Monday, August 28, 2017

Composer Schoenberg makes cameo in #WomanInGold film

Schoenberg made a cameo in a previous post on Aaron Copland where he's mention in an Encylopedia Britannica article on 12-tone music (a topic I still don't really understand)

The new unifying principle in composition would then arise from the particular order given to a collection of the 12 tones, an order that would be different for each composition. The basic order for any one composition came to be known as its basic set, its 12-tone row, or its 12-tone series, all of which terms are synonymous. The basic set for Schoenberg’s Wind Quintet (1924) is E♭–G–A–B–C♯–C–B♭–D–E–F♯–A♭–F; for his String Quartet No. 4 (1936) it is D–C♯–A–B♭–F–E♭–E–C–A♭–G–F♯–B.
The basic set is not a theme, for it has no specific shape, rhythm, or loudness. It is a backbone, a musical idea that permeates the composition in which it is used. Because of the various principles of composing and manipulating the basic set recognized by Schoenberg and others, it is not often possible nor even desirable to hear the basic set when the composition is performed. This situation has led many people to attack Schoenberg’s method as unmusical and as mathematical madness. Such views seem unjustifiable, because, as Schoenberg pointed out, his method specifies only a tiny fraction of the total nature of a composition—certainly no more than composing with tonality specifies.

The composer Schoenberg, or at least his music, also made a cameo in the film "Woman in Gold" because his grandson, Randol, was a lawyer who defended a family friend who was trying to retrieve a Klimt painting stolen by the Nazis

Specifically Schoenberg's  Verklarte Nacht, Op. 4 was played in the concert scene:

Randol Schoenberg linked to a different version of this piece on his youtube channel, as well as to a piece composed by converting the digits of into  π music posted by Carlos Manuel

There has been many attempts to make a conversion of the digits of Pi to musical notes, but I noticed that the methods used were pretty unrealistic. What they were doing was to convert the 10 digits of the decimal system in 10 notes, and then play them. Of course that doesn't make any sense because our musical notation has 12 notes! So I converted the digits of Pi to the duodecimal system (Base 12), and made a program to play it. Here are the results.

I found the Supreme Court case scene to be annoying because the screenplay writers put the silly words of silly RINO Justice Souter into the totally awesome Chief Justice Rehnquist:

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