A Conversation for Johann Sebastian Bach
26199 Started conversation May 31, 2000
JS Bach has indeed written some incredible pieces... if you want to hear 'em, I recommend http://www.mp3.com - they have quite a good selection.
Bach's music plays a key part in the book 'Gödel, Escher, Bach - an Eternal Golden Braid'... which just happens to be about the best book I've ever read. 'S worth reading...
magrathea Posted May 31, 2000
I've just read this forum entry by coincidence. I was quite surprised to read about 'Gödel Escher Bach'. I have also read that book and I totally agree that it's one of the most fascinating books around. There's much about Bach's music in it, it's also about math and philosophy but I think it's written in a way that everyone can read it...
Oscar Posted May 31, 2000
26199 Posted May 31, 2000
Yep, 's good, I imagine you'll enjoy it...
Just don't be surprised to find yourself trying to explain bits of it to other people and failing dismally, waving your arms vaguely and suddenly realising that you're not *quite* sure exactly what was going on in the book, but you're absolutely certain it was very deep and profound.
Come to think of it, I should probably read the thing again, some of it might stick the second time around
Jim diGriz Posted May 31, 2000
GEB is one of my fave books too!
First read it in about 1983. I recently got the 20th anniversary edition with the new preface and read it again. Amazing how much I'd missed when I read it 17 years ago! (Is it really that long? Wow! ) Also amazing how much of it sunk in so deep that I didn't realise where many of my ideas came from in that period.
This year I've also read _Le Ton Beau de Marot: In Praise of the Beauty of Language_, also by Hofstadter. That's good, tho' not in quite the same way as GEB.
I had a brief email chat with the man himself a few months ago; very pleasant fellow.
As to Bach, he also shows up in a small but interesting way in DNA's _Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency_.
Livzy Posted Jun 1, 2000
But is his bite worse???
His bach is worse than his bite..
I don'tknow why I bother...
You lot don't know why I bother either...
Blah blah blah
Freakazoid Gruntbubbly Posted Jun 1, 2000
Bach changed the face of music. He was the sonic equivalent of a supernova - except he exploded in harmony.
An American biologist was once asked how would he like to represent Humanity if he ever met an alien race. He replied, "I'd play them the complete works of Bach. But that would be boasting."
I think that says it all, well, maybe it doesn't say anything about this giant's life or how he composed such masterpieces.... but I don't care. I love grand statements. Details just spoil it. So there.
? Posted Jan 4, 2001
I cannot tell you how the great Bach composed ALL his music, but a lot of it was composed completely mathematically.
I believe this was also the reason for the connection "Gödel-Escher-Bach": they all used mathematics in different and innovative ways.
Sho - employed again! Posted Jan 5, 2001
From what I remember of my tortuous (and tortured) music lessons at school, music was mathematical because at that time they didn't "understand" it's dynamics as we do now. It used to bug the pants off me that our music teacher (and my co-pupils) could take one look at a homework which took me hours & hours and said: "oh it's rubbish, wait till you hear it".
Many years later I realised that what I had hoped would sound baroque was, in fact, Jazz!
But I'm going to check-out the GEB book - sounds good.
? Posted Jan 5, 2001
I will even take this one (or several) step(s) further: believe it or not, but a lot of techno is like that too. Some classically schooled musicians I am acquainted with have already been amazed by some "technically difficult" passages (just like they have been amazed before by several Beatles-pieces: "A Day In The Life" springs immediately to my mind).
What amazes them most, is that almost everything is done "by ear", and is remixed and fiddled with in studios or on computers until it "sounds right".
Techno is, one could say, a counterpoint-revival.
If JS were still alive, maybe he would make us dance in clubs...
Jim diGriz Posted Jan 5, 2001
Here in the UK, one of 1999's most popular dance tracks was William Orbit's remix of Barber's Adagio.
I quite liked the original, but d'ya know, I actually prefer the remix! Unusual, but there you go.
Maybe I'm getting young.
Barney's Bucksaws Posted Jan 6, 2001
I have struggled (sometimes without satisfactory results!) to play Bach. His odd note combinations sometimes put me off till I put the whole phrase together, then they work. The music, at first glance, looks like ants crawling across the page - he sure loved notes! If you can master a piece of Bach, its well worth all the effort!
Sho - employed again! Posted Jan 8, 2001
I hated Bach for about 15 years. Couldn't even be in the same room if it was being played quietly (which it never is). The one day a friend asked me to go to this thing she was performing in. Couldn't say no, and it was.... aarrgghhh!... Wachet Auf! which I had struggled with at school. To my absolute horror I found that I really enjoyed it, all the more because I knew about Bach, knew why the piece had been written, could understand it (more than just the text, if you see what I mean) etc. etc. Since then I have become a fan, although I still can't abide the Brandenburg Concertos. Can't have everything, though.
? Posted Jan 8, 2001
Yes, I've known Orbit's work for years now, and he has some really good ideas. His version of Barbar's Adagio really "worked". He made a whole cd of "remixes" (reworkings is a better word) of classical pieces.
It should happen more, but then again, I'm not sure if everybody would do it just as tastefully as William...
Getting or feeling younger is a beneficial side-effect of electronic dance-music, so there's nothing wrong with you, on the contrary...
markgaltrey Posted Feb 18, 2003
You should read DNA's notes to the Britten/ECO recording of the Brandenburgs (in Salmon of Doubt) and then listen to the real thing - I've never needed convincing that BAch was one of the greatest to walk among us, but DNA would do a good job if I needed it...
hoping you'll see the light...
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: 26199 (May 31, 2000)
- 2: magrathea (May 31, 2000)
- 3: Oscar (May 31, 2000)
- 4: 26199 (May 31, 2000)
- 5: Jim diGriz (May 31, 2000)
- 6: Livzy (Jun 1, 2000)
- 7: Freakazoid Gruntbubbly (Jun 1, 2000)
- 8: ? (Jan 4, 2001)
- 9: Sho - employed again! (Jan 5, 2001)
- 10: ? (Jan 5, 2001)
- 11: Jim diGriz (Jan 5, 2001)
- 12: Barney's Bucksaws (Jan 6, 2001)
- 13: Sho - employed again! (Jan 8, 2001)
- 14: ? (Jan 8, 2001)
- 15: markgaltrey (Feb 18, 2003)