What’s the best piece of music of all time?

What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Not your favourite; the best. I’d like to know - IYHO.

3…2…1….

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

J.S. Bach - Badinerie

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Shostakovitch - Violin Concerto no. 1, op. 99.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

From Handel’s Oratorio, ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’, from Solomon

or

Prokofiev’s, ‘Peter and the Wolf’

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

"Assholes On Parade" by "Timbuk3"

Posted by .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Foxhunter’s Reel a la Tulla Ceili Band.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, "The Pastoral".

Well, one of Beethoven’s Symphonies anyway. The Fifth and Third vie for grandeur (not that I’ve heard them for ages), and maybe one of those is the one I ought to call the *best*, but the Sixth is a marvellous and generous musical expression of happiness, and in the end I’d choose a piece that conveyed peaceable happiness to one that made me feel I was, or ought to be, a storm-tossed man of destiny.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Can there be one? The music of the spheres, whale song, hummingbird wings, bat wings, starlings in flight, being caught in the middle of swarming bees, the wolves call echoing down dark valleys and across mountains, a lune’s song echoing off of a still lake, the leap and splash of fish, the babbling brook, buried the rush of water beneath a fall, the echo in a sea shell ~ there is no one thing, they are all music in a constant flow, and sometimes we capture some grain of sand’s worth in a jig, waltz or other melody… Sometimes it is the act of one musician, whether by instinct in a blackbird, or by design under a bow in the hands of another ~ and sometimes it is a group effort, the noise of a tree full of starlings or the mayhem of a session… I can’t give you one best, sorry…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I’ve always prefered the 7th and 8th. (well, not always, I prefered the 6th when I was 6.

Posted .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

But "c", surely there must be a piece that, for you, represents the greatest musical accomplishment by a human being?

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

The Chaconne from Bach’s violin partita in Dm.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I always liked the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th

that and the Ramones playing "Beat on the Brat"

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Pasacaglia and Fugue in C minor by JS Bach. Emotional, powerful, passionate, transcendental, glorious. The summation of man’s achievements and failings, hopes and fears.

As a whole, the Art of the Fugue comes close, but doesn’t grab the gut as much.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Rimsky-Korsakav’s Scheherezade —- can listen to it again and again, and Copland’s Appalachian Spring …

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Schubert’s Quintet in C

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Ooh yes, is that the one with two cellos? I love it love it love it

Posted .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

it could be ‘i giorni’ by Ludovico Einaudi, or rhapsody in blue by gershwin,

really though it has to be tommy keane playing willies polka.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

My desert-island CD would be Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (that’s a lot of "tunes", though). Followed closely by Ralph Vaughan Williams’ "The Lark Ascending" - probably the best "fiddle tune" ever written.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Bob the Builder

by Bob the Builder

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I’m with ceolachan, I couldn’t pick one melody as the best. There are often times that I am moved when listening to something, and can think "this is the best thing I’ve ever heard", but then something else will move me the next day. And the same piece of music doesn’t always move me the same way. It has much more to do with my emotional state at the time of listening than the actual piece of music.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

My personal choice would probably be Allegri’s Miserere Mei. Or if I’m in a more volatile mood, Verdi’s Dies Irae!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

ahh, now see? Your mood is now affecting your choice too! ;-)

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

The Ramones first album.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

HA HA HA!!!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Father Ted’s "My Lovely Horse"

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

LOL
This is a trick question, right ?

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

This question reminds me of the Monty Python sketch concerning the creation of the world’s greatest joke whose effect was so powerful that anyone hearing it immediately died in a paroxysm of laughter.

If there was such a thing as ‘the best piece of music of all time’, then we’d all have twigged this long ago - and add whatever consequences of this action you prefer.

Apart from that it’s down to favourites. ‘Peaches En Regalia’ would be mine.

Posted by .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Possibly the squalling of mehitabel23 as she is swung many times by the heels and projected into a mudbath or the Pacific Ocean… I have just taken a look at her curious details…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

"But "c", surely there must be a piece that, for you, represents the greatest musical accomplishment by a human being?" ~ mehitabel

Dear mehit, honestly, I can’t. It’s for the moment with me, really, and if you want man-made, I’ve had a thrill with single banger engins, boats or motorbikes, growling and rattling and banging away, lovely, crossing a lake or being and ass and jumping over a rivulet to my impending doom ~ I rolled it and came out of that one very sore. Of the constant flow of music I feel blessed by, what must be the greatest highs imaginable, for me anyway, better than anything chemistry could throw at me ~ there was an old fiddler (one of many) with his badly damaged fiddle, three strings, and his bow also not in great shape, and him managing to scrape tunes for me, with a wide grin revealing missing and damaged teeth. This was in an area of the North, Ulster, where there was a lot of paranoia, the consequence of which there were very few opportunities for the music as this old fella had lived through, house gatherings and dances. But, I have to say, it didn’t begin there and it didn’t end there. Yes, there are highs, but more than one, and sometimes when I’m working a tune just comes on me, stays for awhile and gives me pleasure, and then is gone.

