Author Topic: People who don’t like music  (Read 5373 times)

Jockice

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #60 on: August 13, 2019, 11:17:21 PM »
Aw, man, that's a touching story.

Incidentally we had this thing going on from the early 90s where we would message each other with whatever song we had in our head at the time. NOT earworms. We despised that term.

In all that time we only twice ever both independently woke up with the same song in our head (discounting times when we'd been to see bands the night before). They were Around The World by Daft Punk and Appetite by Prefab Sprout.

We kept this up even after I'd been made redundant and then even when he was in hospital near the end. The last song I knew he had in his head was Brick House by The Commodores, a couple of days before he died.

It's a shame he went before me in a way. He didn't leave me anything in his will (nor did I expect anything) but if I'd gone first he'd have received my entire collection of albums - more than 30 of them - by The Fall. He didn't like them much.

New page I must change my will now. Ah.


Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #61 on: August 13, 2019, 11:33:15 PM »
I find the 'not having any interest in new (either contemporary, or new to your ears) music' thing a sad/scary prospect.

My mum is passionate about music, she genuinely credits John Peel with having saved her life when she was growing up, and she'll chat enthusiastically about her favourite bands and artists (which are pretty wide-ranging), but anything chart or post-early 90s seems to leave her cold - she sort of shrugs it off by saying 'I probably just don't get it'. Probably my fault for entering the world around that time and stealing away her leisure time tbf.

I did get her to listen to some of my CDs when I was a teenager - she quite enjoyed stuff like the Strokes and Queens of the Stone Age - but anything too poppy, rap or hip hop based is just met with derision or bafflement. Maybe she's just a racist rock snob.


Incidentally we had this thing going on from the early 90s where we would message each other with whatever song we had in our head at the time. NOT earworms. We despised that term.

In all that time we only twice ever both independently woke up with the same song in our head (discounting times when we'd been to see bands the night before). They were Around The World by Daft Punk and Appetite by Prefab Sprout.

This is lovely.

Johnny Yesno

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #62 on: August 13, 2019, 11:46:58 PM »
The last song I knew he had in his head was Brick House by The Commodores, a couple of days before he died.

A shared experience is one thing but there's something quite intimate about this, isn't there?

Johnny Yesno

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #63 on: August 13, 2019, 11:49:01 PM »
My mum is passionate about music, she genuinely credits John Peel with having saved her life when she was growing up, and she'll chat enthusiastically about her favourite bands and artists (which are pretty wide-ranging), but anything chart or post-early 90s seems to leave her cold - she sort of shrugs it off by saying 'I probably just don't get it'. Probably my fault for entering the world around that time and stealing away her leisure time tbf.

We'll sort this out. What stuff from her Peel days does she like?

Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #64 on: August 14, 2019, 12:18:05 AM »
I did get her to listen to some of my CDs when I was a teenager - she quite enjoyed stuff like the Strokes and Queens of the Stone Age - but anything too poppy, rap or hip hop based is just met with derision or bafflement. Maybe she's just a racist rock snob.

I might be about your mum's generation and never was too keen on a lot of rap but the acid house, techno, breakbeat etc. John Peel used to play was a groove and a great relief from guitar rock which I thought became mostly pretty dull after The Smiths. I remember hearing 808 State for the first time and it was quite the revelation. Does she like any of that stuff or was she really one of the rockists Peel used to complain about every Festive 50 time?

I don't remember that. Are you sure you're not thinking of 1984? There's a machine in that that autocomposes trite music for the proles. It's one of the weaker themes of the book, unfortunately.

Dammit, no it wasn't 1984 and maybe not Brave New World either. Now I'm going to have to find out what I was thinking of. It was a theme of Huxley's though, as in this passage from a book I've never read but found this quote from on a website:

"There are quiet places also in the mind. … But we build bandstands and factories on them. Deliberately – to put a stop to the quietness. We don’t like the quietness. All the thoughts, all the preoccupations in my head – round and round continually. … And the jazz bands, the music-hall songs, the boys shouting with the news. What’s it for? What’s it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost that it isn’t there.

