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Emotion is the core of music

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Some of the replies I am reading throw me into a stupor.

I can't think of ANY music that isn't emotional.

To me, all music is spirutal and then emotional.

It doesn't matter if it is a computer playing in a very unhumanistic way or a pianist crying while playing a sonata. It's all emotional.

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I can't think of ANY music that isn't emotional.

To me, all music is spirutal and then emotional.

It doesn't matter if it is a computer playing in a very unhumanistic way or a pianist crying while playing a sonata. It's all emotional.

That's exactly my point. The listener can choose to draw whatever emotions they want from a piece of music. The onus falls on them to find content that is meaningful to them.

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Well, music can become a richer individual experience when one projects one's own emotions and hang-ups and crap onto it. But pretending music must be written that way is not only laughable, but a distraction. I think the greater flaw is to be over-emotional or to obdurate one's ego on one's audience.

Right now I am listening to a piece for harmonica and boomboxes. It consists of three chords increasingly overlapped and "live-dubbed". It's nothing but a process. But I like it. It's a neat, lean, uncomplicated process. Not something that the composer shot his emotion-goo all over.

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Emotion is only one of the two basic components that constitute the "core" of music. Let's not overlook the other component: ratio or intellect. The greatest music does not just appeal to the emotions, but also to the intellect (which is why pop music for instance doesn't belong in the category "greatest music" - it doesn't appeal to our intellect).

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The greatest music does not just appeal to the emotions, but also to the intellect (which is why pop music for instance doesn't belong in the category "greatest music" - it doesn't appeal to our intellect).

Don't start this again please...

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Which is why pop music for instance doesn't belong in the category "greatest music" - it doesn't appeal to our intellect).

Wrong

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I guess gianluca doesn't get that popular music of our time has great value - and also says a LOT about our culture at large. I think that alone should make it important. Who cares whether or not it appeals to our intellect? Do you really think that the Beatles wrote music to impress Academia? There are loftier goals than impressing people with how smart you are.

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I guess gianluca doesn't get that popular music of our time has great value - and also says a LOT about our culture at large. I think that alone should make it important.

OK, I don't want to get into this discussion again since most of you already know my stance on this (and the remark about pop music in my last post was just a side remark), so this is the last comment I'll make on it.

The fact that pop music is important to many people doesn't say anything about the quality of the music. There's a difference between value and quality. Britney Spears' music is undoubtedly of great value to certain people, but of course, anyone with some musical sophistication can see that it's not very great or important music. Sure pop music says a lot about our culture at large. It says we're facing a period of cultural regression and idiocy.

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If intellect is the barometer for good music, what of Milton Babbitt? I'd argue he's rather musically intellectual, but I wouldn't consider his music better than even Stockhausen's serial works, even though Babbitt might be more in-depth.

Or Free Jazz, (some of) those people are musically intellectual in another way - they have a clear understanding of the social-movement and class-struggle side of music. I'd argue that such concepts are intellectual. But doing that grabs in funk and hip-hop, among other "lesser" styles.

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The fact that pop music is important to many people doesn't say anything about the quality of the music. There's a difference between value and quality.

So who decides which music is 'quality' and which isn't? And by what objective criteria?

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As has been stated already, it's ultimately the perception of the listener, not the intent of the composer, that determines how music is received - especially with regard to any intuitive "meaning" (e.g. something rooted in emotion) found to be put across.

Personally, music often has to "mean" something to me in order for it to be enjoyable. But I'm well aware that others have different goals as listeners or composers, and that the notion of "meaning" (especially in the emotional sense) is inherently subjective at its very core.

I would contend, therefore, that disagreements tend to arise when one fails to apprehend exactly how humans pin value on art. In short, no one person possesses the exact same criteria as another. We can approach coherent agreement by grouping ourselves together with peers who share our subjective outlook (e.g. I contend, "Jazz is awesome", Robin Jessome concurs, but John McCain begs to differ, as does Barack Obama, because they both prefer Ska). These "groups" give us the merest of illusions that our own subjective leanings are built on bricks of objectivity. In my view, stubborn proponents of a particular genre, style, trend etc. who attempt to force said preference on others and/or are intolerant of dissent often lack the necessary "theory of mind" (empathy, quite possibly) to understand the precise underpinnings of the question at hand.

Another thing that just popped into my head: as long as you enjoy a particular piece, how does that gratification not constitute an emotion of some kind?

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The fact that pop music is important to many people doesn't say anything about the quality of the music. There's a difference between value and quality.

I disagree...I believe the value defines the quality.

So who decides which music is 'quality' and which isn't? And by what objective criteria?

I decide.

There are no objective criteria.

That's the only point I every try and get across (and Gianluca never seems to get it). Quality/value are applied to the music FROM the listener. Whether it has value, or quality, or is important can only be decided by YOU and for YOU....or by ME, for ME!! If I love a piece of music, no one can tell me otherwise...

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It says we're facing a period of cultural regression and idiocy.

If you're talking about your post, then sure.

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not to chime in at the last moment... I didn't read the last few posts, so if this has been mentioned, I apologize. Listen to Bernstein speak on the matter...he is surely someone w/ an important insight and opinion on music. Even he, who wrote pretty much all of his music for a certain emotional reason, says that the listener decides the meaning. He plays many examples to prove this like the William Tell Overture...listen...it's old west cowboy music..but oh it is by Rossinni..impossible...So the listener/composer may have their own meaning, but music in itself means nothing.

