existentialist music?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
PeteJ
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by PeteJ » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:50 pm

A cul-de-sac is pretty much an unavoidable destination in discussions of existentialism.

gitgeezer
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by gitgeezer » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:49 pm

Or a traffic circle, with streets leading off in all directions. You can spin off in any direction you choose, or you can just go round and round until you get dizzy.

Fernandosaurusrex
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by Fernandosaurusrex » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:07 pm

Schubert: No. 24 “Der Leiermann” from Winterreise, D. 911

This song was composed during a period of intense reflection towards the end of Schubert's brief life, when dying of syphilis. It is uncharacteristically dark, dealing with Schubert's feelings of rejection from society and doubts concerning the significance of his life and music. Towards the end of the piece he asks the hurdy-gurdy player: "Will you grind your organ to my songs?"

https://youtu.be/sIIS-UgixGE

malc laney
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by malc laney » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:08 pm

"Will you grind your organ to my songs?" was this that famous Carry on with Kenneth Williams as Bert Shoe?

Fernandosaurusrex
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by Fernandosaurusrex » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:11 am

No idea.

gitgeezer
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by gitgeezer » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:33 am

Mahler's "das Lied von der Erde" has been called existential. As Barbara Barry, in her book, "The Philosopher's Stone," expressed it: "the finale reveals a new, revelatory perspective of 'end' and 'ending'--and philosophically, expressing our existential human predicament of intense emotion and yearning for fulfillment…"

PeteJ
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by PeteJ » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:38 am

I think folks sometime use the word as a more impressive way of saying 'introspective and pessimistic'. I bet few people who use the word could define it. I've never seen anyone define it clearly. A recent issue of Philosophy Now (an excellent journal) was devoted to it and came nowhere near to clarifying what it is.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:19 pm

The OP mentions Deep Purple, so he's clearly not requesting a serious answer, but we've had two suggestions for the blues and jazz. This is because they were new and alien to French culture, I guess, and this is why they might have appealed to Camus and Sartre. Since the start of the thread I've been wondering about mentioning Böll's Und Sagte Kein Einziges Wort. I suppose there's something a bit existentialist about Truemmerliteratur, although Böll was a Catholic, so his agenda might have been different. I quote the German title, as it's Böll's own translation of the line "and he never said a mumbling word" from the (heard on the radio) spiritual They Crucified My Lord. I wonder why Böll ignored the word 'mumbling', perhaps he didn't understand it.

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Rognvald
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by Rognvald » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:32 pm

It is quite apparent from this thread that few, if any, understand the philosophy of Existentialism. Its basic tenet is that life has no meaning and that the concept of the absurd is pre-eminent in human life. Satre's philosophical treatise "The Myth of Sisyphus" clearly details existentialism in his metaphor of Sisyphus rolling a stone up a mountain and before it reaches the top, the gods roll it back down where he must, once again, begin his task. This is Satre's example that existence is meaningless since, through implication, Sisyphus finds meaning and purpose in his endless task . . . ergo the absurdity of life. To label a genre of music as existential would mean that it has no meaning and embodies the absurd. I would be tempted to label much of contemporary music as existential based upon this definition: definitely meaningless and certainly absurd. Playing again, Rognvald
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:55 am

"I suppose there's something a bit existentialist about Truemmerliteratur..."

I don't know what this is; if you don't mind, can you expand a little? And I'm curious about how you'd translate into English Boll's German attempt at 'mumbling'. Or maybe the phrase as a whole. Who could blame him if the phrase left him mystified? Plus, a translator would have to be intrigued by the notion of a 'mumbling word'. That's every compromise a translator has to make in his craft!
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MessyTendon
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:04 am

This one takes it...pretty good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A73bvCxky80

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:59 am

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:55 am
"I suppose there's something a bit existentialist about Truemmerliteratur..."

I don't know what this is; if you don't mind, can you expand a little?
Sure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tr%C3%BCmmerliteratur
And I'm curious about how you'd translate into English Boll's German attempt at 'mumbling'. Or maybe the phrase as a whole. Who could blame him if the phrase left him mystified? Plus, a translator would have to be intrigued by the notion of a 'mumbling word'. That's every compromise a translator has to make in his craft!
He doesn't attempt 'mumbling', that was my point: "Und sagte kein einziges Wort" is literally "and didn't say a single word". Perhaps he was just translating from whatever version of the New Testament he used and didn't fully understand the song's lyrics.

But the rest was just rambling, as I had no idea what existentialist music was supposed to be and didn't see why I should be the one to be coherent! (lol)

Rognvald's explanation is good enough to remind me why I never bothered much with existentialism.
At the time I was reading it I was also reading R D Laing and I just lost interest in that kind of philosophy for never taking psychology into account.
Sisyphus can easily enough be interpreted as the Greeks' view of what life on this planet is like for humans - a hard slog with only death at the end of it (or not, if you are immortal). But Sartre doesn't go anywhere near this. His view is just one tendentious poetic interpretation among many. He involves Kant (German reception of Plato) so as to make his poetry look like that kind of philosophy. Kant was popular in France - Picasso used him - he never read him, just listened to people discussing him in cafés (before WWI). Schopenhauer was more recent than Kant, but the Franco-Prussian war would have made Schopenhauer unpopular with the French, I suppose. You can argue that a painter painting phenomena was more interested in doing it if there was a ding an sich underlying them than if there was an idea or a will, but there were spiritual painters who'd have had the opposite view. But Picasso wasn't one of them.

The real interest in studying that kind of philosophy is in examining the reception of Plato and how people mould him to their current circumstances. At the moment, in that respect, physics is overshadowing that kind of philosophy, I suppose.

Adolescents get over their angst. But Sartre reified it. Ugh, gimme a break.
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sxedio
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by sxedio » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:52 am

For what it's worth, existentialism wasn't just a philosophy, it was a youth movement in post war Europe. The german kids going to listen to the Beatles in Hamburg were 'Exi' . The wikipedia article talks about it as a subculture in Hamburg but I've read other reports of it as a subculture in various major European cities.
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malc laney
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by malc laney » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:32 pm

Enfin!!! the heavy mob have properly informed us , a bit disappointing about the poetry angle though. thanks

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: existentialist music?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:48 pm

Just my tired opinion. It depends how you define poetry. I have a friend who defines it as, "any words that are not 100% concerned with perfect logic;" in other words, "it sounds good, but it doesn't mean anything."
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