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[Formerly BS:] Musical snobbery

GUEST,DDT 02 Feb 13 - 05:01 PM
gnu 02 Feb 13 - 05:42 PM
framus 02 Feb 13 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,mg 02 Feb 13 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Feb 13 - 08:22 PM
JennieG 02 Feb 13 - 08:37 PM
Bobert 02 Feb 13 - 08:39 PM
Jeri 02 Feb 13 - 08:44 PM
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Rapparee 02 Feb 13 - 09:23 PM
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GUEST,999 02 Feb 13 - 09:59 PM
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number 6 14 Feb 13 - 10:36 PM
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Subject: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 05:01 PM

Are we all musical snobs at some point? Is there a point at which it is justified? What do you think musical snobbery is?


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: gnu
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 05:42 PM

I am not one. I just don't associate with people who groove on Baptist hymns. It ain't a musical thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: framus
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 07:11 PM

I must admit I can't stand modern pop, and DO rather think it has little musical merit. But then, I'm awfully old!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 07:32 PM

everyone has a right to assembly and that includes music you like..if you don't like it you don't have to listen to it. you do not need to make snooty comments etc...but you are under no obligation in my world at least to try to stand it if it hurts your ears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 08:22 PM

Can't a person dislike something without being called a snob? Music is complicated, and a person's inborn response is even more complicated. Much of it can't even be verbalized.

My husband doesn't like beets. Does that make him a vegetable snob?


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: JennieG
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 08:37 PM

To answer the original question, I would say that musical snobbery is denigrating other people's taste in music. It doesn't matter if we all share each other's taste or not.....heavens, the world would be a dull place indeed if we all liked the same things, whether it be music, books, films, anything at all......but just because someone doesn't share your taste doesn't make them better or lesser than you.

I like many music genres although rap music leaves me cold, as does doof-doof head banging music, and modern so-called 'country' music does nothing for me at all - but you may like them, and that's quite OK.

Now I am off to play my ukulele.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 08:39 PM

I am a complete musical snob... I mean, 100% USDA Choice...

I hate bad music!!!

B;~)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 08:44 PM

At what point does what you call "personal preference" become what others call "snobbery"?

I read the question earlier, and tried to figure out what I thought, because it's not just music. When does not wanting to date people because they look a certain way, are from certain a place, like things you don't like, become snobbery? When does preferring wine to beer, or silk to polyester become snobbery? We all have things we like better than other things.

I think "musical snobbery" is when a person's dislike of certain music use it as license to ridicule other people for what they prefer. To belittle them or their music. To bitch, whine, piss, and moan about it. It's an enormous turn-off. Maybe it's a way of bonding with like-minded jerks, but I hate it. I'd rather not hear about what these people don't like.

And a logical extrapolation is, if you think it's acceptable to ridicule the music someone likes, you probably ridicule all sorts of things about other people.

(The word "you" isn't aimed at anyone in particular.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 08:47 PM

It took me a long time and a lot of words to say, basically, what JennieG said so concisely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Janie
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 09:01 PM

What Jenny and Jeri said. Because I don't care for some music doesn't make it bad music. Just makes it music I don't care for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 09:23 PM

I'm not a musical snob, like Bobert I enjoy good music, from blues to baroque.

But as for musical instruments, well, you always hear about the "last trumpet" and Joshua knocking down the walls of Jericho with trumpets, and trumpets being used to announce royalty. I mean, can you even imagine the Day of Judgement being announced by the Last D7minor? Has any great leader been announced by the sound of saxophones? We all know that the trumpet is THE instrument, right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 09:37 PM

No, Rap... I just said I hate bad music...

I love good music... Doesn't much matter style... I can tell bad opera from good opera... Bad rap from good...

Just a matter of listening to enough to hear it correctly...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,999
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 09:59 PM

I like music and voices that are in tune.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 10:38 PM

I was just watching piano guys you tube videos. My son must have linked you tube to his facebook since a message board appeared over my video that said
:# Three friends have just unfriended you#:


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: number 6
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 11:07 PM

I'm a music snob

I admit it

but

could someone define what 'bad' music is?

