[lit-ideas] Re: Why are the greatest composers all German?

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2006 11:05:58 -0400

Andreas: Practically nothing in American music from the entire 90s and the 00s (or whatever we still
don't call this decade) is worthwhile. Britney Speares?

That may be true of American pop music in the last sixteen years. However American classical music is alive and flourishing.

American composers have finally freed themselves from the post-WW2 academic serialism and tone cluster schools that dominated in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. With a return to new tonal emphasis--and having absorbed the innovations of minimalists like Reich and Glass--the composers active since 1990 have enlarged a school known as "totalism."

The trend called Totalism is culturally eclectic (as the name suggests) and seeks to create music that is accessible to a general audience and yet complex enough for a serious music lover. There's no particular artistic spokesman for this trend--which is in itself exciting--and yet totalist works are popping up everywhere. There's a creative explosion of new American classical works, and an increasing number of venues for performing them.

So while American commercial music is stuck in pop formulas, serious music is having a renaissance.

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