Wrong is Right
Music evolves like the seasons. What was wrong back in the nineteenth century is now right. Certain melodies and chord progressions changed to enhance the sound.
Debussy took the music to a new dimension and introduced a wider range of melodic intervals and more dissonant chords.
He was regarded by his teachers as a talented rebel who improvised unorthodox chord progressions that did not resolve. They were conditioned by what was considered right in those days. Anything that didn’t follow the normal one-five-one progressions with the melody resolving only to the root of the chord was wrong.
Stravinsky was even more daring when he wrote the music for a ballet called Le Sacre du printemps in Paris in 1913. Every sound was dissonant. The music caused an outburst, as the audience stormed out of the concert hall.
Now we have a divided audience. Some think dissonance is still too harsh, and some welcome it and think the “Pre Debussy Era” is too boring. The listener always knows where the music is going to. Certain melodic patterns and chord progressions will never change.
Now, Avant-garde music is totally experimental. The composer defies all the rules of music. If he is well versed in composition and has control of what he is doing, all is well. If he doesn’t know, a child who has no musical knowledge, could do just as well. There is a thin line between genius and uneducated. All of the classical composers though, old and new, had a thorough understanding of music and a well thought of plan. They all knew what they were doing.
For me personally, I prefer “Debussy Era” and newer music, but that is just my taste. I guess I am a rebel, also.
I love dissonance, but still confused about Avant-garde. If the composer is sincere, musical, and has control, he is fine with me. If he isn’t, he is no more advanced than a child. Much of the music doesn’t move me, but maybe it’s not supposed to. Since it defies musical form, maybe it’s meant to defy emotional response by just being pure intellectual. I don’t know. But I do love its rebellious intentions, though.