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  • Pondering Music after Listening to Mahler's 5th.

    On every conceivable level, Mahler's symphonies are the most masterful compositions I've ever heard.

    Melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and timbral/orchestral ideas are all rich with purpose, intent and integrity.  There is no use of tradition without a deep feeling of sincerity and conviction, nothing modern, new and original that also isn’t incredibly musical, meaning that it not only succeeds on the levels mentioned above, but also acts as revelation: the music reveals something true about life, about the cosmos, about being human.  It is through Mahler that I have come to understand that music is first and foremost a spiritual, and spiritualizing, activity.  Music is about growing a soul, it is about uniting the deeply personal and unique with the universal and the cosmic, and, ultimately, the absolute.  Music is at once in a state of being and a state of becoming.  The longer one practices the art, the more clearly one begins to sense that there is something far beyond sense experience that comes through music, and yet it is from the outside in, from the senses to the mind, that music makes its impression.

    Does anybody else see the link between music and philosophy, music and science and music and religion?  (by religion I mean the best of the world's wisdom traditions and true spirituality as embraced by the individual person, not ritual or dogma).


  • I started making music again after discovering Mahler's music.

    My personal preference goes to 4th symphony and Das Lied von Der Erde, plus the orchestral songs cycles.

    Can't tell if he reached his aim to recreate the Universe; surely he recreated life.


    VI Special Edition 1-3, Reaper, MuseScore 3, Notion 3 (collecting dust), vst flotsam and jetsam
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    @jsg said:

    On every conceivable level, Mahler's symphonies are the most masterful compositions I've ever heard.

    Melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and timbral/orchestral ideas are all rich with purpose, intent and integrity.  There is no use of tradition without a deep feeling of sincerity and conviction, nothing modern, new and original that also isn’t incredibly musical, meaning that it not only succeeds on the levels mentioned above, but also acts as revelation: the music reveals something true about life, about the cosmos, about being human.  It is through Mahler that I have come to understand that music is first and foremost a spiritual, and spiritualizing, activity.  Music is about growing a soul, it is about uniting the deeply personal and unique with the universal and the cosmic, and, ultimately, the absolute.  Music is at once in a state of being and a state of becoming.  The longer one practices the art, the more clearly one begins to sense that there is something far beyond sense experience that comes through music, and yet it is from the outside in, from the senses to the mind, that music makes its impression.

    Does anybody else see the link between music and philosophy, music and science and music and religion?  (by religion I mean the best of the world's wisdom traditions and true spirituality as embraced by the individual person, not ritual or dogma).

    I also see a very real and very powerful link between music and religion. However, I do not reject expressions of Christianity in music, I embrace them. It is very popular in the current culture of 2017 to condemn traditional Christianity. Before relegating all musical ritual and dogma to the ash-heap I offer four (hard to limit myself to just four) compositions in defense of the eternal power of our Creator made manifest through music.

    1) Bach Mass in B minor
    2) Mozart Requiem Mass in D minor
    3) Bethoven Mass in C Major (or the Missa Solemnis)
    4) Faure Requiem

    When one considers the physics of sound and the biology of human hearing, it is impossible for me to imagine that the tremendous power of music to touch our very souls is simply a string of random accidents.


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    @jsg said:

    On every conceivable level, Mahler's symphonies are the most masterful compositions I've ever heard.

    Melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and timbral/orchestral ideas are all rich with purpose, intent and integrity.  There is no use of tradition without a deep feeling of sincerity and conviction, nothing modern, new and original that also isn’t incredibly musical, meaning that it not only succeeds on the levels mentioned above, but also acts as revelation: the music reveals something true about life, about the cosmos, about being human.  It is through Mahler that I have come to understand that music is first and foremost a spiritual, and spiritualizing, activity.  Music is about growing a soul, it is about uniting the deeply personal and unique with the universal and the cosmic, and, ultimately, the absolute.  Music is at once in a state of being and a state of becoming.  The longer one practices the art, the more clearly one begins to sense that there is something far beyond sense experience that comes through music, and yet it is from the outside in, from the senses to the mind, that music makes its impression.

    Does anybody else see the link between music and philosophy, music and science and music and religion?  (by religion I mean the best of the world's wisdom traditions and true spirituality as embraced by the individual person, not ritual or dogma).

