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  #51  
Old 08-21-2019, 10:09 AM
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You just lost me. I don't need any musical education to know whether a piece moves me or not. The amount that a piece has moved me has never been dependent on how much I know about it. Same with painting, poetry, film or pretty much any art.
If emotional response is all that matters to you, that's your business. There's nothing wrong with that. But it's comically ignorant to suggest that just because you don't engage with more sophisticated aspects of music, that they don't exist at all.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:10 AM
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You know, of course, that they could do it in ways that did not make it appear to be such a big deal, applauding the concertmaster as they come out after everyone else.
I'm pretty sure I've seen individuals in non-classical concerts being applauded separately as they come out, as headliners, or soloists, or special guests, or whatever. Are they all being "snooty"? Or is it just "snooty" to recognize the concert master as someone with slightly higher importance?
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  #53  
Old 08-21-2019, 10:12 AM
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You just lost me. I don't need any musical education to know whether a piece moves me or not. The amount that a piece has moved me has never been dependent on how much I know about it. Same with painting, poetry, film or pretty much any art.
If this is really true, it means that you're equally moved by a simple four-line ditty or a dirty limerick as by a longer, more complex poem. It means you're equally moved by a poem written in a language that you don't understand as one written in English.
  #54  
Old 08-21-2019, 10:16 AM
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I find it amusing that some people here seem to feel a need to persuade folk that they SHOULD enjoy classical music!
Despite my earlier posts, which might not make this clear, I agree wholeheartedly with this. Musical tastes differ. I only hope to convince people who have never given classical music an real chance, as opposed to just writing it off as "elevator music", to do so.

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Like I said, my favorite is probably primitive old-timey banjo and fiddle music.
How about a great fiddle and banjo tune played in a setting usually associated with classical music, Carnegie Hall. Flatt and Scruggs "Fiddle and Banjo". Great stuff.

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  #55  
Old 08-21-2019, 10:22 AM
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I can't find the source, but I saw an article which says that opera vocals sound the way they do because audience needs to hear it. It's a genre that never adopted to the invention of microphone.

I'm a rock a guy with an eclectic taste. I dislike operas and operettas. I don't mind occasional classical piece - and I don't mind the absence of the beat; I'm occasionally listening to electronic ambient music - but I dislike slow movements, predictable textures, too drastic jumps in dynamics, too few and far between rewards of majestic melody buried in between slow, washing, nearly dissonant harmonies.

Same for jazz. I don't mind melodic noodlings, but I do mind chords. Anything more complex than major/minor 7ths/9ths sound either dissonant or cheesy.

With that in mind, this is probably the most beautiful piece of classical music.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:25 AM
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You just lost me. I don't need any musical education to know whether a piece moves me or not. The amount that a piece has moved me has never been dependent on how much I know about it. Same with painting, poetry, film or pretty much any art.
You must really be missing a lot then.

With all great music, art, literature, poetry, movies, dance, etc. the more we understand the work in detail, the more we enjoy it, and the more we are moved by it.

An initial gut feeling, especially based on ignorance of the genre, may be completely misleading. We may be missing the point, or unfamiliar with the style. Knowing something about the context and the artist also adds to the enjoyment of the work.

With music, we have to learn to hear by careful attention and by knowing what to listen for. This is a physical thing - the brain gradually develops the ability to hear more refined and subtle detail. The brain gains familiarity with that style and begins to process it better. It doesn't happen instantaneously, it's an acquired taste, and a taste worth acquiring.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:32 AM
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I challenge the assertion that there is such a thing as "lite" or "difficult" music.

That in itself comes across as somewhat condescending. The implication being that those who don't share you appreciation of the latter are lacking the mental capability or application to realise that the latter is more worthy.

If that actually is the way you view people's musical tastes (I hope it isn't) then you shouldn't be surprised by the responses you get.