Ah, but it is; it is there, in spite of everything. Lying awake at night, sometimes – not restlessly, but serenely, waiting for sleep – the quiet reestablishes itself, piece by piece; all the broken bits, all the fragments of it we’ve been so busily dispersing all day long – a crystal quiet, a growing, expanding crystal. It grows, it becomes more perfect. … And at last you are more conscious of something approaching; it is almost a faint sound of footsteps. Something inexpressibly lovely advances through the crystal, nearer, nearer. And, oh, inexpressibly terrifying. For if it were to touch you, if it were to seize and engulf you, you’d die. … But one can’t face the advancing thing. One daren’t. It’s too terrifying, it’s too painful to die.

Quickly before it’s too late, start the factory wheels, bang the drum, blow up the saxophone. Think of the women you’d like to sleep with, the schemes for making money, the gossip about your friends, the last outrage of the politicians. Anything for a diversion. Break the silence, smash the crystal to pieces. There it lies in bits. And by this time the lovely and terrifying thing is three infinites away, at least. And you lie tranquilly on your bed, thinking of what you’d do if you had ten thousand pounds, and of all the fornications you’ll never commit."

(Antic Hay)

Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #65 on: August 14, 2019, 12:25:41 AM »
We'll sort this out. What stuff from her Peel days does she like?

Ha, cheers!

Off the top of my head I can't think of anyone she specifically cites Peel with discovering, but her favourite acts that come to mind are probably pretty typical for her generation - the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bowie, the Beach Boys, Hendrix etc. and she's pretty into folky stuff - Incredible String Band, Cat Stevens, Fairport Convention and the like. Oh and yer classic Motown stuff too.

I've tried introducing her to streaming services but I think the vast amount of choice (and the technology) freaks her out a bit (not in a good, Sixties way).

pancreas

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NoSleep

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #67 on: August 14, 2019, 06:57:47 AM »
"I have to say The Best of the Beatles."

But then he loves Pino Palladino's bass playing for Gary Numan. And singing along to Roachford in his car.

Jockice

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #68 on: August 14, 2019, 08:54:29 AM »
A shared experience is one thing but there's something quite intimate about this, isn't there?

Yeah, it is come to think of it. I'm not even sure how it started (although I can remember the first two songs in my head I sent him. They were Take On The World by Judas Priest and I'm Doing Fine by Jason Donovan) but it went on until almost the very end. Before that nothing had stopped us. I remember once visiting relatives in Scotland and my first song was Drop Down Dead by The Housemartins. Which I sent him only to find that his dad had actually dropped down dead the previous evening. But he didn't mind. It was just whatever song was in each of our heads and and that was that.  Apart from our arguments about the merits of The Fall, REM, The Who, Lawrence etc.

At one point we actually sat in the office a few feet from each other so if the computers went down we'd continue just by raising our voices slightly and telling each other which songs were in our head. And because of all this, the very first thing I think when I wake up in the morning is what song I have in my head. Today it's The Boy From New York City by Darts. RIP Mike.




momatt

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #69 on: August 14, 2019, 10:06:10 AM »
Do people sit with Spotify, youtube or whatever and just listen, or are they usually doing something else too?

I do.  But I'm fairly strange and obsessive when it comes to music.  Especially when I've got such a large selection.  I can't hear a song without being inspired to hear hundreds of others and add to playlists as I go.
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icehaven

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #70 on: August 14, 2019, 05:07:23 PM »
I remember once visiting relatives in Scotland and my first song was Drop Down Dead by The Housemartins. Which I sent him only to find that his dad had actually dropped down dead the previous evening.

Many years ago I was at my then boyfriend's house and a friend who's Dad had also just dropped down dead was coming over to hang out and take his mind off things. As soon as he arrived my boyfriend switched some music on shuffle and the first song that came on was a (I think) Billy Bragg song with a first line about his Dad dying. Unfortunately the friend knew the song so it didn't go unnoticed.

Some people can't really distinguish between semi-tones, so music, while not unpleasant, is not interesting to them. All they can hear to distinguish is rhythm, timbre and lyrics.

I reckon.