So, really, there is no single composer, though I like Mozart and that gang in the right hands, and there’s no single fiddler or box player or flute player or ~ … I will say this, I seem to appreciate the passion behind the music more than the colleciton of notes that make up the melody. I’ve heard some great musicians, and while I appreciate their talent, that scraping old fiddler, and folks of that ilk, means more to me, rates higher and of greater value. It’s a little like what I have experience with some types of poverty, or what the West might tag as poverty ~ you meet these folks and they are just so generous, including with their music.

Another moment ~ listening to Con Cassidy’s music while dancing with his wife, or was it his sister. That is my best music, whatever piece of music they’ve offered up, but it is more than the music, much, much more…

Did I mention the wind in leaves? I know, not ‘manufacutred’, not ‘manmade’ ~ but, I remember hiking in to virgin forest, which is where the wood has never been cut, and, I will admit, hugging trees and listening, lying down and looking up and watching the movement of leaves against sky, and listening to that music… Yes, I love music, as a whole, not just as something broken up and filed away into different categories or values. I hate the whole BS about competition and the idea you can value a musician as 1st, 2nd & 3rd, and the same would have to be said about the music ~ for me anyway. If I had to choose, well, it would be the music of wild things I would miss and want most above anything we as naked apes ever produced. However, I count us amongst the wild, and I feel blessed that I can appreciate Cage, Son House, The Rolling Stones, Gamelan & Floghera, Ragas & Rags, the master and the novice…

Maybe you mean dots? ~ something material, down on paper, like a symphony? ~ But dots are nothing until someone comes along and breaths life into them… And that life also existed and exists without dots…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

A blackbird whistling…or just after.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I think it’s really interesting that so many people (seems like a strong majority) put down classical pieces.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

for me, it’s the Lux Aeterna section of the Agnus Dei, from Faure’s Requiem.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

At the moment can’t decide between The Doors - LA Woman and Joni Mitchell - Conversation (from Ladies of the Canyon)

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

4’ 33" composed by John Cage
recorded at Szombathely, Börzsöny Hills
Perhaps Cage’s most famous and controversial piece. This piece was written without any music. The musician(s) are supposed to remain silent for 4 minutes and 33 seconds. Any ambient noise in the room would be the music during the performance.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I’m right up there with Schubert’s Quintet in C, though in the end it’s one or the other of two pieces by Beethoven: either the 33 Variations on a waltz by Diabelli, or the Heiliger Dankgesang of the slow movement of the Quartet in A minor (or just the whole quartet. This isn’t Classic FM).

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Ohhhh Fauré’s Agnus Dei…<3

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

"Best" in what sense?

"Most effective" would probably be whatever they played that took out the walls of Jericho.

Posted by .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Come on there are way too many good pieces of music to call one "the best of all time"….aren’t there?

Although, Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in G Minor Opus 6 No. 8 never fails to move me to tears in the second movement. Led Zeppelin’s The Battle of Evermore is also up there (not in the moving to tears department, but just as a great song).

But I still don’t think you can dub one piece of music as the greatest of all time. There’s just too much music out there for that.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

What represents the greatest musical achievement by a human being. That’s how I define "best".

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Jack Fig - Leo Kottke. The most abandoned,joyful tune I’ve ever heard.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Depeche Mode’s Violator (the album as a whole).

I find it hilarious that so few are putting down trad tunes.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Each and every human being’s greatest musical achievement?

Oh man, we’re gonna be here a while. ;-)

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Leave me alone - English isn’t my first language!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

You’re right, I’m sorry. My Ixian Islandese is a little rusty though!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

A ittle^lay it&bay of actice*pray ould£way elp¬hay.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Your highness, I beg your pardon. It’s been years since I served at the Royal Court of Ix. Perhaps a new, high-paying commission as court jester would refresh my memory? [ahem ahem]

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Limerick’s Lament.

Then Dylan, "Just like a woman".

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Ix is submerged beneath the waves, you snivelling little oik. However I will take pity on you and hire you as my personal jester anyways. You start on Monday, 9am, and you must provide your own costume. £11.50 an hour plus impressive bonuses.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I’ve transcribed 4’ 33” for guitar. I wanted to do it for cello, but I don’t play cello.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

It’s easy on cello, Bob. The tune practically plays itself.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Now just wait a second, I’ll need to get this offer approved by the Jester’s Union.

