Three Seas Forum

the archives

dusted off in read-only


Music..not generally... posted 24 June 2008 in Off-Topic DiscussionMusic..not generally... by Orion_metalhead, Auditor

Quote: "carlsefni":2j7cdgfn
Quote: "Orion_metalhead":2j7cdgfn
Funny thing is for me, Pink Floyd's lesser known albums have much more impact on me than say, The Wall or Dark Side of the Moon. I'd rather listen to Meddle than any of the Pink Floyd albums. [/quote:2j7cdgfn]

Sign me up for Piper at the Gates of Dawn! <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) --> While I respect the achievements of the later Floyd albums, they never really did that much for me at a gut level. And I kept thinking people who were that successful while still sounding that miserable were clearly taking the wrong drugs. <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> [/quote:2j7cdgfn]

I think that the later P.F albums soak into my interior better than the earlier stuff because I view them more as &quot;musician's&quot; albums. There is more focus on the music. The latter era of Floyd albums have a distinctive jazz/fusion flare to them that the early ones don't. The fact that I enjoy my Camel, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Return to Forever may affect my preference for which era of Floyd I enjoy. Don't get me wrong or take my opinion on their repertoire as looking down on their early albums because I think that The Wall has some incredibly brilliant tracks on it. Overall I lean towards the latter.

Quote: &quot;carlsefni&quot;:2j7cdgfn
Quote: &quot;Orion_metalhead&quot;:2j7cdgfn
But this topic is interesting. The question &quot;what makes one music 'greater' than another&quot; is a loaded question that involves diving into listening to music objectively as well as subjectively. For instance, While Pink Floyd might be thought of as being &quot;complex&quot; I don't find their music anywhere near as complex as say, Watchtower or Fates Warning (Awaken the Guardian specifically comes to mind) though their lyrics are more complex. At the same time, I would say that Pink Floyd's music is more complex than some bands with more complex lyrical themes.[/quote:2j7cdgfn]

I think it would be hard to objectively measure &quot;greatness&quot; unless we transformed that into a measure of &quot;influence&quot; or &quot;(commercial) success&quot; (though, IMO, preferably not just the latter!). In any case, we would clearly have to separate &quot;greatness&quot; and &quot;complexity&quot; as very different things. It would be hard to describe the Ramones' music as &quot;complex&quot; <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> but it might well be judged objectively &quot;great&quot; in terms of influence or something. (And perhaps subjectively great, depending on the taste of the individual listener -- but that's another thing.) [/quote:2j7cdgfn]

Well, I use the term &quot;greatness&quot; loosely. I think that a more apt attempt at ranking would be credibility as artists but that too poses infinite amounts of &quot;cracked-cup-filling.&quot; I don't think that it really is necessary to attempt and give music or art a particular score, I was more or less just running with the topic.

Influence is a possible way to base whether a band is &quot;great&quot; or not I suppose but it poses many problems. I think that people throw the word &quot;influence&quot; around these days as a marketing ploy so as to link a band's generic and entirely watered down sound with a more credible scene or group of artists to gain the favor of real music fans. I think that happens a lot and it seeps through the cracks like worms through an ancient rotting coffin. Case and point would be a band (which I happen to like) called The Absence. They were listed by critics and the band in interviews as an old-school Gothenburg band (Ala At The Gates, Dark Tranquility, In Flames) however they sound almost entirely like any other melodic death metal band to my ears. Hints of some of the Swedish melodies here and there and songs like Dead and Gone slay 95% of all the other melodic death metal floating around the used bins of FYE and Coconuts however they have no connection to the scene - they are from fucking Florida. These days, everyone and their mother's best friend's dog is influenced by At The Gates and In Flames. I would say that In Flames is an influential band but less because of them in particular and more because of the scene that they were involved in. At The Gates on the other hand was downright excellent and somehow get less credit than In Flames. They had more atmosphere than the stratosphere and a morbid sense of melody and musical cynicism. As artists they were top notch experimentalists and progenitors. A band like Nirvana - who I would love to argue and bash all day for being the worst thing to happen to music until American Idol decided to claim the throne to that position - who were incredibly influential would also, in my ears, be listed as less than great. They were influential but that was all they were. They too were part of a scene that spewed forth more enduring and talented bands. The only good musician was Dave Grohl and I would go so far as to say that the Foo Fighters are a &quot;greater&quot; band than Nirvana.

