is there a European or Austrian propensity to be sexist in orchestral groups?

    In America, even regional orchestras are well mixed groups with women and Asians and other minorities well represented. Here, classical music practically looks like a rainbow.

    It was a bit startling to see such a white male dominated group of such prominence.
    Last edited by Dejavudoo; January 3rd, 2014 at 04:46 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post
    …it should still be 51% female…
    Why should it?

    I don't demand that 51% of your bed-partners be female.

    There was another thread this morning suggesting that America's football teams should hire players on their 'demographic" rather than their football ability.

  3. #3
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    I don't know much about the demographic makeup of Osterreich...there may or may not be a lot of Asians, etc. - but CERTAINLY that doesn't explain the dearth of women you've noticed in their orchestra.

    I usually like to call it Osterreich, because in English we have the rather strange situation where too many people mix up Austria and Australia!! I'm not aware of an alternate name for Australia. OK..."Oz" I guess...

    A personal thrill early in the year (and I can't call it "THIS YEAR" anymore) was seeing a Beethoven performance in Detroit by the Youth Civic Orchestra (high school students, huge orchestra) under the tutorage of the Detroit symphony Orchestra. And yes, as expected, the group was quite varied. I'm guessing the talent comes from Detroit AND the various regional cities and suburbs as well.
    "All legal U. S. residents who are 18 years or older, shall have an unconditional right to vote." - We need a 28th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution which resembles this...NOW!

    VOTING: Just remember: "Be careful of what you DON'T wish for. You might just get it." GET OUT AND VOTE, instead, for what you DO wish for.

  4. #4
    Dejavudoo
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Austria's population of nearly eight million has a small percentage of minorities (around 12%) but it is easy to imagine that their economic status is low so that they would naturally be underrepresented in an upper middle class institution like an orchestra. Further, the minorities have been even lower historically, and the progress of a Philharmonic-level performer doesn't often spring up overnight, and it more often the product of a family of musical performers or more than one generation.

    But, the scarcity of women is puzzling. Is there a cultural bias against women in classical music there?

  5. #5

    Re: Classical music and diversity

    The gender homogeneity of the Vienna Philharmonic is well known. The first woman was admitted only 15 years ago or so. As a matter of fact, even in the US, women were enrolled by major orchestras in large numbers only with the wide-spread use of blind auditions in which the applicant performs behind a screen.

    Austria is not overly diverse racially, as you note, but even the blind audition does not help with ethnic diversity. I remember hearing a report from about 20 years ago, perhaps apochraphal, that when the best audition came from a man of Japanese descent, the Philharmonic refused to hire him. Oddly, both the orchestra and the Vienna State Opera are both enormously popular in Asia, and often go there on tours.

  6. #6
    Dejavudoo
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    Why should it?
    It is simple. Women are equally good musicians. I have performed in musical ensembles, both instrumental and vocal, all my life. They've all been populated by women and men alike.

    The better question would be why they should not.

    Maybe the demographic of the Vienna Philharmonic would not be literally representative, but the paucity of women is conspicuous. Why would they not be performing.

    Look at the orchestras elsewhere and see if you find women missing. I don't.

  7. #7
    Dejavudoo
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDog View Post
    Oddly, both the orchestra and the Vienna State Opera are both enormously popular in Asia, and often go there on tours.
    I wouldn't find it too odd. There are few Asians in Austria, so they wouldn't find racial homogeneity to be an offensive thing any more than a Tokyo orchestra being primarily Japanese. I imagine the technical and artistic ability is the appropriate and deserved basis for such popularity among the classical worshippers the world over.

    Do other European orchestras have similar bias (French, Swedish, Italian, German, British, etc.)?

  8. #8
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Didn't the Nazi Party throw all the ethnics into ovens though ?
    "You may only be one person to the world, but you may also be the world to one person"
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  9. #9
    Dejavudoo
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    But that was 70 years ago. There has been some backfilling since then, what with all the decreasing birth rate in Northern Europe and all.

    And that still doesn't explain why women have been excluded.