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 11:21 PM

I feel we are entitled to dislike any music we want to. However, it's when we slag off every genre but a certain one that I consider musical snobbery. I'm a jazz musician primarily and I have played with people for whom jazz is the only music ever made that has any value at all. Everything else is an abomination. I hate that. Jazz ain't everything.

Then there are snobs within the genre. I have played with Dixieland musicians who intensely hate any other jazz and refuse to play it. Now, I love good Dixieland but, damn it, there's way more to jazz than just that stuff. Anyone who can tell me that Charlie Parker or Ornette Coleman or Bill Evans or Oscar Peterson or Ray Brown are an abomination to jazz are beyond being a jazz snob, that's being the hemorrhoids on a jazz snob's asshole.

However, with that said, I feel as an earlier poster--I cannot stand modern pop or country. I feel they make absolutely no contribution to culture. Yes, that's a subjective thing but I'm hard-pressed to see any value here. Country, for example, has become a one-hit wonder factory. In country, you get to have one hit and then you shut up and sit down. How can you make a contribution to anything when you can't grow as an artist? The exception appears to be Taylor Swift who is the least listenable of any country artist I have heard in the last few years--in my opinion, you don't have to agree.

Here's the thing, a lot of country fans are snobs. Not all of them. But many of them are. It turns out a lot of these people know next to nothing about Bob Wills or Hank or the Delmore Brothers or Spade Cooley or Skeets McDonald or Patsy Cline. Those that know of them, don't even like them and admit they would never buy their music and yet they call themselves country fans. But they've admitted they only like one particular subgenre of country and the rest can go to hell. That's snobbery--period. It's like country music has been taken over by snobs. Ignorant morons proud of their ignorance.

It's like this guy I encountered online about a year ago. He tells me he is a rockabilly fan. Great, I said, I love rockabilly. I mentioned Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran and the Johnny Burnette Trio and Janis Martin. He responds with, "I don't listen to any of that. I only listen to modern British rockabilly."

"Not even Elvis? There wouldn't even be rockabilly without him."

"No."

Now, it's one thing to say you PREFER modern British rockabilly (which I have nothing against) but to tell me it's ALL the rockabilly you listen to and you have no interest in the American artists that started it all or in the modern rockabilly of America or any country outside of Britain IS snobbery. You can't call yourself a rockabilly fan when you are as ignorant of most of that genre as someone who has no interest at all in rockabilly. To assume British rockabilly is all the rockabilly there is and the rest of it isn't worth your precious time to even give a cursory listen to presses the boundaries of musical snobbery and borders dangerously on total dipshitism.

Such people deserve to be ridiculed (which may make me a snob in the eyes of some posters here) except they are not worth the energy of doing so. I find them sad and pathetic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 04:00 AM

I play traditional tunes (had a ceilidh gig last night)

I play jazz (got a gig coming up this lunchtime)

I played 50s rock'n roll and some rockabilly (US & UK) for 13 years

I played New Orleans & Memphis soul'n funk for 15 years

I played in a blues band when I was in college

I sing and play at folk sessions and singarounds and in clubs

I played viola in the school orchestra when I was a kid

I played boogie-woogie piano in pubs in the days when many pubs had pianos

All good stuff. Snobbery, musical or otherwise, is losing perspective about the world around you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 05:46 AM

Keep trying Will, you'll find one you like eventually.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Mr Happy
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 06:03 AM

Like/ dislike, all entirely subjective & personal.

In our sessions if I didn't like something, I'll express it this way; 'I don't like that song, but you performed it very well' - goes down well, a bit of humour & doesn't offend anyone nor put them down


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 06:09 AM

Snobbery of any sort is pure arrogance and should be eshewed in others and conquered in oneself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 06:10 AM

eschewed!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 06:26 AM

Eshewed! Bless you, Eliza!

Al - that's the problem -I love 'em all! So much music - so little time... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: melodeonboy
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 06:41 AM

I've been told several times that I'm a musical snob or narrow-minded, primarily on the basis that I don't like pop music (new or old!). What's interesting is that those who made those comments would, for the most part, not entertain listening to the folk, blues cajun, African music, jazz et al that I listen to.

I had a rolling of the eyes and old-fashioned looks when I recently asked who Cheryl Cole was. Likewise when someone at work told me that they'd been to see Rihanna (correct spelling?) and I asked who she was (assuming that she was a mutual friend!).