Hey, just because your court is underwater doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t hold court!

In fact, I’m going to hit the courts right now, work on my dribbling, and no, I don’t mean when I eat.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I imagine I have very often been requested to play impromptus of 4’ 33" on the melodeon, but that these have been drowned out by its renderings (rendings?) of more conventional material at the time.

“What represents the greatest musical achievement by a human being?”

~ mehitabel

The first audible mime of the wildlife around them… That first seed planted and the smile that must have raised in laughter when they realized they could…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Bob himself, that sounds pretty interesting. Could you send me the tablature for that? Oh, wait, I already have it….

Caa like a crow and bark like a dog… ;-)

& slap your thighs it’s square dance time… YEE HA!!!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

4’ 33" ~ I’ll play the cello part Bob…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

They say you can play 4’33" in 3’39" if you take out all the rests.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Rakish Paddy.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

That’s a sin cuchulain54, resting is integral to the music…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

If you want a definitive answer, send me a mail. Apart from a few near misses, nothing, so far, comes anywhere close. How can anyone say that some of the pompous, elitist classical nonsense mentioned here is some of the best music ever? Get a life.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

uh oh - here we go eating the soccer team again.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

that is a terrible, terrible euphemism. I’m going on vacation tomorrow - up to the festival of American fiddle tunes. I’ll think about my behavior. I couldn’t pick one best piece of music, but nowadays I can hardly listen to some of those pop songs I used to think were just amazing…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Pompous, elitist classical nonsense? Nah. Most of those classical great guys were writing the pop music of their times. You tell Beethoven that he was elitist and he’d rip yer ‘ead off. He was a human being among human beings, first and foremost. Prague and Vienna were Mozart’s bread and butter and he could only eke a living by getting the crowds in. No CD sales, no merchandise! You think he could do that by being elitist? Your problem is that you haven’t studied it and you don’t get it. Frankly, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not very interested in Bob Dylan or the Rolling Stones as it happens so that makes me the least qualified person on the planet to denigrate ‘em (I have been known to lapse, intemperately). Give the pompous stuff a whirl, pal. It’s utterly approachable and has loads of layers in it, something for everyone. Get a life.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Surely, if you take out all the rests, you can play 4’33" in the blink of an eye?

Strayaway, why do we have to e-mail you for your answer? Why is your answer more elite than everyone else’s?

Posted .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

River of Jordan by the Carter Family.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Pop music of it’s time it maybe was, it just doesn’t do it for me. I stand by my comment that is elitist, in todays world, at any rate. I think you probably know what I’m talking about. I have no doubt that the music is supremely composed and executed but that makes it a tad conservative in my book. Loads of layers indeed, so has "Loveless" by My Bloody Valentine, which, as you undoubtedly know, is brilliant. Your suggestion that I have a problem with not studying classical music is a bit presumptious, how do you know? I won’t ask you to study Dylan, good as he is, or indeed to even listen to Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terry, The Velvet Underground, Tom Waits, Dick Gaughan, Bob Marley, Roy Harper, Neil Young or any of the many fantastic artists that have given me so much pleasure over many years. BTW, I seen Neil Young give a brilliantly brutal display of guitar terrorism on Sunday night, passion, power, soul, he even played the pump organ.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

llig, to save those who don’t want to know (all of you?) the bother of reading it.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

There are many intelligent answers here. I’m impressed. And then, there are the idiots. I’m impressed as well. But you said "of all time". I’d have to go with J.S. Bach’s Air for the G String. Sure, I’ll get some genius who will make the usual joke, but if I were dying, that’s what I want to hear at my last breath. Now if you are talking modern, then the best tune might be Protected by Angels by Paddy Moloney for the movie, "Babe, Pig in the City". As far as the best song, that would be Mail Order Annie by Harry Chapin.

Just my $0.02.

Bob

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

The Muffin Man.

by Zappa

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

As it happens I’m a virtual Woody Guthrie completist, I love him so much, and I’m also a great admirer of Dick Gaughan. Tell me more about those classical studies that turned you off so that I won’t in future make entirely natural presumptions about you from what you post. And a tad conservative? Well that just shows you don’t know what you’re on about. There’s a good case for saying that each one of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven was a revolutionary, and if you want a big essay about it I’ll give you one. To take a particular set of examples, The Eroica symphony, the F major Razumovsky quartet and the Appassionata piano sonata of Beethoven stand at the very crossroads of Western music. They were absolutely fresh, new and pivotal in swinging music away from the past (whilst paying tribute to it) and pointing it firmly into the future. And the echos of that big bang resound today in all genres. Not everyone knows this, and bad luck to anyone in ignorance of it who persists in denigrating these guys as "conservatives." The easiest thing to do is give it a listen.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

We have no idea that the best piece of music of all time was composed on Earth. The competition is suspended!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Bach, Goldberg. Preferably Gould ‘81.