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Vienna is often seen as a historical crossroads. The diversity embodied there might well be profound, just not apparent if we are expecting visible diversity. However Austrian society also struck me as very formal and also very conservative. It is a very Catholic society as well. Perhaps women just aren't cut out for jobs as priests or violinists.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    First of all the language of Austria is German so they do not call it Vienna we do. I have watched this every Jan 1st since I was very young. The announcer as they do every year mentioned that it is this orchestra not Austria that is like an old boys club. Up to 2 years or so ago there were no women now there are 9. When I originally watched this until he died the greatWalter Conkite was the announcer each year. My biggest concern is that you had no clue they speak German that is there native language. Unlike America almost everyone speaks more than one language, so if you visit this great city you will love it and have no problem getting around.

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post
    But that was 70 years ago. There has been some backfilling since then, what with all the decreasing birth rate in Northern Europe and all.

    And that still doesn't explain why women have been excluded.

    They probably don't want to end up like these poor cows.

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    By the way as far as LGBT rights go there are some problems but unlike the U.S. from 2010 every one who wanted could have a Civil Partnership and sex between consenting adults I perfectly legal. When we went there we shared a king size bed in the hotel. In some places in the U.S. the desk clerk has tried to get us in two beds what a surprise.

  14. #14
    Dejavudoo
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Perhaps women just aren't cut out for jobs as priests or violinists.
    What does that mean?

    There is a stated dogma that blocks them from the priesthood.

    What Austrian cultural value discourages them from success as classical musicians. Is there some sort of Mozart's Sister repression that is enduring?

  15. #15
    Dejavudoo
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by lambdaboy View Post
    First of all the language of Austria is German so they do not call it Vienna we do. I have watched this every Jan 1st since I was very young. The announcer as they do every year mentioned that it is this orchestra not Austria that is like an old boys club. Up to 2 years or so ago there were no women now there are 9. When I originally watched this until he died the greatWalter Conkite was the announcer each year. My biggest concern is that you had no clue they speak German that is there native language. Unlike America almost everyone speaks more than one language, so if you visit this great city you will love it and have no problem getting around.
    I have had introductory German, but it didn't get into geography. That you continue to piss on Americans as the bitter refugee you are is no surprise to anyone here.

    It's a shame you couldn't have lived in Germany during the Reich. Truly a missed opportunity there.

    If you're thinking that equal rights for women TWO YEARS ago is some sort of hallmark of the blitzkrieg of progress there, you really do have the blinkers on.

    You're biggest concern remains shitting on America. We should start a forum for you that merges scat and self-imposed exiles. You'd never stop jerking.

    Multilingualism is a product of being at a major crossroads. In the U.S., Spanish is increasing as influx warrants, and we've always spoken Canadian when required.
    Last edited by Dejavudoo; January 3rd, 2014 at 06:20 AM.

  16. #16
    Dejavudoo
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by lambdaboy View Post
    By the way as far as LGBT rights go there are some problems but unlike the U.S. from 2010 every one who wanted could have a Civil Partnership and sex between consenting adults I perfectly legal. When we went there we shared a king size bed in the hotel. In some places in the U.S. the desk clerk has tried to get us in two beds what a surprise.
    And, to absolutely NO ONE's surprise here, totally off topic. The thread has zero to do with LGBT anything. If you wanted to discuss how a pair of lesbians could marry but couldn't get a job at the Philharmonic, you might have a point, but you only have your little drum there, as usual. Clamor on.

    From your posts, it's surprising that hotels will admit you anywhere, only-gay-in-the-village aside.
    Last edited by Dejavudoo; January 3rd, 2014 at 06:18 AM.

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    No women's restrooms?

  18. #18
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post
    What does that mean?

    There is a stated dogma that blocks them from the priesthood.

    What Austrian cultural value discourages them from success as classical musicians. Is there some sort of Mozart's Sister repression that is enduring?
    It strikes me that a society complacent toward sexism in one field will be indifferent to it in another as well.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  19. #19
    Dejavudoo
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    So you're saying Catholic countries are locking out women in the rest of Europe or in Germany?

    I've never heard anything to suggest women are being inhibited in Western Europe.

