Classical guitar; audience?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Sean Eric Howard
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Sean Eric Howard » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:07 am

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:42 pm

4. "The instrument is difficult to compose for."? What? Sorry... again nonsense. Not more difficult than any other instrument. There are immense amount of music composed for it, but audience and performers prefer old path of 20-50 well-known pieces.
Some of the truest words ever placed here.
"Besides, this criticism of Segovia is pointless. If you disagree with what Segovia did, take that energy and go out and do something positive. Otherwise, shut up." - Eliot Fisk

TKO
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by TKO » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:26 am

I was watching a Yamandu Costa concert a while ago, where he was playing in a (southern) European Jazz festival. The atmosphere was nice, audience politely quiet (they also were a bit older, ie. basic jazz festival crowd) and the playing excellent. He was chatting between songs to the audience and seemed very relaxed overall. For classical guitar (in general) to break out from the concert halls and private recitals it would need more of this. Ok, I'll admit that the Brazilian guitar tradition is more free in it's style, so suits a Jazz festival better than your basic recital of a classical piece - but anyways.

Are there any awesome players, who are also personalities that can captivate a larger (Jazz) Festival stage with Classical Guitar playing? Do they even want to? They should have chops, but also the surprises, performance and "wow" -effect that captivates an audience.

hoppy
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by hoppy » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:16 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:59 pm
Art is characterized by creativity, creation of new Art pieces, individual freedom, unlimited searching for new forms and new ideas. Classical guitar discipline is full of different rituals and Taboos, which enforced by educational system which press hard pupil into submissions to rules, rituals and taboos for many years until one feels that all those things are only possible ways to do, to see, to play...
All changes (like standing with the guitar, different unusual technics, use of any electronics etc.) perceived as breaking of Taboo and rejected, as well as rejected any composers who do not belong to certain approved academic groups.
It become self reproducing circle which do not grow anymore.
But nowadays anyone could publish music and new classical guitar music on WWW and reach audience this way, which was not possible in the past.

By the way - Vila-Lobos is great composer! I played him a lot and love his music!
And I do change many things myself and promoted changes to others therefore you are wrong on this assertion. :)
I think we agree on more than we don't - including all of this. None of my points were levelled at you specifically - from what I have noticed you write and produce a lot of new material (i will check out!) - and I have quoted several examples where I think people are trying different things - even if they sound bad it might move things somewhere interesting. I support these too where I can - through purchasing CDs, attending concerts, kickstarter and Patreon. As you say people can produce, publish and disseminate better now than ever.

I was also watching the BBC concert of Bream last night wondering why I would suggest altering the sound of such an amazing instrument...

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JNWills
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by JNWills » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:38 pm

Good topic. I read that Sor called the guitar "the little symphony," and I believe that ability to play an instrument like fingerstyle/classical guitar where multiple parts are possible makes it especially rewarding and fulfilling to play *just for yourself.* I am no expert and play electric (not CG) guitar publicly, but I have a real passion and self fulfillment from playing nylon CG for myself or a close friend or family member.

Playing in a rock band there may be more people, but it doesn't always mean they're paying attention and of course you will always have someone who thinks they're clever shouting something like "free bird!" This to me reveals that people are less and less familiar with encountering live music on a smaller, intimate level - even in a rock setting. They don't quite know how to act, so they do something they think is novel or funny like yelling "Led Zeppelin" or "Free Bird." I look at this several ways. Optimistically, I see it as an attempt to relate. A good audience wants to experience and participate and relate to the performance. If someone doesn't know the repertoire, it doesn't mean they weren't moved. I think when an audience member approaches the performer, its just hard to relate in words how they were moved. Often, they take the short cut of asking, "hey do you know this [popular tune]?" The question can be inappropriate but they may really mean, "hey your performance was really moving. I don't know what it was, but it moved me like when I listen to [popular tune]." Music should be accessible and relate-able if one wants an audience. Otherwise nothing wrong with playing for yourself.

They had a "Spanish Guitar" free concert at Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago a couple weeks ago. It was a free concert and broadcast live on the radio. Two of my non-musician aunts attended and called me to say how moved they were. I think people do have a romantic notion of classical guitar, as they should! In this sense there was a large audience for CG.