The most pernicious kind of musical snobbery is the (inverted?) snobbery of the musical orthodoxy that is promoted on mainstream radio and television, and imposed on us in clothes shops, supermarkets and in the workplace. (Many years ago I did 12-hour night shifts in a plastics factory and had to endure non-stop night-time Radio 2; and I still bear the scars! :-) )

Slight thread drift, but ask yourself how many people today can listen to (and enjoy/appreciate) a song or piece of music without saying one, some or all of the following:

I like it because...

1. I really fancy that bloke/girl in the band.
2. their music video was great.
3. I've heard it so many times on the radio that I know all the words and I can sing along to it.
4. I heard it so many times during my formative years, and it reminds me of my youth.
5. their costumes are really cool.
6. I saw them on that glitzy telly programme and they were judged to be really good.
7. I saw him/her/them on telly and I got emotionally involved in their private lives.
8. it was on that really cool TV advert that they've been showing over and over again.
9. they play music that sounds like all the other music I listen to, so it's nice and easy.
10. I really liked the dancing.
11. I know they're good 'cos they play them on the radio all the time and they appear on telly.

Yeh, I know, I've said more than enough already, but it might give some of you food for thought!

(And add to the list if you like!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 07:33 AM

I think musical snobbery does exist, but perhaps not in the way that has been expressed above.

The musical snobs, to me, are those who like only opera, or classical music, and seek to make them their exclusive property, considering the bulk of their fellow humans unfit to be allowed into their territory.

We've all seen them! The dinner suited, pretentious purchasers of £80 seats at the Royal Opera House or the Albert Hall.

The antithesis of those with a genuine love of the music for its own sake, who inhabit events like last night of the Proms.

They are analogous to the wine snob, who is only interested in the greatest and most expensive vintages, forgetting the fact that the only decent wine is the one the taste of which you most enjoy, whether it cost £100, or £5 per bottle.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 07:53 AM

You mean there are people who can't tell that opera and symphonic music are more complex and demanding to compose and perform than hip-hop and trad?

No way. If so, they're beyond hope.

I'm not crazy about opera, but even I know that much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 09:43 AM

"I cannot stand modern pop or country. I feel they make absolutely no contribution to culture."

That may or may not be true, DDT, but I truly doubt any of us got into music because we wanted to make a contribution to culture. As with Will Fly, I have played a few 'types' of music (certainly not to the extent he has), some to skillful levels, some less so. At the end of the day when I look at the stuff I've done, what remains is the fun I had doing it and the connections with other musicians of a similar mind. I like what I like. I don't 'diss' music I don't care for, but I won't tolerate junk for long either. That said, the only thing that will drive me from a room/concert hall is a slightly flat/sharp voice or piercingly loud instrument.

When a person says to me in reference to something I've done--whether it's "that's awesome" or "that sucks"--I tend to say 'thanks for your input'. When someone says "that's good" or "that's bad" I tend to think and sometimes say, "and how the hell would you know (the difference)?"

I think that when people like or dislike music it's a choice they have made based on what they're used to or have come to appreciate in the course of their lives. And I ain't about to argue with that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:21 AM

I think it's a question of time.    You can probably teach yourself to appeciate any number of genres--but it might not be worth the trouble.

I have to say I was curious about the current top 40, so I listened to the whole list at the end of the year a few years ago.    It was, sorry to say. a hard task.    I'm afraid I don't want to dedicate any more time to any of that stuff. Not even tempted--though there's a relatively recent group called Train which has some wonderful stuff (maybe since they have a wicked sense of humor, which hugely raises any kind of music in my book).

I love--passionately in fact--a long list of types of music, including orchestral, chamber, jazz, country, bluegrass, doo-wop, other early rock, old counry, even some recent country (a lot of of Brad Paisley, some George Strait, some Miranda Lambert,   I think there are even a few Taylor Swift songs, though please don't make me swear to that), a lot of folk (except navel-gazing writers), some opera (though very few arias), Balkan, Sephardic, madrigals, Sacred Harp, sea chanteys, gospel, spirituals. And the list goes on. Not all of every type.    Hot jazz, rather than cool jazz, for instance.

