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Do You Listen To Music Differently Than Your Friends?


hk1997
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Oftentimes, when I'm listening to the radio with my friends, we tend to disagree on the quality of the particular song. Any genre of music other than classical pertains, although I'm thinking along the lines of contemporary hit rock/pop radio stations (ie. U2, Creed, Pearl Jam, etc.).

As always, I think most of the songs being played are crappy while a handful of them are really good. Of course, pop music is pretty much image and lyric driven. When I listen to the radio, I very rarely concentrate on what the band has to say (most of the time you can't understand them in the first place, ie. Eddie Vedder) and I don't have MTV so I really don't know what most of them look like. One time I heard a song that I thought wasn't too shabby until I found out it was Marilyn Manson.

So I ask myself, does my musical training make me listen to music differently than most of my friends who have little or no music training in their life?

Can anyone relate?

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I don't think you are alone. Sometimes I listen to music just to listen to one specific instrument. Whereas friends of mine are quite happy to hear a song they like and not give it 100% concentration, I like to pay attention to it in the minutest detail.

Most of the tunes that they play on the radio station I listen to are okay, but I wouldn't buy them. When I hear something I like, I go crazy trying to find the name of the act that made it. Basically I find their (my friends) attitude is a lot more casual than mine.

They just listen to music for fun, and although I do too, there is a difference if you know what I'm saying.

I never pay much attention to lyrics, unless they are so awful they cannot be ignored, whereas lyrics seem very important to my friends, even though they can't possibly know what the singer is going on about. Personally, I think a lot of songs are ruined by their singers, lol.

Oh, and I never pick tracks that are successful. Singles I like go in at 60 for one week and disappear. I like Ghostland and Craig Armstrong right now, which are different, and sometimes rather stringy, so I never really get away from my violins, lol.

Have a good day,

Holy Viola!

[This message has been edited by Holy Viola! (edited 04-21-2002).]

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Absolutely! And it doesn't make life any easier for me. Since I can't gauge what other people want in a song, I stay out of the process of choosing what goes on the air at our radio station altogether.

Last year when Clapton released "Reptile" I went crazy for the arrangements..particularly the back-ups by the Impressions. Nobody else cared.

My lastest find is Chris Issacs' new cd.(Yes, I know he's the ghost of Orbison) There are 3 songs I felt sure would be big singles. Nope.

Heavy airplay goes to Lifehouse, Five for Fighting, the Calling, and Creed. Since I don't listen to lyrics much either, it sounds to me that we could put them in a paperbag, shake 'em up, pull one out and nobody would know the difference.

My daughter's 'N Sync cd's have some gorgeous accapella's....tight harmonies that remind me of my parent's Four Freshman records. You won't hear those on the radio.

The country stations are overloaded with sappy pop and overproduced hits... but every now and again I hear a pure voice and fantastic instrumentals.

Bobbi

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quote:

Originally posted by BobbiFiddler:

Heavy airplay goes to Lifehouse, Five for Fighting, the Calling, and Creed. Since I don't listen to lyrics much either, it sounds to me that we could put them in a paperbag, shake 'em up, pull one out and nobody would know the difference.

My daughter's 'N Sync cd's have some gorgeous accapella's.......

Bobbi

Heh, I'll have to disagree with you on N'sync. smile.gif

Here in my neck of the woods, there's this huge company that owns most of our town's radio stations (at least the ones that matter) called Clear Channel Communications. Ever since they've taken over our hit radio stations, less variety is being played. Bands like you've mentioned are being played over and over! And their marketing research tells that it's what the market (young people) wants. I agree, most of the songs are mediocre, but can you stand listening to the same song every 40 minutes?

And then there's this song with "J-Lo" that my sister loves with a fellow named Ja Rule. I can tolerate J-Lo's singing. But how the **** did Ja Rule get the job? His voice is repulsive and he can barely keep a tune! I can't sing myself but you're not hearing me on the radio. Most of these manufactured acts are just that: Acts. The music really doesn't matter. It's the image and the message that matters. If the video is good and the people are beautiful, they'll play the **** out of it.

Do you think some of these practices have expanded into the Classical genre?