That or Beethoven’s Ninth.

Or John Doherty playing Stormy Weather in 1952.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Very silly question, really.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Och, ye’ll hae tae fin’ it yersel’ :-D

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Ha! Mariska, I’ll see your Muffin Man and raise you this…

Sam with the showing scalp flat top,
particular about the point it made.
Why, when I was knee-high to a grasshopper,
this black juice came out on a hard shelled chin.
And that called that ‘tobacco juice’.
I used to fiddle with my back feet music for a black onyx.
My entire room absorbed every echo.


The music was… thud like. The music was… thud like.
I usually played such things as rough-neck and thug.
Opaque melodies that would bug most people.
Music from the other side of the fence.
A black swan figurine lay on all color lily pads.
On a little conglomeration table of pressed black felt.
With same color shadows, and obscene knob knees and what-nots.
The long hallway rolled out into oddball odd.
Beside the fly-pecked black doorway,
that looked closed on the tar-lattice street.
Up a wrought iron fire escape.
Rolled out a tiny wooden platform with
dark, hard, dark rubber wheels.
Roll, skreek! Roll, skreek! Roll, skreek!
Sam with the showing scalp flat top,
particular about the point it made.


Sam was a BASKET CASE!

A hardened dark ivory clip held saleable everyday pencils.
I wish I had a pair ‘o bongos!
Bongo Fury! Bongo Fury!
Oowwwww! Bongo Fury!
(boogie!)
Bongo Fury! Bongo Fury!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

So all the diddley players here are all closeted (or not, at this point) classical aficionados? Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I have been known to listen to classical music without knowing who the composer is. I did get into Debussy for a while, piano stuff, after someone described him as the "Leonard Cohen of classical"

Saw Leonard in Dublin a few weeks ago. Absolutely amazing, a spiritual experience I kid you not.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

May I point out that "all time" hasn’t occurred yet? Can we postpone the discussion until the universe ends? We’ll need the time to argue on the criteria by which to judge.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Ha Gary, that’s brilliant. I love the idea that someone can call halt to anything new, while we decide.

Posted .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Any of the 555 keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti (I just had to to say that because I am a piano player)
I thought Ix was one of the worlds in the Corrino Empire of the Dune (or Arrakis) series by the late Frank Herbert.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Thanks. I think that’s the greatest idea of all time. Meanwhile, there’s a new "greatest" thread developing.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I nominate Mahler’s ‘Das Lied von der Erde’ … but it’s a silly question,
isn’t it? Maybe it should be ‘Walzing Matilda?’

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Of course it’s a silly question. We’re silly people. Or maybe it’s not a silly question if it provokes so much reflection and so many reponses. The best questions are always the ones with no final answer.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

That pompous, elitist, conservative Bach scored a couple of top forty hits back in the 1960’s and 70’s.

I must say I admire the taste displayed in this discussion. I surely wouldn’t argue against Air on a G String or Rakish Paddy or several others mentioned here.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Theme from Shaft by Isaac Hayes,

Without question the best piece of music ever written……..

I’m amazed to see so many seemingly hard-core trad heads list classical pieces. If you must list a classical piece at least say something like ‘The Rite of Spring’ by Stravinsky. Almost 100 years later it’s still way ahead of its time. Beethoven, Bach etc all wrote magnificent music but it mostly all sounds very much of its time, ‘Rite of Spring’ sounds ancient, current and futuristic all at the same time.

I wouldn’t say it’s the greatest piece of all time though, Shaft is just so damn good………..

Posted .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

That bass line from Shaft _is_ classic for sure - like a Greek temple.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

ok, i’ll play….

john coltrane, "A Love Supreme"…..

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Either
Conlagh’s Big Day by Brian Finnegan
or
The Singing Stream - By Niall Valelly

Posted by .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

"Squeeze my Lemon till the Juice Runs Down my Leg"

"An Phis Fhliuch"

And that’s just scratching the surface, a couple of grains of the celestial orchestra that makes up this universe we occupy a very small part of…a bit of sluce, ‘clay’ with attitude…

Please, please, please ~ no one say something as daft as "Wizard’s Walk"… Somebody hobble that bashturd… :-/

CODA: Actually ~ each to their own eh? That’s why there can never be a ‘best’… ;-)

Re: What’s the west piece of mushuck of all rime?