    Just confused as to why it would affect this institution more than others. Is it because it has been a prestigious thing and men have kept them out?
    Last edited by Dejavudoo; January 3rd, 2014 at 06:24 AM.

  20. #20

    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post

    Do other European orchestras have similar bias (French, Swedish, Italian, German, British, etc.)?
    I have seen concerts from several top European orchestras in the past couple of seasons, Orchestre National de Paris, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Berlin Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Symphony, Mariinsky, and Concertgebouw, and none of them have an obviously male gender bias as the Vienna Philharmonic.

    Of course, they have a unique organisation anyway.... The members of the orchestra make all of the booking of conductors and soloists, they make the decision about who to hire as colleagues, and the Philharmonic itself owns all of the instruments and lends them to the musicians rather then the musicians selecting and owning their individual equipment.

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  22. #22
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post
    Women are equally good musicians.
    But are they? All the great classical composers were men. In fact, I can't even think of a mediocre female composer. Who's to say that their inadequacy in the composition department doesn't for some reason extend to performance?
    Last edited by unloadonme; January 3rd, 2014 at 02:33 PM.

  23. #23

    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by unloadonme View Post
    ... I can't even think of a mediocre female composer...
    I could mention Fanny Mendelsohhn and Clara Schuman as being unremarkable if not mediocre.

    There's Hildegarde of Bingen but I reckon her stuff would be equally unremarkable if it wasn't for this damned over-enhanced Dolby recordings we're getting now where the singers breath exhalations are as loud as their sung notes.

    I should make an effort to listen to Elisabeth Lutyens seeing as how I'm a fan of Sir Edwin.

    I have heard bits of Ethel Smythe's The Wreckers which is OK (she's a wonderful source of comedy in the Virginia Woolf letters) .

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    Re: Classical music and diversity



    Wien is the name of the city.

    Wiener in the context of Wiener Philharmoniker is 'Viennese Philharmonic'.


  25. #25
    An orchestra should play as one team.

    I don't get this current fad for 'diversity'.

    Divided societies are unstable.


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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    They're all gay...

  27. #27
    Dejavudoo
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by unloadonme View Post
    But are they? All the great classical composers were men. In fact, I can't even think of a mediocre female composer. Who's to say that their inadequacy in the composition department doesn't for some reason extend to performance?
    I would say the lack of acceptance of women composers is an equally valid question. As to performance, I don't think there is a case to be made that women are poorer instrumentalists than men. There are women aplenty in the first chairs of major and minor orchestras, and they didn't get there by affirmative action.

  28. #28

    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post
    I would say the lack of acceptance of women composers is an equally valid question. ...
    It's valid if you're paying the orchestra's salaries and you're unconcerned about them playing to an ever-dimishing audience.

    I guess you know about Josef Stalin's attempts to impose his political ideology upon his orchestras.

  29. #29
    This composer is getting really popular— on CDs but not in concert halls


  30. #30
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    First off, the title is so wrong: the thread is not about Alberti bass or counterpoint, it simple deals with some expendable musical institution.

    Then, at the risk of simply appearing to throw one of those belamian quips, it seems that Vudoo just faced the uncontrovertible fact that the Austrian are nazis, and that their opposition to the German Anschluss is alike to that of antipapism in the US: they do not actually oppose and resist imposition and oppression per se as much as being denied the right to exert that imposition and oppression themselves.

    The Austrian, or rather the Wiener, if you want to allow for a certain degree of decency generally outside the capital city, simply want to preserve a certain homogeneity, some self-perceived and purported traditional essence that they want to maintain pure by mere exclusion and isolation.Total passive-aggressive, no need to attack and eliminate beyond simply snubbing the impure barbarians. They are the European Japanese. No kidding.
    Last edited by belamo; January 4th, 2014 at 02:09 AM. Reason: Paragraph division

  31. #31
    Pococuranté belamo's Avatar
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    And no, I have never had any bad experience/s with Austrian people never even met any of them, that I know

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    This composer is getting really popular— on CDs but not in concert halls


  33. #33
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by zweitgeist View Post
    They're all gay...
    You mean gay suprematists?