Clearly there is a difference in say, Pachelbel's Canon in D and a take-your-pick Schoenberg atonal piece, given that the term "atonal" and all it suggests is the defining characteristic of much of his music. And I suppose it may come across as condescending, but why such an accusatory post, before even giving Limmin a chance to explain what was meant? I see nothing in that post suggesting you need to be Einstein to appreciate certain works.
  #58  
Old 08-21-2019, 10:32 AM
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Then it means that what you really enjoy is talking to yourself.
Absolutely not. I play no part in it. I'm completely at the disposal of what the artwork can do to me by itself.
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  #59  
Old 08-21-2019, 10:34 AM
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If emotional response is all that matters to you, that's your business. There's nothing wrong with that. But it's comically ignorant to suggest that just because you don't engage with more sophisticated aspects of music, that they don't exist at all.
sophisticated?
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  #60  
Old 08-21-2019, 10:38 AM
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One thing I don't get at all is musical theater. Sometimes they're fun, but generally I feel like I'm sitting through a couple of hours of alternating not-great dialogue with not-great songs. People go for it though, so I guess I must be overlooking something.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:43 AM
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...despite others here pointing out the importance of development and the like, which I agree can be quite interesting, you don't need to consider this at first. Don't set yourself up for something that you may not get at first, and when you don't, think you've "missed it" in some way.
... which is indeed what I did .

The enjoyment you get from Classical music is at least two-fold.

First, there's immediate, purely sensual pleasure of experiencing beautiful music. That's the most important and the place where everyone can start.

Then, comes wonder when you discover all the little surprises, references and Easter eggs that a composer has hidden in a work for us. It's what keeps centuries-old pieces fresh and fascinating after dozens of listenings. Add the multiple ways in which you can interpret the same work and a lifetime isn't enough to discover all that it has to offer. But you definitely don't need this to enjoy Classical music.
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  #62  
Old 08-21-2019, 10:46 AM
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If this is really true, it means that you're equally moved by a simple four-line ditty or a dirty limerick as by a longer, more complex poem. It means you're equally moved by a poem written in a language that you don't understand as one written in English.
I certainly could be. I have been deeply moved by songs in a language I don't understand and by abstract painting or sculpture. Their beauty was not enhanced by finding out there was a deeper meaning.
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  #63  
Old 08-21-2019, 10:52 AM
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With all great music, art, literature, poetry, movies, dance, etc. the more we understand the work in detail, the more we enjoy it, and the more we are moved by it.
That may be true for you, I can't think of any examples from my own life where that has been the case.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:55 AM
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Sport is a good analogy here.

It's like someone who knows nothing about cricket watching a cricket match, or someone who knows nothing about baseball watching a baseball match, or any other sport we are not familiar with.

Our initial reaction is, 'This is very boring, it means nothing to me'. We have to learn about it in order to appreciate it. That doesn't happen instantaneously. We can learn about it either by being exposed to it over many years from childhood, or else by reading up on it, watching it regularly, and speaking to knowledgeable people.

A gut reaction, on the basis of unfamiliarity, is misleading. Once we learn about the sport and start to watch it, we begin to enjoy it more and more. If we haven't previously been exposed to that sport, the enjoyment won't happen without taking the trouble to learn about it.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:00 AM
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I'm pretty sure I've seen individuals in non-classical concerts being applauded separately as they come out, as headliners, or soloists, or special guests, or whatever. Are they all being "snooty"? Or is it just "snooty" to recognize the concert master as someone with slightly higher importance?
I'll assume you actually don't perceive any element of snootiness in how classical music is performed. Fine. I - and I believe many others - feel differently. But I have no interest in trying to change your mind.

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How about a great fiddle and banjo tune played in a setting usually associated with classical music, Carnegie Hall. Flatt and Scruggs "Fiddle and Banjo". Great stuff.
Why would I dislike music I enjoy, depending on where it is played? Would you dislike a classical quartet dressed casually and playing in your backyard?

