The History of Music in Erinn (4)
Written by Roiace
The rise of magical music in Erinn had divided Erinn's musical world into the Classicists and the Pragmatists. The Classicists are the academic circle of musicians who only recognize music that follows the theories of harmony whereas the Pragmatists accept all types of music, regardless of the compositional basis, as long as it utilizes melodic elements. This division was a result of the disagreements regarding magical music, which could, in strict terms, may not fall under the definition of true music.
Magical music does not come together as a result of the combination of a beautiful melody and meaningful lyrics. Mana is added, and all that is really necessary is a type of melody and lyrics that can carry the mana to the audience. As a result, these songs are not much different from the spells that magicians use for casting magic, i.e. a means to invoke mana for magic.
Considering that music originates from a utilitarian place, i.e. music was a means to express one's emotions, magical music, on some level, is counterintuitive to the basis of music. Classicists, therefore, refused to recognize magical music, which does not embody any aspect of musical expression in it, as proper, and began treating it as if a bastard child, practiced by a specific group of people, i.e. the adventurers.
The Pragmatists' response to this was as follows. No matter how utilitarian it is, they argued that magical music cannot be played or composed without a specialized understanding of sounds and melodies. Therefore, magical music does not 'bastardize' the music by disregarding or destroying any preexisting structures of musical form. However, the argument was not as effective, considering that they wanted to attribute everything to the musicians' skills. As a result, Erinn's music which grew out of Tuatha De Danann began to be heavily weighed toward the Classicists, and supporters of today's music, i.e. the Pragmatists, came to be seen as heathens.
From then on, music audiences continued to grow and high levels of artistry were being pursued as the predominant music for wind instruments flourished into orchestral music. This led to the rise of symphonic music. Symphonies developed organically alongside the development of the royal courts, throughout the proliferation of aristocratism. As symphonies were performed, music became increasingly large in scale, narrative and lyrical. This was also when the conductor began to be recognized as a prominent part in the world of music. Being able to lead over fifty instrumentalists placed in a particular configuration requires great leadership and detailed artistry perhaps equivalent to leading an army. Instrumentalists became even further specialized to focusing all of their energy into performing their instruments and composition and conducting respectively became specialized areas that result from in-depth study. These musicians were distinguishable from bards, and were called musicians, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that it is these specialized musicians that are the backbone of Erinn's modern music history.
So Erinn's music had its start in the simplistic music expressing simple emotions. It grew to the story-telling function of the bards and later, to the great masterpieces that called for specialized musicians. The efforts to foster professional musicians which started the first music academy in the Uladh continent has flourished and continues to this day.