I think you have to play for yourself first, and then others may take notice. It is often more meaningful to move yourself or a few engaged listeners, echoing comments above.
www.johnwillsguitar.com

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:31 pm

hoppy wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:16 pm
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:59 pm
Art is characterized by creativity, creation of new Art pieces, individual freedom, unlimited searching for new forms and new ideas. Classical guitar discipline is full of different rituals and Taboos, which enforced by educational system which press hard pupil into submissions to rules, rituals and taboos for many years until one feels that all those things are only possible ways to do, to see, to play...
All changes (like standing with the guitar, different unusual technics, use of any electronics etc.) perceived as breaking of Taboo and rejected, as well as rejected any composers who do not belong to certain approved academic groups.
It become self reproducing circle which do not grow anymore.
But nowadays anyone could publish music and new classical guitar music on WWW and reach audience this way, which was not possible in the past.

By the way - Vila-Lobos is great composer! I played him a lot and love his music!
And I do change many things myself and promoted changes to others therefore you are wrong on this assertion. :)
I think we agree on more than we don't - including all of this. None of my points were levelled at you specifically - from what I have noticed you write and produce a lot of new material (i will check out!) - and I have quoted several examples where I think people are trying different things - even if they sound bad it might move things somewhere interesting. I support these too where I can - through purchasing CDs, attending concerts, kickstarter and Patreon. As you say people can produce, publish and disseminate better now than ever.

I was also watching the BBC concert of Bream last night wondering why I would suggest altering the sound of such an amazing instrument...
Yes, sure we agree on many points and as all other people here want to see good future for classical guitar and searching for the good solutions for problems in this nice discussion!
Thanks for your interesting posts, Hoppy!
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

Smudger5150
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Smudger5150 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:57 am

JNWills wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:38 pm
Good topic. I read that Sor called the guitar "the little symphony," and I believe that ability to play an instrument like fingerstyle/classical guitar where multiple parts are possible makes it especially rewarding and fulfilling to play *just for yourself.* I am no expert and play electric (not CG) guitar publicly, but I have a real passion and self fulfillment from playing nylon CG for myself or a close friend or family member.

Playing in a rock band there may be more people, but it doesn't always mean they're paying attention and of course you will always have someone who thinks they're clever shouting something like "free bird!" This to me reveals that people are less and less familiar with encountering live music on a smaller, intimate level - even in a rock setting. They don't quite know how to act, so they do something they think is novel or funny like yelling "Led Zeppelin" or "Free Bird." I look at this several ways. Optimistically, I see it as an attempt to relate. A good audience wants to experience and participate and relate to the performance. If someone doesn't know the repertoire, it doesn't mean they weren't moved. I think when an audience member approaches the performer, its just hard to relate in words how they were moved. Often, they take the short cut of asking, "hey do you know this [popular tune]?" The question can be inappropriate but they may really mean, "hey your performance was really moving. I don't know what it was, but it moved me like when I listen to [popular tune]." Music should be accessible and relate-able if one wants an audience. Otherwise nothing wrong with playing for yourself.

They had a "Spanish Guitar" free concert at Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago a couple weeks ago. It was a free concert and broadcast live on the radio. Two of my non-musician aunts attended and called me to say how moved they were. I think people do have a romantic notion of classical guitar, as they should! In this sense there was a large audience for CG.

I think you have to play for yourself first, and then others may take notice. It is often more meaningful to move yourself or a few engaged listeners, echoing comments above.
Good post!
And good point about how people try and relate.
"Music washes away the dust of every day life." Art Blakey

"If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it." Louis Armstrong

Gwynedd
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Gwynedd » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:21 am

5. 99% of people are playing solo pieces and that gets 'samey' for non-players particularly with limited dynamics compared to other instruments
6. There's few pieces where the guitar works in ensemble or orchestra either due to volume or composition.
7. Modern ears want a wide variety of timbre - solo or duo or trio guitar isn't going to do that
8. Bream, Williams, Segovia et al were of a time and anyone expecting that sort of invigoration again will be disappointed
9. Technological innovations are typically shunned in favour or 'purism' - objection to amplification and synthetic sound works against volume, dynamics, sustain, timbre and collaboration
These are very good points and particular to guitar. Even back when I did not play classical, in college, I was aware that Julian Bream in our huge, famous auditorium at school would be problematic (he didn't show, sadly. I think we got Williams instead, no memory of this.)

Our room where we have our society concerts (and get some surprisingly good talent from world reknown guitarists despite our limited funds) is a warm room that people enjoy playing it. Great acoustics. But it barely holds 200, I think.

