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.
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 10:37 pm

St. Louis Bach Festival included the St. Louis Guitar Society:

http://www.guitarstlouis.net/?q=node/359

Seems that various Bach Societies and Guitar Societies in the US have discernment as well as good taste and believe Bach and the guitar do mix. Imagine it is the same in Europe and Asia and that Bach is played on guitar under the auspices of various societies themselves having discernment and good taste. It could be a vast conspiracy started by Segovia but I doubt that. :D
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Rasputin
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Rasputin » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:41 pm

prawnheed wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:18 pm
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.
There is, but I don't think you can carve things up into questions of fact and questions of taste and leave it at that. Political opinions for example are not really matters of taste, because you can appeal to intersubjective criteria in attacking or defending them. It depends what you think music and art are, but in my view the same holds in those areas. My opinion that Bach's music is of higher quality than Vivaldi's is something I can be expected to argue for, whereas I have no idea how I would mount a rational defence of my preference for rhubarb crumble over gooseberry crumble.

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

Post by hpaulj » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:51 pm

MessyTendon wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:08 am

I just feel like Bach music needs to have weight to it. The dainty shrill pitch of those god awful Pro Arte strings, is no match for what Bach should sound like...
How about the dainty sounds of a clavichord? I just discovered the Youtube channel of Wim Winters, Authentic Sound.
Wim Winters plays keyboard works of J.S.Bach on clavichord, the instrument probably most close to the great master.
Perhaps the 'heaviest' piece is BWV 565, Tocatta and Fugue, usually played on a organ. But I've seen a couple of Youtube renditions on the peddle harp that are pretty impressive. And I think Edson Lopes manages to do the piece justice on the guitar.

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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 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:55 am

Rasputin wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:41 pm
prawnheed wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:18 pm
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.
There is, but I don't think you can carve things up into questions of fact and questions of taste and leave it at that. Political opinions for example are not really matters of taste, because you can appeal to intersubjective criteria in attacking or defending them. It depends what you think music and art are, but in my view the same holds in those areas. My opinion that Bach's music is of higher quality than Vivaldi's is something I can be expected to argue for, whereas I have no idea how I would mount a rational defence of my preference for rhubarb crumble over gooseberry crumble.
I agree that there are more categories of question. I believe you can view them as compound questions though. Your example of apple versus gooseberry can be analysed as a collection of questions regardind the chemistry of the fruit (factual), the effect of that chemistry on your tastebuds (factual) and your likes and dislikes for those effects (opinion). Whether that anslysis is useful is another issue - I don't believe it is always helpful, practical or even possible - politics being a case in point.

Most important in the failure of this analysis comes when looking at a type of question which, although factual in nature, is unanswerable either because there is no record of the historical fact, or because our current knowledge is not complete enough to allow a prediction.

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

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:20 am

I was listening to a radio program on computer generated music. One question that was never asked: does the computer know that it's composing? Does it know what music is? Can a computer appreciate music and even have preferences? Does it know what an emotion is? Can it recognize emotion in music? Is it self aware?

No.

However, by prawnheed's criteria, it is factually composing music. Well, generating dots. And there's your scientific truth! Everything else is a cloud of opinion.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you know that you're enjoying a duck dinner independently of any chemical analysis.
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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 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:36 am

Anent Bach and the lute, this essay-analysis is quite interesting:

https://www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/b ... e-titmuss/

Photos of Hauser lute. :chitarrista:
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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 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:39 am

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:20 am
I was listening to a radio program on computer generated music. One question that was never asked: does the computer know that it's composing? Does it know what music is? Can a computer appreciate music and even have preferences? Does it know what an emotion is? Can it recognize emotion in music? Is it self aware?

No.

However, by prawnheed's criteria, it is factually composing music. Well, generating dots. And there's your scientific truth! Everything else is a cloud of opinion.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you know that you're enjoying a duck dinner independently of any chemical analysis.
No. My "criteria" are not responsible for your set of bad assumptions and nonsequiters. Those are truly your own.

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

Post by CliffK » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:21 pm

I noticed that discernment and good taste as to Bach and the guitar are present in Japan albeit differences in cuisine. The JS Bach International Guitar Comp.

http://bachguitar.sakura.ne.jp/pages/17bachcom-en.html

The German Embassy, Savarez, and others are sponsors....they appear unaffected by “postmodern relativism” and Greek sophists.
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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 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:43 pm

The Minnesota Guitar Society appears to have discernment and good taste. Program featuring Montenegrin Guitar Duo playing Bach coming up Feb 18:

http://www.mnguitar.org

Probably not much “Postmodern Relativism” in that area although it might be that Protagoras is lurking in some forest there by the Canadian border.
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Conall
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Conall » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:48 pm

Well if nothing else, the OP has provoked a very wide & popular discussion!

Re: acceptance of guitar by Bachian societies - that's good news. I long ago gave up worrying about what others thought of Bach (or anything) on the guitar. As long as one uses a transcription that's close to the original (or the original - Bach's violin sonatas & partitas can be played directly from the violin score) or a good arrangement (some leeway for "opinion" vs "fact here) and plays it technically & musically well (& preferably with some reference to Baroque practice / ornamentation etc) there is no reason why any Bach musical society should discount or refuse the guitar unless it specifies Baroque instruments only.

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

Post by RainyDayMan » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:49 am

Conall wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:48 pm
Well if nothing else, the OP has provoked a very wide & popular discussion!

