Some interesting music from the 1970s… Gloria Coates – Symphony No. 1 “Music on Open Strings”

Ha! Look at me recommending a symphony. Pretty swish, eh? Yes sir. Pretty swish.

Though I should level with you straight away, I don’t have the vocabulary or the expertise to make a coherent case for Music on Open Strings. I just like it. I just think it’s a great piece of music. I’ll have a go at telling you why I like it, but if you want to know about which bits are modal or tonal, or even if you are looking for somebody who knows what a glissando is, Google is your friend my friend.

OK, so… errrrrm… ok… let’s give this a go…

OK, take classical music, or what most of us think of when we say classical music. Apparently there is a ‘classical’ period of music that confuses things somewhat, but I highly suspect that is at least partly just posh people putting up barriers to everyone else understanding things, like when they use Latin pointlessly or quote Shakespeare at inopportune moments.

Sorry. Got distracted. I’ll start again.

A lot of classical music (I find) seems to be designed to stir the heart (like national anthems, and [I want to say] stuff like Elgar?) or the brain (like, say.. Philip Glass. Cold cold Philip Glass) but the really good stuff gets the heart and the brain all tingly. Does that make sense?

(I should probably point out that I was just being mean about Glass there for comedic effect, but you get what I mean, hopefully. I just mean a lot of modern stuff can be a bit cerebral. I don’t even think that is a problem really.)

Sorry. Got distracted again. I’ll start again again.

Music on Open Strings is a complicated piece of music. There is quite a lot going on. Instruments have been tuned differently to achieve the sounds. Stuff like that. However, as well as demanding your attention, all those wieuuuurrrr-ing strings connect with you on an emotional level. In a nutshell, it’s moody as fuck.

I dunno. I like it. You might too. Give it a go, yeah?