Opus 95 ~ 5 more and it will break 100…

Re: What’s the best music?

96 ~ mano a mano ~ music from the heart… Music that makes you think, makes you feel, music that smiles, music soaked in pain and tears, music that you just have to move your feet to, music that makes you want to dance, music that welcomes and draws you in and says ~ "go on, give me a try!"

Discussion: The best music of all time…what tha?

# Posted on July 3rd 2008 by bb Cruella de vil
https://thesession.org/discussions/18323

* music that that connects, that makes connections….

97 ~ 3 more to reach 100… 8-)

Re: What’s the least fragment of music in ALL time & space?

"MUSIC!!!" ~ is a collective noun…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Communication, human speech, which also includes song? :-/

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

100 ~ Hallelujah!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

101

Posted by .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

So Beethoven and the old brigade wrote magnificent music but it sounds very much of its time, huh? Try these for size: the slow sections of the Goldberg Variations. You really do have to engage and listen (maybe that’s the problem!) The slow movements of the Schubert Quintet in C and his late piano sonata D959. The Andante, Fughetta: Andante and Fuga variations in Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge from the Bb quartet. Just tell me that any of that lot sound "dated" compared to Stravinsky! In fact, Stravinsky himself said of the Grosse Fuge that it is "this absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever." And finally, turn up the volume and put on the finale of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony and then tell me it’s dated. It’s astonishing!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I like it, especially the laughter…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I tried to play a polka while riding my bike tonight - it was much harder than I’d expected. I’ve been air fiddling during my commute, so I thought I’d have it right off the bat! I think I need a polka with less range - if the B part weren’t all on the E string it wouldn’t upset my balance so much - any ideas?

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Nah, I think jigs would be better for bicyling…

How about a ‘slip’ jig ~ at the moment I’m quite enjoying malt ~

"The Maltman Comes On Monday"

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Reels would be best for fishing though.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

wow, if I could play that while riding a bike I’d never have to work again. Not sure if I can pedal in 9/8 though…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Okay, yah, I just woke up and it was intriguing to read all this.

Strayaway - ????????????????? Are you taking the p*ss? I am assuming (so sue me) that you don’t study classical music. It annoys me that you label it elitist - how RIDICULOUS. Look at ourselves, our very own mustard board and the snobbishness of some people on here first before you go labelling some of the finest music "elitist" because you don’t like it. It’s £25 for a ticket to the opera, £60 for a ticket to a football match…

GaryAMartin - I apologise profusely for this schoolgirl error. But I’ll take this opportunity to point out that I am still at school ;-)

Tintin - I don’t think you have to be a classical aficionado to recognise the brilliance in some classical music.

All of you - I love you all. And the longer the thread, the better the question - naturally.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Sorry I’m a bit late, but the Beethoven results are in decline so I’ll go for the 9th

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Steve Shaw, I know all the music you are talking about. Some of it is of course ahead of its time but none of it sounds like it was written after the year 1900, all the traits of the Baroque are in Bach, all the traits of classical period in Mozart, all the traits of Classical/Romantic in Beethoven/Schubert. Some of the music they wrote is astonishing but it is almost all easily categorised within a general style of music, even Beethoven’s ‘Grosse Fuge’ because it is (a) a Fugue and (b) uses a harmonic language that while certainly ahead of its time still sounds pre-20th Century.

The Rite of Spring isn’t easily classifiable like that, there are no real traits of a general early 20th Century music style or indeed any previous style in the piece, composers today are still coming to terms with its wild rhythmic and harmonic innovations. I’d say most music lovers would find the pieces you mentioned appealing to listen to. The Rite of Spring still divides people 100 years after the riot it caused. Some think it’s the greatest piece of music ever written, some just don’t get it and think it’s a big wall of noise. The fact that a large amount of people do think it’s a masterpiece yet many others don’t understand it at all means it is still ahead of its time.

I think by the nature of the piece it’ll never be capable of being background music like Bach, Beethoven and Mozart can be. Put any of those pieces you mentioned on at a posh dinner party and I’m sure no one will bat an eyelid, The Rite of Spring just couldn’t be put on as background music. It demands to be listened to and that’s why it is such a great piece, every time I listen to it I hear something new, the same certainly cannot be said of anything Mozart (the most overrated composer in history) ever wrote.

Anyway, why the hell are we debating the merits of the great classical composers on a trad website?

Perhaps a more relevant question that could be asked of us would be what’s the greatest piece of Irish traditional music of all time.