I'm sorry for people who don't appreciate classical music, for instance, since I get so much pure joy and pleasure from lots of it.   But I think it's just the luck of the draw; I was lucky enough to grow in a house where I heard a lot of it.   

I'll have to admit the only rap song I really like is "Cicada Serenade", which ain't exaxtly the quintessential rap song. I wonder if you grow up listening to a lot of rap, is it really as wonderful experience as some of these other types.   I doubt it--subjects aren't really very uplifting, it seems--but who knows.

But life is too short to inflict music on yourself that you really can't stand.   If this be treason to the folkie ideal of tolerance, then make the most of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: number 6
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:24 AM

I strongly dislike reggae, new country, and rap ... it's not that I think it is below me, or some inferior genre of music, because they are not 'inferior' ... it's just that I do not like it.

I disagree 999 ... pop, country, reggae, rap as all in all music they do conribute to a culture ... it's just may not be your culture.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:33 AM

Just because certain types of music are 'more complex and more difficult to compose' doesn't necessarily make them superior, or more enjoyable. I personally like the cora and the balofon, and simple African music played softly on them is a joy to me. But anyone could play them, it isn't complex music. Neither is music by the Baka (as in Baka Beyond, a mixed-nationality group playing in the style of people once called 'pygmies'.) But I adore Carmen too, and Beethoven's 5th piano concerto. I like Morris music, folk singing, choral works by Handel, and Thomas Tallis, George Formby, The Singing Postman, R&B, Hip-Hop, etc etc. None of these is 'better' or 'worse' than another, or 'more skilled' or 'too basic', just lovely and uplifting each in their own way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:35 AM

"appreciate"    "as some of these other types?"   "exactly"

Also love early music, especially a cappella.    And a rather large collection of hymns. Lots of parodies. And Western swing--how could I forget that?

Probably some other types.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:44 AM

Good on you, Eliza - my kinda gel! Come on down to Sussex and indulge in a little Thomas Tallis mixed in with George Formby - oh yes! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:47 AM

Reggae is great stuff.   

It might be interesting to have somebody tell us about the contribution of hip-hop to culture.    It seems to reflect the dregs.   Doesn't seem to be worth the time to try to get to know it.   I suppose you might say something similar about a lot of recent classical music (which sometimes seems to revel in dissonance for its own sake.)   Sure it reflects the hopelessness and chaos of modern civilization, but I think we already get enough of that in the news--don't need it reflected in music.

YMMV


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:51 AM

Tallis mixed in with Fornby. Mixed how close?   Is that Tallis on ukulele?   That would be amazing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:54 AM

Ron, if we can do it, we will... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:57 AM

By the way, how much more musical can a topic be?   What's this thread doing slumming it below the line?


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:59 AM

Ron - there's a class of people in society who are trying to find a voice. They're the people who go for hip-hop, rap, gangsta - call it what you will - because it's their way of articulating what they feel and why they feel it. Doesn't matter what you and I think - if this is the voice of urban, black youth, then this is the voice of urban black youth. It has its value for those who make it and listen to it.

It may have no significance for us - certainly not for me - but we should recognise that it has significance...


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: selby
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 11:02 AM

I think musical snobbery does exist,it appears when people think they are supporting the ARTS, these people have usually very little back up but talk at length believing they are quite knowledgeable.
I believe in their musical genres there are people like us that will give any music a fair hearing and make an informed opinion. In the UK we struggle with the mass media who likes to ridicule folk music and dance (although that tide is turning) so uninformed people jump on the bandwaggon.
Keith


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 11:03 AM

"I disagree 999 ... pop, country, reggae, rap as all in all music they do conribute to a culture ... it's just may not be your culture."

biLL, try reading what I said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Mr Happy
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 11:03 AM

If some of the stuff described above wasn't any good or lots of people didn't like it, there'd be no reason for it to exist.

Get into groups & discuss!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 11:10 AM

Will, both Fornby and Tallis were from Sussex?    To say the least, that would speak well for Sussex.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 11:14 AM

"I had a rolling of the eyes and old-fashioned looks when I recently asked who Cheryl Cole was. Likewise when someone at work told me that they'd been to see Rihanna (correct spelling?) and I asked who she was (assuming that she was a mutual friend!)."

