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  #16  
Old 09-14-2023, 03:13 PM
Fishermike Fishermike is offline
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Originally Posted by AX17609 View Post
If you listened to the current Spotify Top 10 list, you would no longer believe that the general public knows the difference between good and bad music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVcnsQS-eqQ
I'd love to know how much of the video you watched. Rick is pretty complementary towards most of the songs on the list. I think a couple of the tunes are pretty great, myself. "Bad Idea, Right?" is killer teen angst post-punk banger; not many folks doing dance music better than Dua Lipa right now ("Dance the Night"); and I think "Seven" is pretty cool, too. The rest aren't necessarily my cup of tea, but so what?

What you actually mean is that you don't like most current music, which is entirely your right. But that doesn't make it "bad", nor does it make what you like "good".

The demographic of this board skews older, white, and male (yes, like me!). Guess what? There are a ton of people out there who are none of those things, and they like music, too! Maybe not the same music as you, but that doesn't make it "bad".

Last edited by Fishermike; 09-14-2023 at 06:23 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-14-2023, 03:50 PM
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tinnitus tinnitus is offline
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The analogy of music being like visual art sort of sums up my feelings about what's popular these days. It surely takes skills to imagine and paint a poster of 6 dogs playing poker, or a velvet Elvis. But would I hang either one on my wall to admire and share with friends? Not so much.

I'm not a snob about music, but I do feel that understanding and appreciation certainly varies by individual. As a gigging musician before I went to bootcamp in 1977, I had a fair grasp of what goes into music of many kinds from Sousa to Verdi to Monk to Montrose to Broonzy to Steppenwolf to Kottke to DiMeola, etc. (not that I could play them all).

Months later, during air traffic control school near Memphis, I kept finding myself in bars where drunks hollering "You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille" (in 7.5 different keys) seemed to be the modern pinnacle of grasping the essence of music. Thought I'd died and gone to hell. LOL.

But what, really, does it mean to "understand" music?

A somewhat relevant pithy comment I've always loved:
"Did the Beatles understand music theory? Dogs can analyze trajectories to intercept flying objects, but they're crap at explaining physics."
- unknown

Last edited by tinnitus; 09-14-2023 at 06:26 PM.
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  #18  
Old 09-14-2023, 03:50 PM
Talk2Me Talk2Me is offline
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Understand music? I barely understand the question!
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  #19  
Old 09-14-2023, 05:42 PM
ghostnote ghostnote is offline
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Music didnít start out as science; people turned it into science. Music started out as a sound that made people feel. As far as Iím concerned, that is its main function still. When you look at a beautiful flower outside your window, you donít need to know all the complicated science behind that beauty in order to appreciate it. Music is like that, too.
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  #20  
Old 09-14-2023, 06:21 PM
Fishermike Fishermike is offline
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Originally Posted by ghostnote View Post
Music didnít start out as science; people turned it into science. Music started out as a sound that made people feel. As far as Iím concerned, that is its main function still. When you look at a beautiful flower outside your window, you donít need to know all the complicated science behind that beauty in order to appreciate it. Music is like that, too.
I agree completely.
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  #21  
Old 09-14-2023, 08:46 PM
JackC1 JackC1 is offline
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Do we really need to understand something in order to like it?
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  #22  
Old 09-14-2023, 09:59 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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Define people.

Some folks seem to be able to 'intuit' more than others, even if they have no clue about all the moving parts of music.

Rather than cast everyone who has no musical experience, training or understanding into one bucket, I realize that (like so many things) it is a spectrum.

But ultimately, as others have mentioned, it doesn't matter. People can get something out of music without knowing ANYTHING.

If they become more (self) educated, I imagine their enjoyment could increase.
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  #23  
Old 09-14-2023, 10:02 PM
K20C K20C is offline
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I enjoyed music long before I started playing guitar. I now play guitar and have a working knowledge of theory, chords, melody, etc and still enjoy music. No more, no less. So, I’m not sure what your point is.
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  #24  
Old 09-14-2023, 10:26 PM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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I always watch the audience when I play, either as a solo acoustic performer, or as rhythm guitar in a little band. I watch them because I want to see how the songs are doing, does this one get them moving, does that one make them pay more attention, do they seem to understand the lyrics or are they just bopping to the tune while they drink their beer or talk to their friends. Most of the time they pay attention.