My vote would probably go for one of the strange airs like Gol na mBan san Ár or Port na bPúcaí. Both are utter masterpieces

Posted .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Debussy was a brilliant critic. I often think of his one liner on the rite of spring " primitive music with all modern conveniences" when listening to certain moderntradgroups. My favourite second of music is: paddy canny , b part, repeal of the union, 1st bar. Mysterious beauty.

Posted by .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I agree with everything Dave said about Mozart and Stravinsky.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

First choice, Happy Birthday. Everyone recognizes it, can play it, enjoys it and you get a free drink at the bar when it’s your turn.

Then there’s Orff’s O Fortuna from Carmina Burana:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=klQIDr1_nZM

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

For a longhair Strav really understood folk. the thought of him getting his hands on some proper modal tunes …There’s a recording of Les Noces by, I think, the Pokrovsky ensemble which hints at what could have been. Of course the rite is astonishing epochal etc its just that my taste is more chamber than symphony.

Posted by .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I’ve read some superficial drivel about classical in my time, flokko, but that takes the biscuit. The Grosse Fuge is not "a fugue." It has major opening and non-fugal concluding sections, with a very varied middle section (including a nice little 6/8!) flanked by TWO huge fugues, which are not only different music but which are in different keys. You have given yourself away I’m afraid, and most of the rest of your assertions are similarly shaky. And that bit about background music is your crowning glory. The nonsense only dries up in your last paragrph but even there one could jib at the use of the word "masterpiece."

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

The best piece of music of all time is Ag Taisteal Na Blárnan.

P.S. I hate classical music. I was tortured with it as a child, I have horrible, painful memories. Well, no, not really, just memories of snobby classical teachers scoffing and mocking my desire to play traditional fiddle music. I will forever hold a grudge. [crosses arms, turns up nose, harrumphs]

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

"The Grosse Fuge is not "a fugue." says professor Shaw.

Better tell that to Beethoven then, why did he call it a Grosse Fuge if it’s not a fugue?!!

It has fugues within an overall huge fugue structure along with some ‘free sections’ which are in most fugues.

IMy main point though was that while it is undeniably a great masterpiece, to modern ears it sounds very much like a piece of 19th Century Classical music. If you think it sounds as fresh and contemporary as the Rite of Spring you’ve obviously not listened to much 20th-21st Century Classical Music.

As for Debussy’s critique of the ‘Rite of Spring’, I think he’d be a bit embarrassed about that now, much as the critic who said of Debussy’s ‘La Mer’, ‘I can hear nothing of the sea in it’,

Anyway enough of this nonsense about classical music, the person who posted a recent discussion was right, we should leave this for a classical music discussion board.

I still can’t believe how many of you rate classical music so much higher than trad.

Whatever about the big complex structures of some of these pieces, very few classical pieces have melodies that can match the great trad tunes, in fact many of them (including some Beethoven and Stravinsky) are even based on folk tunes. So without the great folk melodies they’d be nothing.

Posted .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I have found three pieces that reflect a ‘perfect storm’ of music traits that make them the ‘best’. They are seminal to most music.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Bach’s Ode to Joy Theme, and
Take me out to the Ball game.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Seriously. Think about them. In one variation or another, their tune, chord structure or harmonics show up in most things!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I also like Clapton’s Layla and Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I’ll defer to Stravinsky’s opinion as to whether it sounds as fresh and contemporary as The Rite. Carolan called a piece a concerto that wasn’t one. Debussy wrote a piece called La Mer that had nothing to do with horses whatsoever, nor with his mother. Listen to the Grosse Fuge again. It might encourage you to avoid writing guff like that bit about free sections in most fugues. Meaningless tosh, I fear. Now this is the second time in this thread you’ve had your lengthy say about classical then, at the end, decried the discussion of it. Odd. If you don’t think we should be discussing it, stop discussing it.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

"I also like Clapton’s Layla and Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit"
I love the electric Layla, but hate de unplugged one.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

adagio in C on the bodhran?

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

My money’s on Sorabji’s "Opus Clavicembalisticum".

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I don’t care, personally, whether a particular composer or a particular piece was "ahead of its time" or "of its time" or whatever.
My only criteria is: "Does it engage my mind? Does it engage my soul?" Much music does one or the other. Harder to find music that challenges the intellect while grabbing the heart at the same time. That’s why Bach’s music is still fresh, will always be contemporary, until such time as men no longer have minds or souls.
Loving Bach is not snobbery. Snobbery would be pretending to like Bach because one thinks it makes one appear cultured or whatever. Bach is simply great music and people with good ears for music will always respond to it. "Bach is the musicians’ musician" is the way I’ve heard it said.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

This one: It’s the song of the air-handling system in the building - I think it’s called "Deep Wind with Random Thumps and Admonitions".