Yup, Amusia, which as already mentioned is what Nabokov appears to have had, an actual disorder of the brain that means music is just noise to you as you can't differentiate between pitches and tones etc. (there's obviously a difference between that and just not particularly liking or being interested in music very much though.)

 Makes you wonder if a kind of selective/learned Amusia might be behind why some people struggle to understand or appreciate genres of music that they're completely unfamiliar with and/or that didn't even exist when they were young, the cliché of Grandad complaining that the music kids listen to now is ''just noise'' to him, kind of the other end of the spectrum to John Peel. Claiming to not even recognise it as music might be a bit of an exaggeration, but there might be something in totally unfamiliar sounds and effects etc. being so far from what you consider music that it's hard for your brain to see them as the same thing. If you played techno to a room full of people from the 15th century who'd only ever heard, I dunno, a lute or something, at least some of them probably wouldn't identify it as music.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 05:31:37 PM by icehaven »

Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #71 on: August 14, 2019, 06:51:43 PM »
I don't think 'I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems weird and scary to me' has anything to do with amusia really; it's just their attitude to anything new and unusual.

McFlymo

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #72 on: August 14, 2019, 08:00:34 PM »
I'm very interested in this topic.

I think it's because, I grew up loving music, but then, I also grew up having all sorts of passions for things that faded away. Music stuck, because I enjoyed making it, but I still don't know if I'm any good at it, it's just a bunch of stuff that I can do, sort of.

I struggled with the idea that there's bad music and shit music and cheesy music and all that and I sometimes think this obsession with what is good and acceptable music vs all the shit stuff, has just turned me against music overall.

So that makes me wonder, have I ever really enjoyed music, or has it always just been something I am loyal to, like a sport or a favourite brand of toothpaste?

Of course I can remember specific experiences where music has been very special for me, but I don't think my own music has ever achieved that, for me or anyone else. So maybe I love it, but I'm just not very good at it?

Or maybe I just do it, because, uuuhhh dunno... What else is there?

I feel I have this bafflingly complex relationship with music and it's frustrating, because I don't hear podcasts or see books where people discuss this existential connection to music in any detail. [edit: recommendations welcome!]

I can hear a pop song on the radio and immediately turn my nose up at it and think, "Utter garbage!" but I can equally just let go of that feeling (that seems somewhat engineered or forced) and accept the music for what it is and then it's ok.

But that's too overwhelming! The idea that actually, pretty much all music is pretty good! That's not an acceptable stance to take. How could you ever enjoy music properly, if everything seems "pretty good"?

So I've tried to explore obscure stuff: Pretty good.
Experimental stuff, that's a real challenge to listen to: Pretty good.
Heavy stuff / light stuff / long stuff / short stuff / trippy stuff / badly recorded stuff  etc etc etc.......

Yeah. It's pretty good that there music stuff.

So what? What is my relationship to this artform supposed to be? When I was a kid it could define you, what you chose to listen to, but now? It's all just music. One big umbrella term to contain hundreds of years of infinitely complex human expression!!!!

And that's before I've even started talking about how you can listen to one piece of music over and over and over again and hear new things; hear details under the details, understand it like a piece of language, a phrase of dialogue you process and digest, or a map you can recall with your eyes closed.

I need a lie down.


Bennett Brauer

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #73 on: August 14, 2019, 08:13:39 PM »
David Mitchell ( the fellow who went to Cambridge just so he could get on to panel shows )'s one of these people He's been to one live music performance in his life ( a Shirley Bassey concert, I think ), and owns one album by Level 42.

I find this sort of thing very odd, almost as odd as a music fan genuinely liking the Longpigs.

And Victoria chooses and buys his clothes for him. All of them. That's odd as well, isn't it? Unless married CaBbers can tell me it's normal.

Makes me wonder how he'll cope when she leaves him for me.

McFlymo

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #74 on: August 14, 2019, 08:30:00 PM »
The thing is though are we all actively into listening to and appreciating the music, like mindfully listening to it? Or do we just always have it on because we have reached a point where we can have almost any music we want pumped directly into our ear canals, literally blocking out every other sound in life?

I am unsure.

