Author Topic: What's music and what isn't?  (Read 2928 times)

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Offline Mooshi

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What's music and what isn't?
« on: August 10, 2010, 05:14:34 pm »
Decided we needed a break from the heated religion topics~ What do you define as music? What isn't music to you? Any schmuck can put notes together. For me, to be classified as music, it has to move you - doesn't have to an orchestra, just memorable. Even video game tracks can be iconic such as the Super Mario Bros. theme. What I refuses to acknowlege as music are things that seem souless, dead or without a purpose. Such as boring generic techno beats or modern rap that talks about money and girls rear ends.

Offline Avan

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 05:47:40 pm »
About the only song with lyrics I like is "still alive", from portal.

I listen to pretty much just video game music... XD

Now music is just anything that gets created for that purpose (of being music); the defining factor is what sepparates /good/ music from the /bad/.
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Offline J. March OHare

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 06:00:30 pm »
My definition is pretty broad. If works like György Ligeti's Lux Aeterna or The Alan Parsons Project's Total Eclipse are music, I reckon anything is. Incidentally, I like those pieces, but they're pretty avant-garde. It's music if you call it that. Whether it's good music or bad music is up to you.

In my opinion, rap pushes the line. I've come to appreciate some of it as improvisational street poetry (I can't do that), but I'll never be able to respect sampling riffs from the works of others. Even when the original composer grants permission, I have to wonder if they weren't coerced by suits from the recording industry. Often, rappers just steal it. Most of y'all might be too young to remember Vanilla Ice (good riddance), but he scored a hit by stealing a riff from a vastly superior composition by Queen and David Bowie, Under Pressure. He did not obtain permission. If I recall correctly, he quietly paid the creators off after they threatened to sue.

To me, that ain't music; it's theft. However, I suspect one of the underlying messages of rap is "Theft is Art." I suppose that's a valid artistic statement. If Duchamp's urinal is, I reckon anything goes.

Is it good art, or bad art? I'm mostly into progressive rock, classical and avant-garde myself, but your mileage will vary.

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 07:04:28 pm »
Quote
Decided we needed a break from the heated religion topics~

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Offline Cimarron

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 07:07:26 pm »
Well... to me I have to say music has got to have words, and words I can understand... because like some others have said... I have to understand it for it to move me.  Now, I'll be the first one to admit, Im not exactly the most "cultured" person on here... I never got into classical music, techno, rap, foreign music because I cant understand the lyrics.  Music without lyrics reminds me of waiting rooms. Now, of course, there are exceptions... I can listen to songs without words and be fine with it, but Im talking about when I have a choice. Maybe I just havent given it a chance, but usually I have on southern rock or country.  I like 80s and 90s music too. I know Im probably one of the few country listeners on here, but I was raised on it, and it just makes me feel good... the songs tell stories about stuff Im familiar with.  I have friends that listen to rap, and I cant understand a word.  I was in my friends car who has a huge bass system in his trunk and the car was vibrating so bad the rear view mirror fell off! Not music in my book.  Then again... What do I know?
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 07:27:20 pm »
Quote
Well... to me I have to say music has got to have words, and words I can understand... because like some others have said... I have to understand it for it to move me.

THIS! QFT. ;) If I can't understand it, then I don't consider it music and I don't want to listen to it.

However.......

I'm a fan of anime and movie/tv music soundtracks, and a lot of those don't have words, but I still like them anyway cause some of the instrumental music and beats, etc. can get me moving and/or emotional.
I have stuff like:
Top Gun
X-Files
Star Wars
Predators
Independence Day
Lord of the Rings
Inuyasha
Robotech
.......and a whole bunch of others.
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Offline Avan

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 07:35:05 pm »
D:
I find singing to be horribly distrating 90% of the time!
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Offline J. March OHare

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 08:13:55 pm »
I see music as music and lyrics as poetry set to music, usually but not always sung (rappers don't sing). Sometimes, as in the work of Pink Floyd, Yes, early Genesis, Jethro Tull, the Beatles, the Doors and Rush (the last two of which are not my cup of tea), it's exceptional poetry, but still poetry.

I repeat that the Doors and Rush aren't really my thing, but I can't deny their lyrical excellence.

Music is, for lack of a more precise definition, that which is not words -- including wailing, moaning, scatting, yelping, screaming, etc. Those last are examples of the human voice being used purely as an instrument, not of lyrics.

Anyway, that's how I slice my baloney.

Offline Cimarron

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 08:59:23 pm »
I see music as music and lyrics as poetry set to music, usually but not always sung (rappers don't sing). Sometimes, as in the work of Pink Floyd, Yes, early Genesis, Jethro Tull, the Beatles, the Doors and Rush (the last two of which are not my cup of tea), it's exceptional poetry, but still poetry.

I repeat that the Doors and Rush aren't really my thing, but I can't deny their lyrical excellence.

Music is, for lack of a more precise definition, that which is not words -- including wailing, moaning, scatting, yelping, screaming, etc. Those last are examples of the human voice being used purely as an instrument, not of lyrics.

