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  A Railway Junction in Portugal?  MartinY at 09:51 on 24 June 2009

To paraphrase Anne Robinson (who she???) which composer thinks tunes is a railway junction in Portugal?

well there was a rare music review in one of the UK tabloids on Tuesday where journalist Keith Watson said somewhere along the line the composer had somehow omitted a tune. Clearly the general public expect all music to have a recognisable tune in it and if it does not it is a sign that the composer must be incompetent. Not long ago someone told me there were no tunes in Palestrina so he must have been either incompetent or a overhyped papal stooge.....

This prompted me to look up dictionary definitions of tune, melody, theme, song, strain, (I like the Jacobean term point. The Oxford Compact Dictionary gives the term distinctive musical pattern i.e. memorable pattern I would like to think. That would allow German theorists definations whereby a tune could be a changing sequence of orchestral colour, really a rather good definition still valid today.....

  Re: A Railway Junction in Portugal?  MartinY at 10:04 on 24 June 2009

Sorry ... I hit post instead of preview because I got a junk call just as I was editing...Grrrr.

I do not know how much people worry about public perceptions of composition. You have a different perspective if you do not live in a university town and people might be expected to be hostile. However the small town reaction can be an unexpected positive reaction too as Scott has mentioned earlier. All I can think of practically is to make sure all points are memorable but not gross or overstated.

What I was thinking when interrupted - the traditional concept of a tune really comes from strophic song and the phrase structure is dictated into the music as a 4 x 4 or 4 x 3 bar metric structure. This has passed into instrumental music of lots of types and the ghost of the words still lives........ Sorry this became rambling.........