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Classical Music Traditions of the Western World

A Statement about European Classical Music

Don Robertson (February 1, 2012)

The lists of music recommendations that I am providing on this and the other pages of Musical Kaleidoscope are the result of research that I began in 1969 after realizing that at the beginning of the 20th century, the harmonic structure of our classical music had begun changing from one that was concord-based to one that was based on discords, and that a new music was then emerging that would soon provide the background for the destructive exploitation that took place during the 20th century, creating conditions that are now widely recognized as extremely dangerous: atomic energy, deadly missiles, poisoned food and water, mass brainwashing, financial disaster, and the destruction of natural habitant and the climate. I believe that all of this was clearly forecast in such early 20th-century music compositions as Anton Webern's Six Pieces for Orchestra, composed in 1909: music that is filled with foreboding and the cold metallic energy of the coming century; music based on the square of materialism instead of the triangle of harmony.

In 1969, I began what I now call "Don Robertson's Music Revolution." This revolution, which I formally set in motion on February 1, 2012, was about returning to the harmonic principles of nature - shifting from the discordant music created during the 20th century to the concord and pure harmony that exists in all traditional music, including pre-20th-century European classical music. During that year, I began a very thorough study of music to determine which music compositions I felt had true greatness, according to the music's inherent spiritual and/or emotional relevance. I am still working on this study today. The page above contains one of the lists that was a result of my study.

My work is the result of over 42 years of intense research, and consists of my recommendations of music for orchestra conductors to program, radio programmers to broadcast, students to study, musicians to play or sing, and for everyone to enjoy.

The list on this page is highly controversial because the music that I have included runs against the grain of what most musicologists, writers, and classically trained musicians and academics consider the great masterworks of European classical music. Instead you will find works by composers who have been completely ignored, like the great 16th-century composers Tomas Luis de Victoria and Jacob Handl/Gallus, the forgotten music of the great 17th-century music created and performed in Bologna, Italy, the great 19th- and 20th-century composers Joseph-Guy Ropartz, Alberic Magnard, and the misunderstood composers Richard Wagner, C├ęsar Franck, Alexander Scriabin, and Jean Sibelius, who have been reviled and discredited by so many writers and academics throughout the 20th century.

For further clarification, I offer three articles that I wrote in years past that express what I am saying here in more detail:

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns: A Cold Saturday Night in Nashville with Hilary Hahn

Guy Ropartz: A Truly Forgotten Great Composer

The Classical Music of the 21st Century

Additionally, the chapters on 20th Century and 21st Century classical music from my book "Music Through the Centuries" are available to read for free, online.

I also recommend reading "Harmony" by the Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales (You can read Chapter One here for free). The book is available on Amazon: (Hardcover) (Audio) (Children's Edition) and (Kindle). I believe that Prince Charles' book on harmony provides an important wake-up call for the 21st century.

Before a real global spiritual revolution on a large scale can take place, we must first CHANGE THE MUSIC, which, because of its property of resonance, has a powerful influence on all of us! Every day, negative music fills our TV channels, radios, films, and provides the underlying energy for a large number of commercials. It is effecting us in powerful ways, more than many of us realize!

Don Robertson's Music Revolution is about choices: taking a part in bringing great music back into our concert halls, the "air waves," malls, restaurants, and most importantly, into our schools. The music listed in the Repertoire Section of Musical Kaleidoscope is where I recommend we begin.

And last, but not least, I recommend my new book called "The Scale." It clearly explains the true harmonic value of music. It is my handbook for the Music Revolution.

Please remember that revolutions may have leaders, and they may have pioneers, but they are the product of like-minded people, working together .... in harmony.

Don Robertson (www.DonRobertsonMusic.com)
February 1, 2012

An Important Statement from Britain's Prince Charles

"Today music, like everything else, has been subjected to the influence of 20th-century thinking. Modernism pervades music as much as it does everything else. It is perhaps more than coincidence that just as the 20th-century ideology of Modernism began to seep away so much traditional thinking in art and architecture, so the likes of Schoenberg and his Second Viennese School began pioneering the idea in music of abandoning traditional tonal harmony, creating instead an 'atonal' approach to musical structure - that is, a system of notes where there is no controlling primary foundation tone or key. Many composers followed suit and produced some very interesting and moving pieces of music but inevitably their efforts led to more and more extremes of experimentation, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. Composers like Stockhausen and the Darmstadt School, for example, produced music that is so unmelodic and so intellectually taxing, that it remains completely incomprehensible to the majority of people. Like much of the cutting-edge architecture of the time, it is 'clever.' It tends to appeal to the head and, more often than not, only the cleverest of heads, so it carries with every dissonant turn it takes the implication that we have to be just as clever as its composer to understand it. This is an idea entirely at odds with the root chord of the tradition approach to harmony, which recognizes that we do not 'think' music, we resonate with it and 'feel' it."

(From "Harmony" by Prince Charles, Page 100)

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