I won't even touch upon commercial success. To claim that N'Sync is a greater... musical outfit than say, Darkthrone is ridiculous.

Quote: &quot;carlsefni&quot;:2j7cdgfn
Quote: &quot;Orion_metalhead&quot;:2j7cdgfn
With that said however, what makes lyrics inherently complex? With music, you can measure the complexity - the amount of notes, the structure of the compositions, the arrangements. With lyrics though, who is to say that Manowar's lyrics are inferior to those of Pink Floyd? [/quote:2j7cdgfn]

Ah, but we must not confuse objective complexity with subjective superiority. That said, I think we can set up measures for lyrical complexity just as we could for music. In all cases, we would have to define our standard for complexity, but just we might judge &quot;complex&quot; music as that which contains more notes, more chords, more harmonic structures, etc. we could judge those lyrics to be complex that include a wider range of vocabulary, or a wider range of grammatical structures or rhetorical devices, etc. (and we might rate certain grammatical structures or rhetorical devices as more complex than others).

We could do similar things to rate the &quot;complexity&quot; of prose ....

Of course, this isn't to say that a given subjective listener would necessarily judge the objectively more complex lyrics (or prose, or music) to be &quot;superior&quot;, in their opinion, but with an agreed set of definitions for &quot;complexity&quot;, they could objectively determine the complexity of the piece. [/quote:2j7cdgfn]

Lyrical &quot;superiority&quot; would be easier to judge than musical &quot;superiority / greatness.&quot;

I do however frown upon any attempt to create a set of rules or definitions for judging complexity and the like. Setting a manual of guidelines creates a prison for the creative potential of the artist. It would drive them to create music that fits the definitions given and write lyrics that would fall into the missing places that the rules cut out of the sod.

Quote: &quot;carlsefni&quot;:2j7cdgfn
Quote: &quot;Orion_metalhead&quot;:2j7cdgfn
I know that I can get emotional when I hear the lyrics to Battle Hymn or Metal Daze (or any song off their debut album) however there has never been a Pink Floyd song that has had an emotional effect on me. Its the same for me with Classical music as well. Igor Stravinky's Rite of Spring always touches my heart and calms me yet Mozart doesn't do anything for me.[/quote:2j7cdgfn]

I often find Mozart strangely irritating -- though possibly I was traumatized by seeing Amadeus at an early age. <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> On the other hand, I can listen to piles of 19th-century Romanticism all day: Sibelius (OK, early 20th-century, too!), Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Grieg .... some good ol' thumping Wagner. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> [/quote:2j7cdgfn]

I'm not a HUGE fan of classical but I don't care for the big bombastic symphonies so much. I do like Tchaikovsky's pieces however so, I guess its a matter of individual composers in the case of classical for me. I would like to get more involved in the classical genre and delve deeper into that rabbit hole but I just get caught up in the other genres.

Quote: &quot;carlsefni&quot;:2j7cdgfn
Quote: &quot;Orion_metalhead&quot;:2j7cdgfn
Music is so personal and individual that the only music that matters is the music that matters to you.[/quote:2j7cdgfn]

As I'm sure I once read as a quote from someone knowledgeable about such things (though I forget who!), there is no good or bad music -- only music you like more or less.[/quote:2j7cdgfn]

Yeah, thats a great quote. I've heard it as well. It too raises some interesting questions. Is there any such thing as truly BAD music? view post


The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown