Wat is eigenlijk “contemporary”?

In de Linked-In groep Contemporary Music Professionals vraagt slagwerker en muziekdocent J. Morgan zich af of er eigenlijk een gangbare en algemeen geaccepteerde definitie is van het begrip “contemporary music”: How does this translate to the world of “Art Music”, fixed or non-fixed notation. 20th Century is now a time of the past. Is contemporary music, pop, jazz, country, aleatoric, contemplative, listenable, out-there, tonal atonal. Is there a current definition?

Veel, en interessante, reacties. Arshad Madni merkt bijvoorbeeld op: I think categorisation is intended to guide the potential listener as to what the music might sound like before they go and invest to acquire the track, either internet or CD. Hij doet dat in reactie op een opmerking van Christopher Kaufman: What does the music say? — How Does it Feel? — What did you THINK while the music was being performed… Are not these more important questions to be answered… than ‘When it was composed and what ISM does it correspond to?’

Componist Peter Strickholm merkt op: “Contemporary music,” in my definition, is music written by “recent” composers, formerly the “20th century” genre. Now that we’re in a “21st century,” are we to excise Debussy and Schoenberg from the membership of “contemporary composers”? I think not. They pioneered a new linguistically integral style to music writing perpendicular to the “tonal tradition,” which influences composers 100 years later today. “Contemporary composition” should be an umbrella term which includes all composers who write in the wake of what happened to the harmonic and contrapuntal excesses of “tonality” and choose (chose) to revive it or explore things new.

Dat klinkt als een ruime opvatting: hier valt dus zo’n beetje alles onder wat sinds het eind van de 19e eeuw gecomponeerd is…

Edson Zampronha bepleit een nauwere definitie: I see “contemporary music” as a more meaningful expression when if refers to music of our time that is speculative at least in one aspect. This speculative aspect of the expression is more important for its meaning than a reference to “our time”. Zou je dan een barok-componist die in zijn tijd vernieuwend bezig was nu ook nog “contemporary” moeten noemen?

Jessica Frye (leider van een festival in San Francisco) tenslotte heeft een interessant voorstel: “Contemporary” = music written by living composers, for orchestra or chamber ensemble, performed in a concert hall. “New Music” = any genre descended from classical forms, by use of “classical” instruments or structure, but with the freedom to throw the rule book out the window in favor of experimentation . “Avant-Garde” / “Experimental” / “Art-Music” = “New Music” goes to Art School… which throws the rule book at the glass ceiling and then makes music – or noise, as you like it – with the remaining shards of glass and paper.

One Response to “Wat is eigenlijk “contemporary”?”

  1. Rahul Gandhi zegt:

    Ya, it’s about perception.
    Rahul Gandhi