I know. I don't know any of these new artists. Even when I do, I can't name a song they've done. Their music does to my brain what artificial food does to the body. There's no nourishment there.

And you're right that when you ask people what they like about that performer, you get about every manner of answer except something like: "It's superbly written and performed by an artist so innovative that he/she must hover on the edge of madness in an attempt to express a feverish, ecstatic vision that changes the way we look at country/hip-hop/pop." And you're never going to hear that because people don't listen to that stuff for any such reason. They like it because the lyrics reminded them of the first time they broke up with someone or because it has a "nice beat" (so does my drum machine--thousands of them--but nobody's rushing over to have it sign a recording contract).

Does that make me a musical snob? Some would say yes and others no. But, again, I feel I am entitled not to like this or that genre. Some said ridicule is part of the snobbery and I think that may be correct. I remember about 20 years ago, I was in a studio doing some classical stuff (I am classically trained, after all) and as I was packing up to leave these two rap guys walk in and start talking to the engineer. He liked jazz. They asked me what I liked and I said classical because I was doing almost exclusively classical stuff at the time. They immediately started making fun of classical music. I just stood there and looked at them. I don't like rap but I didn't make fun of it to their faces. When they left, the engineer was furious. "They had no right!" he said. "There's nothing wrong with classical music. They're full of shit. I like classical music way more than rap."

So snobs can come in all genres, races and walks of life. It's not a one-way street.

We're not all going to like the same thing. But there should hopefully be some overlap that we can agree on rather than, "If you don't like what I like then you're a joke."


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 11:17 AM

Alas, Ron - George Formby was from Lancashire, and Thomas Tallis was probably from London.

But I could imagine owd George joining in with "Spem In Alium" - a religious piece for 4 separate choirs and ukulele...


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 11:23 AM

My brother was substitute teaching English -- a class on "Hamlet." The students were bored silly, of course.

Then he began discussing the "What a piece of work is man" part. He read it to them as rap ("It's just rhythmic prose," said he) and they began to take notice. By the end of the class they actually thanked him for giving them a new look at The Beard Of Avon!!

You can do this with any rhythmic speech. For example:

Let SPORUS tremble -- WHAT that thing of SILK
That mere white CURD of ASS'S milk
Satire or sense can SPORUS feel?
Who breaks a BUTTERFLY on a wheel?

And in the DOUBTFUL war, before he WON
The Latian REALM, and built the destin'd TOWN;
His banish'd gods RESTOR'D to rites DIVINE,
And settled sure SUCCESSION in his LINE,
From whence the RACE of ALBAN fathers come,
And the long GLORIES of majestic ROME.

"What GAT ye to your dinner, Lord Randall my SON?
What gat ye to your DINNER, my handsome young MAN?"
"I gat EELS boiled in broo: mother, make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' HUNTING, and fain wald lie DOWN."

How many ROADS must a MAN walk down
BEFORE they call him a MAN
And how many SEAS must a white dove SAIL
Before she SLEEPS in the SAND?

The problem seems to be in the words - poetry, after all, was meant to be spoken and rhythm was one way to remember the work. No, I don't care for rap. But I do like good poetry.

For your homework, turn into a rap format the complete "Iliad" -- in the original Greek. For extra credit do the same for either "Beowulf" or "Snorri's Saga."


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 11:45 AM

I think it says something disturbing if kids can't understand poetry without turning it into rap first. I would rather teach them to dismantle a Shakespeare sonnet to learn what it says and then have them do the same to their favorite rap song. THEN they are learning something. They might even learn that that rap song isn't saying a goddamn thing. On the other hand, they might find it's saying way more than they ever realized.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 01:17 PM

LOL Will Fly! You've conjured up in my head a delicious image of a 40-strong choir spread around Norwich Cathedral's nave (where I once heard Tallis's Spem In Alium to great effect) and George with his ukulele. "Speeeeeeeeemmmm in aaaaalllllii...I'm leaning on a lampost at the corner of the street..." Not to mention "Haaaaaalelujah! Haaa yew gotta a loight bwoy?" One could mix all sorts of genres to quite good effect. Personally I feel there's a lot of 'snobbery' going the other way, in that youngsters consider with utter contempt any other kind of music except their own. It's great to have favourites and to be completely carried away by them, but I can recommend just trying other sorts, you may begin to see why other folk like them so much. I absolutely love Pink, and Lady Gaga. And Adele. Not to mention Bach and Mozart. Why not? They're all excellent!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 01:40 PM

If you can get the attention of most students these days, well, you're a good teacher. If you can get them to understand what they are learning AND appreciate it, you're an excellent teacher.