And to me the audience is the whole point. I guess many musicians have had the experience (which is fairly common in my venues) of a small child, a toddler, wandering up in rare moment of freedom from hovering parents, and staring slack jawed in absolute amazement at the performers, transfixed by the music.

Sometimes they bounce to it in their awkward toddler dance, but mostly they are just entranced, astonished, mesmerized. Older kids, seven or eight, especially little girls, will dance and goof around and join in the show. But what is clear is, that in their musical innocence they just love it. Music feeds such an elemental part of our inner human life, it is primal, no matter what kind of music it is. And these children have no understanding of music theory or who is on the top ten. They are just moved by the sound of it and the vision of grown up people making all this fabulous noise.

I think public performance is a feedback loop, you feed them, they feed you (or not, as is sometimes the case). The audience cares nothing for music theory, chord structure, clever fingering, flashy solos, they just want to bask in the sound. And we are happy to give it to them.
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  #25  
Old 09-14-2023, 10:52 PM
Tyeetime Tyeetime is offline
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Iím with you on the teeth drumming. Iím 59 years old and Iíve done that for as far back as I can remember. Exactly like you describe it with designated bass, snare, toms, hats, etc. Iíve always found it hard to describe to others, but it sounds good in my head.
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  #26  
Old 09-15-2023, 07:52 AM
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At twelve years old my son could pick up most any instrument and play a tune on it in a couple of minutes. He has perfect pitch. In a twelve-year-olds frustration he asked me why his friend don't understand music. Mind you at the time he could point out my mistakes. Talk about humbling. I explained to him that other people have difficulty understanding music just like he has difficulty understand math. He did come to understand math quit well in time.
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  #27  
Old 09-15-2023, 07:52 AM
Golffishny Golffishny is offline
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Most people just know what they like. They don't care how it happens or where it comes from. We are the outliers.
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  #28  
Old 09-15-2023, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Over the years, I developed a theory that most, whether they say they like/enjoy music or not, have little or no understanding. They will nod or dance to the beat … but so will a two year old toddler - instinctive? Rhythm is like a mother’s heart beat.
But do people have any understanding of chord progressions, song structures?
I would agree most or at least many people who enjoy listening to music, have little understanding of the theory = chords, progressions, scales structures etc. ---nor should they, or perhaps more correctly why would they ?
One does not need to to know the theory/science of combustion, inertia, power to weight , acceleration, brake force, etc. to enjoy motoring on a Sunday drive
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  #29  
Old 09-15-2023, 09:24 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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So, ramble over, what do you think about my first paragraph?

My reaction, Andy, is that you appear to be a musician, very much like the rest of us. I have drummed on my teeth or the side of my mouth since I was a kid. I still do it. Though I have to admit, I am not a particularly good drummer when put in front of a drum set.

The typical person in our society is really an expert at listening to music. Not everyone is affected deeply by music, but many are. And most people can determine pretty quickly whether they like a particular piece of music or not.

People don't have to understand how a car is made to enjoy it; same for a TV set. Our society makes consuming stuff fairly easy even though most people have no idea how that stuff got made. Same for music.

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  #30  
Old 09-15-2023, 11:51 AM
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Well, I'm no teeth drummer but I've been playing acoustic guitar for over 50 years so I hope that somehow adds substantiation to my opinions.

I believe a person's ability to understand music is a very personal and individualized experience. Yes, some people nod along or dance to music with no more knowledge beyond liking the tune while others have gone eyeball-deep into every aspect of its harmonic structure and I'm pretty sure every step between the two.

As a retired academic, my first instinct is to operationally define "understand." But in doing so, I will run the risk of unwittingly declaring that some people do not "understand" music because their definition does not equal my own. Hence, I'm very reluctant to do so or accept another's definition.

Having said that, I think everyone understands music in the way that is most valuable to them. I'm not comfortable with imposing my definition of "understanding" to another. Much like others have said above, the question is akin to asking people about art.

Just my 2 cents.

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