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Return of Kings: Contemporary classical music is like a feminist yelling about rape

Not a fan of Ludwig Van (Click on pic t see entire piano-smashing video)
Not a fan of Ludwig Van (Click on pic to see the entire piano-smashing video)

Max Roscoe, a self-described ‘aspiring philosopher king” who writes regularly for misogynistic garbage site Return of Kings, doesn’t like feminism. Or contemporary classical music.

So he’s decided to take down both of these allegedly awful things, by suggesting that they’re pretty much the same thing, if you think about it.

Modern culture tells us that short skrillex haircuts, defiling the body with metal shrapnel and inked graffiti, and massive, revolting body fat is “beautiful.” This message is so successful, that today, in the west, it is extremely difficult to find a female below the age of 25 who has not purposefully destroyed her physical beauty in multiple ways.

As this worship of ugliness has marginalized natural beauty, likewise, modern classical music teaches us that dissonant chords, out-of-key incongruous sounds, and loud, harsh noises are pleasant and desirable.  Gone are the naturally pleasing chords and intonations which music theory teaches are good. 

Damn you feminists with your blue hair and your 12-tone scales!

Also, feminists and modern classical music are both really, really repetitive.

Much as feminists do little more than repeat meaningless phrases like “Rapists cause rape” and “Still not asking for it” … instead of having a thoughtful discussion, modern classical music replaces creativity and musical complexity with repetition.

Roscoe reports with horror that he was FORCED to listen to one super-repetitive avant-garde piece this past weekend in which the same chord was played a whole bunch of times in succession. The horror!

It was like every other modern classical piece I have heard: an aural assault of dissonant noises, repetitive sounds, and unnatural rhythms….

In the piece … the same chord was repeated at least 50 times before another instrument joined in. 

Golly. How could ANYONE think that playing the same chord over and over would ever sound good? Or that deliberate dissonance might make music sound … well, a heck of a lot more rocking?

Here’s one of the examples he offers as evidence of just how laughably awful contemporary classical music is.

Really, dude? Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians? That’s a bit like using the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds to prove that rock music is uncreative.

Roscoe fleshes out his argument with a segment trying and failing to show that dissonant chords are basically the musical equivalent of “deviant lifestyles.” It’s about as nonsensical as it sounds, and really just an excuse for Roscoe to rant ignorantly about trans folks, so I’m not even going to bother to quote it.

Add “music” to the long list of things that manospherans just don’t get.

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JennyWren
JennyWren
5 years ago

Mr. Blue Sky is maybe not the best song to illustrate that using the same chord can sound good, ‘cos, y’know, it uses more than one chord. Try “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin. Or “Tribute” by Tenacious D, which has the same chord for the whole verse.

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

And for offbeat rhythms and occasional atonality, we can look look to oh-so-modern Stravinsky from, y’know, 100+ years ago…

Jaygee
Jaygee
5 years ago

There are other women out there (who don’t have piercings, short hair, or tattoos, and I happen to be one of them, but thank goodness they don’t notice me) just as there are other kinds of music out there. Neither women nor music are monolithic. He also makes it sound like these women and this music is being forced on him. Maybe he’s pretending like these women are flocking to him? I really doubt women even of the tattooed and pierced kind want to spend any time in his company. He’s so whiny, which I understand to be the opposite of alpha, so isn’t he like displaying his weakness for others to see?

Nathan Hevenstone
5 years ago

*sigh*

I’m not really surprised, though, that they would be just as clueless about music as they are about everything else. I gotta share this with a friend of mine, a modern composer himself (he’s really good, IMO; and I don’t just say that because I’m biased :D)…

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago
Cecilia
Cecilia
5 years ago

As a professional music theorist I can say with authority that his complaints about “modern” music are actually functionally the same complaints that people have been making about Music These Days since literally as long as anyone has written down anything about music.

Also he’s wrong about what music theory teaches, just in general.

Hu's On First
Hu's On First
5 years ago

“A Horse With No Name” might be one of the most repetitive songs ever. It was still a huge hit.

Hu's On First
Hu's On First
5 years ago

Also, a lot of traditional music styles use drones. One note or chord that is sounded for the entire length of the piece. Can’t get more repetitive than that.

ikanreed
ikanreed
5 years ago

I mean, I think, having listened to atonalists present their case and their music, that 12 note search-space atonalism is not very good.

But, man, can these guys ever, ever manage an argument by metaphor that isn’t so far off the mark that you can scarcely imagine how they arrived at it in the first place.