Re: acceptance of guitar by Bachian societies - that's good news. I long ago gave up worrying about what others thought of Bach (or anything) on the guitar. As long as one uses a transcription that's close to the original (or the original - Bach's violin sonatas & partitas can be played directly from the violin score) or a good arrangement (some leeway for "opinion" vs "fact here) and plays it technically & musically well (& preferably with some reference to Baroque practice / ornamentation etc) there is no reason why any Bach musical society should discount or refuse the guitar unless it specifies Baroque instruments only.
The construction, style and harmonies that Bach uses for solo string and keyboard instruments is quite compatible with the sound of the guitar. The chief reason we have for playing Bach is that this is our chance to play great music, something that is not abundant for us. So it is up to us to study how best to play and present it. I am surprised the subject comes up. I have heard Bach recordings on guitar that rival those on the original instrument, just my opinion.

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

Post by Conall » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:48 pm

RainyDayMan wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:49 am
Conall wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:48 pm
Well if nothing else, the OP has provoked a very wide & popular discussion!

Re: acceptance of guitar by Bachian societies - that's good news. I long ago gave up worrying about what others thought of Bach (or anything) on the guitar. As long as one uses a transcription that's close to the original (or the original - Bach's violin sonatas & partitas can be played directly from the violin score) or a good arrangement (some leeway for "opinion" vs "fact here) and plays it technically & musically well (& preferably with some reference to Baroque practice / ornamentation etc) there is no reason why any Bach musical society should discount or refuse the guitar unless it specifies Baroque instruments only.
The construction, style and harmonies that Bach uses for solo string and keyboard instruments is quite compatible with the sound of the guitar. The chief reason we have for playing Bach is that this is our chance to play great music, something that is not abundant for us. So it is up to us to study how best to play and present it. I am surprised the subject comes up. I have heard Bach recordings on guitar that rival those on the original instrument, just my opinion.
While everyone is entitled to express an opinion such as "I do/don't like Bach on the guitar" I think that statements such as "Bach's works are better suited to the original instrument" can be at least partly argued against in that the chordal nature of the guitar allows you to play chords in a more idiomatic way than on the original instrument (cello or violin).

I'm thinking of the opening chords of the Chaconne in Dm for example. The greatest violinists play the melodic parts of the work with unrivalled expression but we know that violinists cannot play the chords as block chords (when they want to - I know harpsichords often arpeggiate chords) and arguably chords on cello (in other pieces) sound even more awkward (a kind of grinding action from the lowest 2 strings to the highest 2). The arpeggio sections feel & sound very guitaristic too, as do any open string pedal notes.

Ironically the only section of the Chaconne which really doesn't work for me on the guitar in Dm is the pedal section near the end with open As which on the violin is the 2nd string. Unfortunately our open A is at another octave & so most guitarists just slur the As when necessary - spoiling the pedal effect that normally would work well. That section, if with open pedal, sounds beautifully poignant but pretty poor otherwise in my opinion. The solution is to play the Chaconne in Em (with open B) - just about works as a whole. Em section is about the same level of difficulty as Dm, E is slightly harder than played in D. Or - wait for it - in Cm! - a key guitarists hate because of the flats & barre chords & lack of resonance - but you do get the open pedal in the above section and the whole piece is more accessible in a lower position. The difficulty of the minor sections is a bit more but the C major section is easier. I get round the lack of resonance by using an 8 string with a low C (giving sympathetic vibration). I've even tried the work in Bm with 3rd down to F# but I'm not fond of this tuning as the guitar's 3rd string is its weakest. I briefly thought of playing in Dm & tuning B down to A but there are too many compromises.

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

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:17 pm

MessyTendon wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:08 am
It's Christmas...I'm ill with nagging abdominal pains. It got me thinking to go listen to some guitar works on youtube. Seems like Bach is the show piece, you must play if you earn your classical wings.

Well as the Grinch, I'm here to take your Bach...:)

I just feel like Bach music needs to have weight to it. The dainty shrill pitch of those god awful Pro Arte strings, is no match for what Bach should sound like...

Hell a harpsichord...now that'll do nice, or a pipe organ, anything but a little squealing six string guitar box.

No Bach for this sick old Grinch.
A part of his repertoire belongs to the Lute which is guitar's grandfather...
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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

Post by MessyTendon » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:44 pm

yes Arash...but a lute...well it's got double courses and sounds so melancholy, not at all bright and piercing like todays modern nylon guitaristas.

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

Post by Conall » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:40 pm

MessyTendon wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:44 pm
yes Arash...but a lute...well it's got double courses and sounds so melancholy, not at all bright and piercing like todays modern nylon guitaristas.
Oh dear we Bach loving guitarists can't win can we?

- a squealing little box according to the OP & bright & piercing according to yourself!

I do like the lute, but as already mentioned we don't know for sure if Bach really did write for it. Just because an inscription says "pour Luth" (a mistaken inscription added by another?) or is in lute tablature (arranged by a contemporary?) we can't be fully certain. So if it is easier and arguably as effective to play the music as written on the guitar (such as the E major partita) why not?

The lute, while pleasant, is less powerful & has brittle / short treble sustain compared to the modern guitar so it could be argued that if one partly agrees with the OP (I don't), the lute is even less suitable for the grandeur of Bach's music. If extra bass range is desired on the guitar use a multi string version. If you don't like d'Addarios choose one of the many other brands.

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