    I also see a very real and very powerful link between music and religion. However, I do not reject expressions of Christianity in music, I embrace them. It is very popular in the current culture of 2017 to condemn traditional Christianity. Before relegating all musical ritual and dogma to the ash-heap I offer four (hard to limit myself to just four) compositions in defense of the eternal power of our Creator made manifest through music.

    1) Bach Mass in B minor
    2) Mozart Requiem Mass in D minor
    3) Bethoven Mass in C Major (or the Missa Solemnis)
    4) Faure Requiem

    When one considers the physics of sound and the biology of human hearing, it is impossible for me to imagine that the tremendous power of music to touch our very souls is simply a string of random accidents.

    I don't equate modern Christianity with the teachings of Jesus.  In fact, I see very little in common between the two.  Modern Christianity is profoundly aligned with contemporary western political and economic values, which is why it is impotent and ineffective in helping to put Christ's spiritual values and teachings into practice.  For some sincere Christian believers, Christianity can be a path toward the divine, toward the sacred, toward truth, beauty and goodness. But that is because of personal, individual faith, in spite of Paul's distortions of the teachings of Christ.  The musical compositions you mentioned came from the talents and faith of individual people, not "Christianity".  All modern religions have their truths and ethical ideas, and all of them have their primitive, regressive anti-social aspects as well.   I believe the teachings of Jesus are not synonymous with present-day Christian thought.  I wish they were.  Dogma is dangerous, it provokes prejudice, racism, sexism, nationalism, superstition, rigid ideas and non-universal ideals.  Perhaps a progressive religion of the future will be free of such things and be as liberal and fair-minded as the teachings of Jesus actually were...


  • I do not agree with any of your ideas about spirituality or religion or Christ. In fact, I believe the actual evidence of history is diametrically opposed to your position. For example, the four compositions I mentioned are expressions of Christian religious dogma and ritual. They do not express an individual spirituality but all four present a unified "Christian" theology. 

    However, I realize this is not an appropriate forum for religious debate. Especially since it is obvious that no agreement seems remotely possible. This is a place to discuss music and most especially making music with VSL instruments. I am content to have made it known that some on this forum, such as myself, do not share your views on religion, sprituality or Christ.


  • While I don't deny how great many expressions of formalized religion have been (like the works listed by Paul), I find Mahler's spirituality to be on a different level. Grown jew and converted to christianity for mere opportunity, his religion is a mix between traditional formalized religions (jew, christian, buddhist…) and humanism. He plays with characters from religions, puts in music extra-European spiritual poems, deals with modern ways to explore one's psyche and soul (with the help of Freud).

    All his work is a continual, uninterrupted meditation on death. And is a testament to the joy of life, trying to defeat death. I think this is the newest idea Mahlers brings to the music, never equaled before, and probably never after his work. We are still, mostly, relying on pre-made texts, on dead paper, while he created his own religion, with his own choice of lively words.

    Paolo


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    @Paul McGraw said:

    I do not agree with any of your ideas about spirituality or religion or Christ. In fact, I believe the actual evidence of history is diametrically opposed to your position.

    Completely depends on whose history you believe.  Let's just say I have information that you do not have.  In any event,  I am not seeking agreement with you on spiritual matters but I do agree that this forum is dedicated to music and VSL instruments, so let's drop this topic. 


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    @Paul McGraw said:

    I do not agree with any of your ideas about spirituality or religion or Christ. In fact, I believe the actual evidence of history is diametrically opposed to your position.

    Completely depends on whose history you believe.  Let's just say I have information that you do not have.  In any event,  I am not seeking agreement with you on spiritual matters but I do agree that this forum is dedicated to music and VSL instruments, so let's drop this topic. 

    I respect and appreciate the varied views on a topic much bigger than can be properly debated on this forum.  I also don't intend to "pick sides" with either jsg or Paul, I must say that jsg's line above ("Let's just say I have information that you do not have.") rubs me the wrong way.  I'm sure you can figure out why.

    Cheers!

    Dave


  • [/quote]

    I respect and appreciate the varied views on a topic much bigger than can be properly debated on this forum.  I also don't intend to "pick sides" with either jsg or Paul, I must say that jsg's line above ("Let's just say I have information that you do not have.") rubs me the wrong way.  I'm sure you can figure out why.

    Cheers!

    Dave

    [/quote]

    Yes, I can understand how that might "rub you the wrong way".   I will share that information freely with you, whether or not it is useful is up to you:

    http://www.urantia.org/urantia-book-standardized/part-iv-life-and-teachings-jesus

    Best,

    Jerry


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on