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One thing I don't get at all is musical theater...
I'm with you there. Which is tough, because my wife LOVES it. Every once in a while I'm pleasantly surprised - Hamilton was VERY enjoyable. But for me, sitting through another rendition of Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, Rent, whatever - is essentially torture. I'd rather clean house! In a weird way, I often feel somewhat embarrassed for the performers - hard to put into words.

To further explain my amusement at this thread - I play music with others outside of my home at least 7 hours a week, in addition to the couple of hrs my wife and I play together 3-4 days/week. I probably attend 2-3 live concerts per month. I've studied classical piano, taken musical appreciation in college, have a child who studied music education in college.

I don't consider myself ignorant about classical music. I simply have preferences. Moreover, my preferences have changed over my lifetime.
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  #66  
Old 08-21-2019, 11:03 AM
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One thing I don't get at all is musical theater. Sometimes they're fun, but generally I feel like I'm sitting through a couple of hours of alternating not-great dialogue with not-great songs. People go for it though, so I guess I must be overlooking something.
A favorite item from the New York Times column "Metropolitan Diary", where anecdotes of life in the city are sent in by readers: A young man is talking to his girlfriend on a bus. The reader overhears them talking about Rent, the musical to which they had just gone to see. Not quite familiar with the concept of a musical, the woman says to the man, "you know, I really enjoyed it. The story was interesting, but it was weird how all of a sudden they would just start singing at each other."
  #67  
Old 08-21-2019, 11:04 AM
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Clearly there is a difference in say, Pachelbel's Canon in D and a take-your-pick Schoenberg atonal piece, given that the term "atonal" and all it suggests is the defining characteristic of much of his music. And I suppose it may come across as condescending, but why such an accusatory post, before even giving Limmin a chance to explain what was meant? I see nothing in that post suggesting you need to be Einstein to appreciate certain works.
I agree, it was an accusatory post because I did get a very poor impression from the first sentence they used i.e.

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not just the "lite" stuff but difficult works that take years to fully appreciate. I also love tough-to-parse, challenging things in general. Like coastal navigation and sailing. And advanced university degrees.
Sounds condescending to me. The term "lite" certainly seems to be used in a dismissive way and I can't think of any reason for mentioning "advanced university degrees" other then to make sure we know how they clever they are, it seems bordering on the snobby to me.
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  #68  
Old 08-21-2019, 11:04 AM
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Absolutely not. I play no part in it. I'm completely at the disposal of what the artwork can do to me by itself.
At the risk of sounding condescending : yes, you do and no, you're not.

Appreciating an artwork is an active endeavour. You may think that you are passive, but your brain is constantly processing, comparing and judging what it's experiencing and deciding whether it likes it or not. Which is why, if you're unwilling to let someone tell you about a particular piece, you're just stuck in your own monologue.

Again, no-one has to enjoy Classical music. But it really is something that can offer amazing, may-layered pleasures for a lifetime, so excuse us if we feel passionate about it, especially when it's a bit... misunderstood and an easy target for snark since relatively few people listen to it regularly.

On a side-note, frankly, the whole "it's so snobbish" schtick is annoying. The most heated musical discussions that I've had were with people who berated me for not knowing that The Lovin' Spoonful's Everything Playing came out after Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful, or not understanding the difference between Post-Irony Californian Doo-Wop and Lo-Fi Mumble Surf.
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  #69  
Old 08-21-2019, 11:07 AM
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sophisticated?
Yeah. Sophisticated. Not like Grey Poupon-elite sophisticated, more in the sense that iPhones are sophisticated technology.

Music is also a technology. You can appreciate that it puts nice sounds in your earholes, or you can also appreciate that some pieces have a lot of highly engineered layers that took a lot of thought to create, or that this one guy was the first to do it in this particular way, or that this one piece borrows parts of other pieces in interesting ways. Or they made this thing that looks very simple but turns out complex, or they took this complex thing and then put a 6,000 year old ditty in there just for giggles.

