Doper Music - expand my horizons

Alright, I’m the kind of guy who listens to everything. My cd case opens with 4 celtic cds, then it goes through rock, rap, pop, bluegrass, country, South American music from the Andes, Native American, and even Japanese Drums.

Right now I am on a classic kick and want to know good composers outside the mainstream Beethoven, Bach, Mendehlson etc… So any lesser name composers.

And if you have other cultural music, please share. I am looking for more music to listen to.


Well, I really like Tchaikovsky. Too mainstream? Feh.

Try Charles Villiers Stanford. His music flows really well and I’ve liked what little I’ve heard of him. He’s like Tchaikovsky…only different.

This is why I’m not a music critic.

If you are looking for something a little cultural with some modern stuff thrown in, try Flogging Molly. They’re Irish Punk Rock, and my favorite band at the moment. If you don’t like it at first, listen to it a couple times. Some people love it the first time they hear it, it has to grow on others. A couple of my favorite songs of theirs are “Devil’s Dance Floor”, “Life in a Tenement Square” and “Selfish Man.”

Well, it’s not really “cultural” music, but check out anything onAspired Records for some good underground hip-hop music. .Syms. and Dead Logic (the latter of whom I have mentioned a few times before) are, IMHO, the two most promising groups of the lot.


Richard Strauss (and his siblings), Respighi had at least one work I enjoyed seeing part of performed (Pini di Roma), Antonin Dvorak and, what the heck, Aaron Copeland.

Don’t have classical suggestions, but if you want to listen to someone that doesn’t sound like anyone else (that I’ve ever heard), take a listen to Steve Tibbetts. Positively one of the most overlooked musicians I know of. He just put a new album out, which you can hear bits of (and read reviews for) right here. Click on the album cover for a bio.

Tomaso Vitali wrote a cool violin song: Chaconne in g minor

Robert W. Smith has some cool sounding more contemporary stuff. Bloch and Elgar are also pretty neat.

This thread is better suited for Cafe Society. I’ll move it for you.

Cajun Man - SDMB Moderator

Dead Can Dance, a great group that’s sadly defunct. Henryck Goreicki’s Symphony of Sorrowful songs is great. Carl Oorf’s Carmena Burana is a rousing piece of music. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

Aaron Copland. In particular, this CD. Next to Gershwin, my favorite classical music: Appalachian Spring (a.k.a “the Georgia Pacific ad theme”), Rodeo: Hoedown (a.k.a “Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner”), and Fanfare for the Common Man (a.k.a “the theme from ABC’s Wide World of Sports”).

And the thread reminded me that I spent most of today listening to the soundtrack to the movie Akira. That music is so brilliant.

The Red Elvises Three Russian guys singing rockabilly/country/rock/surf music. It’s great stuff, and you can get a Russian version of one of thier CDs, although the name escapes me currently (I want to say it’s I Wanna See You Bellydance, but I’m not sure)

The Pogues and Black 47s are good bands with an Irish thread to them. The Pogues are more classical instrumental whereas the Black 47s are more modern, but you can still see the influences.

Guitar Wolf. Good hard core garage ROCKANDROLL!!! Great stuff, all in Japanese, with the exception of about one cover of an old American rock song (their version of Summertime Blues kicks).

Oh, my, depends on what you mean by “mainstream” classical. I’d second the recommendation of Henryk Gorecki. Also, Dmitri Shastakovich, Charles Ives, George Crumb, Percy Grainger for the contemporary era. Romantic music, I’d recommend (besides the usual Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, et al.) Mussorgsky, Grieg, and Leos Janacek. Oh, and Scriabin, fitting between Romantic and Contemporary classical. Classical era, Clementi is often neglected and C.P.E. Bach is worth listening to. Baroque? Well, Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier is often cited as one of the most important works of Western music. Besides Bach, of course there’s Telemann, Scarlatti, and Pachabel (of Canon fame), but I don’t know much outside those guys.

Morten Lauridsen composed O Magnum Mysterium, which is a wonderful choral song.

I second monica’s recommendation of Flogging Molly. I have both albums, and they’re spectacular.

I’m a big fan of rock group Better Than Ezra, who combine rock with orchestral workings with techno with grunge with country-and-western to make some pretty interesting music.

I also like A3, which is in their words, “Country acid house music.” Country melodies, house/techno beats, and hysterical lyrics.

And of course, I will always recommend Chopin (look at my handle). Nocturne in C sharp minor is my favorite.

You might want to try some of Anne Dudley’s solo stuff, in addition to the later works of The Art of Noise. She is a damn good arranger of orchestras, large and small. Starting with In No Sense? Nonsense! and then again in Below the Waste she started injecting a bit of her classical background into the Art of Noise repetoire much more so than in the earlier period, and I think those parts of the albums are the best parts of them. When the band reformed in 1999 with The Seduction of Claude Debussy it was pretty much acknowledged that she was strongest member of the band. Her solo career, including an album with Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke made up of Middle Eastern influenced music, is really quite good, and she won an Oscar for her work on The Full Monty. So… um… I like Anne Dudley.

