Jump to content
Gavin Gorrick

Snobbery in classical music

Recommended Posts

Drum corps tune their marching drums according to pictch. An F is commonly used in snares, tenors are done in intervals of thirds I believe, and basses is something else, quite interesting.

Quite true, I was just making clear that drums are not without pitch or tone. As Sphere seems to believe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes there is snobbery in music and it is the cancer that is killing music today. We have made music a club where it is impossible to get into with out being ridiculed, persecuted, and humiliated for not having the same taste in music or knowledge about music. Thanks to that, our numbers dwindle away as we get older and soon we will die. After we are long gone who will be left to take the musical torch? No one, because the door to great music was left locked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest QcCowboy

I don't like rap.

Someone who likes rap now accuses me of being a snob because of this.

I've been accused of being a "musical snob" on a number of occassions for not liking the same music as my interlocutor.

Consider that I listen to music dating from 1600 to last week.

That my taste in music ranges from Broadway musicals through fimscores to jazz standards and some pretty contemporary classical music.

So, is the term "snob" valid for someone whose taste in music is that wide-ranging?

If my reading skills were at a 3rd grade level, I would have trouble reading Lord of the Rings. As a matter of fact, I would probably find that book incredibly boring.. for lack of comprehension.

Does that mean that someone who has university-level reading skill and enjoys great literature is a "snob" because he just doesn't get as much pleasure from reading US Magasine from the newsstand at the supermarket?

I have decided that from now on, every single person who says "opera is boring", I will call a "snob".

SNOB is the accusation levelled by the lowest common denominator to elevate itself above others.

It is the equivalent of accusations of "musical bolshevism" levied by the Soviet era dictature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't like rap.

Someone who likes rap now accuses me of being a snob because of this.

I've been accused of being a "musical snob" on a number of occassions for not liking the same music as my interlocutor....from now on, every single person who says "opera is boring", I will call a "snob".

Don't worry about it! Opera is boring...we'll be snobs together! ;)

It seems that persons with the more open and adaptive ears, are more likely to be labeled as snobs... Seems a little backwards to me, but whatever. I'm happy being snobbish and elitist and am comfortable in my knowledge that jazz is superior to all musics.

...our numbers dwindle away as we get older and soon we will die. After we are long gone who will be left to take the musical torch? No one, because the door to great music was left locked.

:huh: Not likely...I assure you, art music is alive and well...it's just hiding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't like rap.

Someone who likes rap now accuses me of being a snob because of this.

I've been accused of being a "musical snob" on a number of occassions for not liking the same music as my interlocutor.

Instead of immediately accusing you of being a "musical snob" I would ask why you don't like rap (I'm sure I can guess the reasons) and then try to get you to listen some rap that might suit you tastes more.

Someone becomes a "snob" the moment they refuse an opportunity to change their mind due to their bias against something. I don't like rap in general but there are some artists I will listen to because they are very musical and poetic.

If I hadn't been open to the suggestion to listen to these artists I never would have discovered them because I would automatically disregard any form of that style as music. I consider that being a "musical snob".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest QcCowboy

Ah, but the point is that if I refuse the "invitation" to listen to more rap in the hopes of changing my mind, I confirm the "snob" label.

Yet no one thinks that maybe... just maybe... I HAVE tried listening to rap and STILL do not care for it?

My point however is that 99.999% of the time, the person who accuses me of being a "musical snob" ends up having CONSIDERABLY more limited musical tastes than I do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...99.999% of the time, the person who accuses me of being a "musical snob" ends up having CONSIDERABLY more limited musical tastes than I do.

Precisely! :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah, but the point is that if I refuse the "invitation" to listen to more rap in the hopes of changing my mind, I confirm the "snob" label.

Yet no one thinks that maybe... just maybe... I HAVE tried listening to rap and STILL do not care for it?

My point however is that 99.999% of the time, the person who accuses me of being a "musical snob" ends up having CONSIDERABLY more limited musical tastes than I do.

Then sink to their level, accuse them of being a snob, then sink even lower than their level and beat the crap out of them with a spade :closedeyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

isn't that the "definition" of snob? "a person who likes more things than you but happens to not like the one thing you like"

I'm the same way, I don't enjoy rap or hip hop or whatever that banging noise with the people talking about dogs and farming tools in background in them is called these days...

I often find myself laughing when I hear people say "I hate classical music, it's just for old people and snobs" and then hear them praise the score to lord of the rings, or star wars or a video game.

even if it isn't "classical" in the technobabble sense of the word they teach us in theory classes.

like I used to tell my students when I taught high school music, labels we give to different music is just that, labels created to artificially separate genres to sell the music to a certain demographic.

I had a teacher in college that would say something like

"you had blues, it was great, but the record industry didn't feel the "black man's music" sold enough to the white population, so they found white kids able to pull of something close enough and called it rock and roll. eventually, they wanted to gain back more of the black population, so they popularized some artists that did again very similar music and called it R&B. three labels that when you look at the actual music being produced, the differences are minimal, often only found in the lyrics"

to get back to me finding humor in people saying the hate some type of music (usually classical) and then saying they like something that is basically the same thing (I said basically), I usually try to fool them a bit by making them believe I'm having them listen to the soundtrack to one of their movies or games, but actually playing them some of the great works of the past and present to prove my point to them that it's not that they don't like classical music, they're just 'afraid of the label' or something like that.

and like I said before, I don't like rap, but just like like I don't like the works of certain composers, sometimes, I'll hear something that'll make me think 'hey, that isn't all too bad". (and sometimes I'll hear stuff from artists I love and hate it)

As long as the music is entertaining, and or is doing the job it is supposed to in the context it is in, it gets positive points from me.

okay.. I seem to be randomly ranting about nonsense now... should lay off the caffeine and chocolates, lol.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth- here's the dictionary definition.

Snob: a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.

Ironic that the chose that example :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest QcCowboy

Funny that no one would think of calling a medical professional a "snob", but don't hesitate to call a music professional one?

I wonder, what exactly does it take to actually have the capacity to SAY things with authority in music, yet not automatically be branded a "snob"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also wondering exactly that, some times and I do get REALLY pissed off when everyone around me talks about music with the highest of authorities. At some points I have resorted to the simples comment "STFU! I have a PhD in composition and you're a f***ing doctor. WTF do you know?" The pale skin they get immediately afterwards is worth the swearing!

But, honestly, apart from the above points, in general, art has to do with aesthetics (and this is what I find different between art and... the rest. The fact that art deals with aesthetics as well. Architecture in it's finest form is an art, but necessities always turn the art part off and the practical on). This means that everyone has a say. Of course it does depend on what you say and how you say it, but the simple argument "I just don't like it", is difficult to beat, without insulting the other party. Of course ignorance usually plays a part there, but it's not nice to be brought up in the discussion.

By the way, Michel, it is very usual in Greece to decide to do your own thing, despite the doctors advice. AND most impotantly (and insane, if you ask me): antibiotics are FREE to buy, you don't need a prescription. So anyone who thinks they need antibiotics, they CAN get them! So in short, it's not about being snob in medicine, but it is quite usual to laugh at someone only because he is following instructions by the letter! :D Imagine the idiocy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is much evidence that cpp style music is much more developed and more sophisticated than all other forms of common music. (One of the biggest reasons was that at that time period most music was only accessible by the wealthy)

In any case that does not necessarily mean all other forms of music is bad.

But note, every style of music has its snobs. Think of many black people and there rap.

One can expect that any popular forms of music today are not going to be sophisticated because they are aimed at the average person(mainly to make money) and the average person is a moron(sad but true).

This though does not mean those musical styles are bad because but that they tend not to be developed to the height of cpp music. You really think rappers care about the music(in general of course)? (in the same way that cpp care)

Of course you must realize though that we are looking back at cpp music and most other forms we listen to are in there infancy. Who knows what rap, rock, pop, etc will become tomorrow.

