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What's to be and what's not to be considered as Music?
In my opinion,
not every composition out of musical sounds can be considered as Music.

In order to be music, the composition in question must be tonal, melodic, and
to be music of classical style - hearty and serious in addition to the above.

Music proper can't occur without melody.

It's not enough to express emotions in sounds.

With notes (and musical sounds) one should sing and dance. Well, or narrate.
One should not, for instance, draw or paint with them – the right things to do that with are brushes or pencils. When a composer draws with sounds, he does not deal with and write music proper.
Unfortunately, starting with the 20th century, quite a lot of authors struck out on this wrong way.


I can't agree to confining music in any way!
Everyone has his own, individual vision. Those, who see visual images, pictures, they “draw” or “paint”. For example, Rachmaninov wrote his Etudes-tableaux, expressing quite concrete images. Isn't it Music?!

Others cannot see so, but can sing and dance or present music in yet other ways. All depends on one's own individual, inner vision of music. So what one person sees as a visual image, a picture, others can present as melody (a dance, a song).
Music is universal as a whole and individual in its parts.

Reply to the opponent:

Oh, yes. Different people can have different visions and opinions and see music in their own individual ways. A lot depends on one's own inner, individual sense and understanding.
But the real, objective, right and true state of things does not depend on it and won't change.
We also know – Man is prone to error. People greatly differ in how easily they get misled and how gross and frequent mistakes they make are.

Different creative spheres belong to and are governed by different Muses, not by one, universal, as you wrote. Each Muse has her own ways and tools. If a composer for some reason (he can't, he won't, hasn't got taste) avoids melodic work and with musical sounds starts to do what is to be done with paints, brushes and pencils or follows another wrong course – say, that of 'theatre of sounds', then it means he ... sits down between two chairs (which stand apart from one another).

Try to sit between 2 chairs! – Where shall you find yourself? Anyway, not in the sphere of Music. Nor do you manage to get to the sphere of Graphic Arts. You just fall onto the floor.
Not few authors found themselves where they did not intend to be.

Thus, individuality and individual search are welcome till one has the right measure in him and the feeling of it.

As far as the Rachmaninov's Etudes-tableaux are concerned –
Rachmaninov is a well known melodist and these etudes are really musical compositions. There is quite a lot of melodic content in them, deviations are scarce. The very name “...-tableaux” misled you.

Additional wordings to the point:

A composition must be an ordered, individable, organismic whole to be a piece of music. Harmony&Melody serves here as "cement".
Summation won't do.
Aspects: Real Music or Fraud?, Organismic Whole or just Summation?, Music and Art of Sounds,
Music and Theatre of Sound

Music should always carry Beauty, even when it tells us about something very sad and tragic. In this respect music is comparable to belles-lettres, fiction, in contrast to non-fictional, documentary chronicle. Some authors lose the right path and sense and write chronicles.

* This is the first part of the article.
The full texts of it are now only in Russian - http://aleksandr-v-b.livejournal.com/1370.html and in German - http://aleksandr-v-b.livejournal.com/1993.html

* You can leave your comments here
and also visit these earlier discussions of the article:

* Personal page of the author with sheet music: http://aleksandr_bystrow.musicaneo.com/