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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:40 pm 
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But why should we say in the "classical" tradition? Shouldn't jazz-influenced artists be credited as well?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:50 pm 
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It depends. Like give an example of a band you'd consider to be jazz-influenced.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:11 pm 
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A lot of prog groups were very jazz influenced. Bill Bruford, Richard Wright, and (to a lesser extent) Keith Emerson were jazz musicians.

I just think that specific saying "through the classical tradition" is unnecessary. We can judge the quality of the compositions not based on their similarities to classical compositions


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:36 pm 
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That's true, but Wright and Emerson seem to have influence from all over the place, and Bruford's compositions are mostly in fusion. And similarities to classical compositions won't put one composer over another, but should at least be used for eligibility.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:44 pm 
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beaverteeth92 wrote:
That's true, but Wright and Emerson seem to have influence from all over the place, and Bruford's compositions are mostly in fusion. And similarities to classical compositions won't put one composer over another, but should at least be used for eligibility.


Bruford mostly fusion? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:54 pm 
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His actual songwriting is mostly in fusion with Earthworks and Bruford, although he contributed to other peoples' songs in Yes and King Crimson.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:11 pm 
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beaverteeth92 wrote:
His actual songwriting is mostly in fusion with Earthworks and Bruford, although he contributed to other peoples' songs in Yes and King Crimson.


I've listened to all of Bruford's work, especially earthworks, it is fusion style, but he started with jazz and ended with jazz, his compositions however, I can't argue are not fusion, however they have more jazz elements than quite a bit of other fusion artists. He more resembles the chik corea style of fusion, which is the more jazz oriented area. However, his influences as people keep spouting are jazz oriented. Honestly I think it doesn't matter who developed from what. We're looking at their compositional ability, that is to write instrumental parts, either on sheet music or in their head, but it's the composing of the notes. The reason BW and Zappa are so far ahead is they've written parts for tons of different instruments, jazz, rock, and classically oriented, in the same songs, and how the parts compound upon eachother into sheer brilliance, which is what composition, and even symphonies, are all about. How hundreds of instrumentalists combine and compliment eachother musically into a masterpiece of art. I also feel influence is extremely important, but I also feel compositional ability is nearly equally important, and remember, especially in composition, skill is defined less by the technicality of the pieces and more by the musicality, making it extremely subjective. People could argue forever if Beehtoven, Bach, or Chopin/Liszt are the better composers. Chopin/Liszt are extremely technical, however, at least Liszt, sacrifices a lot of musicality and compositional versatility and complimentary parts for technical prowess, where Bach is arguably the most musical and gifted composer to ever touch classical music. However, Beehtoven is nearly on the level, if not on the level of musicality as Bach (had some of the most complex, brilliant, and beautiful chord resolutions and strange key changes that take a level of musicality and talent that rivals if not surpasses Beehtoven), but his massive influence and praise are what push him ahead to number 1 for probably eternity. Mozart gets ahead nearly purely on Influence and Acclaim, as his technicality and musical ability, though gigantic, don't compare to Beehtoven or Bach, or arguably Wagner.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:28 pm 
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That being said, we do need a criteria. Here would be mine, in reference to classical composers as well:

Composer is defined as any individual, or team of individuals, who write music for instrumental parts that go above and beyond generic rock instrumental compositions.

Tier 1:

Influence: defined just like in every other list
Musicality: Arguably the most important part of composition, and what sets composers leagues apart. This includes things such as chord resolutions and key usage, complementary instrumentals, placement and stylistic use of instruments, and overall mood, emotion, and power produced by the piece. The most subjective part of the criteria is without a doubt the most important. The actual measurable ability of this section needs to be discussed, this is going to be hard to determine.

Tier 2:

Acclaim/Reputation: self explanatory, response from the industry, peers, other musicians and composers on their work and style.

Tier 3:

Technicality of the pieces: History has shown that the technicality of a piece does not make it good, or show that they are any more of a composer than someone with simple, but tasteful compositions. However technicality will be taken into account, but complexity does not solely mean how hard the piece written is to play, but how difficult it is to compose the piece while keeping the harmonic design and musicianship. As in, if the music is still musical (i.e. not random noise), and contains much more difficult compositions, those artists will get the credit for making more complex musical pieces. However, work similar to that of Michael Angelo Batio style complexity gets you no points, as it lacks all musicality.

Extremely vague and rough, as I have no clue how to define this material, as what makes composers great is extremely subjective, but the beauty of it is something so subjective seems to have a surprisingly widespread consensus. like the emotional impact of a piece or the musicality behind some great orchestral works. It's so subjective, but for some reason so many people will tell you the emotional potency of Sonata Quasi Una Fantasia and the musical brilliance of Bachs chord resolutions.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:40 pm 
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I say we move acclaim / reputation to the first tier and make 'musicality' a part of the 'technicality' which you defined. That would be more objective


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:12 pm 
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Hmm. I like the more organized approach (Junkie's) method better. It seems to make it a more objective list.

By the way, I may not be on here for a while because of college. Just a fair warning.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:27 pm 
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I agree we could move acclaim up to top tier, but musicality needs to be separate from technicality of compositions, they are very different. A composers list would work differently in that musicality would be the skill portion, where complexity, unlike the general idea that technical ability = skill, is in this case an additional reward for expanding pieces to much further degrees while still being a 'complete' composition.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:37 am 
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Is this list going anywhere?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:30 pm 
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No idea.

BTW, thank you CRJ for pushing the musicality criterion...this is basically what I was trying to do earlier (the last page of this thread before the current one I think?). I'm deathly, deathly afraid someone will come in with the whole bullshit "MUSICALITY IS SUBJECTIVE!!!!" thing and guys like Batio will jump people like Pink Floyd or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Like I said, it IS hard to make musicality objective, but it is the single most important thing on judging the quality of composers. If you overlook Influence and popularity, I'd argue that Bach is easily a better composer than Mozart and nearly on par with Beethoven, just due to the sheer ridiculous amount of musicality involved in writing his fugues.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Composers
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Just got out of my jazz class today, and we went over some very basic terms that completely missed me whenever I'm in this thread. Using these terms, I propose this criteria:

Tier 1:
Influence
Acclaim

Tier 2:
Compositional ability (hugely about musicality) measured by ability (in order of importance) as a:

Writer: Creating the idea of the song, main melodies, chorus, notes, etc. Foundation.
Arranger: Writing the music for each individual instrument and/or vocal lines and layering them
Orchestrator: Putting it all the parts together (the arranged parts for singular instruments, vocal lines, and main melodies etc.) and adding dynamic touches

No tier 3, it's all in there.


Last edited by Classic Rock Junkie on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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