I'm not going to invest much more effort explaining this to someone determined to prove that it doesn't exist. If you don't care about it, fine. But why expend so much effort arguing that nobody can perceive things that you don't perceive, or that things that aren't important to you aren't important to anybody?

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Old 08-21-2019, 11:08 AM
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Why would I dislike music I enjoy, depending on where it is played? Would you dislike a classical quartet dressed casually and playing in your backyard?
Easy, easy. I was just suggesting you listen to a great piece of music, and thought it might be a bit amusing bringing in the classical music venue angle.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:14 AM
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I agree, it was an accusatory post because I did get a very poor impression from the first sentence they used i.e.

Sounds condescending to me. The term "lite" certainly seems to be used in a dismissive way and I can't think of any reason for mentioning "advanced university degrees" other then to make sure we know how they clever they are, it seems bordering on the snobby to me.
I'll just say that the term "lite" classical music has been very common for years, decades even, and that it does typically refer to pieces that are more accessible, if that's the right word. And as I said in my previous post, Schoenberg is by no means accessible the first time you hear him. So I don't think Limmin was necessarily being condescending. That's all.

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  #72  
Old 08-21-2019, 11:21 AM
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if you're unwilling to let someone tell you about a particular piece, you're just stuck in your own monologue.
I am one of those people who wants to know as little background as possible. I want to experience art, literature, film and music without preconceptions as much as possible.

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Again, no-one has to enjoy Classical music. But it really is something that can offer amazing, may-layered pleasures for a lifetime, so excuse us if we feel passionate about it, especially when it's a bit... misunderstood and an easy target for snark since relatively few people listen to it regularly.
I'm passionate about it too.

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On a side-note, frankly, the whole "it's so snobbish" schtick is annoying.
My only accusation of snobbery was against someone who seemed to equate "difficult" music with brainpower. Liking classical music is not snobbish.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:22 AM
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Same reason I don't generally care for Rap, soft rock, or Pop--it just doesn't do anything for me, or where I think the music is coming from doesn't have an analogous place in my heart. Classical can be quite pretty, and I can marvel intellectually at the technical prowess of composer, conductor, and musician; but while it may speak to my brain no part of my heart understands or embraces the sound. So it's just noise.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:22 AM
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Seven to ten years ago, or so, I decided to really make an effort to learn to appreciate classical music. I didn't hate it, but just hadn't listened to much of it on purpose.

It worked, in that I have a greater appreciation for it, and there are pieces I love and that truly move me. On the other hand, I learned that I'll never get much beyond "casual appreciator," because in general, violins are not pleasing to my ear. I much prefer to listen to a piece for piano than one with a full orchestra that features heavy strings. I don't know exactly what it is...it's too high, or the tone grates, or something, but I can't take more than a minute or two before I start to crawl out of my skin.

Full disclosure: I am ridiculously sensitive to certain noises, so I understand that this isn't most people's experience with violins.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:22 AM
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... which is indeed what I did .
My mom had Handel's Water Music when we were kids. We listened to the Jackson Five, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, and Lynyrd Skynyrd in those days. One day on a whim, my twin brother slapped Handel on. Fell in love with it immediately. The point being, there is next to no development in that piece of music. Lovely music all around, requiring nothing more than a love of melody and rhythm. We were lucky that way in that Mom wasn't a Bartok fan. Who knows how long we would have taken to put on another classical piece!

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Old 08-21-2019, 11:27 AM
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Same reason I don't generally care for...soft rock
George Carlin:

"Soft rock music isn't rock, and it ain't music. It's just soft."


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  #77  
Old 08-21-2019, 11:32 AM
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But why expend so much effort arguing that nobody can perceive things that you don't perceive, or that things that aren't important to you aren't important to anybody?
I've argued neither of the above.

I'm all for widening the reach of music and the arts and think that we turn people off if we start using language like "lite" and "difficult" and "sophisticated". They carry far too much baggage. Heck even the word "popular" gets spat out as a pejorative.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:38 AM
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That should be "Canon" not "Cannon". My editing window ran out.
It's a lot more entertaining with the cannon, as with the heavy ordnance towards the end of the 1812 Overture.

