Monday, April 07, 2003

So that CD I got yesterday I mostly got because it had Nuvoletta on it, but I've been listening to the rest of it to see what other sort of songs Barber wrote. There are some others on it that I like, but it's also got me thinking about why it is that I usually don't care for the "art song" sort of music (I think that's what to call it) like this or like the recital the other day. I think it mostly just has to do with the human voice and the way it's used. It doesn't matter if I understand the language or not. The sound of the voice just has a couple decades worth of non-musical meaning already built up in my brain, so I'm much more accutely conscious of enunciation, vibrato, register, volume and dissonance that I am with instruments. Or maybe "conscious" isn't the right word, but I have different associations with all those qualities in a voice and they distract me from the music. Also, they tend to sound very affected to me, whereas with folk or pop music or something singers are more likely to sound more natural. So in that sense it's sort of related to my feelings about fiddle vs. violin music, though that's not as severe a disparity, since it doesn't have the non-musical aspect to it so much. Anyway, I can hardly fault the composers for writing such vocal pieces, since they're just trying to make the most of the instrument to express the text, which is exactly what they should do. It's more an issue in my own brain. Oh well. Maybe I should just listen to some more of this stuff and learn more about it.

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