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When you like a tune why do you like it?

Stanron 09 Oct 12 - 05:26 AM
Henry Krinkle 09 Oct 12 - 05:29 AM
Hamish 09 Oct 12 - 05:33 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Oct 12 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Black Belt Caterpillar Wrestler 09 Oct 12 - 07:20 AM
SteveMansfield 09 Oct 12 - 08:55 AM
kendall 09 Oct 12 - 09:40 AM
CupOfTea 09 Oct 12 - 10:34 AM
GUEST 09 Oct 12 - 12:10 PM
deepdoc1 09 Oct 12 - 12:12 PM
Joe_F 09 Oct 12 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,kendall 09 Oct 12 - 03:21 PM
Ebbie 09 Oct 12 - 03:33 PM
Georgiansilver 09 Oct 12 - 03:55 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 09 Oct 12 - 04:26 PM
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Subject: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: Stanron
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 05:26 AM

When you like a tune why do you like it?

Is it because you hear good playing whatever is being played, because you like the personality of the player/s or does the tune have some innate characteristics which mean you would like it even if it were played badly?

Or is it something else entirely?

I'm thinking here of tunes rather than songs in order to remove lyrics from the equation.


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 05:29 AM

Beat. Style. Arrangement. Instrumentation.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: Hamish
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 05:33 AM

All of the above. Pretty, majestic, simple, complex, unusual, familiar (but not hackeyed). Well played, simple arrangement, complex arrangement, the list goes on. It it were easy to write to a formula then... no wait! That's a dangerous route I'm going. It's easier to say what gets in the way of liking a tune.


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 05:46 AM

Whether you say like a tune or dislike a tune the odds are that you haven't yet heard all of its possibilities. In fact, you won't have. I play hundreds of tunes but I don't know a single one. A tune exists only when it's being played, so I can't see how they can have "innate characteristics" on their own of the aesthetic kind being suggested here. Vladimir Ashkenazy, one of the greatest classical pianists who ever lived, said that music is a complete mystery to him.


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: GUEST,Black Belt Caterpillar Wrestler
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 07:20 AM

What makes a tune stand out for me is usually some slight diversion from the expected without it being too strange, or perhaps some grand chord sequence.


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 08:55 AM

At the risk that we should get any leakage from the 'can accompanists lift the music' thread, I think for me a really good tune works on a variety of instruments and in a variety of arrangements.

I'm with GUEST...Wrestler, it's the slight quirk: the transitory confounding of expectation that makes perfect sense within the overall arc and structure of the melody, but can't necessarily be predicted on very first hearing, and that same effect then sticks with you thereafter and (for me) makes me want to learn and remember the tune.

Doesn't matter whether it's a subtle shift of the rhythm, or a particular interval in a particular place, or a temporary diversion into a different mode or key ...


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 09:40 AM

Almost any tune in 3/4 time in a minor key does it for me.

I like that unexpected chord change too.It keeps my interest focused.


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: CupOfTea
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 10:34 AM

I'm with Kendall in fondness for 3/4 in minor keys. Previous ponderings about the tunes I favor made me realize almost all my top ones have accidentals.

While there are plenty of reels and slow airs I love, I find I THINK better in 3 - waltz, jig, double jig.

For reasons I cannot explain, the transition from C to Dm and back again always pleases my ear, which I learned in singing, because C is my easiest key, but in tunes, no matter the key, that same jump always "gets" me = F to Gm or G to Am.

There are other tunes that I've either danced to, or played for dances, that create such energy for the dance: a combination of familiarity and danceability. Our band playing "Doctor, Doctor" just keeps building energy, and frequently with a piano arpeggio riff of hand down the keys at the turn. That energy makes it fun to play with others, but it's not a tune I play for my own enjoyment the way I'll spend an evening on the porch doing waltzes and jigs. A difference in liking the tune for itself or liking how it functions?

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 12:10 PM

Technique and instrumentation, usually. I can hear a tune done by a local sting band and it will be ok, but turn Doc Watson loose on it and it comes alive for me. But too much technique can turn the tune back into uninspiring mush.

Solos (soli?) or duets can do it for me, too, usually when the performer is having a good time.


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: deepdoc1
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 12:12 PM

Oops. My cookie had crumbled, that's my guest post above.


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: Joe_F
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 12:17 PM

Chord progressions, familiar or surprising (especially if the melody is such as to make the harmony inobvious).
A new note, higher than the rest, near the end.
Rhythmic interest.


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:21 PM

D minor with the low E string dropped down to D is my favorite chord.


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:33 PM

Purity of tone. Density/thickness of sound. Strings throbbing with potential harmonies. Unexpected drop of one chord to another. Slow and dreamy long notes. Quick, energetic, foot-stomping urgency. Creative passing-off of leads. A crescendo and swelling of support instruments. A plaintive instrumental voice sounding through as support instruments back off.

There are a number of reasons. And there are many more than I've listed. :)


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:55 PM

Each note on each instrument has its own frequency and if the frequencies of the notes played are in sync with the sound receptors in your brain it will give you an agreeable feeling....


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Subject: RE: When you like a tune why do you like it?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 04:26 PM

I generally don't like a tune upon first hearing. It needs to be digested and internalized for a while. Then I'll hear it again and go, "Hey, that's a really great tune! And I didn't even know I liked it until now!"

This most often occurs at festivals, which entails walking up to a stranger and asking, "What was the name of that tune you were just playing?" (Because if I don't know I like the tune, I probably don't know its name, huh?) Then I'll find a recording of some sort (usually a MIDI on the Interweb), learn how to play the tune, and wonder how my life ever seemed even semi-complete without having such a wonderful tune as part of my repertoire.


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