Stylistic references

October 29, 2008

A colleague commented to me yesterday that he can’t teach Charles Ives anymore because the students don’t know the musical quotes or the stylistic references. I was struggling to explain the nota cambiatain species counterpoint, and describing what was done at the time and what wasn’t. They just take my word for it as hardly any of them know Renaissance polyphony. Then an analogy popped into my mind:

“In metal music, it is stylistically not appropriate to stop a flow of power chords and entertain a sweet little flute solo; it’s just not done. Likewise with melodic tritones.”

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