How would people from the 1600’s react to EDM (Dubstep, Chillstep, and etc.)?

By: | Post date: June 6, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Music

This question comes up a lot in different guises. Let me put up a related question.

Let’s say some contemporary of Beethoven’s—in fact, a classmate of Beethoven’s—started writing music a century ahead of his time. With polyrhythms, and atonality, and all that nice Stravinsky stuff.

What would Beethoven make of him?

I give you: Anton Reicha, and his 36 Fugues (Reicha).

Beethoven’s reaction?

Ludwig van Beethoven, who dismissed Reicha’s method for turning the fugue into something that is no longer a fugue (“daß die Fuge keine Fuge mehr ist”)

Not clear that Beethoven even noticed the polyrhythms.

What happens if your music is 100 years ahead of its time? It simply doesn’t compute for your contemporaries; and they ignore it.

Listening to Reicha’s fugues is trippy, btw. You see what he’s doing with his experimentation; and then all of a sudden, you’re catapulted back into the world of the Mozart toy piano. (Yes, the recording I have is fortepiano.)

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