Male Dudes, I can play this game too: “Denying the wage gap is like cubism because it just looks at the pieces of things without even once acknowledging how they work together, and I personally think it’s dumb! Ha!”

Except. Um, I guess that metaphor actually kind of makes sense. Whereas “you’re repeating the same things over and over” is kinda not characterizing the positions of your opponents at all and is the laziest fucking strawman in the world.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Much as feminists do little more than repeat meaningless phrases like “Rapists cause rape” and “Still not asking for it” … instead of having a thoughtful discussion

Why do I get the feeling that his idea of a thoughtful discussion about rape involves him telling women they’re sluts who deserved it and expecting no one to object to this “thoughtful” opinion?

BoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoink
BoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoink
5 years ago

I don’t like caramel. Clearly it is because caramel is too sticky and hard for me to chew, much like the NEFARIOUS STICKINESS AND CHEWINESS OF THE PATRIARCHY.

BaronJenks
BaronJenks
5 years ago

So MRAs hate Modern Classical Music and Fundamental Christians hate Set Theory. I like the idea of particular groups having really big issues with very specific bits of modern culture and science.

LindsayIrene
5 years ago

The manosphere is like romantic comedy–they’re both full of toxic ideas about both men and women, and they both give me the creepy-crawlies.

Claire
Claire
5 years ago

Oh cool, a new game! Take Thing A, compare it to Thing B, even if it makes no sense whatsoever and TADA! THEORY!

Lemme try: telephones are like jewellery because they both have a ring.

No? Am I doing this wrong?

Bacholyte
Bacholyte
5 years ago

Oh dear god, I read the original post and he just butchers his Music Theory explanations.

“Typically, before beginning to play, the orchestra musicians will all tune their instruments to a middle “A4” note of 440 cycles per second. Avant garde modern music does away with all of this, allowing all 12 tones to be used at any time, essentially doing away with the idea of a musical piece having a key.”

WAT. NO. Even if you don’t have a key, orchestras still need to play in tune. Modern pieces still have everyone tune to A4.

And he confuses the harmonic series (overtones) with how the major diatonic scale was derived, which betrays someone who has spent a grand total of 4 minutes trying to understand any of the nonsense he’s spewing.

feartheminotaur
feartheminotaur
5 years ago

ELO…eh…using The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows”, Aretha Franklin’s (as noted by @JennyWren), or Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” imparts a little more cachet to the argument than ELO*

*Hey, nothing wrong with 70’s prog rock, but…versus The Beatles or Aretha Franklin? Sorry. And Jeff Lynne is a great singer/songwriter in his own right, but not in Harry Nilsson’s class

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Did we ever get an answer to that “raven is like a writing desk” thing?

feartheminotaur
feartheminotaur
5 years ago

@ David Futrelle

..and it is a rocking song

iknklast
iknklast
5 years ago

Maybe they should try this thought experiment: Imagine that you find something “ugly”. Then think about whether that makes it, in fact, “ugly”, which is a subjective value judgement.

There are things in this world I find unpleasant, and might even use the word “ugly” about them, but I am well aware that, while I have a right to my own opinion, that right does not make it fact. Other people are free to disagree with me.

I dislike country music intensely. That does not make the music wrong, bad, or ugly, it only makes it not my thing. Please do not try to explain to me why country music is great; I don’t care, and I won’t believe you, but I will honor your liking of country music by refusing to engage and try to prove to you that it is, in fact, unpleasant. That is simply my subjective opinion, just as opinions about tattoos, haircuts, and dissonant music are subjective. If they could only realize that…

You don’t like women over a certain weight? Fine. Go your own way in the other direction and find a woman who meets your ideal of weight. We all have our standards of beauty, which is why we are all attracted to different people. That’s good. That’s the magic of a diverse world.

The Dark Avenger
The Dark Avenger
5 years ago

@Bachelorite, it’s so badly written, he implies that 12-tone music is played on untuned instruments. I thought my understanding of harmony was shaky, but I’m Walter Fucking Piston next to this clown.

princess sunny burn
princess sunny burn
5 years ago

Gotta love the standard MRA idea of “I don’t personally like this thing therefor not only is it universally awful and no good to anyone at all, it is also HERALDING THE DOWNFALL OF CIVILIZATION.”

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
5 years ago

“Music for 18 Musicians” really makes me want to play SimCity now.

Also, modern classical music includes, to my knowledge Danny Elfman, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Joe Hisashi, and video game composers like Jeremy Soule, Jason Hayes, Tracy W. Bush, Martin O’Donnell…

I’ll happily plant myself in the degenerate camp.

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

@Alan: They both have inky quills?

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