Music Differentiation

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So we always hear people saying the same thing for different types of music, “It’s not real music”, or “It can hardly even be called music!” I know these things because I am myself one of these such people. It was done to ragtime, it was done to rock, disco, and now it’s being done to hip-hop, rap, and other hoo-hah. Where is it that we draw the line between music and non-music, and do we really have a right to dictate to other people what is and isn’t music? How does this extend to other forms of art like literature and the visual arts (Although please keep modern art discussion to a minimum, make a new thread if it is needed).

 
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Thinking about it properly, any form of recorded noise intended to be music should be considered as such. I hear bits and pieces of what I believe is called ‘metal’ and wonder how anyone can listen to such trash, but I refer to it as shit music rather than non-music.

But people who say ‘music’ is only specific sorts of recorded noise… I can see where they’re coming from, even if I don’t entirely agree.

 
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if it has harmony and rythm, it somewhat falls within the concept of music. some of the shit out there doesn’t have either, like most of hardcore techno.

there is also works out there that fall within the same scope, but isn’t actually music and is advertised as not being music, such as froms of Ambient or Noise, which does not often have tonal harmony or definable rythm.

 
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Originally posted by NeilSenna:

Thinking about it properly, any form of recorded noise intended to be music should be considered as such.

There was a recent project to convert natural brainwave patterns into a musical range. It sounds highly unusual, but its still music.

 
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I hate when people are prejudice towards Hip-Hop. When ever I say I like Hip-Hop, they instantly think of garbage music mainstream music, such as Lil Wayne, Drake, Tyga, 2Chainz… essentially all there lyrics are about is money, cars, and just being plane boastful, and cocky.

But I don’t listen to that. I listen to hip-hop with subject matter, concepts, creativity, lyrical meaning, etc.

And what do we consider music? Well, music is essentially anything that is instruments. I think we can though differentiate GOOD music from BAD music regardless of genre. If the music has;
~ Good Production (Instrument blending, melodies, etc).
~ A concept/subject
~ Good lyrics (Using literary devices helps)

I think just remember music is an form of art.

 
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John Cage’s attitude was that anything can be considered as music. He famously composed 4’33", during which a pianist sits at the piano for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, but plays nothing. 4 minutes and 33 seconds of complete silence, a rare and much undervalued commodity these days. It is performed from time to time.

So based purely on that, the line between music and non-music is a very wide grey area. And the boundaries constantly change. Some composers such as Wagner were considered controversial or even unworthy in their lifetimes, the first performance of Stavinsky’s Rite of Spring caused outrage, and bebop was poorly received by a public that just didn’t understand it when it was first performed. All are now firmly established in the musical canon.

I’m a jazz fan, but to me freeform jazz is almost without exception the most ungodly racket. But a lot of people enjoy it, so I guess music can include whatever you want it to.

 
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Music is art, art requires talent and creativity.

The grey line in music (what makes something music or not music) is what one considers talent and creativity.

For example, pop music. One could argue creating a repetitive, generic dance beat and autotuning someone repeating lyrics that could have been written by a 12-year old in five minutes does not require talent and does not require creativity. Another could argue that it takes talent and creativity to write catchy lyrics and make beats.


Originally posted by Shoru500:

And what do we consider music? Well, music is essentially anything that is instruments. I think we can though differentiate GOOD music from BAD music regardless of genre. If the music has;
~ Good Production (Instrument blending, melodies, etc).
~ A concept/subject
~ Good lyrics (Using literary devices helps)

I think just remember music is an form of art.

This section is for debating, no? (I never post here) If so, I will respectfully disagree with your post. Music does not require any of those three things. While the things you listed do classify something as music, they are not a necessity.

 
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^he said “GOOD music from BAD music”, even capitalised the important words there. how did you miss that?

… also the same would go for your “talent and creativity” requirement.

one more thing: plenty of pop music out there required very little talent and creativity. but what counts for one “artist” may not count for the next.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

^he said “GOOD music from BAD music”, even capitalised the important words there. how did you miss that?

… also the same would go for your “talent and creativity” requirement.

one more thing: plenty of pop music out there required very little talent and creativity. but what counts for one “artist” may not count for the next.

Thank you… This was differentiation between what I would consider Good and Bad music. Maybe I’ll Bold it next time, I guess Bold is just more eye catching.

And yes, I forgot about creativity.

Originally posted by SupHomies:



Music does not require any of those three things. While the things you listed do classify something as music, they are not a necessity.

Music itself, does not. But that is what I would differentiate from Good and Bad music. I think those are some elements of good music.