This is exactly what I'm seemingly so obsessed with understanding, these days.
I listen in a variety of ways, I think. Sometimes deeply and mindfully, sometimes not. Sometimes for nostalgia, sometimes I'm caught off-guard by something on the radio and I'm sucked in.

I worry to myself, a lot (because I'm such a sad loner) that I am the only person who listens to all this weird music the way I do. Who else is listening and hearing it the way I hear it? I worry that maybe I'm mentally unwell, in my analysis of music, or I'm just a boring insufferable muso-nerd, but surely other people out there are listening the way I am listening? How do we find out?

Johnny Yesno

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #75 on: August 14, 2019, 11:47:30 PM »
Yup, Amusia, which as already mentioned is what Nabokov appears to have had, an actual disorder of the brain that means music is just noise to you as you can't differentiate between pitches and tones etc. (there's obviously a difference between that and just not particularly liking or being interested in music very much though.)

 Makes you wonder if a kind of selective/learned Amusia might be behind why some people struggle to understand or appreciate genres of music that they're completely unfamiliar with and/or that didn't even exist when they were young, the cliché of Grandad complaining that the music kids listen to now is ''just noise'' to him, kind of the other end of the spectrum to John Peel. Claiming to not even recognise it as music might be a bit of an exaggeration, but there might be something in totally unfamiliar sounds and effects etc. being so far from what you consider music that it's hard for your brain to see them as the same thing. If you played techno to a room full of people from the 15th century who'd only ever heard, I dunno, a lute or something, at least some of them probably wouldn't identify it as music.

I think you're overstating the significance of amusia. Take a look at this: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tone-deafness-bad-singing/

I reckon the cultural effects are far more significant. Sound that carries no meaningful information is the very definition of noise. Time and/or cultural isolation will tend to do that.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #76 on: August 15, 2019, 12:21:53 AM »
Yeah I wasn’t thinking of amusia really, more people who understand what music is, but have no interest. I think Nagsworth (?) mentioned that he didn’t really watch a lot of films and I guess I’m the same - I’ve seen the ones I feel like I should, but I’d never be a massive film buff because it seems like a waste of 2 hours multiplied by however many films it takes to achieve that rank.

Music is different though, isn’t it? It’s all about and only takes 3 minutes if you just want pop music or something. In the car, or while having breakfast or whatever. I mean, my dad (to go back to the person who stared it all) will put the radio on in the car, but has no interest in what they play. That’s like me sitting in a cinema watching Adam Sandler movies just because they’re on, and making no effort to go to the other screens where better/funnier/more worthwhile films are playing. That’s what I found odd.

Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #77 on: August 15, 2019, 01:12:35 AM »
I struggled with the idea that there's bad music and shit music and cheesy music and all that and I sometimes think this obsession with what is good and acceptable music vs all the shit stuff, has just turned me against music overall.

I'm one of the annoying people for whom making judgments about good vs bad is pretty integral to my listening to music, which puts me in an awkward position when forced to justify my liking for a few specific Barry Manilow songs, but I do my best.

Quote
But that's too overwhelming! The idea that actually, pretty much all music is pretty good! That's not an acceptable stance to take. How could you ever enjoy music properly, if everything seems "pretty good"?

Exactly. You're back in the primeval soup.

Quote
And that's before I've even started talking about how you can listen to one piece of music over and over and over again and hear new things; hear details under the details, understand it like a piece of language, a phrase of dialogue you process and digest, or a map you can recall with your eyes closed.

This is interesting because of course most people's experience is of growing to dislike pieces of music from over-listening, which has been used as one argument for its inferiority as an art form because it barely applies, if at all, to painting, literature etc. It suggests that novelty is a necessary part of musical enjoyment and also that it's more like food than art.

I could look at Las Meninas ten thousand times without becoming indifferent or disenchanted, but that probably doesn't apply to any piece of music at all.