I spent a lot of years playing "classical" piano, then got into rock. I still listen to a lot of both. Never have liked vocal/choral music and find most everything written in the last century unlistenable.

Tastes vary. I'm not offended if others hate music I like.

Except for works by Gershwin, the all-time greatest American composer.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:39 AM
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I'll just say that the term "lite" classical music has been very common for years, decades even, and that it does typically refer to pieces that are more accessible, if that's the right word. And as I said in my previous post, Schoenberg is by no means accessible the first time you hear him. So I don't think Limmin was necessarily being condescending. That's all.
Sure, I don't think it helps and that it continues to propagate the belief that classical music lovers are snobbish, that's all. Limmin probably does not hold a condescending bone in their body but the words used were like nails on a blackboard to me and they perhaps don't see how they might be interpreted. In a thread entitled "Classical music haters: why" it seems relevant to bring it up.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:49 AM
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...no consistent melody...
This is the key reason that fails for me for most classical pieces. Too many damn movements and journeys and meanderings, not enough hook. There are exceptions, like Ravel's Bolero or Bach's Bouree that are joys to listen to because they are built around nice tight hooks.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:53 AM
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I've argued neither of the above. I'm all for widening the reach of music and the arts and think that we turn people off if we start using language like "lite" and "difficult" and "sophisticated".
Oh come on. You challenged the idea that a category of 'difficult' is a real thing, you tried to prove it by stating that contextual knowledge never had any effect on you at all. And you want to recast this as word choice struggle?

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They carry far too much baggage. Heck even the word "popular" gets spat out as a pejorative.
This sounds to me like you brought your own baggage, and it's loaded with insecurity, and you want others to change their words to spare your feelings.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:53 AM
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Easy, easy. I was just suggesting you listen to a great piece of music, and thought it might be a bit amusing bringing in the classical music venue angle.
Sorry man. Likely responded to what I perceived from others in this thread, rather than your post(s). Yeah, the whole issue of how/when various music was appreciated by broader audiences is interesting. And some people will enjoy debating whether some performer's Carnegie performance was better or worse than some scratchy Neil Lomax folkways recording.

As far as playing, as a bass player, driving a F&S tune is right in my wheelhouse. At a jam, when all else fails, never hurts to pull out one of their tunes.

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I am one of those people who wants to know as little background as possible. I want to experience art, literature, film and music without preconceptions as much as possible.
I don't think I'd go this far. When I find music or a performer I enjoy, I'll often do some reading up on it and will listen to other folk who influenced/were influenced by them. And sometimes, if I feel moved by something, I'll do some research trying to figure out why.

But I really disagree with anyone who says, "you would enjoy it if you studied it more," and that "you should WANT TO study it."

People can listen to and play music in any number of ways. Doesn't make any particular manner better or worse than others. Hell, people come to hear me play all the time. I watch them tapping their feet with no sense of time. And after I hack up a song, they'll happily tell me what a great job I did. What am I supposed to do - tell them they are idiots and DIDN'T enjoy it? Hell, if they're smiling and clapping (or at least, not throwing shit!), that's enough for me!

In the "folk/Americana" area, you run into these folk who are walking encyclopedias as to when a certain song was written or recorded by whom, what specific instrument they used, etc. Heck, if that is what they enjoy, good for them. And I find that SOMEWHAT interesting - it does enhance my enjoyment of music. But my GREATEST concern is whether you can pick that thing - enjoy doing it - and cause others enjoyment through your playing.

Now everyone, get off your damned keyboards and go maker (or listen to) some music!