Anyway, that's how I slice my baloney.

If you want to hear poetry set to music I suggest you give John Prine a listen.  I generally put more value on the lyrics than on the music itself, and with song after song he has always impressed me with his songwriting. 
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Offline Drake Blackpaw

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2010, 09:15:29 pm »
It's hard for me to define what is music and what isn't.  To me, someone clapping their hands together in a syncopated rhythm is music.  There is the creation of sound that reaches in and tries to get your mind to move with it.

Singing is music as it has a change of tone and rhythm that expresses more than just the lyrics alone express.  The lyrics alone aren't music, but the singing is.

The best definition I can come up with is using changes in tone and/or rhythm to express an idea or feeling.  

Now do I like everything that can be classified as music?  Hell no.  Some stuff just isn't that good, the person is trying to express something but they don't the ability or care enough to pull it off.  Other stuff I don't like because it doesn't fit my taste, however I can sense and acknowledge the skill and craftsmanship behind it.  For instance, I can't stand most country music, (Johnny Cash is an exception), but for the non-pop Country, I can appreciate the artistry behind it.

As for what I do like, I was a male teenager in the 80's so I do like a good bit of hair metal (plus other types of metal as long as there are no cookie monster singing).  I also like progressive rock, including Rush, and grunge and some industrial music from the 90s.   Outside of rock music, I tend to like music with a melancholy feel to it, whether it's classical, jazz or even trip hop/chill style dance music.  For some reason, happy, major scale based music turns me off, but give me sad or dark minor key music and I want to sit and listen to it.

Offline J. March OHare

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2010, 09:15:54 pm »
Cimarron: "If you want to hear poetry set to music I suggest you give John Prine a listen."

You're right; he's good, and the lyrics of "Illegal Smile" never fail to make me smile -- as this is a family forum, I will say no more.

Musically, however, my tastes run to what a college friend contemptuously called "cascading waterfalls of pomposity." He wasn't a C&W fan, though; he preferred raw, raucous stuff by AC/DC and the like.

You can't infer anything about a person from their musical tastes. One might expect my friend to have been a Beavis & Butt-head type, but he was quiet, gentle, thoughtful and erudite. He just liked his music served up raw.

Offline Sigurd Volsung

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 03:54:54 am »
There are so many types of music that each one has a purpose of its own.

Like modern folk music which (I have several friends who make a professional living with this) often is used to tell a story or explain something about the human condition to the listener. To give you an example there is an Australian folk singer who I happen to know, not know of but to have actually met on several occasions, one of his songs 'The Demon' talks about bi-polar disorder from the point view of a person having to watch a friend go through it. When my mother heard the song she finally came to understand what I was going through.

Punk can be used to show everything, sometimes it is raw emotion other time it makes a political statement.

Classic rock can tell anything in the world, from a love story to again a stance on political matters.

Classic is raw emotion, sometimes it can even paint a picture in our minds. I will never forget the first time I heard "March to the Scaffold"

I don't feel like going on. My point is that different types of music can be used for different things.
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Offline Foxxhoria

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 07:39:58 am »
True music, I think, requires thought, imagination, and should... have no direct relation to the real world (other than lyrics, as they're different).  Some music "sounds like" things in life, but while it may contain ambient noises and sound affects, "music" wouldn't be simply a recording of, say, a street, for it's entirety...  It's the clever way in which our mind relates things, like majors sound happy, and minors sound sad, but aren't really anything to do with "happy" and "sad" themselves.  It's representational.  Like folk or classical pieces may have flutes representing birds, a slower tempo representing nighttime...  It doesn't, for the most part, sound like any actual thing that exists in the real world.  

But music must also have some thought and imagination put into it.  If you just got a guitar, a drum, and just made random noises into a microphone, that would have no relation to the "real world", but it's just noise.  There's no construction or design to it.  Even rap usually has thought and construction gone into it, to varying degrees (though, not every rap track does  x_x)

Similarly, though slightly differently, I think just simply ripping off someone's style and copying it isn't really "true" music (however it is still music), it would be kinda soulless.  It needs thought and imagination, your own style.

It's just my personal thoughts, but yeah...

Edit: wait, I just realised I've posted in debate forum, I don't remember seeing a "reply" button before...  Is this because I've reached a certain post count or something? =o
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 07:47:32 am by Foxxhoria »
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Offline Alsek

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 09:47:57 am »
Lots of folks have different preferences in music.  That's fine by me,  i'd say anything with a beat...

But what i like personalty is a bit different.