Twit 2

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #78 on: August 15, 2019, 10:56:42 AM »
I’m one of those people who in theory likes everything. I think it comes from a combination of having a very visceral emotional reaction to it (the opposite of the Nabokov all just noise to me types discussed above) and having intensively and obsessively studied music at degree level, which hopefully has given me a fairly open mind and a set of philosophical notions through which to appraise it all. For example, reading stuff like ‘How Musical is Man?’ by John Blacking totally blew my mind and made me realise that music is an absolutely ingrained part of humans, totally primal and corporeal, and also that Western art music is just another form of folk music (these are crude reductions of the book’s theses, check it out obviously for more depth). I tend to subscribe to very broad conceptions of what music is such as Varese’s “music is the organisation of sounds and silences’.

I’m also quite fascinated by extremes, so I’m often after music which is at either end of spectra: the quietest/slowest, the loudest/fastest etc. It’s especially interesting to me when the same aesthetic is used at the two ends. For example, the sound world of Webern: I enjoy Morton Feldman’s endless hours long works that include such musical gestures but also love someone like Kurtag who explores similar sounds but in 30 seconds.

When some people say ‘oh I like everything’ they often have whole genres they still don’t like or know much about but I reckon I can talk my way through a fair few styles, as a result of having phases of listening to one particular artist or genre obsessively before moving on to something else. So I’ve had phases of black metal, 19th century piano, post-bop jazz, contemporary classical, Renaissance polyphony, South Indian Carnatic, ambient etc.

I assume all that is fairly normal, especially for a certain type of mental bloke. In my formative years music was everything to me and I had nothing else. I have certainly dropped off with what I listen to since the demands of responsible adult life have taken their toll, but I try to keep my hand in. This week I have been driving around with the ‘Et Expecto’ movement of the Mass in B Minor on repeat at max volume literally weeping at the majesty.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 12:21:11 PM by Twit 2 »

NoSleep

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #79 on: August 15, 2019, 11:09:29 AM »
I'm very interested in this topic.

I think it's because, I grew up loving music, but then, I also grew up having all sorts of passions for things that faded away. Music stuck, because I enjoyed making it, but I still don't know if I'm any good at it, it's just a bunch of stuff that I can do, sort of.

I struggled with the idea that there's bad music and shit music and cheesy music and all that and I sometimes think this obsession with what is good and acceptable music vs all the shit stuff, has just turned me against music overall.

So that makes me wonder, have I ever really enjoyed music, or has it always just been something I am loyal to, like a sport or a favourite brand of toothpaste?

Of course I can remember specific experiences where music has been very special for me, but I don't think my own music has ever achieved that, for me or anyone else. So maybe I love it, but I'm just not very good at it?

Or maybe I just do it, because, uuuhhh dunno... What else is there?

I feel I have this bafflingly complex relationship with music and it's frustrating, because I don't hear podcasts or see books where people discuss this existential connection to music in any detail. [edit: recommendations welcome!]

I can hear a pop song on the radio and immediately turn my nose up at it and think, "Utter garbage!" but I can equally just let go of that feeling (that seems somewhat engineered or forced) and accept the music for what it is and then it's ok.

But that's too overwhelming! The idea that actually, pretty much all music is pretty good! That's not an acceptable stance to take. How could you ever enjoy music properly, if everything seems "pretty good"?

So I've tried to explore obscure stuff: Pretty good.
Experimental stuff, that's a real challenge to listen to: Pretty good.
Heavy stuff / light stuff / long stuff / short stuff / trippy stuff / badly recorded stuff  etc etc etc.......

Yeah. It's pretty good that there music stuff.

So what? What is my relationship to this artform supposed to be? When I was a kid it could define you, what you chose to listen to, but now? It's all just music. One big umbrella term to contain hundreds of years of infinitely complex human expression!!!!

And that's before I've even started talking about how you can listen to one piece of music over and over and over again and hear new things; hear details under the details, understand it like a piece of language, a phrase of dialogue you process and digest, or a map you can recall with your eyes closed.

I need a lie down.

I notice you haven't mentioned any music that you thought was a work of genius, or stood out from all the other music either as something you could identify with or brought together a group of things that you love about music. Was this an omission or does your perception of music mean that it all sounds "pretty good" with little or no "fucking brilliant"?