 
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Well, the thread is supposed to be about how you differentiate music and non-music. There’s nothing about good or bad music in the OP. So I guess it was an honest mistake. Although I should have caught that.

 
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Originally posted by SupHomies:

Well, the thread is supposed to be about how you differentiate music and non-music. There’s nothing about good or bad music in the OP. So I guess it was an honest mistake. Although I should have caught that.

That’s true, but I guess I self-implied that differentiating non-music and music was essentially saying good and bad music almost. As he said it was done to rock, disco, and now hip-hop. And from what people tell me (with being prejudice), they tell me hip-hop is not music because it is awful. So I hope you can see where I am coming from.

 
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I understand what you are saying. It is an unfortunate tendency for people to label types of music they dislike and consider “bad” as non-music. Of course, even “bad” music is music.

 
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Originally posted by SupHomies:

I understand what you are saying. It is an unfortunate tendency for people to label types of music they dislike and consider “bad” as non-music. Of course, even “bad” music is music.

I agree. What really bugs me though, is when people claim a whole genre of music, to not be “Real Music”. Which is kinda what OP was getting at.

 
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I liked a lot of hip-hop in the 90’s like The Fugees, Mary J. Blige, P. Diddy. Today, I just don’t like hip hop and rap. I’m not trying to be funny when I say this, but everything I’ve heard from lots of different artists are either about money, drugs, sex, or all of them combined. I usually draw the line between real music and fake music at auto tune. Now, I don’t mind if they use auto tune, but can sing (and sound good) for real. Now people like Justin Beiber, BTR, and One Direction, they’re all just fake. Nothing but 100% Artificial crap. (Sorry Fangirls.)

 
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Originally posted by MidnightWerewolf:

I liked a lot of hip-hop in the 90’s like The Fugees, Mary J. Blige, P. Diddy. Today, I just don’t like hip hop and rap. I’m not trying to be funny when I say this, but everything I’ve heard from lots of different artists are either about money, drugs, sex, or all of them combined. I usually draw the line between real music and fake music at auto tune. Now, I don’t mind if they use auto tune, but can sing (and sound good) for real. Now people like Justin Beiber, BTR, and One Direction, they’re all just fake. Nothing but 100% Artificial crap. (Sorry Fangirls.)

There are a lot of rappers who don’t rap about that crap you listed. You’re just stuck in the mainstream. I’ll recommend you 3 albums from this year, you may not like them, but I assure you the lyrical content is not about money, drugs, sex, etc.
~ Macklemore – The Heist
~ Lupe Fiasco – F&L 2
~ Kendrick Lamar – G.K.M.C. (Some songs on this albums ARE boastful, but it’s because he makes a reference in another song, which as a kid would give him this sorta attitude. So it falls into place).

Anyway, I don’t wanna turn this thread into a real hip-hop music thread, as the OP stated don’t try and change the thread, or something like that.

And yes, at TIMES, even great lyrical artists do rap about money once in a while… but please tell me, wasn’t rock music mostly about women, sex and drugs?

ALSO: I read in that last thread that you’re gay, so look at the song “Same Love” by Macklemore.

 
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I like Lupe Fiasco, he’s a good artist! Though I’ll be honest, I’ve only heard one of his songs. I’ll check out the ones you listed now.

Thanks for adding that song by Macklemore. Great song. :]

 
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Music and literature are art. The attempt to define clear boundaries for art is inherently futile.
The only people that need such boundaries are people who try to describe these forms of art in related sciences, but these artificial boundaries will always be just that: artificial. Even if literary science doesn’t consider a certain text literature today, this does not mean that it will never consider it literature and it certainly doesn’t mean that everyone who reads it doesn’t consider it literature. It’s the same thing with music.

 
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but please tell me, wasn’t rock music mostly about women, sex and drugs?

Well yes, but that was the point :) Although, to be fair I think it is an unfair double standard leveled against Hip Hop. What I also find bothersome, is that it frequently is a critique in and of itself. I love songs about women, sex and drugs. But it goes back to the ironing out of Good music, and Bad music.

I have no trouble with the subject matter, but frequently they are nothing more then populist topics with little presented in the way of creativity.

and speaking of noisy music. Pure artistry.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=6l3zCwL-23w

 
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what rock music?

 
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Thanks for the song, Ung. Here’s my contribution

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch-R1aIM-C0

Again, it’s debatable if it’s ‘music’, as it’s just steady repetition of ‘do re me far so la’. But i’ve always liked it.

@OD: Elvis, beatles, beach boys, monkees, rolling stones, eagles…most of mainstream classic rock deals with sex, drugs and money. Nothing wrong with that IMO.

