Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
Jeffrey Armbruster

Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:06 pm

"The question is by its nature subjective and therefore the answer can only ever be based only on opinion. By claiming that there is a "truth" that can be found by scholarship (or any other way), you are following quite closely to my definition of alternative truths."

The claim that there is only sophistry because Truth can never be established has often been made. But it doesn't follow that all opinions are equally valid. People can agree to discuss complex issues in good faith (in the Platonic sense), as in this thread. Informed opinions tend to be more valid than others. And anyone acting in good faith can generally discern which alternative facts are bogus.

One of my coworkers has only ever listened to pop music. He has an opinion about Bach. You see where this is going.

CliffK
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by CliffK » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:26 pm

So far 120 posts. Of the persons posting, it appears that in the judgement of most of those concerned Bach can “mix” favorably with guitar. Some prefer Bach played on another instrument but agree that Bach can sound very good on guitar. A few seem to reject outright Bach being played on guitar. So far, it would appear that as most concur that Bach and guitar can “mix” we have a consensus favorable to Bach and the guitar.🙂
Michael Thames 2010 It Spruce/BR
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CliffK
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by CliffK » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:12 am

Anent instruments and Bach, here is an interesting and lively discussion on Baroque violin and sustained 3 and 4 note chords...by violinists:

http://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/26516/
Michael Thames 2010 It Spruce/BR
Rockbridge SJ cedar/mahagony 2007, cutaway, inlay

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prawnheed
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by prawnheed » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:08 am

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:06 pm
"The question is by its nature subjective and therefore the answer can only ever be based only on opinion. By claiming that there is a "truth" that can be found by scholarship (or any other way), you are following quite closely to my definition of alternative truths."

The claim that there is only sophistry because Truth can never be established has often been made. But it doesn't follow that all opinions are equally valid. People can agree to discuss complex issues in good faith (in the Platonic sense), as in this thread. Informed opinions tend to be more valid than others. And anyone acting in good faith can generally discern which alternative facts are bogus.

One of my coworkers has only ever listened to pop music. He has an opinion about Bach. You see where this is going.
When it comes to questions of "taste", I don't think it's reasonable to make the judgement that one opinion is more valuable than another.

Jeffrey Armbruster

Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:56 am

Well yes but that suggests that taste can't be educated and developed. A six year old doesn't like wine. Is a six year old's opinion just as valid as Robert Parker's? Does a folk strummer in the subway have just as valid an opinion as Bream when it comes to Sor? Is my uncle Ed's opinion of Shakespeare (Boring!) just as valid as Harold Bloom's? Everything is equal to everything else? Punk rules? God save the queen/she ain't no human bean is better than Yeats? That's my opinion bloke so stuff it? (Not that anyone said that here!) That way lies madness I tell you! Holy moly, I'm channeling Rognvald!
Last edited by Jeffrey Armbruster on Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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prawnheed
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by prawnheed » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:38 am

Tastes change. Familiarity can affect tastes in both directions - eat the same foodstuff for every meal to see this.

And yes, one person's opinion is just as valid as another's. That does not lead to madness, it leads to respect.

Conall
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Conall » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:41 pm

prawnheed wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:40 pm
Conall wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:25 pm
ddray wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:49 pm

Much of the scholarship is also based on personal, subjective opinions as well, in the absence of "hard data" and provability. Many scholars just don't "feel" that Bach ever wrote for the lute. That little chromatic motif that just doesn't "sound quite typical". The couple of flute sonatas that "feel" more like C.P.E.'s compositions. And so on.
Many scholars know that, for example, the E major partita BWV 1006a is well-nigh impossible on Baroque lute since it is tuned in D minor. Nigel North plays it in F major to make it playable on the lute. I'm not a scholar so I was just noting one small motif that sounded slightly out of place (my subjective opinion) in an arrangement of another work deemed doubtful by a number of Bach scholars. I'd still hold the critical observations of those who have been studying Bach's music all their working lives (and Baroque lutenists who confirm the scholars' suspicions) way above the personal preferences & opinions of those who don't have the same level of expertise (such as me) as they do. If the experts come back & confirm that BWV 964 is unequivocally by Bach then I'll happily accept my discomfort with the motif is my problem.

But whatever, everyone is entitled to an opinion, even a certain President. After all, I gather this is the era of "alternative truth".....
I think your definition of truth is quite Trumpian. The question is by its nature subjective and therefore the answer can only ever be based only on opinion. By claiming that there is a "truth" that can be found by scholarship (or any other way), you are following quite closely to my definition of alternative truths.
Aha, I see my argument has been "Trumped"!

I agree the OP was inviting subjective opinions and I guess we could all have simply responded by saying "I like / I don't like / I prefer" but expanding it to include research from Bach scholars makes it a bit more interesting than just "your taste is worse than mine". While the OP was probably being a bit tongue-in-cheek there's a limit to how long or interesting such a discussion would be if carried on the same lines.

But for what it's worth - if we have to go back to the OP my personal opinion is that org an & harpsichord are great for Bach and do have "weight". They certainly work better for counterpoint than the guitar but (in my opinion) guitar suits the simpler less contrapuntal & sometimes gentler pieces by Bach that most of us attempt - cello suites, violin sonatas & partitas & so-called lute works, especially if the guitar is of the multi string variety. But of course some other people will disagree.....