How many students actually analyze what they listen to? For instance, here's one from my own school days:

"(Stop)
Oh yes, wait a minute Mister Postman
(Wait)
Wait Mister Postman

Please Mister Postman, look and see
(Oh yeah)
If there's a letter in your bag for me
(Please, Please Mister Postman)
Why's it takin' such a long time
(Oh yeah)
For me to hear from that boy of mine

There must be some word today
From my boyfriend so far away
Pleas Mister Postman, look and see
If there's a letter, a letter for me"

or

"That fateful night the car was stalled
upon the railroad track
I pulled you out and we were safe
but you went running back

Teen angel, can you hear me
Teen angel, can you see me
Are you somewhere up above
And I am still your own true love

What was it you were looking for
that took your life that night
They said they found my high school ring
clutched in your fingers tight"

It's not the words in those, God knows! But we also studied "good" poetry, and even memorized it! Shakespeare, Bryant, Browning, and others. I've forgotten the lyrics, except when a stray one crosses my mind, but I still can recite from "Macbeth."


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 01:44 PM

Tell Laura I Love Her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 01:49 PM

Tell Laura I need her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 01:50 PM

In my day (hundreds of years ago) we had to learn and recite many, many poems. We enjoyed it and of course they've stayed in our heads all this time. Meg Merilees, Charge of the Light Brigade, The Lady of Shalott, not to mention long quotes from most of Shakespeare's plays, particularly Othello. I'd like to put forward 'Ode to Billy Joe' as an example of superb music and haunting words. And The Toothbrush Song (Max Bygraves) Surreal!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 01:55 PM

How about "I told the witch doctor I was in love with you"? Superb lyrics! Or "Love Potion Number 9"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 02:00 PM

"Love Potion No. 9" (Lieber & Stoller) is a great song - I still perform it today!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 02:11 PM

"Ode to Billie Joe" does have great lyrics.

One poem I taught myself by 2nd grade was "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes because I loved it--no other reason. I suppose you could do it as a rap. Personally, I've never cared for any of the musical adaptations of the poem. None capture its "to-be-read-on-a-cold-winter's-night-by-the-fire-with-the-room-all-in-shimmerin-shiftin-shadows-with-a-hot-cup-o'-tea-while-the-wind-outside-is-a-howlin'" feel.

When I saw "Jabberwocky" way back when it first came out, I was surprised how many people in the theater could recite the poem along with the troubadour on the screen. Made me feel ashamed that I didn't know it, so I bought "Alice" and read through cover to cover. I can still recite poem from memory to this day (I just did it). I also remember how to interpret the opening an closing verses as it was explained to Alice.

I suppose you could do that as a rap too. Maybe someone should do that--make an album rap from all the great poetry in literature. Even do one of haiku with all sorts of cool Zen-like fx.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 02:23 PM

The only king of snobbery on the folkscene that really cuts through to me are the traddies. They sneer at everyone who doesn't do things in their style.

So the popularisers like the Spinners, Baez, the irish Country bands playing folksongs are sneered as not authentic. The same songs they are singing themselves. I can't understand the roots of their viciousness, just what they get out of slagging off someone like Roger Whittaker, Val Doonican or Daniel O'Donnel - who can communicate folksongs to thousands of people.

I think MORE folksong is the answer and everyone doing it needs ours support and encouragement.

The recent threads on Singing Together programmes just how an effort to disseminate folksong can awaken a love for folksong - however weird sounding the person doing it , is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 02:43 PM

Basically, this is about the difference between discrimination and prejudice.

I would hope that all musicians are able to discriminate between a good performance and a poor one. The problem comes about when that discrimination is clouded by prejudice, be it against a particular performer, or their style.

I would like to be able to say that I will listen to anything once, and then decide whether I like it or not. Having said that, I struggle to accept Disco and its spin offs.