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I disagree...I believe the value defines the quality.

I decide.

There are no objective criteria.

That's the only point I every try and get across (and Gianluca never seems to get it). Quality/value are applied to the music FROM the listener. Whether it has value, or quality, or is important can only be decided by YOU and for YOU....or by ME, for ME!! If I love a piece of music, no one can tell me otherwise...

I know damn well what you're saying, Robin, but I just don't buy this relativist view of yours, which puts all music on the same level. According to your view, no music has any value or quality of its own, but if someone likes it, it is good for them. If quality is only in the eye (or ear) of the beholder, then a Britney Spears fan's claim that "Britney's music is better than Bach's" is equally valid as my claim that "Bach's music is better than Britney's." It doesn't take much to see that such a point of view leads to a catastrophic levelling down and hence a slide into cultural death.

In fact, I do believe there are certain more or less objective standards by which the quality of a piece of music can be judged. These standards relate to how much originality, complexity, sophistication and invention are put into the piece with respect to melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre/instrumentation, structure/form, emotional depth, etc. This is how we can justify the claim that Bach's or Beethoven's music was so much greater than that of their contemporaries.

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I know damn well what you're saying, Robin, but I just don't buy this relativist view of yours, which puts all music on the same level. According to your view, no music has any value or quality of its own, but if someone likes it, it is good for them. . . . . . bla bla bla

Here's a little secret I want to share with YOU!

Pope_stop_posting.jpg

:>!

Everyone's had enough of this crap in the retarded "I haet pop musix" thread, don't drag it into this one... though this thread is stupid just the same, it doesn't need MORE of it.

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I think it is kind of silly to say that there are no objective criteria in music. You can describe music in words - it is how we think about music critically. Even intangibles like "feel" or "groove" can be described and compared. Someone saying "emotion" as the main criteria are just lumping a lot of other smaller concepts together, like a certain type of harmony, rhythmic motifs, timbre, all those things. In fact, they're exactly what a thread like this should be talking about - comparing these things over different composers, to help make value decisions for each members' worldview.

What IS a crock is that there is "one true path" as to the most crucial aspect of music. Everyone has their preferences, and there is no true penalty for being "wrong." You can try to make your case for your views, but the chances someone will be convinced, even if your case is, for all intents and purposes, better than the others', are slim to none.

But making the case will enrich discussion, so by all means do so.

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I know damn well what you're saying, Robin, but I just don't buy this relativist view of yours, which puts all music on the same level. According to your view, no music has any value or quality of its own, but if someone likes it, it is good for them. If quality is only in the eye (or ear) of the beholder, then a Britney Spears fan's claim that "Britney's music is better than Bach's" is equally valid as my claim that "Bach's music is better than Britney's." It doesn't take much to see that such a point of view leads to a catastrophic levelling down and hence a slide into cultural death.

In fact, I do believe there are certain more or less objective standards by which the quality of a piece of music can be judged. These standards relate to how much originality, complexity, sophistication and invention are put into the piece with respect to melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre/instrumentation, structure/form, emotional depth, etc. This is how we can justify the claim that Bach's or Beethoven's music was so much greater than that of their contemporaries.

News for you: THE WORLD IS RELATIVE. Parents tell their children all the time - "You're special, unique, one-of-a-kind." And then their special, unique, one-of-a-kind children make a choice in later life.

They either accept that people are indeed different from one another at the level that differentiates their points of view on the world, or they close their eyes, close their minds, eat the wafer, drink the wine, and damn everyone else to hell.

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I think it is kind of silly to say that there are no objective criteria in music. You can describe music in words - it is how we think about music critically.

I hope you mean that it's only objective on a personal level right? Not empirically objective, as in scientifically objective, right?

If so, no prob! :>

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It doesn't take much to see that such a point of view leads to a catastrophic levelling down and hence a slide into cultural death.

So what you're saying is: to avoid a cultural death, everyone must like what YOU like? Everyone must think something is good only if YOU think it is good?

How is that not a cultural death?

I know you'll say "that's not what I said", but it basically is.

It took a lot for me not to answer your post with just "WAT."

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So what you're saying is: to avoid a cultural death, everyone must like what YOU like? Everyone must think something is good only if YOU think it is good?

How is that not a cultural death?

I know you'll say "that's not what I said", but it basically is.

It took a lot for me not to answer your post with just "WAT."

Now wait, think about it. He's making a point that isn't untrue. If one thinks there is a longstanding culture of Western Art Music, it would make sense to have an insularist view. I'm sure there are people who are truly pushing the bounds of music that he would advocate, even if he doesn't know them.

So the "downfall" of his culture would be the assimilation of ideas which were not intrinsically from within his culture - diluting it. This is sort of like Spengler in his Fall of the West.

To say "this is the be-all and end-all" is an equal value distinction to saying "this is not the be-all and end-all."

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Um. Well, these days it's a little difficult to eradicate cultures even through exchange or assimilation, you'd need something much more... drastic to have that sort of thing mean anything.

So, really, all this really is is pure and simple prejudice and taste. Nothing else. :x

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Daniel missed the first 'T'.

But the 'T' comes at the end in 'Berkshire hunt'. :P

To say "this is the be-all and end-all" is an equal value distinction to saying "this is not the be-all and end-all."

Thanks for that helpful contribution to the conversation.

Reminds me of:

"What makes a man turn neutral ... Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?"

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