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Author Topic: What's so interesting about "MUSIC"?  (Read 1255 times)
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Starshifter
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« on: July 28, 2005, 05:24:02 PM »

Ok.  Stay with me here.   I need your expert opinions.

Burning questions I've had since high school.  A little background first.  I never owned an album growing up, I do not have any music collection whatsoever, only went to four concerts in my life:  Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden (in college); Beach Boys (with former wife); Harry Connick Jr. (with former wife); and Hillary Duff (took my daughter last year).  I've never had any interest in collecting and listening to music of any kind.  Music never really appealed to me on a level it does with most other people.  I've been exposed to lots of music, but it just did not grab me.

If you told me I would win one million dollars to name five popular groups or singers today - I could name maybe one!

Don't get me wrong, I do like listening to certain songs by certain artists just not enough to want to buy albums/CDs to hear the rest of the music.  For example, I enjoy certain songs by Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Neil Diamond, Queen, The Monkees, movie soundtracks, classical music, some country like Patty Loveless, Moody Blues, and even a couple songs by Eminem!  Pretty eclectic list I know.  But after listening to a song I can go several weeks to months before listening to another song!

Now, I'm asking the following questions because it's killing me inside.  I'm trying to find out why I'm not a music nut like everyone else.  Which also leads me to my "Discover Music Project".  I just bought a Creative Labs Zen Micro 5GB MP3 player and for the longest time I've been wanting to "learn" about music and "experience" what is out there right now.  So, I have my MP3 player (which is really cool looking by the way) and I'm ready to "learn" and "enjoy" music!  Help me out folks!

I was inspired to write this post because I've been reading the post on what music was purchased by whom over at OO and I've been writing down everything I think might be interesting so that I can try them out.  I did however discover one artist on my own - Charlotte Martin.  I saw that she sings "Greater Lights" on the Advent Rising Soundtrack, which was the first thing I ripped to my player, so I went ahead and checked out her album "On the Shore" and it is fantastic!  Her voice is so melodic.  So now I have that album on my player.

I'm actually looking forward to this "project" as being something fun and new to do.  And so far, researching songs is quite fun.  And I'm hoping that I can become obsessed with certain artists and/or genre's of music and ultimately be able to talk on a somewhat more level playing field with my peers (and my daughter who rolls her eyes everytime I don't know an artist!)

Ok.  Enough about me.  Here are the questions:

What makes one appreciate and enjoy music?  Is it the lyrics, melody, the voice of the singer or group?

Why would someone say "this album/song is pure goodness" or "freakin awesome" or "this artist is a genius?

Do people like music because they relate their life to the melody/lyrics?  Is it because they get an emotional impact from the song?

Thanks everyone!

P.S.  Later on we can get into the various music services.  I'm currently looking into MSN Music and Rhapsody to download 0.99 tracks.  I won't go with a subscription service - unless I become obsessed!  Right now I'm more interested in knowing "why" people love music.
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Laner
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2005, 09:07:11 PM »

Quote
"What makes one appreciate and enjoy music? Is it the lyrics, melody, the voice of the singer or group?"


It's different for everyone.  My girlfriend is completely tone-deaf, but knows the lyrics to even the most obscure song.  Myself, on the other hand - I can usually tell you note for note what's going on in any given song, and can recall the music quite well from something I haven't heard in years.  Yet I generally couldn't care less about lyrics.  When I go back and listen to some of the CDs I owned in my younger days, I finally understand what my parents were so concerned about smile  Lyrics simply do not connect with me for the most part.

Quote
Why would someone say "this album/song is pure goodness" or "freakin awesome" or "this artist is a genius?

It's completely subjective.  Why do people prefer Van Gogh over Picasso or Spielberg over Kubrick?  Personally, I am impressed with great musicianship combined with good songwriting.  Other people appreciate mood and introspective lyrics, for example. Just depends on the person.

Quote
Do people like music because they relate their life to the melody/lyrics? Is it because they get an emotional impact from the song?

