“Chops, but No Soul”
Several factors can make one identify which style of music is being played, including continuous and strong vibrato, long- line phrasing, lack of beat hierarchy, unyielding tempos, unstressed dissonances, or rigidly equal 16th notes. There was a time, after World War II, when this was the only style. This was the way it was done, except for a few outdated codgers, still holding out for the old Romantic sentimentalism. Modern style has its place, and for a very limited repertoire of Stravinsky and the Neoclassicists, it is the most appropriate style around. The problem is that it has spread to musics where it acts as a restraint and a damper, since its practices are so different from either Eloquent or Romantic styles. This chapter discusses modernism and the Modern style of music, performance practices of Romantic style compared with Modern style, and the use of vibrato. Period style is compared with Modern style, and the Strait style of music is described.
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