So maybe there are snobs in classical music. I think that is to be expected because classical music was developed for wealthy people who tend to be more snobbish than others(they also tend to be more educated).

I think if you look at the big picture you will find most people are egotistical regardless of the music they listen to or if they listen to any.

In fact I used to listen to rap and I still like a few songs here and there(but don't to it any more just cause I don't listen to music much and when I do its classical). I like rock, pop, rap, classical, non-western, etc.. But I like music if it sounds good and not because its a particular style or its cool.

The problem with rap and hip-hop, IMO, is that its the new cigarettes. People think its cool to listen to it regardless if it is really all that musical. I mean, you can judge music. If the person cannot sing then just cause they try doesn't mean you have to call it music. Music is about musical sounds and not just sounds. There is a lot of aesthetics but there is still some basic parameters that can be used.

Now its ok if a person is trying to become better than they have a great idea but just not at that point yet. But if they are creating the music for some non-musical reason and don't care how good it is musically as long as they make money then its wrong and chances are there music is not going to be musical. (which is not the case now days cause so much money is poured into making sorry donkey people sound good and using the talent of others but giving them no credit cause image is just about everything in music now days rather than music)

The simple logic is behind it is that if you had to choose between two pieces of music as being the best but could not hear them; and all you knew was that one piece was created by a guy that dedicated his whole life to music and the other guy was some drug head that didn't give a scraggy about music then who's piece would you choose to be better?

(assuming you had to choose one)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually....I find hip-hippers and rap fans to be quite open-minded and down-to-earth. They tend to be quite diverse listeners, stemming from the lineage of influence from jazz, funk, rock, reggae... where do you think they get all those old-skool beatz!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way I see it is that people love to give eachother and themselves titles of merit which in practice mean nothing.

Yeah, so you have a PhD in composition. I know a couple of PhD people too in composition or musicology. That's all fine and dandy, but having a title means nothing when it comes to the music.

When it comes to the music, only the music matters.

I try to think of it this way: If someone wrote it then I'll give it a try, take what I like and leave what I don't.

It's not a competition, no music is better or worse than any other music, and those are no adjectives to use when talking about art at all. Thus no composer is better or worse than any other composer, and I don't care if it's 50 cent or Linkin park or Penderecki.

Yes, in my eyes there's no objective difference between the garbage truck outside making all sorts of truck-ish noise, Bach, AC/DC or 50 Cent. All of it is just sound waves in the air.

What matters to me about it and what fundamentally separates Bach from the garbage truck or 50 cent is that each of these things can mean to me different things. I can interpret these sound waves in whatever way I like.

When I chose to make my own sound waves, I can draw from all of these sources if I want. But I don't consider my sound waves any better or worse, or any different than these other waves.

But mine may mean something different to someone, including myself.

If this was understood better I believe that most arguments would not come up at all, and more time could be used to analyzing the interpretations as such without wasting time getting over the "good/bad", or "better/worse" blanket statement problem.

It's nice if someone says why they don't like something, or why they do like something. But it's nicer to always remember that all we're hearing is air vibrating, and that our opinions are pretty fragile in the face of the realization that unless we understand what and why those waves cause us what they cause, we might as well be playing golf.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:cool: "Classical" = ??? Does anyone have a good definition?

Does snobery = parochialism or chauvinism, or is it about "He doesn't speak the language, so he's less of a composer/musician/person than I am"? Or does Snobery come from a basic insecurity in one's own view of the relationship between myself and the rest of the world.

It's in all genres. The classical snobs rubbished Rhapsody in Blue. The Jazz snobs hated "What a Wonderful World". The gospel/blues snobs moaned about Aretha Franklin singing with Annie Lennox.

It's about having a closed mind and heart and spirit.

Quote The Big Bopper: "I know what I like".