1) For some people, absolutely.  I'm not one of them, but many people relate lyrics to their lives.  These are your Springsteen/REM/James Taylor/Sarah McLaughlin fans, for example (yes, I'm painting with an overly-broad brush).  I thoroughly enjoy James Taylor, but it's more for the mood his music sets, rather than the deep lyrical meaning of "You've Got A Friend"

2) Emotional impact - that's me.  If it pulls an emotion out of me (as long as it's not disgust or apathy), I usually enjoy it.  If it gets me pumped up, or thoughful, or wanting to shake mah bootay, it's good.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2005, 02:56:01 AM »

Quote from: "Starshifter"
What makes one appreciate and enjoy music?  Is it the lyrics, melody, the voice of the singer or group?

Why would someone say "this album/song is pure goodness" or "freakin awesome" or "this artist is a genius?

Do people like music because they relate their life to the melody/lyrics?  Is it because they get an emotional impact from the song?

It's funny - for the longest time, I was one of those people who hated rock/rap. Just wasn't my thing. Now, thanks to my pharmacist at work, I love rock as long as it doesn't get too involved with the pointless yelling and screaming. 'Classic' rock, if you would.

But in the old days, I always appreciated something with a beat. Why I loved so many old-school classics, was because of the beat, tempo, etc. Something that would get me going, if you would.

In the end, I have Sirius Radio in my car. My Top 20 (what songs you can have the device continuously scan for and alert you so you can listen to them) is scattered amongst all the genres. Some are slow, some are fast, others are just nuts. But I love them all.

In short - everybody is different. What you like will not be what somebody else likes.
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2005, 05:45:19 AM »

Quote from: "Destructor"
It's funny - for the longest time, I was one of those people who hated rock/rap. Just wasn't my thing. Now, thanks to my pharmacist at work, I love rock as long as it doesn't get too involved with the pointless yelling and screaming. 'Classic' rock, if you would.


It's funny - for the longest time, me too. I pigeonholed all rock music as people screaming tunelessly. Meanwhile I listened to muzak. Not even "easy listening", but that syrupy instrumental crap you hear in elevators. Hey, I'm not proud of it, I'm just being honest slywink. I switched the radio between this muzak station and a classical station. Well, right by the muzak station was a light rock station and once I accidentally tuned in to it. After listening to a number of songs, they gave the station ID. "What?" I thought. "That's a rock station. Eww.  Um, but I've enjoyed the music.  Hmm.  Maybe this rock and/or roll stuff isn't so bad." Since then I opened myself to a wide variety of music.

Now my playlist includes a wide variety of music styles, even bands such as Metallica, Nirvana, and Linkin Park.  And I'll never listen to that muzak crap again.

As for the original poster, I remember reading a long time ago that people enjoy music because it triggers endorphins. Of course, they say that about anything anymore.
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hitbyambulance
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2005, 04:47:53 PM »

you probably haven't found the music that's clicked, yet.  more exploration is needed.
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Thin_J
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2005, 04:51:11 AM »

Quote from: "Laner"
Quote
"What makes one appreciate and enjoy music? Is it the lyrics, melody, the voice of the singer or group?"


It's different for everyone.  My girlfriend is completely tone-deaf, but knows the lyrics to even the most obscure song.  Myself, on the other hand - I can usually tell you note for note what's going on in any given song, and can recall the music quite well from something I haven't heard in years.  Yet I generally couldn't care less about lyrics.  When I go back and listen to some of the CDs I owned in my younger days, I finally understand what my parents were so concerned about smile  Lyrics simply do not connect with me for the most part.


So yeah, Laner pretty much summed up everything I would have said.

And I quoted that first response because.. hey I'm glad I'm not the only one!

Also: Are you asking for suggestions on bands/albums/songs to check out?

I'm sure if you do ask you'll get a myriad of responses ranging from one end of the musical spectrum to the other, and it would be a good way to start off with a variety. That might help you learn what you like best.
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depward
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2005, 09:49:31 AM »

For a lot of people, music is more than just listening to some random notes every once and awhile.  For me personally, the kind of music I listen to (which is pretty broad . . . but not in a traditional sense - more later) is one of the more important choices in my daily routine.  Music helps me in whatever mood I'm in.  It also gets me into different moods, depending on what I listen to.

That being said, I like different types of music.  I typically listen to EBM/electronica type of music which is pretty obscure and not very popular in general.  I listen to this type of music and "support" it by purchasing albums in this genre.  Also, I like listening to classical music, be it Beethoven (Moonlight Sonata!!!), Handel, Chopin, Mozart, Pettersson, and much more.  Like many people have already said, different people have different interpretations of different music.  For (probably a majority) some people listening to classical music and electronica would be boring to them.  But for me, I love the chordal structures, when certain tones are played, and so on.