Shit, Fiddle Peghead. I just noticed. What are you doing w/ a BANJO headstock as your avatar! (Clawhammer is my 2d instrument.)
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  #83  
Old 08-21-2019, 11:59 AM
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This is the key reason that fails for me for most classical pieces. Too many damn movements and journeys and meanderings, not enough hook. There are exceptions, like Ravel's Bolero or Bach's Bouree that are joys to listen to because they are built around nice tight hooks.
Certainly that is the key thing for a lot of listeners. But then, that's why Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann, Bach, Scarlatti, Chopin, Purcell, and numerous others were invented. Plenty of classical music to go around for everyone! You know, if one is so inclined....
  #84  
Old 08-21-2019, 12:21 PM
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Oh come on. You challenged the idea that a category of 'difficult' is a real thing, you tried to prove it by stating that contextual knowledge never had any effect on you at all. And you want to recast this as word choice struggle?
My very first post dealt with precisely that,

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This sounds to me like you brought your own baggage, and it's loaded with insecurity, and you want others to change their words to spare your feelings
I like what I like and care not one jot what others think. Insecurity doesn't come into it.

If we want to encourage others to discover a wide range range of music we'd be wise to steer clear of attaching terms like "lite" "difficult" and "sophisticated" to classical music or giving any impression of elitism. There's too much of that already.
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  #85  
Old 08-21-2019, 12:24 PM
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Sorry man. Likely responded to what I perceived from others in this thread, rather than your post(s). Yeah, the whole issue of how/when various music was appreciated by broader audiences is interesting. And some people will enjoy debating whether some performer's Carnegie performance was better or worse than some scratchy Neil Lomax folkways recording.

As far as playing, as a bass player, driving a F&S tune is right in my wheelhouse. At a jam, when all else fails, never hurts to pull out one of their tunes.
...
Shit, Fiddle Peghead. I just noticed. What are you doing w/ a BANJO headstock as your avatar! (Clawhammer is my 2d instrument.)
No problem of course.

As far as appreciating music, I am now and have been a huge fan of bluegrass and country for decades. But growing up in Virginia, as a young boy of 7 or 8 in the 1960s, oh how the sounds of those harmonies by what I pretentiously thought of as hillbillies and hicks, even though I was one, grated on my ears. If you ever saw the show "Gospel Jubilee", you may know what I'm talking about. But then on my 15th Christmas, I was out of ideas what to ask for as my "big" present. My grandfather had a banjo that he would play clawhammer style. Not too well, frankly, but it was cool. So I said, hey Mom, how about a banjo? I took lessons for about six months, and of course they were devoted purely to how to play the damn thing. Then I got Peter Wernick's "Bluegrass Banjo" book that summer, and he suggested in it that it may just be a good idea for aspiring bluegrass banjo players to actual hear the music played by a band. While being vaguely familiar with F&S from Beverly Hillbillies, I knew little about them. So I got that Carnegie Hall album and fell in love with it, vocals and all, which led me on to so many others.
  #86  
Old 08-21-2019, 01:05 PM
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I am one of those people who wants to know as little background as possible. I want to experience art, literature, film and music without preconceptions as much as possible.
I see what you mean but I don't think it's going to lead to much more than an eternal monologue.

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My only accusation of snobbery was against someone who seemed to equate "difficult" music with brainpower. Liking classical music is not snobbish.
This accusation was not aimed at you .

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My mom had Handel's Water Music when we were kids. We listened to the Jackson Five, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, and Lynyrd Skynyrd in those days. One day on a whim, my twin brother slapped Handel on. Fell in love with it immediately. The point being, there is next to no development in that piece of music. Lovely music all around, requiring nothing more than a love of melody and rhythm. We were lucky that way in that Mom wasn't a Bartok fan. Who knows how long we would have taken to put on another classical piece!
It's true that not all Classical music has a development sections, but the many pieces that do are the ones that I (and a lot of fans) keep coming back to and buy multiple versions of.
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  #87  
Old 08-21-2019, 01:14 PM
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I like what I like and care not one jot what others think.
🤣

That's been a running joke for a long, long time...

"I don't know much about art, but I know what I like."