  34. #34
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Now again back to the topic or, rather, the topic cloud of this thread, Vudoo is pointing at a particular case of what is general in all times and societies: even if not written down, there are habits, rules and dogmas that are maintained following a general set of prejudices and mental pampering: never occurred to you how come you never find, in old movies, a handsome and talented dancer like Eleanor Powell or Rita Hayworth, like the only great dancer available was an alien-headed closeted gay guy on whom to pin up the former sort of dancer... or why men generally disappear under the clothing when they go to a red carpet event or just any event and when they are featured in a film, or either they pass from appearingly unassumingly badly-dressed to directly expose their tits and/or asscheeks?

    Even in our more open and accepting era, all the assertions and habits of our societies are build on strong, ruthless exclusions, and the stronger the less obvious and more simply deriding than aggressive they are.

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    An orchestra should play as one team.

    I don't get this current fad for 'diversity'.

    Divided societies are unstable.

    You never watched the Sesame Street feature on the difference between "diversity" and "division": now totally seriously, pat, your persona is the perfect example of those who are the agents of their own destruction, while fearing it coming from the outside... the mentality of your persona is the humus that is favouring all the disasters to come, old, everlasting clueless reactionism posing as sensible conservatism.

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by unloadonme View Post
    But are they? All the great classical composers were men. In fact, I can't even think of a mediocre female composer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post
    I would say the lack of acceptance of women composers is an equally valid question.
    You made quite a leap from my suggestion that there are no great female classical composers to an implication that they exist but are unknown because of a lack of acceptance. Trying to tell us on that basis that there are great female composers out there somewhere is little better evidentially than saying that God exists!

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    I forgot to comment (there is always soooo much to comment on) that the fact that the Wiener may be very popular among certain Japanese, doesn't mean that the Japanese are not just as excluding as the other side is, and that they are just, very aloofly and civilizedly (and also very quaintly) interested in the product that lies in the middle, not in the people and the culture itself. The Philarmoniker is for them just part of their Westernalism.

  39. #39
    Dejavudoo
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    I guess you know about Josef Stalin's attempts to impose his political ideology upon his orchestras.
    Imposing ideology and removing barriers to inclusion are wholly different. The fact that orchestras the world over feature women who are indeed virtuosos is evidence that their exclusion from the Vienna Philharmonic is not likely based on ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by belamo View Post
    First off, the title is so wrong: the thread is not about Alberti bass or counterpoint, it simple deals with some expendable musical institution.
    In English, there are sentences that begin with the understood "you" as the subject. It should not therefore shock you that the implied topic might be classical music and orchestral diversity. To imply that it should refer to musical diversity is disingenuous. Same old you.

    . . . snubbing the impure barbarians. They are the European Japanese. No kidding.
    True. True. True. Ask the Koreans.

    Quote Originally Posted by unloadonme View Post
    You made quite a leap from my suggestion that there are no great female classical composers to an implication that they exist but are unknown because of a lack of acceptance.
    Most assuredly. I don't believe there aren't great female composers, but only a lack of acceptance of their greatness. Classical music had been male dominated in its heyday during the centuries before the 20th. As there is any ongoing symphonic writing that seems to garner the acclaim of the pre-modernists, I'd argue that no contemporary composers are gaining the recognition that the masters have, and therefore, the late removal of barriers to females has coincided with the decline of classical music's greatness in general. By definition, no women can achieve the greatness of Bach or Mozart because we no longer afford that status to modern composers. Neither Rutter, Copeland, Bernstein, or any of the 20th century Russians will be given the status that would define them as great in the sense of those from prior centuries.

  40. #40
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post

    In English, there are sentences that begin with the understood "you" as the subject. It should not therefore shock you that the implied topic might be classical music and orchestral diversity. To imply that it should refer to musical diversity is disingenuous. Same old you.
    Same old you, you didn't care to read what I wrote and just patched your ready-made labels as soon as you read [same old]<that (was the implied part) belamo: it's not just that people would sloppily call "classical music" anything played by an orchestra with members dressed for a gala night, it's that they do not even care to pay attention to the music itself, which is what you did in the title, the OP and that message, and all of which was my point... which you didn't seem to get or want to get...
    So the reference to music diversity, which even beyond this thread can not fathom what actually refers to, and that reference to the English language and a particular employ of "you" seems totally out of place. But, hey, it's all simply old same us.

