Monday, February 28, 2011

musica practica

I mentioned Roland Barthes's short essay Musica Practica before. I cite this again.

Further, this romantic image (the meaning of which finally is a certain discord) creates a problem of performance: the amateur is unable to master Beethoven's music, not so much by reason of the technical difficulties as by the very breakdown of the code of the former musica practica. According to this code, the fantasmatic (that is to say corporal) image which guided the performer was that of a song ('spun out' inwardly); with Beethoven, the mimetic impulse (does not musical fantasy consist in giving oneself a place, as subject, in the scenario of the performance?) becomes orchestral, thus escaping from the fetishism of a single element (voice or rhythm).

-Roland Barthes, Image-Music-Text, Fontana Press, 1977, edit. and trans. Stephen Heath, p. 152.

In that sense, it can be said that a large part of 'modern music' aspires that romantic Beethoven.

There may be a certain code of today's musica practica: "code" but not "cliche." I feel so when I look around SoundCloud. Basically, it's not a song that makes the body of music: not a melody to say the least. "The fetishism of a single element" may be beat and ambiance: not rhythm, harmony, and timbre (voice may be still important though). Chord is not important. There is no secret "code." I usually don't listen to techno or hip-hop (though I dance to), but when I listen to them, I find that what interesting about those styles is that they are explicitly claim "there is no secret here:" beat and ambiance.

I'm not criticizing it. At this moment I'm making some music positively dealing with such fetishism. I want to make something belonging to musica practica.

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