(= "I only like things I already know, and I have no curiosity to know more.")
  #88  
Old 08-21-2019, 01:19 PM
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...It worked, in that I have a greater appreciation for it, and there are pieces I love and that truly move me. On the other hand, I learned that I'll never get much beyond "casual appreciator,"...
And that's perfectly fine.

By the way, Classical music fans are not a monolithic block. There are those who believe that string quartets are the only game in town. Those for whom symphonies are above everything. Those who swear that solo piano is the towering achievement of Western art. Those that consider a cappela choral music as the most moving. Those who only listen to mid-18th century Latvian cello concertos...

And the opera lovers, but those guys are just weird.
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Mais je porte accroché au plus haut des entrailles
À la place où la foudre a frappé trop souvent
Un cœur où chaque mot a laissé son entaille
Et d’où ma vie s’égoutte au moindre mouvement
  #89  
Old 08-21-2019, 01:32 PM
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Even during Mozart's time, one can make a (not razor-sharp) distinction between "catchy" music, "light" music, etc. (sure to be popular), and (for instance) hard-core atonal masterworks or whatever else the composer feels deeply realizes their personal vision. It should come as no surprise that the latter are less popular. Not sure how anyone would rise to the level of hating such music, though; I wouldn't expect them to spend much, if any, time listening to it at all if they did not like it.

ETA I feel like most operas are on the "popular" side, as proved by their enduring popularity, though there are always weird experimental opere if you look hard enough...

Last edited by DPRK; 08-21-2019 at 01:35 PM.
  #90  
Old 08-21-2019, 01:38 PM
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It's true that not all Classical music has a development sections, but the many pieces that do are the ones that I (and a lot of fans) keep coming back to and buy multiple versions of.
Certainly. And some get multiple versions of ones that don't generally have development. I myself am on what will be a lifelong quest to learn all of Bach's Goldberg Variations on the piano. Out of the thirty or so, I know the aria, about 1/2 of one variation, and 1/3 of another. I will fail at this task. But I love hearing various pianists interpretation of them.
  #91  
Old 08-21-2019, 01:54 PM
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well I think people who call other people boobs because they don't share the same musical taste would qualify as snobs. Maybe someone can write an opera about it so you could appreciate the irony.
I hear ya talkin,’ boob.
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  #92  
Old 08-21-2019, 02:02 PM
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I do like classical music. But one thing that's harder to appreciate, when you're not hearing it in person, is the dynamics. There are pieces I love to hear live, because, heard live, they go from almost silent so it's like you're thinking the piece in your head, or sensing it in your bones, to bombastically loud, but yet not overpowering.

On a recording? This doesn't work. First you have to turn your sound up really loud, for the quiet parts. Then you have to jump up and turn it down so it doesn't shatter your speakers, and make your windows rattle.

Now they don't always get the acoustics right in the concert hall, although they mostly do. But they almost never get it right on a recording, although they sometimes do. Like, I used to have a recording by the 1955 (or something) Vienna Symphony (or something) of a couple of pieces I loved so much that I put them on to get me going in the morning as I was getting ready for class. I have never found another recorded version of this particular music that works (and I don't have a turntable any more). In fairness, I didn't much like any of the versions I heard the Denver Symphony Orchestra perform either, so maybe it was only that one, but the main thing was, on that one recording I could hear it all without fiddling with the volume. That's one example of one specific piece, but I have had similar trouble with others.

I don't know if the sound engineers recording classical stuff just say, "Fuck them if they can't get to a performance," or what.

Note, there are a lot of classical pieces, mostly things without violins, that work fine, but for a lot of them this is a problem with classical music, particularly in the car.

If you hear this music in a movie, then they usually do get it right, so it's possible.

It's frustrating, and it's just better to listen to Tubthumping by Chumbawumba because in that case I know what I'm gonna get.