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A good song is a good song no matter what language it is. You can always look up the translation. Listening to music in another language is one of the best ways to learning it. I feel the same about movies. there is a treasure trove of great movies being made outside of hollywood. So what if you have to read the subtitles?

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Rosie, I hear what you are saying about female singers. I too am a teen, and am expected to like that kind of stuff. There is a song by a singer called Dido. I thought it was great really dramatic, powerful.

Now just think how good it could be with a decent singer.

Dido either sounds like a performing seal, or like she has only just ran into the recording studio, and she is out of breathe.

And, I too think that profane lyrics sometimes really ruin things. Why do they need to that?. Anyways, thats why I stick to instrumentals. No singer to mess it up, lol.

Holy Viola!

[This message has been edited by Holy Viola! (edited 04-21-2002).]

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quote:

Originally posted by hk1997:

A good song is a good song no matter what language it is. You can always look up the translation. Listening to music in another language is one of the best ways to learning it.

Sure, just because I cant understand the lyrics doesnt make it bad. But if I cant understand it, then I cant appreciate it. Translations rarley sound as good as the original. frown.gif

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hk

re: your question about listening differently, I'd say certainly. What we focus on looms large. Musicians tend to be more critical about whatever it is they do. If they play, they listen to the performance -- esp. of their chosen instrument. If they record, they listen to the engineering/production.

Sometimes I just listen for enjoyment, which for me is a glorious melody. I feel an excellent one will sound good on a bad instrument played with mediocre skill. (That's the standard I shoot for, anyway. I realize "taste" is subjective and therefore determines how we decide whether something is great or just really good.

Since I compose my own stuff and play mostly that (except on violin), I'm often listening to the arranging, the bridges, the effects, and so on. Arranging is my nemesis (but we're trying to work it out...)

As for what passes for quality songs, no argument from me! I only like about 10% of what I hear on the radio, and THAT'S with all the choices available here in the DC metro area.

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Ok...So a bunch of dudes get out of highschool...decide that they want to take up the guitar, bass, drums, etc., and they put together a band. They take very few formal lessons and three years later, they're on the top of the charts. Whereas a violinist spends his/her whole life learning, practicing, auditioning. If they do make it up to the top, they may be more talented, more skilled, and more musically inclined, but they'll never sell as many records or be as famous as the band who may only be around for a couple of years at most.

So, does it matter if their music sucks or not? Should $$ be the measure of how good an artist is? Apparently the Grammies thinks so.

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quote:

Originally posted by hk1997:

Ok...So a bunch of dudes get out of highschool...decide that they want to take up the guitar, bass, drums, etc., and they put together a band. They take very few formal lessons and three years later, they're on the top of the charts. Whereas a violinist spends his/her whole life learning, practicing, auditioning. If they do make it up to the top, they may be more talented, more skilled, and more musically inclined, but they'll never sell as many records or be as famous as the band who may only be around for a couple of years at most.

So, does it matter if their music sucks or not? Should $$ be the measure of how good an artist is? Apparently the Grammies thinks so.

Unfortunately, that's what we call it "the majority, the reality, and the history." We're all living in a time like this. And like it or not, you have no choice. So why don't we simply listen to whatever music we like and leave the others behind. We may have different taste in music with our friends, but I'm sure there are other things we have in common that make us friends. Frankly, sometimes I kind of enjoy the slight difference. And once in a while, I do find pieces of good music from what my friends listen to smile.gif

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I'm comming to the end of a Music & Audio Production course, and I find that I cant listen to a song without hearing compression/poor recording/too much reverb or whatever. One of the things I like about classical is that its often recorded by guys who know what therye doing, and so the recordings have great depth/width/spacial awarness/positioning.

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I'm a teenager so I'm supposed to like all this pop music stuff, I think. But to tell you the truth I really don't like much of it it all. I don't listen to lyrics. I have a hard time figuring them out and they're usually dumb anyway. I like a song that has good orchestration and a catchy tune, and a singer who has a decent sound quality -- ever notice how none of these people can actually sing? Most of the female vocalists have that agitating breathy disgusiting thing going on. yuck. Anyway, when I hear a song I like I'll say to one of my friends that I like it, and then they point out that the lyrics are about something totally profane and disgusting, and its such a bummer because it could have been a good song. One time I liked the sound of the backup on one song and it turned out to be Britney Spears which totally ruined it.