SO!  All in all it's just a personality type of thing I would say.  You know how some people say that cantelope tastes good?  And some others say it tastes gross?  The same goes to music.  So, like what others have already said, you do indeed need to listen to a bunch of different types of music and see what you like best.  Or heck - listen to it all!  Variety is the spice of life   biggrin

On the "emotional" thing - I do get, to an extent, emotional during songs when I hear them.  There are certain songs where parts of them make my spine tingle.  I dunno, maybe that's dumb, but for me it's there.
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Sparhawk
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2005, 03:07:04 PM »

So music in movies has never influenced your emotional response to a particular scene? For me, a soundtrack can make or break a movie.

I just couldn't imagine Star Wars without the theme music. I can't, and hope I never have to.

I don't understand people who "HATE" music.
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Grievous Angel
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2005, 07:25:24 PM »

You're asking for an awful lot here, y'know?  smile  For me, asking me why I like music is like asking why I like food or breathing. It's such a part of my life, I really don't think about it much anymore. One of my co-workers mentioned she only has about 10 CDs, which threw me for a real loop (I have more than 700. Others on these and the OO forums have more than a thousand).

First, I can't fault you for not knowing any popular acts right now, because there's precious little that I would consider both "good" and "popular" (of course, that's the music geek part of me talking). Search alittle deeper than just what's on your radio. If you follow along to the music threads here and on OO, you'll likely end up being drawn to some of the most obscure stuff around, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. (I'll mention a few musical acts here, not that you'd know who they are. But maybe you'll stumble across these names again on your journey and may want to check them out.)

Personally, what I appreciate about music is a good musical ability (I'm a sucker for a good guitar solo, or a lightning-fast banjo riff). What also catches me is a distinctive vocal. It could either be a beautiful voice (such as Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless or Kelly Willis), or something gruffer (John Prine, Lucinda Williams), or a complete drunken slur (Shane McGowan -- my avatar). I used to listen heavily to Top 40 country music, and I lost interest once I started to have a hard time telling one singer apart from another.

What makes a good album is completely subjective. I can't listen to a lot of metal, rap, rock, r&b, pop and punk music. There are some outstanding albums in all those generes, but they're not my style. Similarly, despite the fact that I love Lucinda Williams' "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road," I know others may hate her. As for me, I think her vocals, her backing band, and her songwriting all came together on that one album to create sonic perfection.

I don't know that I necessarily need to relate to lyrics to appreciate the song. I listen to a lot of Irish punk (Pogues, Flogging Molly, The Tossers). I have no experience being an Irish immigrant, or fighting Oliver Cromwell, but the songs appeal to me just the same. Emotional impact is always a plus, but that's also a purely subjective thing.

I ended listening to a lot of good music by discovering one artist and working backwards, discovering their influences and finding similar artists. I think the music services may offer recommendations based on what you're previously bought. I know Amazon does, if you start plugging in albums that you own.

Good luck with your search, and maybe the forums can offer you suggestions once you get going a little more.
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2005, 10:38:33 PM »

First, I would say that music is art.  As such, you can't be a music nut unless it speaks to you on some level.  Not all art is equally appreciated by all people.  Poetry does nothing for me, for example.  Having said that:

What makes one appreciate and enjoy music?  Is it the lyrics, melody, the voice of the singer or group?

Music has alot of applications, that's the guiding factor imo.  For example, if you want something to dance to, things like lyrics or artist are almost beside the point.  So this question needs more focus- what KIND of music are you asking about?

Why would someone say "this album/song is pure goodness" or "freakin awesome" or "this artist is a genius?

For an album, it's because I'll listen to the entire album rather than skip to favorite songs.  For the artist, because I'll listen to pretty much anything they do, rather than from a certain album or period in their career.

Do people like music because they relate their life to the melody/lyrics?  Is it because they get an emotional impact from the song?

I don't relate to melody, but yeah on lyrics.  The more it sounds like 'something I could have wrote', the more I will like it.  I might get some emotional impact in an abstract way.  I like the song 'Fishheads' but I don't know that I'd say it emotionally impacts me in a way that I can easily describe.
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2005, 03:14:30 AM »

Quote from: "Starshifter"


Ok.  Enough about me.  Here are the questions:

What makes one appreciate and enjoy music?  Is it the lyrics, melody, the voice of the singer or group?

