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Uses of Music

Uses of Music
January 31, 2007, 11:35:22 PM
Appreciation of art is its reduction to entertainment.

This distinction between 'art' and 'entertainment' exists only inasmuch as 'art' seems a higher-order representation of culture. The moment we listen to music, regardless of the emotion it imbues within the subject, that piece of music is an instrument with which to accomplish a personal end; an end which any piece of music can accomplish provided the appropriate interpretation is applied. Thoughts?

My old question is, is the listener of cerebral metal/classical somehow above the appreciator of popular music? I've met Jackson Browne fans who were far more astute and active (and deserving a place in the imagined, reformed society) than Burzum fans. One of the above-mentioned Browne fans, told me that whether he listened to classical, black metal, or good old '70s popular tunes, the music had the same use regardless of its aesthetic and intelligence, and that was personal.

If anyone out there disagrees, what is listening to metal doing for you that this man is regrettably eschewing?

Re: Uses of Music
February 01, 2007, 01:49:12 AM
Of course there are many popular artists that are capable of making  tunes that would be catchy to even black metal fans. However, the person you mentioned obviously wasn't as picky about aesthetics and intelligence: as you said that is personal.  I myself (i think i speak for many others) can not stand the cheese and (more often than not) dull repitition. Popular modern music goes nowhere, achieving nothing. This comes down to the artist's intelligence (at least in the music field). Neoclassical music has intelligence imbedded in it. A neoclassical music fan listen to pop music and understand it, as the music itself is less intelligent. The writers of pop music however, would have a hell of a time trying to understand black/death metal. In the end, it is the music itself, not the ones who created it,  that is important.

This man obviously just enjoys popular music on occassion (pop music tends to show aspects of life metal dismisses, ie. relationships) . An act of hedonism? Not everyone can like the same music, regardless of their intelligence.

Re: Uses of Music
February 01, 2007, 09:37:34 AM
i would think music is not a huge part of this mans life, that and you don't have to be a nihilist or a romantic to be able to be very intelligent

Re: Uses of Music
February 01, 2007, 11:48:47 AM
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However, the person you mentioned obviously wasn't as picky about aesthetics and intelligence: I myself (i think i speak for many others) can not stand the cheese and (more often than not) dull repitition. Popular modern music goes nowhere, achieving nothing. This comes down to the artist's intelligence (at least in the music field).


Why is it that I get this vibe that you all feel that other people (fans or musicians of other genre's) seem to know nothing about music, and to think that they are the less intelligent musically speaking.

There are great and intelligent musicians in country, opera, classic/prog rock, blues, gospel, and jazz. Shit some jazz musicians could wipe their ass with what you consider intelligence and not think twice about it. Do you know how "intelligent" you have to be to improvise music and make it sound good? It's not different than metal, you only know of the popular ones. But how many of those people like BM/DM? I think that the smart musicians of today don't care who does what, who thinks what. I personally feel that they play the music that they enjoy, the end point blank. Now if you say that some of them should make a point to be "kvlt", tr00, black metal or to whatever extent you want to take it, they would be just as much a poseur as those crappy hair bands in the 80's.  

You mentioned that popular music goes nowhere and does nothing. Hmm, how many people party and have sex? More people than those who listen to BM/DM. So if you base everything on numbers, 0's & 1's, then popular music connects with more people, be it sex and partying or love songs, their songs relate to tons more people. How many people has BM/DM made smarter lately? which reminds me of all the topics about "BM/DM is dead".

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Neoclassical music has intelligence imbedded in it. A neoclassical music fan listen to pop music and understand it, as the music itself is less intelligent. The writers of pop music however, would have a hell of a time trying to understand black/death metal. In the end, it is the music itself, not the ones who created it,  that is important.


I have a few friends who are pop fans, and I've played them some metal (ok it was the lighter side of extreme metal) ie. dimmu borgir, emperor, and some burzum. He liked it, musically speaking, but he would not chose to listen to them on his own. Does that make him less intelligent as a listener? I understand being proud of being able to understand what BM is all about, I find it as an insecurity of all those who are cliaming everyone else is stupid, musically speaking.

Re: Uses of Music
February 01, 2007, 02:07:17 PM
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 You mentioned that popular music goes nowhere and does nothing. Hmm, how many people party and have sex? More people than those who listen to BM/DM. So if you base everything on numbers, 0's & 1's, then popular music connects with more people, be it sex and partying or love songs, their songs relate to tons more people. How many people has BM/DM made smarter lately? which reminds me of all the topics about "BM/DM is dead".  