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I find that there are often some great bands putting their music up on ampcast/mp3.com etc... I think the art of writing lyrics that mean anything has ben lost in todays pop. Theres a Belgain guy called Jaques Brel who was great at it. It was alway in French though frown.gif

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Also, about the money issue, the musicians that perform in these recordings don't get paid for every CD that is sold as the pop guys do. My teacher had recorded with different orchestras and they just paid her and all the other musicians a flat fee and that is it. That does kinda make me mad considering that some of these punks get paid so much yet are so unintelligent. Many of us train very hard to be the best violinist/violist/cellist that we can be. But, most of us will never be the best violinist/violist/cellist in the world. I can think of less than 10 famous living violin soloists. Those 10 are 10 out of millions of people who have learned the violin. Also, out of these 10 soloists, are any of them filthy rich? I don't know that is a question. The youth of today are too easily influenced. It is sad that they can't see how all that junk they listen to is junk. It is just horrible that classical music, when you really think about it, may not exist in a few centuries. We need to really educate our children and make sure the masterpieces of old survive forever.

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quote:

Originally posted by Daniel_the violist:

Many of us train very hard to be the best violinist/violist/cellist that we can be. But, most of us will never be the best violinist/violist/cellist in the world. I can think of less than 10 famous living violin soloists. Those 10 are 10 out of millions of people who have learned the violin. Also, out of these 10 soloists, are any of them filthy rich? I don't know that is a question. The youth of today are too easily influenced. It is sad that they can't see how all that junk they listen to is junk. It is just horrible that classical music, when you really think about it, may not exist in a few centuries. We need to really educate our children and make sure the masterpieces of old survive forever.

that is the problem. as i see it, kids don't want to be 'educated' to like something. it's gotta speak to them. be part of their generation. music and sociology. classical music is another slice. composers had patrons as employers, later composers were the communicators for their society (symphonic modes, etc of the 19th c). today, most attending concerts aren't the mainstream. the audience is a much smaller population.

about the education - kids know the abc's song, many folk tunes. that is classical music, it is part of the culture. what they don't know or care much about is going to the symphony - it's not dancing, you can't sing along with it, it's not active participation. alot of can'ts and not enough do's. but my cousins line dance, they go to country fests. they also go to the movies. music is very alive in the sound tracks, and the composers have a good deal of training. so kids do hear the music of live composers and studio players. it's not all bleak. just some observations as to the way it is. but you are correct - this isn't a high demand career area.

[This message has been edited by Bobby (edited 04-22-2002).]

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I think its simply a case of the violin being old. Violin music has finished its evolution, so to speak- guitar will follow in a while, too. Its just that theres nothing accesible to replace it right now.

I dont think that kids listening to Nu-Metal/Talentless pop is evidence of a lack of education etc... Its just that they dont listen to music the way we do ( smile.gif) People have always enjoyed pop music that sang at them as oppposed to being super complex. How many meaningless love ballads have been written in makinds history?

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Yes, but you also have to factor in the fact that "classical" music was always for the elite. It's still that way. It's not like they didn't have popular "bands" during Mozart's day. When you go to a symphony, you have to be prim and proper. A lot of classical music was written for dancing. You don't see people popping out of their seats and dancing the Chaconne.

What percentage of symphony patrons in every major city come to the concert understanding what they're going listen to or even enjoy it? This is speculation but I think some of the people sitting in the more expensive seats are there because the corporations that they work for flipped the bill for them to be there. They're there to mingle with society so they can make more money.

A lot of cities are starting campaigns to try to make classical music "unstuffy". In Houston, our symphony advertised that you can go in t-shirt and jeans. And I did once, but I didn't see anyone else dressed the same.

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quote:

Originally posted by hk1997:

In Houston, our symphony advertised that you can go in t-shirt and jeans. And I did once, but I didn't see anyone else dressed the same.