Now on the other hand you get music that tries to tackle tough subject matter. I’m thinking songs like Jesse J’s ‘Price Tag’, Eddie Vedder’s ‘Society’, Steve Earle’s ‘John Walker Blues’ (which used to be banned on US radio for promoting terrorism), etc. I like all those songs, but I don’t particularly find them entertaining to listen to constantly like music that isn’t about much of anything. In fact, at worst, songs that try to tackle these big subjects tend to be chock-full of pretensions they can’t live up to. See for example Sinead o’ Connor’s ‘Famine’ about the irish potato famine last century.

 
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I am a big Philip Glass fan. He came to my neck of the woods to give a lecture a while back and that was delightful. I am especially a big fan of his willingness to transgress genre as a composer. He has done a great deal of work with people from all other types of music, which I find quite rare from the classical garde.

He recently did some excellent work with Leonard Cohen, adapting his poetry collection “Book of Longing” to a score.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFPQGLmAxv8&feature=related
It is, at its most simple, a song about sex and women. I find the substitution of Cohen’s gravel and gravitas for airy stylized operatic singing blasphemous, but eh.

Another strange genre bender would be his work with Aphex Twin remixing Bowie’s “Heroes”. That one is all sorts of strange.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjBcNU1UZUs

 
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Music and art are the hight of subjectivity, I quite like this thread though as there are no objective rules-sets with this so unlike most other threads this seems to be an interchange of opinion and reasoning rather than the usual “my side is right!” “no MY side is right!” threads, which ironically are usually not very objective themselves.

My philosophy on music is if I like it, I’ll listen to it. I like tracks from all genres, and I don’t like all tracks from a genre/artist just because I like others from them. Taste in music is probably what changes fastest and probably the most unnoticeable change.

I never get drawn into arguments about music, I think the X-factor type make way too much for the amount of work and talent they put in compared to the editors that make their screeches into the music we hear on the radio, but that is my view, others cannot stand music I like and prefer the X-factor auto-tuned stuff and that’s ok, because it is their opinion.

If I was asked to define music I would probably go with “Noise, usually rhythmic, that is found enjoyable by the listener”

 
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My own personal taste in music trends towards songs that carry a tune whilst still making me think, songs that make me laugh, and something soothing in the background when I am trying to think. In other words, a lot of Mozart, a lot of Beethoven, a lot of Pink Floyd and Celine Dion.

I have a computer permanently stuck on the net broadcast of radio station Magic, which caters to my tastes very nicely. Sadly, I cannot get reception in the car.

Rock, rap, techno, metal et al, do nothing for me. I cannot stand anything that goes ::thump, thump, thump::

 
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Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

Thanks for the song, Ung. Here’s my contribution

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch-R1aIM-C0

Again, it’s debatable if it’s ‘music’, as it’s just steady repetition of ‘do re me far so la’. But i’ve always liked it.

@OD: Elvis, beatles, beach boys, monkees, rolling stones, eagles…most of mainstream classic rock deals with sex, drugs and money. Nothing wrong with that IMO.

Now on the other hand you get music that tries to tackle tough subject matter. I’m thinking songs like Jesse J’s ‘Price Tag’, Eddie Vedder’s ‘Society’, Steve Earle’s ‘John Walker Blues’ (which used to be banned on US radio for promoting terrorism), etc. I like all those songs, but I don’t particularly find them entertaining to listen to constantly like music that isn’t about much of anything. In fact, at worst, songs that try to tackle these big subjects tend to be chock-full of pretensions they can’t live up to. See for example Sinead o’ Connor’s ‘Famine’ about the irish potato famine last century.

alternative rock and progressive metal is chock full of lyrics like your latter examples. “Society” is certainly not Eddy Vedders first song about something serious, in fact Pearl Jam was known for it’s deep subject matter. even the generation of rock music you refered to earlier sometimes has valuable lyrics.

someone that thinks rock music is lyrically about sex, drugs and women in a meaningless way really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. in fact, it could be and sometimes is criticised for just the opposite.

 
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someone that thinks rock music is lyrically about sex, drugs and women in a meaningless way really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

First, I would say there is a big gap between songs about Sex, Drugs and Women, and those that do so meaninglessly. I’d say that to do it meaninglessly, as opposed to poor or common, may well be impossible.

I also certainly would not typify all rock music, or perhaps on the contemporary scene, most rock music as about the former. But, I do feel it has a very strong connection, and that is was in many ways the defining themes of the birth of rock music. It was scandal and rebellion, bombast and vitality, it was the Dionysiac mainstream rebirth. Much of this was borrowed from it’s roots, jazz and american folk.

and now a charming little diddy about smoking marijuana from the 1930’s.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKFH_zh4gY0