Better Midlands

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #80 on: August 15, 2019, 11:47:10 AM »
Mick Jagger doesn't like music

https://youtu.be/77D_LQGIo50

NoSleep

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #81 on: August 15, 2019, 11:54:01 AM »
I’m one of those people who in theory likes everything. I think it comes from a combination of having a very visceral emotional reaction to it (the opposite of the Nabokov all just noise to me types discussed above) and having intensively and obsessively studied music at degree level, which hopefully has given me a fairly open mind and a set of philosophical notions through which to appraise it all. For example, reading stuff like ‘How Musical is Man?’ by John Blacking totally blew my mind and made me realise that music is an absolutely ingrained part of humans, totally primal and corporeal, and also that Western art music is just another form of folk music (these are crude reductions of the book’s theses, check it out obviously for more depth). I tend to subscribe to very broad conceptions of what music is such as Varese’s “music is the only organisation of sounds and silences’.

This aspect of music fascinates me. We seem to be musical animals but how this developed into the sophisticated art we take for granted now leads to a lot of questions. I've been trying to ponder my own broad definition of music, like Varese's above, in response to this thread but it's hard to boil it down to a phrase. I can sit back in my chair and listen to the distant sounds emanating through the window and give it the same attention as I would a piece of music (not all music demands attention) and it becomes music.

Our perception of pitch probably relates to language. For example perfect pitch is something acquired by infants (under certain circumstances) at the age when they are making sense of the noises that fellow humans are uttering before those noises have any meaning as words. Even if you can't understand a word somebody is saying to you, you may be able to pick up on how they feel by following the pitch of their voice.

Harmony is another thing. For most people recognition of the relationship between notes will carry a bias towards the intervals that have the simplest/strongest relationships, which is how we make up musical scales. It's a high speed form of pattern recognition.

Rhythm is like a slowed down version of harmony with respect to pattern recognition and might go back to our pre-human ancestors; perception of the rhythms of the world around you most likely pinpoints where other lifeforms are present around you, whether that be a predator, friends, rivals, or maybe a meal.

So my definition of music would have to be something about the recognition of life or intelligence around me. (But perhaps that's because I'm a musical animal)

NoSleep

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #82 on: August 15, 2019, 11:54:50 AM »

purlieu

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #83 on: August 15, 2019, 12:03:10 PM »
When it comes to the overwhelming nature of good music - and sometimes I look back over all the albums I've sold over the years and realised that actually most of them are pretty decent - I just go with music that I have an overwhelming emotional response to. I'm not especially interested in concepts of good or bad, simply what I respond to. Certain intervals and chord changes evoke an emotional response, certain tempos and energies resonate with my body and mood, certain textures and atmospheres provoke my imagination. It does make it difficult to justify or even discuss these things, but a long time ago I realised that actually justifying and discussing music is very low on my list of reasons why I'd listen to it. It took a while to get to this point, to learn to ignore all the critical stuff I've learned from my degree, from discussing music on forums for 15 years, from getting into daft argument with people because they've put on an artist I hated, but I'm now at the point where I know I can listen to music purely because it feels powerful to me and not worry about anything else.

Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #84 on: August 15, 2019, 03:40:43 PM »
For example, reading stuff like ‘How Musical is Man?’ by John Blacking totally blew my mind and made me realise that music is an absolutely ingrained part of humans, totally primal and corporeal, and also that Western art music is just another form of folk music (these are crude reductions of the book’s theses, check it out obviously for more depth).

Art music was historically rooted in the manipulation of the robotic conventions that grew out of the power of reason to control the material. Pre-modernist art music was distinct from folk forms in its relative detachment from necessity and its role as the expression of the liberal ideals of the heroic bourgeois period. This is the source of its strength and weakness, and is related to why it sounds so prissy now and the social conventions around it seem so archaic and absurd especially compared to the music of the Second Viennese School and all that came after.

But that's still detached from any 'folk', which hasn't existed in any meaningful form under late capitalism anyway.


NoSleep

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #85 on: August 15, 2019, 03:51:11 PM »
It depends on what definition of folk music you're accepting (I have the same understanding as you). I presume that's why he said he was making a crude reduction.