I’m bouncing up and down in my seat to Flogging Molly right now. Thanks Dopers!

Check out anything Steve Reich. I can recommend for starters the release with The Four Sections and Music for Mallet Instruments, Organ, and Voice.
-minimal. Short patterns of music played by various instruments often overlapping and echoing each other. Though the music is actually quite simple when you look at each individual part, the pieces as a whole become a very complex tapestry. If you dig that, check out his Electric Couterpoint arranged for 13 electric guitars and 2 electric basses (all played by Pat Metheny incidentally).

Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring, one of the most important pieces of 20th century classical music, and one of the most intensely exciting pieces I know.

a bit more obscure: John Adam’s Fearful Symnetries, really powerful 30 minute piece of music that just builds to such a wonderful climax.

electronic: Mum (with an accent over the “u”) - just heard them last week and I can’t wait to own their CD. Some kids from Iceland just released their 2nd CD. It’s like a sort of ambient techno but the sounds they use are more interesting than most of anything I’ve heard yet.

I know you’ve got quite a collection here of reccommendations (sp?) but if anything I’ve mentioned tickles your fancy at all, feel free to email me down the line for more. Happy listening! :slight_smile:

Hmmm…cultural and classical, eh?

Try checking out the music of Colin Mcphee. He was an excellent Canadian composer who used Balinese and Indonesian gamelan music in his own compositions, to great effect. I find his work very soothing. Almost entrancing. You can hear his influence on modern minimalist composers such as Philip Glass.

Speaking of minimalism, another favourite of mine is turn-of-the-century French composer, Erik Satie. Gymnopedie and Les Gnossiennes are amazing piano works of quiet beauty.

Laurie Anderson

Toy Dolls

I should elaborate:

Laurie Anderson – originally a performance artist. Keep that in mind. A lot of her stuff is just bizarre beyond words if you don’t look at it from the right angle, and with the right dry sense of humor. Example lyric:

"I met this guy, and he looked like he might have been a hat-check clerk at an ice rink. Which in fact, he turned out to be. And I said. Oh boy. Right again.

[later in the same song]

Listen, uh - I just want to say thanks. So…thanks.
Thanks for all the presents. Thanks for introducing me to the Chief.
Thanks for putting on the feedbag. Thanks for going all out.
Thanks for showing me your Swiss Army knife.
and uh - Thanks for letting me autograph your cast."

Toy Dolls – they are what Weird Al would be if he didn’t do parodies and he was a punk band. Their songs are hilarious. A sample of song titles: “banjo fight” (dueling banjos punk style) “modern school of motoring” (…the best place to go if you want to crash!) “My girlfriend’s dad’s a vicar” “nellie the elephant” “Spiders in the dressing room” They also do an amazingly skilled ultrafast punk Tocatta & Fugue in D Minor

From ** pulykamell **
Baroque? … Besides Bach, of course there’s Telemann, Scarlatti, and Pachabel (of Canon fame), but I don’t know much outside those guys.

For Baroque, there’s also Vivaldi, and Albinoni. There’s an Adagio by Albinoni that is an incredible piece – one of my favorites.

And if you have any interest in anything pre-Baroque, there is plenty of good Renaissance music. Although many things before the Baroque period are by that famous composer, “Anonymous”, :wink: Purcell is a name that comes to mind.

I have a fun CD of Renaissance/Baroque era music called “The Art of the Bawdy Song” – in addition to having some very good music, the lyrics are pretty fun, too.

As for other composers…
Samuel Barber – probably best known for his “Adagio for Strings” (which was used heavily in the movie “Platoon”). He also has some good piano pieces, with a jazz/blues feel.
Sergei Rakhmaninov – a 20th century Russian composer. Has some great stuff. One of my favorites is his 2nd Piano Concerto.
Rimsky-Korsakov – has a great symphonic suite, “Scheherazade”.

If you like symphonic music, I would also highly recommend the soundtrack for “Last of the Mohicans” (the movie from the 90’s, with Daniel Day Lewis). The first 9 tracks on the soundtrack are all by the same composer – and work around several common musical themes – and it’s some incredible music.

As for cultural music, if you like Celtic, check out Deanta. Especially the song “Culloden’s Harvest”. Haunting…

And Nocturne says:
And of course, I will always recommend Chopin (look at my handle). Nocturne in C sharp minor is my favorite.

Yep, I’ve got to agree there – I’d always recommend Chopin. The C sharp nocturne is one of the best. I’m also very partial to the Nocturne in C minor (probably since it was one of my senior piano recital pieces in college). And with Chopin, don’t forget the “Fantasie Impromptu”.