Quote Louis Armstrong when asked to define Jazz: "Daddy if you gotta ask you'll never know". :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The way I see it is that people love to give eachother and themselves titles of merit which in practice mean nothing.

Yeah, so you have a PhD in composition. I know a couple of PhD people too in composition or musicology. That's all fine and dandy, but having a title means nothing when it comes to the music.

When it comes to the music, only the music matters.

I try to think of it this way: If someone wrote it then I'll give it a try, take what I like and leave what I don't.

It's not a competition, no music is better or worse than any other music, and those are no adjectives to use when talking about art at all. Thus no composer is better or worse than any other composer, and I don't care if it's 50 cent or Linkin park or Penderecki.

Yes, in my eyes there's no objective difference between the garbage truck outside making all sorts of truck-ish noise, Bach, AC/DC or 50 Cent. All of it is just sound waves in the air.

What matters to me about it and what fundamentally separates Bach from the garbage truck or 50 cent is that each of these things can mean to me different things. I can interpret these sound waves in whatever way I like.

When I chose to make my own sound waves, I can draw from all of these sources if I want. But I don't consider my sound waves any better or worse, or any different than these other waves.

But mine may mean something different to someone, including myself.

If this was understood better I believe that most arguments would not come up at all, and more time could be used to analyzing the interpretations as such without wasting time getting over the "good/bad", or "better/worse" blanket statement problem.

It's nice if someone says why they don't like something, or why they do like something. But it's nicer to always remember that all we're hearing is air vibrating, and that our opinions are pretty fragile in the face of the realization that unless we understand what and why those waves cause us what they cause, we might as well be playing golf.

:)

I somehow get a feeling that this is aimed at me, and if so, it's a huge missinterpretation to what I said really, as a reply.

Having a PhD in music would mean that someone has dedicated his/her life in music. I'm sorry, it's not about tittles, but in reality, it does stand true...

When you WRITE music a PhD doesn't say too much (although it does say a few things, not about quality though), but when you do analyse, or speak about music, don't you think that someone who spent 20+ years in music has a "better right" to speak about music, than... my mother or my brother who can't even sing right?

And, I sure hope you read the whole of my post cause we do seem to agree in most senses. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I somehow get a feeling that this is aimed at me, and if so, it's a huge missinterpretation to what I said really, as a reply.

Having a PhD in music would mean that someone has dedicated his/her life in music. I'm sorry, it's not about tittles, but in reality, it does stand true...

When you WRITE music a PhD doesn't say too much (although it does say a few things, not about quality though), but when you do analyse, or speak about music, don't you think that someone who spent 20+ years in music has a "better right" to speak about music, than... my mother or my brother who can't even sing right?

And, I sure hope you read the whole of my post cause we do seem to agree in most senses. ;)

Well it's not aimed at you at all really. What I find that could separate someone who hasn't got the 20 years of experience in music to someone who has them is that they know how to better describe what they feel and put it into words the person who wrote it can find useful.

However, you don't need to be a musician to do this properly. I've gotten amazingly useful critique out of people who don't know anything about music. Why? Because they are good at expressing what they thought in a way that helped me understand them and make use of what they were saying.

Sure, someone who doesn't know anything about music does not have the terminology or the knowledge to analyze a Wagner opera. However, does this mean their opinion if well explained is worthless? Not in my opinion.

Also, analysis is super-subjective. There's a lot of different opinions on how to analyze different types of music, what to look for, and what is important. But the point is always to understand the music better, not to boast that you decoded your way through Chopin, Wagner, Liszt or Debussy.

And I don't think analysis is really necessary unless you liked what you heard and want to use it yourself. If a person who doesn't know anything about music listens to something that makes them want to write music, the first thing they usually do is grab the thing that made them want to write and copy it in some manner.

This is the best analysis, and curiously it comes automatically without any title or whatnot.

So really, this has less to do with music and more to do with people's ability to express what they feel/see accurately and usefully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...