Twit 2

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #86 on: August 15, 2019, 09:23:51 PM »
Yeah, read the book; he explains it better than me (15 years since my degree). All I can say is that it’s the best book I’ve ever read on what music actually is and its relationship
to humans. Btw, ‘Noise: The Political Economy of Music’ by Jacques Attali (economic advisor to Mitterrand) is very good on how ‘absolute music’ arises out of the material and economic society around it (the translation isn’t great though). ‘Musica Practica’ by Michael Chanan is also well worth a look.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 09:38:02 PM by Twit 2 »

NoSleep

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #87 on: August 15, 2019, 10:08:41 PM »
My own favourite book on music (something of an epiphanic read for me) was Chris Cutler's File Under Popular, which covers the move from folk music to classical and commercial music and how the score (via the eye) took over from the ear and how performers became subservient to conductors and composers (reflecting the rise of industrialisation) creating an alienation. He then shows how jazz and popular forms via the recording medium brought the ear back to the fore and, although it wasn't a return to folk music, it did represent what Cutler calls an alienation of the original alienation. He takes a closer look at three different artists; Sun Ra, The Residents and Phil Ochs (the latter in contrast to Elvis Presley). A liberating and enabling read (albeit even the author apologises for some clunkiness). Apparently the NME had a meeting about reviewing the book and decided against it, but plagiarised it for a period nonetheless.

McFlymo

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #88 on: August 15, 2019, 10:50:28 PM »
I quite liked This Is Your Brain On Music, by Daniel Levitin, as it illuminated me to the idea that nearly all humans have similar responses to music. Plus all the studies that try to understand which parts of our brains are being triggered with music and so on.

I find it hard to articulate the music that's had such a massive impact on me, because often it's not entirely about the music. I have to want to be moved, I have to "try" to feel something, and so often that feels like I am betraying myself. Why force yourself to feel something with this music, but not that music? I'm back to that primeval "choice" situation again, aren't I?

On a more analytical level, I get a lot of pleasure from staying with an album, a band, an artist for longer periods of time, where the music will have an instant impact on me, where I can tell that it's dense and complex enough so that I can chip away at it, and uncover more in it with each listen. So things like Autechre or energetic guitar based stuff like Three Trapped Tigers - stuff that's basically going into interesting places, structurally, harmonically, rhythmically - Prog rock - unpredictable time signatures etc. - Ambitious arrangments and such...

At the same time, I can get easily bored with that shit too. I was listening to the most recent Alarmist album and thought to myself, "wow there's so much going on here, this is clever shit..." several songs later I just felt like it was a boring load of wank... Lots of clever notes and musicality and musicianship, but zero attention to presenting a complete piece of work that has any sort of intriguing evolution or narrative. Also why I don't listen to a lot of "standard" rock music: albums just go nowhere, all the songs sound the same. I like a bit of drama and story, I suppose.

Electronic music seems better at this, at times. For example, Jon Hopkins won't have 14 songs that are all the same tempo, he'll have some more ambient moments and how things evolve in and out of these different grooves, feels very conscious and intentional. Aphex Twin doesn't seem to do this so much, but each song can be anything from a funny pisstake journey through silly beats and noises, to moving piano recital, to technical mastery and chaotic experimentation ...

But ... I have found myself being more impressed by music from the 40s and 50s over recent times, where musicality was everything, all the little clever ways instruments come in and out, the little trills and flourishes around relatively simple grooves and chords ... the nostalgic way we hear it all now, through crackly wax cylinders. It feels social and connected and real in a very pleasing way to me, that a lot of modern music doesn't.

I can't listen to a lot of modern music, because I can instantly hear the hours and hours of boring perfection every element has gone through to the point where it might as well just be an 8 bit chip inside a christmas card.

Something very life affirming and uplifting, that I heard recently was, Congrats by Holy Fuck and Vaetxh / Rob Clouth kinda blows my mind with everything he's done. Err.... A lot of the (pretty much all the) stuff you cunts post in Oscillations will get me excited, it reminds me I should really do more digging.

Twit 2

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #89 on: August 15, 2019, 11:17:26 PM »
Music from the 50s is tight. You could do a lot worse than just working your way through the Rudy Van Gelder Blue Note remasters.