Also, I always wonder why we don't do more duos, trios, etc. My instructor has a quartet that plays at our annual members concert--love that. The sound is different than a soloist.

Yes, purism is an issue. Unplugged rules. We have one guy who comes to our salon with amps. He's a VERY good player of modern jazz and other compositions but it's an outlier. I still enjoy it, but mixed with unamped classical, it's jarring.

I don't know that I agree the Bream, Segovia phenom won't come back. We have some incredible artists out there. Amazing. Perhaps one will catch the public's fancy. You never know. I remember when the Rodrigo concerto got hugely popular. What goes around, comes around.

Conquestadore
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Conquestadore » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:49 pm

If you're looking to make a career out of it then the lack of interest might be discouraging. For me, I really enjoy solo guitar and get satisfaction out of being able to express myself musically without needing an audience.

WilliamSchart
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by WilliamSchart » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:54 pm

Sean Eric Howard wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:07 am
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:42 pm

4. "The instrument is difficult to compose for."? What? Sorry... again nonsense. Not more difficult than any other instrument. There are immense amount of music composed for it, but audience and performers prefer old path of 20-50 well-known pieces.
Some of the truest words ever placed here.
I think there are some difficulties with composing for the guitar that don't arise with other instruments. Except perhaps for other string instruments. If you're composing for the flute, for example, all you need to know basically is the range and the fact that the flute can only play one note at a time, and make sure you keep within that range. But the guitar has combinations of notes, that while within the range of the guitar are simply impossible to play.

I forget the details, but many years ago I was either trying to compose or transcribe something and wrote out a chord I thought looked playable on paper, but turned out to be impossible. And I was fairly familiar with the guitar at the time. I can only imagine the problems that a composer unfamiliar with the guitar might have.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:57 pm

sorry it was irrelevant
Last edited by AndreiKrylov on Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

glassynails
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by glassynails » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:03 pm

I'm the audience ..... of my own playing. That's enough for me.
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Sean Eric Howard
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Sean Eric Howard » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:40 pm

I bolded the text to which my comment was aimed.
"Besides, this criticism of Segovia is pointless. If you disagree with what Segovia did, take that energy and go out and do something positive. Otherwise, shut up." - Eliot Fisk

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Adrian Allan » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:33 pm

I totally agree with the conclusion of "play for yourself".

I can't imagine how soul destroying it must be to make any sort of living performing on the classical guitar, even as a sideline in cafes or coffee houses, as the other thread alludes to.

We all get what is beautiful about the instrument as its performing tradition - but trying to convey that to "most people" is like trying to explain about the wireless internet to your pet cat.
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

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sxedio
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by sxedio » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:55 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:42 pm
5. Dynamics problem? - again - one could use mic to overcome it.

I disagree with particular way of Adoption of technology which you offer -
"using godin-type guitars, amplification, effects to create different and sophisticated blends of sounds (not just whacking on a phaser...) or using electric or steel string guitars e.g. Threefifty, Michael Chapdelaine"
No.
Sound of good acoustic (not godin type, but classical guitar) is much superior of all those innovations. Mic and good amplification (with limited sound coloring) is enough.
Hello,

if I can jump into this discussion, I've been to a number of concerts of relatively high profile players who went for microphone amplification of their guitars in the last few years. This was for solo performances, of course people also do it for chamber music and concertos, I think it is becoming standard practice. I don't always like the sound, unfortunately it often it is less pleasant than hearing the same guitar unamplified in a smaller room in my experience. I really dislike it when people use amplification for a solo concert in a smallish room where it probably makes things worse rather than better.

Regarding using technology in a more creative way, people have been doing this but there is a certain type of performers and audiences that are into 'instruments and electronics' new music. If it is less avant-garde and more loops and guitar synths, it strays into new age, prog or other crossover areas which again have their own context and audience.

A number of guitarists live a double existence doing a bit of the standard stuff and a bit of the out there stuff as you need to do to survive as a creative musician.
(Gr) (En) (very little Fr)

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Peter Frary
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Peter Frary » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:27 am

I've not heard any professional classical guitarists perform in a hall without sound reinforcement for a few decades. Audiences expect higher sound levels and, as long as the sound system and techs are good, I don't mind. Some high profile players are using mics and/or pickups built into their guitar. Last time I saw Sharon Isbin she used a wireless system with internal pickup system and it sounded great. I only perform amplified: easier on the right hand than trying to project in a large hall and allows a much wider dynamic range.

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