Posted by .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Well said, Richard. I love Bach too but I might have to give you a fight over whether he’s better than Mozart or Beethoven. Have just driven from Wadebridge to Bude, just long enough to hear the whole of the Prague Symphony. I got home wondering guiltily whether there should be laws against conducting the car CD player and pum-pumming at 133.8 decibels. Got home all cheery though! :-D

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Kudos to Richard for a perfect explanation about the snobbishness associated with classical music. Why can’t I vocalise my thoughts in a neat and coherent way like that? *punches own nose*

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Some of us fell secretly, and hopelessly in love with orchestral music, in spite of our music-appriciation teachers, and in spite of the indifference/hatred for this music shown by the larger US culture as a whole. But this animosity goes on in Europe too? I thought Europeans venerated the classical music as another pridefull bit of collective heritage and birthright.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

"Why can’t I vocalise my thoughts in a neat and coherent way like that? *punches own nose*" ~ mehit

Because the physical abuse is catching up with you. Stop punching yourself and please, please ~ remove the foot from your mouth… It’s just so unsightly, you hopping around here and there on one leg…


A phrase like ‘collective heritage and birthright’ always sends a chill up my spine, like something awful is about to happen, in a jingoistic tyrannical sort of way… :-/

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Yup, you’re right we’re going to invade. Resistance is futile. SORRY SORRY ONLY KIDDING. DAMNED BAD TASTE SORRY Maybe music appreciation is taught differently for kids in a country like, say, Austria. Back in the US, among a lot of folks, classical music is dismissed as being too European. But even Europeans dismiss it?

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

It may be that the whole regimented business of teaching children to like something, Jigs, reels, sonatas, anything, is doomed to failure. Certainly, some progressive educators, somewhere, have the solution for awakening music hunger in kids. I wish I’d met up with teachers like that when I was in school.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

On reading back aforementioned chilling passage, I was creeped out too. It’s a bit Hitler Youth, Paisley, and contemporary White House press secretary. It might actually be Bismarkian. Bismark was a good, solid European. American schools were run for the longest time using his theories and methods. Explains a lot.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

‘When I hear that word ‘culture’, I reach for my revolver’….

We Europeans dismiss everything American. It’s just too American,

Bismark ? Much too German. How about Napoleon ? Too French ? Karl Marx ? too Marxist. Tolstoy ? Too Russian. Freud ? Too Freudian…..Whose left ? Or, should that be, ‘right’ ?

If you want to know who influenced American schooling, I recommend

http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/historytour/history1.htm

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Oh no - not again. This is like the second thread in two days where I have realised that I am no musician, I do not respond to Bach - therefore have no good ears, this is a tragedy.

Posted by .

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

"awakening music hunger in kids" ~ have faith!!!

We regularly subject young children here, my wife a primary school teacher, to different music. It doesn’t need awakening, it is, if anything, suppressed by neglectful and uninspired parents and others, or perverted?

The music my wife takes into school is often just selected at random. It can fit into the wide realm of what others class as classical, or it can be from other genres. What is a joy is that the children, all very young, always respond to it favourably, though sometimes bemused by some more unusual selections. Recently it has been music from the Inidan sub-continent, a really wide variety, as that part of the world is rich in variety. Previously it was examples of another widely varied large geographic realm ~ Africa. They were excited by what they heard. They now regularly request things though they can’t remember the names of things. Amongst their favourites are the piano works of Satie, played by Rogé. They also really liked Flaco Jimenez. Even more promising, there wasn’t anything they disliked, though there were things they weren’t sure of ~ needing another listen… Children are blessed, they are born with music, it takes us and the lack of nurture to suppress their natural rhythms and appreciations… Also ~ they all seem to love moving to music ~ dancing… Time and other things influence some of us away from these gifts and their appreciation… It isn’t a ‘natural’ fault with children, it is acquired, like other bad habits…

Re: What’s the best we can do with music & dance? ~ share it, pass it on…

I used to help design, organize and run an annual teen camp, promoting higher and further education. As a break I taught one of the regular workshops ~ dance. There wasn’t necessarily free choice involved. It always started out with a lot of groaning by the lads, and I promise you, some from the worst high schools in the county, there was attitude… The start was rough, but by the end they were all laughing and the attitudes were changed. What really made me smile ~ and I give the credit to the music and the dance, various traditions, Irish always included ~ those classes were always voted and awared by the teens ~ "Best Class"… And, furthering credit, those kids were a blast, such good fun. They helped to make it worthwhile and good kick…

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Cold showers would have prevented that groaning by the lads.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Yes, I would have welcomed that ~ summer and no air conditioning… I would have preferred to have held the class in a pool or a shower room… But I suspect you hint at another kind of bother… Yes, there was a bit of that. You should have heard the carry on when I had them pair up with someone of the opposite sex. I thought people grew out of that ‘cooties’ thing after they reached their teens?