CliffK
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by CliffK » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:25 pm

Leaving Protagoras and “postmodern relativism” aside to focus on instruments and Bach, I note the Houston Bach Society is receptive to cg:

http://www.bachsocietyhouston.org/guitar
Michael Thames 2010 It Spruce/BR
Rockbridge SJ cedar/mahagony 2007, cutaway, inlay

Conall
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Conall » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:40 pm

prawnheed wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:38 am
Tastes change. Familiarity can affect tastes in both directions - eat the same foodstuff for every meal to see this.

And yes, one person's opinion is just as valid as another's. That does not lead to madness, it leads to respect.
Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion but "valid" (as suggested by another above) depends on the context. If I am in the presence of (for example) an adult who customarily does not listen to Bach's music (such as my wife) and does not have much of a musical education beyond grade 3 in piano 30 years ago I will (reluctantly) accept her choice of cd in the car if I can tolerate the music on it (usually folky pop) because I accept and respect the fact that she doesn't like my Bach cello suites cd because to her, the prelude of the 3rd suite sounds like a bunch of scales.

But if I am a member of a guitar quartet and one member insists that trills at Baroque cadences are not to be played because "they are not written in so Bach must not have wanted it" I'm going to argue with him that this is not factually correct based on anything I've read & heard.
In this case I would argue that, while he's entitled to his opinion, in this case it has less validity than the belief of the rest of us in the quartet who think who, through having at least a rudimentary knowledge of Baroque practice, know that he is wrong or at least much more likely to be wrong in this case.

Similarly you are entitled to believe the earth is flat (as I gather some people claim they do) but is their opinion as "valid" as those who know it not to be so?

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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by astro64 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:03 pm

prawnheed wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:38 am
Tastes change. Familiarity can affect tastes in both directions - eat the same foodstuff for every meal to see this.

And yes, one person's opinion is just as valid as another's. That does not lead to madness, it leads to respect.
Is there value to giving opinions on stuff one knows nothing about? Proceed at your own risk in respecting everyone's opinion equally....

CliffK
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by CliffK » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:25 pm

Speaking of violin and guitar together, an interesting Bach project, cd, and review :D

https://www.classicstoday.com/review/ba ... in-guitar/

Baroque violin with modern ( 1994 ) guitar tuned down. Maybe to A415 ? which seems an accepted pitch in Baroque performance. Or maybe 432-436 ish?
Michael Thames 2010 It Spruce/BR
Rockbridge SJ cedar/mahagony 2007, cutaway, inlay

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prawnheed
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by prawnheed » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:18 pm

Conall wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:40 pm
prawnheed wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:38 am
Tastes change. Familiarity can affect tastes in both directions - eat the same foodstuff for every meal to see this.

And yes, one person's opinion is just as valid as another's. That does not lead to madness, it leads to respect.
Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion but "valid" (as suggested by another above) depends on the context. If I am in the presence of (for example) an adult who customarily does not listen to Bach's music (such as my wife) and does not have much of a musical education beyond grade 3 in piano 30 years ago I will (reluctantly) accept her choice of cd in the car if I can tolerate the music on it (usually folky pop) because I accept and respect the fact that she doesn't like my Bach cello suites cd because to her, the prelude of the 3rd suite sounds like a bunch of scales.

But if I am a member of a guitar quartet and one member insists that trills at Baroque cadences are not to be played because "they are not written in so Bach must not have wanted it" I'm going to argue with him that this is not factually correct based on anything I've read & heard.
In this case I would argue that, while he's entitled to his opinion, in this case it has less validity than the belief of the rest of us in the quartet who think who, through having at least a rudimentary knowledge of Baroque practice, know that he is wrong or at least much more likely to be wrong in this case.

Similarly you are entitled to believe the earth is flat (as I gather some people claim they do) but is their opinion as "valid" as those who know it not to be so?
There is a fundamental difference between questions of taste - do you or do you not like something - and questions of fact - is the earth flat.

Confuse the two and you deny climate change because you don't like it and claim that there is a truth to be found on whether Bach is good on guitar.

Jeffrey Armbruster

Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:42 pm

"A four year old could paint as well as Picasso", says an adult with no background whatsoever in art. Well, everything is equal to everything else, so we have to give that opinion equal weight to the word of John Berger. Why bother to study?

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prawnheed
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by prawnheed » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:21 pm

One good reason to study would be to be sble to understand that the two statements "One person's opinion is just as valid as another's when it comes to questions of taste" and "Everything is equal to everything else" are not equivalent.

CliffK
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by CliffK » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:08 pm

Anent instruments and Bach, this is an interesting discussion-demonstration focused on violin solo with Bach pieces. Included are types of Baroque violins, bowing issues, interpretation. The violinist played period instruments. The discussion of bridge shapes and limitations was interesting as was the demonstration of a period violin that had a flat bridge for chordal playing.

https://vimeo.com/45057949
Michael Thames 2010 It Spruce/BR
Rockbridge SJ cedar/mahagony 2007, cutaway, inlay

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