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Music Stuff 2: Western Classical Music 1 by hammick

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· @hammick ·
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Music Stuff 2: Western Classical Music 1
![Charles_Dutoit_and_the_Philadelphia_Orchestra_concert_in_Tianjin.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmf8Yw1Buquym8nfLk2N5TKbzr2LNab2GMbLchedoUuPTf/Charles_Dutoit_and_the_Philadelphia_Orchestra_concert_in_Tianjin.jpg)
<center>_Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra. And are those cats in the audience?_</center>

Classical music. You get it or you don't. I think, anyway. I like it.
And to be clear, oftentimes  _orchestral_ music in general, even if it's modern, is referred to as classical. I kind of agree with that, but kind of don't, so I'm gonna be vague on my definition.

Some people that are really into classical music talk about the ideas and messages they hear behind the music, but I don't get that, and it's either because I'm inexperienced or because they're pretentious. Maybe a bit of both.

But I like me a good classical song. I have listened to plenty of the relatively popular classical songs, but not much more than that. My all-time favorite: _Orpheus in the Underworld Overture_.
Composed by (this name is great) Jacques (soft-J Jock) Offenbach (Off-en-bock). I don't know much about the dude, but I’ve listened to his music, and it’s good.

Like _William Tell Overture_, _Orpheus_ is music to an Opera, and has different little parts and big sections, and like much classical music, is long and quite diverse compared to, for example, the very repetitive and simple form of popular music, or even other types of music like the very strict Sousa march, as mentioned in my previous entry. This length and randomness is what really makes the song interesting, but you'll have to listen to some Classical pieces many times if you want to have them memorized. All this applies to _William Tell Overture_ as well.

The reason I like these two songs is probably because I happen to like their form, and also, of course, because they’re both really good. They have catchy parts and pretty parts and impressive parts that are cool to listen to and to think about.

Both _Orpheus_ and _William Tell_ (the overtures, not the people) have finales that have made it into popular culture to an extent. The Infernal Galop of _Orpheus_, also known as the Can-Can, is associated with the _dance_ called the can-can, and was used as the theme for the relatively popular Periodic Table song, and the finale for William Tell is, of course, the theme for the Lone Ranger (it was originally used for the original Lone Ranger, which was a radio show, since a lot of classical music is public domain. It was used again in the recent Lone Ranger film, leading to somewhat of a resurgence in its popularity).

Another cool song I took a liking to is Shostakovich’s _Waltz No. 2_. See, Shostakovich was a composer of Soviet Russia, but, as Wikipedia describes it, he had a complex and difficult relationship with the government. It’s theorized that he used the dissonance common in his music as a way to discreetly protest, since he might've had big problems if he made his disagreements obvious. Anyway, this is all background.

_Waltz No. 2_ is pretty cool. A minor waltz with a catchy melody and cool notes in it. In the middle, it goes into a big major fanfare thing (I like the part where the bass descends from I to bVII to VI to bVI to V) then goes back. Anyway, it’s a cool listen. My friend jaystenb made a post about this song, too. Check it out here -> https://steemit.com/music/@jaystenb/my-favorite-song-by-shostakovich

I think the last piece I’ll mention is Tchaikovsky’s _1812 Overture_. Those of you who recognize the name can guess why I bring this particular song up, and of course, it is because of Tchaikovsky’s decision that artillery is an acceptable instrument to use in a finale. He put cannons in it. And yes, there are plenty of jokes about it.

Because many songs have canons, but very few have cannons. I just hope that he didn’t perform it indoors. Also, it is not a good classical piece to relax to.

Honestly, I’ve listened to it a few times, and I’ve only consciously listened to it once, but it wasn’t as ear-catching as other songs. There were some good parts, but some repetitive parts. Maybe I’ll give it another listen.

Just to keep this going a bit longer, a few more things I like about classical music. First, the instrumentation, which is more diverse than many other forms of music, and almost infinitely more diverse than popular music. The structure of a song and how well it's played can really make a song great, but there are _many_ ideas or feelings that can only be delivered by specific instruments.
The second thing I like about classical music is its tonality relative to more modern music (I’m looking at you, _jazz_). Yeah, tonality is simple, it’s not as unique. But obviously it sounds nicer, and cleaner. And as many classical songs demonstrate, it’s not so limiting that you can’t get creative and awesome with it. Jazz chords are cool, but sometimes it’s good to appreciate purity. Get rid of those peanut butter and cookie dough chunks and just enjoy the smoothness and delicious taste of plain chocolate. Or strawberry. But seriously, It’s hard to appreciate the chocolate if there’s cookie dough and brownies in it, so forget all the mix-ins of modern music now and then, and enjoy the chocolate shake of classical music.

Anyway, that’s long enough for this one. I'll probably make more posts on classical later on, but not right after each other.
So, enjoy the basics, be creative, look both ways before crossing the street. Until next time!
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