In NYC you see people at concerts in all manner of dress - from jeans to tuxedos. Though most people dress up a little, I think that gowns/****tail dresses and tuxedos are even more out of place these days than jeans.

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quote:

Originally posted by hk1997:

Yes, but you also have to factor in the fact that "classical" music was always for the elite. It's still that way. It's not like they didn't have popular "bands" during Mozart's day.

Yep, people have always been writing pap about their loved ones and drivel about how woefull their lives are....

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quote:

Originally posted by fatcat:

In NYC you see people at concerts in all manner of dress - from jeans to tuxedos. Though most people dress up a little, I think that gowns/****tail dresses and tuxedos are even more out of place these days than jeans.

Mind your language, man wink.gif

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Class, classy, classical (music)...these terms conjure up images of tuxedos and crisply starched collars. The tuxedo symbolizes the highest class, and everything from advertising, TV, to even the white-haired guy in the monopoly game reinforces this symbolism.

Many folks aspire to that. And those with tuxes in the closet don't want to give it up.

So the Houston orchestra and ones like it are going to have a tough time persuauding newcomers it's safe to join the tuxedo'ed audience. Not only that, it can be an intimidating environment to the uninitiated. Do you clap? When? Can you whistle or yell approval too? What about moving to the music? Is that OK?

I think the majority of the music enjoying public wants to relax and enjoy themselves during a concert. The thought of sitting still in expensive clothes and not knowing the "appropriate" behavior is uninviting and unappealing to many, I suspect. To be honest, that's what keeps me away.

So I'll sit home and just put on an album or CD. If I want to flail my arms like a conductor, do a waltz step, a pirouette, or just throw my fists in the air and shout "Yes!" when a powerful movement comes on, I can. Besides, recording quality anymore is fantastic, so a great seat is as close as your stereo.

As for making money at music: If you do what you enjoy, and if large segments of the public do too, you win! If not, you have some choices and compromises to make. In economics, it's not about quality, but demand (and supply) of the product. Well...that, and the mysterious "marginal utility" function....

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I can't believe some of you people. I am so SICK of this "classical musicians spend years honing their art yet don't recieve the recognition that the guys at the top of the charts do, blah blah blah." It sickens me. Is this what really MATTERS to you?

As far as classical music dying out? Get over it. It's not going to happen.

Now, talking friends here. The people I hang out with don't play violin and they don't have any classical training. But they APPRECIATE classical music. We were in a movie parking lot the other day and classical music was playing. She says, "that's pretty". I thought she was kidding. But she was completely sincere. This coming from a punk-loving kid? Another one of my friends likes a lot of pop music which I can do without, but that's besides the point I'm trying to make. She loves to hear me play violin. She's often told me this. She is now also into celtic music. The good trad. stuff. She's in the process of converting her friends lol. But she understands that they won't like it at first. She understands that it takes time to like something new, and that their musical tastes are far away from celtic music. I could go on for a long time giving example after example. I can think of a dozen teens/young adults who appreciate some classical music. But they probably wouldn't go to a classical concert. Why? Read g# maj's post.

Now, I obviously listen to music differently from the people posting on this thread because I think Pearl Jam has written some great songs and they are a great band. But hey, different tastes right? I guess I take the time to LISTEN and to sift through all the bands out there right now. I'm not a fan of Jewel, Spears, Creed or Nickelback. But there are so many other great bands out there and some great albums. I don't choose what I like based on what the charts say or who wins a Grammy.

All I ask is to please lay off the superior attitude. Classically trained musicians may listen differently but they are certainly no better than those who aren't classically trained.

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There is one exclusion to the "tuxedo/gown" type of classical concert: the "pops in the park" variety. We have those here every summer and people will boogie, dance, whatever. But again, it's the environment that encourages the casual and familiar behaviors. You are wearing your shorts/tee shirts, sitting on blankets outdoors with a picnic basket full of food. I'm always amazed at the diverse audiences that come to these peformances as well. It speaks well to the appeal of classical music: in the right setting.

I had to giggle though. I know some of you guys are half my age (or much younger!). It's a hoot to hear you talking about rock/pop versus classical like MY parents did when I was a teenager. The more things change.....

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