Why would someone say "this album/song is pure goodness" or "freakin awesome" or "this artist is a genius?

Do people like music because they relate their life to the melody/lyrics?  Is it because they get an emotional impact from the song?

Thanks everyone!



#1 I would have to say all 4, GOD works in mysterious ways.

#2 I have no idea

# 3 Again GOD works in mysterious ways, emotions are great.
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2005, 01:59:31 PM »

Wow!  My mind is really spinning now.  Very interesting thoughts here and varied as well.  I kind of expected this.  

Quote from: "Grievous Angel"
I ended listening to a lot of good music by discovering one artist and working backwards, discovering their influences and finding similar artists.

This is an interesting suggestion and is something I've started to do with my "Music Project".  For example, I purchased the soundtrack to the game Advent Rising (beautiful music by the way) and became interested in Charlotte Martin after I heard her sing a song on the album.  I went ahead and checked out her site and subsequently purchased four of her songs.  I love her voice and the melody's are great.  And now I'm checking out her influences as indicated on her website and the various music services.

I think for me I'm beginning to realize that it is the melody/music that appeals to me more than lyrics.  The reason being because I have a very, very difficult time "understanding" lyrics in most songs.  I find it difficult to literally hear the actual words, which kind of kills the lyrics for me.  I can listen to a single song 500 times and still not have the lyrics memorized or understand them.  And I have a photographic memory too!  My daugther on the other hand can listen to a song once or twice and have it all memorized.  Go figure.

Quote from: "Sparhawk"
So music in movies has never influenced your emotional response to a particular scene? For me, a soundtrack can make or break a movie.

Yes it does big time!  For a guy I'm very emotional and film soundtracks always get to me.  For example, till this day I still listen to the soundtrack to Shakespeare in Love - very emotional music.  And I can't help shedding a tear or two when I hear the music from "Brian's Song" or "Love Story" and so on (if anyone remembers those movies).

Quote from: "depward"
Music helps me in whatever mood I'm in. It also gets me into different moods, depending on what I listen to.

I think this applies to me as well.  Listening to music while working out pushes me more.  Listening to music when I'm feeling down or lonely seems to make me relax and smile a little more.

Quote from: "Grievous Angel"
Search alittle deeper than just what's on your radio. If you follow along to the music threads here and on OO, you'll likely end up being drawn to some of the most obscure stuff around, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I'm doing this as part of my "Music Project".  I've generated a list from going through the OO postings and set up a "Music Project" playlist on my Zen Micro.  So far, of the 13 songs they had links to over at OO I enjoyed only two of them.  But, I'm finding this fun and exciting.

Does anyone know where there are free MP3's of songs you can try from an album?  I'm talking legitimate here.  Do most bands/artists have web sites that give you a free song to try?  So far I'm using the 30-sec samples on Rhapsody/MSN Music to try and see if a song catches my interest.  I wish I knew someone who had CDs that I can borrow and try out.

Thanks for all your responses!
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Grievous Angel
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2005, 02:59:08 AM »

Most bands that I like tend to have some free songs available, or even a whole album you can listen to on streaming audio. I think that tends to be less common among the commercially popular artists, but the ones who depend on word-of-mouth publicity are pretty accommodating. Amazon has music clips, but it's probably the same 30-song sample you're finding elsewhere. Archive.org has a TON of free mp3s from live concerts, but the sheer number of musical acts represented there is a project all on its own.

Drop by your local library. The ones near me have pretty substantial music collections, and it's a great way to preview an album before you buy. They're generally not up on the latest releases, but seeing as how you've got some catching up to do, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.  smile
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2005, 03:37:15 AM »

Just another little tip.  Music is better loud.

Not "give you a headache" loud, but loud enough to feel it.

Music moves me very much emotionally.  I'm a fairly even keel guy in reality, perhaps too much so.  Music can pump me up and really raise my spirits, even stuff that can have very depressing lyrics can make me feel good if the music and emotion of the song are powerful enough.  Case in point would be Joy Division.  Some of Joy Divisions bleakest songs (24 Hours, New Dawn Fades) can really make me feel good even though the lyrics are very bleak.
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