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post

    True. True. True. Ask the Koreans.
    You mean those people who were invaded 160 times along their history, without ever stricking back themselves... what for asking them? and all of them or just one side of the population North or South of 38º0 N?

  42. #42
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by belamo View Post
    Same old you, you didn't care to read what I wrote and just patched your ready-made labels as soon as you read
    Your schtick is too obvious. You parse out any possible misinterpretation of anyone's post and enjoy suggesting the miscommunication was actual instead of implied. Anyone who follows you into your rabbit hole and engages on grammar or meaning is playing into your hand. There is real difference between miscommunicating and having the obvious meaning distorted for the point of erudite malevolence.

    As to the Koreans, it is obvious to all that the Koreans are sorely abused at the hands of the Japanese and they are the chief objects of their racist views.
    Last edited by opinterph; January 19th, 2014 at 09:49 AM. Reason: late edit

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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post
    Your schtick is too obvious. You parse out any possible misinterpretation of anyone's post and enjoy suggesting the miscommunication was actual instead of implied. Anyone who follows you into your rabbit hole and engages on grammar or meaning is playing into your hand. There is real difference between miscommunicating and having the obvious meaning distorted for the point of erudite malevolence.

    As to the Koreans, it is obvious to all that the Koreans are sorely abused at the hands of the Japanese and they are the chief objects of their racist views.
    It is all too obvious that you do not like me for any reason than you never care to make explicit, and then keep on saying that it is all my tricky fault.
    Again, I started my first post in this thread by pointing out that the title makes reference to "classical music", which I found rather confusing after pairing it along with "diversity", and then realized that this was not about music, but about musical ensembles and how people look and, by implication, what makes them look so.
    Then you ignored that as well as what came next, which entered into the topic you seem to want to discuss... with anyone but with me, because while I keep making explicit references to all that is written here, implied and obvious, you stick to your schtick act of playing the revolted one against your fantasy wicked me.

    As for the Koreans, there even less I do not know if we are talking about something actual anymore...
    Last edited by opinterph; January 19th, 2014 at 09:51 AM. Reason: late edit to quoted text

  44. #44
    Pococuranté belamo's Avatar
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejavudoo View Post
    Edited too late.
    Read too late.

    I referred to the similarity between the Austrian and the Japanese mind, then you ignore that and put the Korean in the way and still have the nerve that it is me who confuses everything to laugh at people or something...

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by belamo View Post
    …. Alberti bass…..
    Wiki says Alberti bass is a particular kind of accompaniment figure in music….usually found in the left hand of pieces ….
    ….a kind of broken chord or arpeggiated accompaniment, where the notes of the chord are presented in the order lowest, highest, middle, highest......Well-known examples of Alberti bass include these...






    I don't understand what arpeggiated means but this person says it's 'cheesy'


  46. #46
    Pococuranté belamo's Avatar
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post

    I don't understand what arpeggiated means but this person says it's 'cheesy'

    Like her blouse.
    Remember there are hundreds of varieties of cheese out there.

  47. #47
    Quality posting since 2K7 Nishin's Avatar
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    ^ that video was indeed cheesy ... exasperating

  48. #48
    Pococuranté belamo's Avatar
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Nishin View Post
    ^ that video was indeed cheesy ... exasperating
    I will abstain from listening to American accents these days, especially if I suspect it will be wrapping hyperconceited smarminess













































































































  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by belamo View Post
    ...hyperconceited smarminess...
    Musicians should be heard and not seen— well, they should play their instruments and keep their mouths shout. Their job is to convey the composer's work (and I don't care what their genitals are!).

  50. #50
    Are you man enough? unloadonme's Avatar
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    Re: Classical music and diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    ... they should play their instruments and keep their mouths shout shut.
    It's to be hoped that you enjoy music composed for strings and maybe the occasional drum then.

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