I like:

Celtic
Movie soundtracks like,  "The Alamo," and, "Fargo,"
Bluegrass
Country
Techno
Trance


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Offline Mooshi

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2010, 06:13:41 pm »
I wouldn't blow off a track and disgregard as music just because I'm not a fan of the genre. Take country. Some songs can be honest to goodness fun songs while others seem like emo for cowboys. (I honestly HATE the fake patriotism that sprung up after 9/11 by country artists, though. Always felt like they were capitalizing on a tragic event to sell records.) - but it's still music. As for stuff you can't understand, try learning the language. ;)

Offline Rift

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2010, 07:34:42 pm »
What ever makes noise that gives u a thrill... it can be anything from Bach to hitting 2 rash can lids togethor... like stomp lol who r cool at what they do
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Offline Alsek

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2010, 09:59:01 pm »
I wouldn't blow off a track and disgregard as music just because I'm not a fan of the genre.


You sure?  I was refering to rap there,  which personaly i despise.  :P

and yeah...  Most of the 9/11 stuff just sounded...  meh...  But,  "The Angry American."  That one i liked...  Typicaly, i like country with good dynamics and harmonies.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 10:00:41 pm by Alsek »

Offline Mooshi

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2010, 10:05:26 pm »
Eh..that kinda depends. I don't really care for country or rap, but it seems country at least has a meaning more often than rap would. >.> With rap, it's really hard to be taken seriously if you're trying to be all "hard" and "gangsta" if you drive a freaking Lambo. And not just rap, but any genre - if a song is nothing but explicit nonsense about sex or anything else of that nature, I donnt consider it music either.

Offline Kr2i

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2010, 12:08:33 am »
well everyone has there own definition of what is and what isn't music but how I would define music is if you get a picture in your mind related to what you were listening to while listen to it then I would call it music
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Offline Sigurd Volsung

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2010, 08:19:08 am »
I wouldn't blow off a track and disgregard as music just because I'm not a fan of the genre. Take country. Some songs can be honest to goodness fun songs while others seem like emo for cowboys. (I honestly HATE the fake patriotism that sprung up after 9/11 by country artists, though. Always felt like they were capitalizing on a tragic event to sell records.) - but it's still music. As for stuff you can't understand, try learning the language. ;)

I definitely agree with the idea of not liking a track simply because I don't like the genre for the most part I can't stand country, yet Taylor Swift's song "Love Story" is the ring tone for when my wife calls me, I absolutely love that song :)
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Offline J. March OHare

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2010, 09:27:15 am »
I don't reject anything because of its genre either. Rap is probably the closest thing to a detested musical form for me, but there is rap that I like. Eminem's "Stan" is powerful stuff. I can appreciate it the same way I appreciate Bob Dylan: for the lyrics.

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2010, 11:46:59 am »
Going by some of the descriptions I've seen here, some of the greatest musical works in history, especially classical, could be considered not to be music simply because someone doesn't like it.  x_x

In the context of this thread, I'm gonna have to go with something like one of Princton's definitions

Quote
music: an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner

Music doesn't care what genre it is, if it has lyrics or not, or who likes it. It doesn't matter if it's thousands of dancers raving to it a concert or an African tribe dancing to a chant to their god.  Music has been a way of helping to pass stories down from one generation to another, and as a form of communication. Music is purposeful creation of sounds, even if you don't like the results. That's why you can have groups like STOMP. (Dang you Rift for beating me to it, love those guys :D ) I can't stand rap either*, but it is still music.

*EDIT: Well, rap as a genre. C'mon, who doesn't like Baby Got Back?  :P

« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 11:49:20 am by Narei Mooncatt »
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Offline ominipotentgoldfish

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2010, 03:08:51 pm »
In my personal opinion, real music, consists a band, each with an instrument.  Or an orchestra, playing together as one.  Hell, when done right, even rapping over a drum and bass beat can be music.  But there's more to just music than the tune.  There's the artist.

A real musician will never die in the hearts of the fans.  In 30 years, people will look back and say, "remember (band name here)?"  And proceed to dig out the old CDs and listen to them.  Look at music today.  Who do you think is going to be remembered in 30 years?  Bands like Avenged Sevenfold, or the Foo Fighters, just to name two.  You know what we won't remember?  Things like The Jonas Brothers, or Justin Beiber.

We won't we remember them, because as far as most of us are concerned, they aren't real  music.  They're simply hollow shells, used to make money by big name companies, only to be cast aside the next year for the next big thing.

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Offline Mooshi

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2010, 03:51:50 pm »
ominipotentg, yes! That is something I wanted to say, but didn't know how to word it. As I mentioned before, I wouldn't blow off a song just because it was in a genre I don't like. If the song has a lasting impression that lasts well into the following decades of it's release. It is music. Pretty much anything that had soul or at least creative thought process behind it. Aka, anything that doesn't use repetative FL studio beats and has the word "baby" repeated over 50 million times. :D

Offline Allie_Kat

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Re: What's music and what isn't?
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2010, 06:37:27 pm »
Music is anything that someone took the time to put sounds together to create something that was meant to be listened too. That being said there is def music that I do and do not like, but me liking not liking it doesnt mean it isnt music. It's the same as breeds of dog, there are some breeds I like and some I don't. Just because I don't like chihuahuas doesnt mean that a chihuahua is any less of a dog simply because it isn't one I personally like.