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Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation

Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 14, 2012, 01:25:28 AM
Sometimes an album takes me on a journey and I am happily lost within it. Other times I’m more aware of what is going on structurally in order to evoke that sense of journey. I imagine these two states could also be perceived simultaneously or that the listener might drift between the two.

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 15, 2012, 01:31:38 AM
Yes. I often wonder if when it is said here that cannabis can improve on bad music as if it were something bad, is it really? If you appreciated that music you had an experience, and you were responsible for it. There's no such thing as turning bad music into good music: You probably wouldn't like to hear disharmonic sounds when stoned.

Leaving the cannabis aside, I was only using it to make a point: of course it is useful to categorize music in styles and quality, superior and inferior, but as long as human experience of music (the goal of music) goes, a scientific mind cannot dissociate from the greater whole, that is causality, emotional factors, texture, possible associations that may be personal (from some fetish, texture or spoken piece in a song it means something to you and you only, not to the majority of people that will listen), a desired ambiānce, hypnotizing or trance-inducing rythm, a striking singing performance, and many, many more factors.

Thus it can be talked what is superior and inferior, but for me, this is different from what is enjoyable or not.

Does electronic music that sounds boring while alone suddenly become cool at a party or nightclub? That music has a purpose, to blend in with the action and environment?

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 15, 2012, 08:07:26 AM
Yes. I often wonder if when it is said here that cannabis can improve on bad music as if it were something bad, is it really? If you appreciated that music you had an experience, and you were responsible for it. There's no such thing as turning bad music into good music: You probably wouldn't like to hear disharmonic sounds when stoned.

Why operate in probabilities when experience is available? Cannabis seems to expand the emotional impact of these sounds, but it also lets you immerse yourself in the music and therefore appreciate threads that could be lost if not paying attention while sober. The former is what makes all music sound better on the drug, the latter is why it can help you appreciate greater music.

Quote
Leaving the cannabis aside, I was only using it to make a point: of course it is useful to categorize music in styles and quality, superior and inferior, but as long as human experience of music (the goal of music) goes, a scientific mind cannot dissociate from the greater whole, that is causality, emotional factors, texture, possible associations that may be personal (from some fetish, texture or spoken piece in a song it means something to you and you only, not to the majority of people that will listen), a desired ambiānce, hypnotizing or trance-inducing rythm, a striking singing performance, and many, many more factors

Thus it can be talked what is superior and inferior, but for me, this is different from what is enjoyable or not.

Fairly said, but these are rationalizations. As these categories converge, but-for-me will disappear and a haughty disdain will set in. The greatest music transcends the personal and imposes its own worldview.

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 15, 2012, 02:12:07 PM
I agree with all you said on the subject, fallot. The part about the effect of the weed is all right, the emotional and sonorous expansion gives a feeling of magnitude to any music, but there is intellectual-structural-imaginal expansion as well.

I was just trying to make a point, that you agreed with, about the complex causality that result in a person enjoying a song or not. Thanks for the thoughtful analysis.

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 17, 2012, 02:02:04 AM
Aaron Copland made an interesting distinction between three types of listening . They are the sensuous, expressive and perceptive planes. The sensuous relates the interplay of sounds and timbre. The expressive to how it emotionally affects the listener and the perceptive to how music is built in order to function. The perceptive is said to be the hardest to master but it will bring a renewed appreciation and understanding of the entire listening process.

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 17, 2012, 02:29:31 AM
The perceptive is said to be the hardest to master but it will bring a renewed appreciation and understanding of the entire listening process.

...and is essential for the appreciation of extreme metal. I doubt most metal fans operate beyond the expressive though. Obtaining perceptual understanding feels like a "eureka!" moment. Familiar, oft-enjoyed music is appreciated in an entirely new light and becomes great art. That was a good link, thank you.

Edit: I wanted to add; the purely musical level of listening includes and magnifies the sensuous and expressive aspects as well. But I suppose that is fairly obvious.

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 17, 2012, 03:28:53 PM
That's why I brought up the altered states, and I guess you're right fallot: Metal has always been a big "blur" in most songs for me. I guess I appreciated them more when I thought about it than when I listened... unless the "eureka" moment dawned. And this moment makes me realize how deep metal really is. What it represents. And it is not only mental images of fantasy or darkness, but pure endless appreciation for the sounds that you're interpreting in the moment. Seems like an alive wall of sound.

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 20, 2012, 04:30:39 AM
The purely musical level of listening includes and magnifies the sensuous and expressive aspects as well. But I suppose that is fairly obvious.

Very true. When it comes down to it, there aren't many albums I can really appreciate based purely on sensuous listening. It's like favouring 'production' over the written material (and the essential ideas contained therein). Even a predominantly emotional response can snare you. But to hone your perceptive ear expands everthing else tenfold and the rest falls into its rightful place.

One exercise that helped me was to mark out riffs as letters or numbers while listening to a piece. It helps reveal things structurally. With the more complex compositions it can take a while to really master that type of listening.

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 21, 2012, 11:49:32 PM
One band I think manages to use a lot of form, aesthetics, magnitude or whatever you want to call it and still deliver good songs is Killing Joke. But they're so basic in a way, and a little pop-oriented (I'd call it pop-sensitivity) and formulatic sometimes, that I think you will say you no longer listen to them anymore, aquarius.

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 22, 2012, 04:03:32 AM
Their first album is great but I haven't heard it for a long time. Also the old band Ausweis is worth a mention. Simple structure is all that listening requires sometimes.

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 23, 2012, 01:29:26 AM
Another side effect of the perceptual level is appreciating just how shallow modern popular music is and how passively most people enjoy music. As tastes develop, less evocative experiences lose any allure they previously held. Perhaps this is unfortunate, as I am frequently unable to enjoy the music my contemporaries listen to and am thus shut off from any commonality in that sphere. Still, its not as if I would give up the metal.

It also makes other complex forms of music easier to appreciate. I developed a respect for and an understanding of indian classical music only after I developed the ability to listen with such probity (from metal music). It took years to develop, I wonder if it is the same for the rest of you? Did you have a moment or moments where the complete picture just hit you and you realized what exactly you were dealing with? Or was the music always obvious as being something special? I suspect its the former for most people, but then again I heard autists have superpowers ;)

Re: Conscious vs subconscious music appreciation
December 23, 2012, 08:11:13 PM
I've been listening on youtube and there are also some other good songs by killing joke not from their debut.

The song Pandemonium you may not enjoy, but Black Moon from the same album, also below, is way more exciting. This black moon song is a good example of what I was talking about: If the guy had not sang "black moon" part with such excitement, plus the metallic-synthetic effect put on the voice artificially, the song would not be that good. In fact, the song Pandemonium is better than it. The song Mathematics of Chaos from the same album is also cool, but would it be so nice if it was not named Mathematics of Chaos and was made in the way bands for ex. nickleback, oasis or bon jovi do, not in the cool, mysterious killing joke way?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_j4Eq3ziE4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL_U5GSUBpw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q22xt5OeJrg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzoW9SY541s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC9f0owia6E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mjN10O-QAI