He was saying the musical elements to pop music lead nowhere, they only specialize in cyclic song structures

admittedly there are many genres that are very musically competent but the musical elements only make up half of the music, thats why people on this site value many classical composers, prog rockers (which isn't complicated as you said but is extremely simple) and folk artists. It is because as well as making very good music they have an ideology that puts them apart from the moronic majority

if you listen to Hayden you will probably be very musically competent but you will probably lack any real sense of the world other then the plastic moralistic world in which we live, to be musically "good"  is not what people on this site try and find, we try and find music which tries to grasp at the meaning of reality and the atheistic of the music must match the message  

Re: Uses of Music
February 01, 2007, 02:14:45 PM
I dont know which parts of your post to quote, FE-XIBXABH, so i wont bother. I never said said or implied what you assumed i did. Chill.
Thanks however: I never knew any of the blatantly-obvious things you posted. Who'd of thought theres talent in jazz?
I agree with most of what you said. I have also in the past had friends who listen to popular music who don't mind a bit of metal, but wouldn't choose to listen to it themselves. However, none liked extreme metal: just stuff like Metallica and In Flames. They also do not like classical, folk, or anything along these lines. These genres tend to require an acquired taste, an intelligence as a listener. IMHO, this DOES make them less intelligent as a LISTENER. They may very well be generally intelligent, but music-wise, they run at a lower level.
I am not claiming everyone else is "stupid, musically speaking". It is obvious there is a lot of skill and talent in many popular genres such as blues and jazz.

I think it is safe to say that general intelligence does not often reflect on a person's 'music-intelligence', but 'music-intelligence' often reflects on a person's general intelligence.
Note: i said 'not often' and 'often'. Not 'always'.

Re: Uses of Music
February 02, 2007, 12:03:15 PM
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He was saying the musical elements to pop music lead nowhere, they only specialize in cyclic song structures

admittedly there are many genres that are very musically competent but the musical elements only make up half of the music, thats why people on this site value many classical composers, prog rockers (which isn't complicated as you said but is extremely simple)


Ok, but have you tried to find the good country, rap or whatever other genre or just base your judgement on them as country fan might hear slipknot and think he knows what DM/BM is. That's no different than what you're doing. As far as the prog rock I was refering to is (early-mid) Yes, early King Crimson, and some Frank Zappa, hardly simple, as a matter of fact I don't think there are too many extreme bands that would even compare on a musical level. But they weren't the point of my post.


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I dont know which parts of your post to quote, FE-XIBXABH, so i wont bother. I never said said or implied what you assumed i did. Chill.[/qoute]

I didn't mean to direct that at any particular person, that just the vibe I got from the few posts that I checked out upon registering.


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These genres tend to require an acquired taste, an intelligence as a listener. IMHO, this DOES make them less intelligent as a LISTENER. They may very well be generally intelligent, but music-wise, they run at a lower level.


GrindCore is an aquired taste, that doesn't make it any more intelligent. The same goes for old punk, which could lead to greenday, and blink 182 (none of which I'm a fan of). So you're saying that punk in it's infancy was more intelligent than the "new" punk because it was an aquired tast, and still is really. But, "true" punk started a lot, and all it was was a message, the music wasn't great, but those above mentioned don't carry the same message, but the music is more intelligent. Perhaps you could draw that same line from old BM & DM to those of the present. While I do agree, it does take more attention to appreciate what's going on in BM/DM, I don't find the listeners of such genre's any more intelligent than any other listeners. Like I said before, just because they feel what they want out of a dance song, love song, some salsa or what have you, doesn't make them any less intelligent. There are very few that I've met who can't appreciate what I've played them, they just prefer otherwise. Or maybe that's because that had a good childhood.  ;D  We bond through our inability to appreciate the happier things in life.

Re: Uses of Music
February 02, 2007, 01:24:48 PM
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Ok, but have you tried to find the good country, rap or whatever other genre or just base your judgement on them as country fan might hear slipknot and think he knows what DM/BM is. That's no different than what you're doing. As far as the prog rock I was refering to is (early-mid) Yes, early King Crimson, and some Frank Zappa, hardly simple, as a matter of fact I don't think there are too many extreme bands that would even compare on a musical level. But they weren't the point of my post.


when i say pop i only meant the actual genre pop, not the term popular, so things like Britney Spears

Since pop music tries to be as popular as possible the most popular acts are the most important to the genre and the most important

and when you were thinking of Frank Zappa and King crimson i was thinking of things like very early pink floyd (piper at the gates of dawn era), but yes Frank Zappa and King crimson can be very complicated

Re: Uses of Music
February 02, 2007, 02:20:32 PM
BLEH! pop is so minute, I don't even know why it's at the forefront of this conversation. You should focus more on the things that you do enjoy, ie BM, and empty your concerns of the likes of pop music. Otherwise you sound intimidated by it, "you" = generally speaking.

And by the way, early yes topples all other prog rock, IMO. I just thought I'd put that out there. ;D

Re: Uses of Music
February 04, 2007, 02:49:51 AM
The reigning opinion on this thread is that metal (etc.) requires greater patience and understanding to appreciate its depth. However, 'tis not a logical consequence of listening to 'difficult' or 'higher-order' music, that the listener is thus 'higher-order'. In fact, my original post was to highlight this obvious observation- That metalheads are more likely to be antithetical.

Furthermore, would anyone like to comment on the idea that: If a piece of music requires greater patience (etc./whatever) to appreciate it, it doesn't halt the process of enjoyment, which is merely the reduction of said piece of music into a comprehensible form, upon which it serves as entertainment*. I think it's time to deconstruct, from a pragmatic perspective, metal against popular- In what manner, is the act of listening to metal, unlike the act of listening to pop, where both are forms of entertainment.