Last edited by Hilarity N. Suze; 08-21-2019 at 02:03 PM.
  #93  
Old 08-21-2019, 02:07 PM
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... But growing up in Virginia, as a young boy of 7 or 8 in the 1960s, oh how the sounds of those harmonies by what I pretentiously thought of as hillbillies and hicks, even though I was one, grated on my ears. ....
I remember in college saying I liked ALL music, except for opera and country western. Now, 30 yrs later, still can't abide opera. And tho I still don't like a lot of "big hat" and popular C/W, pother than that, pretty much the more twang the better. I even like a little hiccup and yodel in my punk!
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:11 PM
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First you have to turn your sound up really loud, for the quiet parts. Then you have to jump up and turn it down so it doesn't shatter your speakers, and make your windows rattle.
I'm well aware of this, and when listening at home usually know when to "jump up." Then again, there was the first time I put on Shostakovich's tenth symphony. Had never heard it before. The one with the snare drums. Do you know it? The one where you turn up the volume when the snare drums start, because the rest is so quiet. The one where the whole orchestra gets louder and louder, and you never even see it coming. The one where all of a sudden you realize, holy shit, it's 1 a.m. and the neighbors are gonna fucking kill me!
  #95  
Old 08-21-2019, 02:18 PM
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I remember in college saying I liked ALL music, except for opera and country western. Now, 30 yrs later, still can't abide opera. And tho I still don't like a lot of "big hat" and popular C/W, pother than that, pretty much the more twang the better. I even like a little hiccup and yodel in my punk!
If I said I love country but don't much like country and western, would that give you an idea of who I like? I'm past the days where I would reflexively say how much I hate Clint Black or Garth Brooks, and realize now their music is just fine. It's just not for me. As for opera, I'm not into it either.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:19 PM
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Shostakovich's 7th, not 10th....
  #97  
Old 08-21-2019, 02:24 PM
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By the way, Classical music fans are not a monolithic block. There are those who believe that string quartets are the only game in town. Those for whom symphonies are above everything. Those who swear that solo piano is the towering achievement of Western art. Those that consider a cappela choral music as the most moving. Those who only listen to mid-18th century Latvian cello concertos...

And the opera lovers, but those guys are just weird.
I'm in the a cappella camp. I like words with music.

One problem with modern opera is the style, where the words and emotions are lost, sacrificed to virtuoso technical singing. Opera was written for people who understood the words and wanted plenty of emotion in the singing. If you compare, say, Caruso with Pavarotti, there's a world of difference. If we listen to opera only as abstract sounds sung with technical perfection, half of it is lost.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:14 PM
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I have to say also there are some classical music appreciators who are not at all interested in making this kind of music accessible to the masses.

Once I went to a concert because my cousin was playing. I didn't see a piano, and I hadn't got a program when I went in, so I asked the lady [sic!] next to me if I could have a look at her program, just to get an idea when my cuz might be coming on. She said: "I don't have a program. I know what I'm listening to."

Well alrighty then, that's me put in my place.

My earnest wish is that this effete snob was around, after the concert, when the featured artist was surrounded by adoring fans, and he saw me and pushed through the crowd to give me a hug. She probably wasn't, but it's nice to think so.

In general my view is, "Just change that classical drag to some sweet musical rag" and I guess she saw that in me...

Last edited by Hilarity N. Suze; 08-21-2019 at 03:14 PM.
  #99  
Old 08-21-2019, 03:17 PM
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🤣

That's been a running joke for a long, long time...

"I don't know much about art, but I know what I like."

(= "I only like things I already know, and I have no curiosity to know more.")
That certainly is a cliche but it doesn't apply to me. Being open to the shock of the new is very important. I'm on record on this very board of saying that no-one should dismiss any art without experiencing it first hand.
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  #100  
Old 08-21-2019, 03:20 PM
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"I don't have a program. I know what I'm listening to."
Sounds like someone who knew the music, but had never felt the music, and so she was insecure for knowing, deep down, she never groked the music. Let's give her points for trying, but she still fails.
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