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Good morning all! Ceolachan, that was a welcome read. Just the thing for a Saturday morning. We know that many, most, maybe all children are intrinsicly musical. The trick is keeping this inate gift alive throughout the period of musical training.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Wolfbird, Suppose George Bush or Dick Cheney had said: "When I hear that word culture, I reach for my revolver" While neither has actually said such a thing yet, it wouldn’t be too far out of character for either man. So suppose they said it. Wouldn’t you have more tender feelings for culture then?

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Intrinsically musical. Are there intrinsically good spellers? Doubtful.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

I thought I was the only one that talked to myself… :-)

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

As ‘intrinsic’ as a pumping heart, that beat, that flow of life giving oxygenated blood… ;-)

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Atahualpa Quigley, re your question directed at me, I hope you’ll fforgive me, but I’d need to devote my evening to an essay to provide an adequate response, and I have other plans. And also, the names you mention invariably make me angry and nauseous…
so I’ll refer you to someone who writes better than me…just look at the faces…I’ve been looking at human faces for almost 60 years and reckon I’m a fair judge of true character and know who I’d trust and believe, and who I wouldn’t…

"….close observers of this odd presidency note that Bush, like his evangelical base, believes he is on a mission from God and that faith trumps empirical evidence. Berman quotes a senior White House adviser who disdains what he calls the “reality-based” community, to which Berman sensibly responds: “If a nation is unable to perceive reality correctly, and persists in operating on the basis of faith-based delusions, its ability to hold its own in the world is pretty much foreclosed.”


http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/20060207_president_jonah_redux/?ln

btw, I don’t have any ‘feelings for culture’, either way. It’s too vast and abstract a term.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Even if it was about to be rounded up and shot?

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

There’s plenty of human culture that I’d like to see metaphorically rounded up and shot, because there’s plenty of human culture that does nothing to benefit humankind or the wider world, just perpetuates misery, ignorance, evil and suffering. There’s also plenty of human culture that is glorious, emancipating, inspiring, the most splendid aspects of our species. And plenty in the middle.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

In all its vastness and abstractness? Those two are preocupied with more lucrative perfidy, and too pressed for time to indulge in hobbies. We are WAY off the original subject. This has been fun. Thank you.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Woops cross post. One expects those two would want to annihiate the glorious, emancipating, and inspiring bits.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

A couple of days ago I mentioned the Sorabji piece for piano. But since it’s so difficult to compare piano with violin with cello (despite the best efforts of music competition judges!) it is only right that my personal awards should be,
for the violin: Bach’s "Chaconne" in D minor
for the cello: Kodaly’s Sonata Op 8 for solo cello.
The Bach has already been mentioned for the violin. I considered one of the Bach cello suites for the cello award, but even though they are at least as good as Bach’s violin compositions, I think the Kodaly wins by a good head. Listen to a recording by Janos Starker and you’ll see (hear?) what I mean. Kodaly, like Bartok, used Eastern European folk music sources, but his treatment of them is, in my opinion, rather more approachable than Bartok’s.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Sorabji "piece" did I write? A bit of a misnomer - that massive opus by Sorabji takes the best part of 5 hours to play, and not many pianists attempt it, for reasons of both technical difficulty and stamina.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Lazyhound, are you still out there. Maybe you or another classical/trad player can tell me your observations on something. I was wondering which would require more stamina: solo playing on the longer concert works: or playing tune for tune in a marathon session, with all smoke and bladder torture? It allways intrigues me to learn of these monster performance pieces. Do the audiences come and camp out for a Sorabji piece as audiences would for a puppet show in Indonesia?

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Always is spelled with one l, I know that.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

"Bach’s Ode to Joy Theme" ?

So Ludwig stole it? I knew he was a phony!

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Music works like the Opus Clavicembalisticum would only be played by highly-trained full-time professionals, who would be well aware of the stamina and fitness requirements for playing such music, and would take steps to ensure that they were able to play it to a professional standard.
The Opus Clavicembalisticum is nearly 5 hours on CD, but a live performance (rare in this case) would have comfort breaks, helped by the fact that it is in 19 sections. Khaikhosru Sorabji (very English, despite his name) was a virtuoso pianist who became a reclusive composer. During his lifetime he placed stringent restrictions on performances and recordings of his music, allowing such only to those musicians he considered were capable of playing it, but these restrictions may have been relaxed since his death a few years ago.

Re: What’s the best piece of music of all time?

Reign O’er Me- The Who