* Metal might require more from the listener- But my point is that, upon appreciating the music, the listener converts metal in a personal form of popular music, which serves only for entertainment.

Re: Uses of Music
February 04, 2007, 07:11:52 AM
I would just caution that a utilitarian analysis that values music and art only for the emotive response it engenders in individuals simply cannot account for many of the purposes art serves in terms of articulating values, uniting communities, providing a model for productive action etc.

Re: Uses of Music
February 04, 2007, 01:43:17 PM
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The reigning opinion on this thread is that metal (etc.) Furthermore, would anyone like to comment on the idea that: If a piece of music requires greater patience (etc./whatever) to appreciate it, it doesn't halt the process of enjoyment, which is merely the reduction of said piece of music into a comprehensible form, upon which it serves as entertainment



you may appreciate a piece created by another but unless you enjoy it it will never receive more then a few playings, i think its safe to assume everybody here enjoys metal and (hopefully) became aware of its depth upon exploring it through enjoyment

Re: Uses of Music
February 04, 2007, 08:59:47 PM
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I would just caution that a utilitarian analysis that values music and art only for the emotive response it engenders in individuals simply cannot account for many of the purposes art serves in terms of articulating values, uniting communities, providing a model for productive action etc.


I heed your warning, and appreciate it, however: Sidestepping the issue of emotive response, it is apparent that it's not only metal and its elitist counterparts which can satisfy those last three criteria.

When I was a kid growing up, I used to listen to the Eagles, particularly the Desperado album. Those who recognize the reference will know that it's themed in the Old West- This had especial significance to me, for the entire album was a metaphor, which pleased not only on an emotional level, but on a mental stage as well- Because the meaning was something that I lifted from the music.

Thus, 'art' (using a definition which encompasses a cultural product, which like Mahmoud said, has a purpose in articulating values etc.) is a label which can be applied to anything- My point is that metal itself, wastes its application against a stupid individual, where the intelligent one will find those values and momentum in anything which inspires him... even if it's something absurd like a song about cowboys. It isn't METAL itself that promotes action, but the individual- metal serves just as much use as anything else in life, in aiding the individual in realising the way forward.

Where does 'art' stand now? There isn't an essential difference between the two: One side is merely explicitly expressing  'higher-order' ideas, but they're both still two strains of the same concept. Art is entertainment.

Now raise your sword in your territorial fashion and defend your ideas.


Re: Uses of Music
February 05, 2007, 10:18:38 AM
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I think it's time to deconstruct, from a pragmatic perspective, metal against popular- In what manner, is the act of listening to metal, unlike the act of listening to pop, where both are forms of entertainment.

If a piece of music requires greater patience (etc./whatever) to appreciate it, it doesn't halt the process of enjoyment, which is merely the reduction of said piece of music into a comprehensible form, upon which it serves as entertainment*.


Pt 1. Metal vs Pop: well as some of you are more than eager to defend any likeness of metal, the two in comparison hold more in common than you might care to admit. While the only pop music brought to attention in here is in the likes of Britney Spears, if you go to a pop forum, they might identify metal in the likeness of Korn. That being said; What is the difference between B.S. and Korn? They both hold a catchy beat, they repeat verses and chorus', melodies are simple, minimal, and redundant, as for the lyrical content I'm gonna go out on a limb (b/c I really don't know) and say that pop caters to the happier teens while metal cators to the ones who just aren't as happy. My first thoughts, I would say the differences between pop and metal are happy vs angry; electric vs distortion gtrs. *note: If you (not josef k) want to compare BM to pop, it's not the same, as BM is a relative to metal (ie Korn) so pop has a relative that could be more comparable to BM. If you don't see what I'm saying the try comparing Broadway or Big Band music to Korn. Now which do you think is musically more "intelligent".

Part 2. I don't feel that a song that requires patiences to listen and understand it, makes it less enjoyable. On the other hand, there have been simple songs (metal, and yes otherwise) that have grabbed me just as much, it just connects with something in me. Not to go left unsaid, I've heard songs that are complicated stucturally, the melodies were ok, but they didn't go anywhere, no direction whatsoever! Just because a song requires more patience doesn't make it better by default.

josef k, I agree with a lot of what you have said thus far, and your last post "stupid individual vs the intelligent individual" very well put!

Re: Uses of Music
February 05, 2007, 11:26:23 AM
as ive said before metal tries to avoid contact with the mainstream where pop is the mainstream, so its easy to see who the best acts are, you only have to turn on your tv or radio where metal its much harder to do so

but you can never compare music by how complicated it is, all music has different goals and use different paths to reach such goals, thats why music can compliment each other (ie romantic composers and black metal musicians) because they have the same goal through a different path

but with regards to your simple song idea i think all the best works ever composed are the simplest, after all it takes a true genius to make something new with something simple

Much of Beethoven's works are very simple (and in fact almost all) but he creates something new in that simplicity, almost all romantic composers write very very simple pieces and they are among the most powerful and moving, just because a particular song is simple does not mean it does not take patience to understand it, if anything it is harder to grasp a concept properly in a simpler piece to a more complicated one