Much of what could be said about rap - lots of volume, lots of rhythm, little or no melody, absolutely no harmony - could also be said about the most raw, traditional versions of shanties!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 03:00 PM

I enjoy shanties but not rap and it's not because I think that I'm supposed to like shanties. It's definitely visceral. I have a visceral liking for shanties and a visceral dislike of rap. It's not just a description that makes me like or dislike a song or a genre, it's something I feel inside and it's instant. I don't have to convince myself of anything. I either like it or I don't. Frankly, it's beyond my control. Snobbery lies in how we choose to deal with that visceral reaction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: number 6
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 03:21 PM

999 ... please accept my apologies .... I did not realize that quote was from that other person, not yours. Sometimes I read these posts here on the Madcat much too quickly. No excuse, I know.

If you really want 999 I will tell Laura that you love her

whoops ... I now realize you are just quoting a title from a song ... in that case I will not tell Laura that you love her.

biLL ... ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 03:26 PM

biLL, never a problem between us even when we don't see things the same way. But, thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 03:31 PM

Me? Snob?   Naaawww...

I agree with these opinions


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: pdq
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 03:35 PM

"One poem I taught myself by 2nd grade was "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes because I loved it--no other reason."

If you haven't heard Phil Ochs adaptation of "The Highwayman" you should try to find it. Very powerful.

He also did a pretty good job with Poe's "The Bells".


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 03:54 PM

"When you want genuine music--music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whisky, go right through you like Brandreth's pills, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose,--when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo!"

From "Enthusiastic Eloquence," San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle, 6/23/1865 by Mark Twain.

#################################

Love your sense of humour, Bill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 04:26 PM

999 ..*smile* I appreciate that... It took me, oh, maybe 10 minutes out of my busy life to find those, scan them and post them...I'd hate to think it was wasted...

(I think that cartoonists may be the best mirror for we humans to really look at ourselves)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 04:54 PM

A few years before I got interested in folk music, I took some singing lessons. I knew a couple of really good singers in high school and a couple of friends were heavily into opera. I listened to a batch of it, got a clue as to what was going on, and I still love it.

But a few years later, I discovered folk songs and ballads, and that's what I really wanted to sing.

My singing voice is not operatic. But it's fairly smooth, I sing on pitch, and I make sure my audiences can hear the words. I've always felt that my role—to borrow from Richard Dyer-Bennet*—is that of a modern day minstrel rather than that of a folk singer. I was born and raised in a city, my parents were both health professionals, I've never lived up in the hills, on a farm, or in a rural area, and I learned most of my songs, not from my toothless grandmother, but from song books, records, and other singers.

In addition, since I sing a wide variety of songs, I use a classic guitar, which is versatile enough to accompany anything from six-hundred year old ballads and songs to modern songs (even though I once had someone tell me "You can't play folk music on nylon strings!"). And I took a batch of classic guitar lessons. Also, the clothing I wear when I perform is appropriate to the venue, i.e., when I do a concert in a regular concert hall, I wear a dark suit and tie, and in a coffee house, I am more casually dressed in shirt (often a cotton turtle neck) and slacks.

I don't dress down because I sing folk songs.

I have had snide shots taken at me by occasional folk singers who take on the role of a "folk" to reflect the fact that they sing folk songs, even though their background is just as urban as mine is, and almost seem to be trying to hide the fact. They seem to think that one should not sing folk songs unless one wears scuzzy clothes, does one's darnedest to roughen up their voice, mush-mouth the words and both talk and sing in a phony dialect, and generally sound like they just rode into town with a wagonload of turnips. And a couple of them have felt it incumbent upon them to look down their noses at me because I don't.

Now, I got a real snort out of the New Lost City Ramblers when I saw them years ago. They did old-timey country string band music and songs, and on stage they wore plaid shirts and bib overalls, and clowned around a lot. But in addition to being darned good, they presented themselves as an act. They weren't trying to convince anyone that they were anything but three city boys who were performing country music.

I've found the all-too-frequent "folky snob" just as snobbish as the classical music buff who looks down his nose at folk music in general and admonishes me for wasting my time and talent with something so "trivial."

Don Firth

*I don't imitate Dyer-Bennet. In fact, I couldn't. He is a light tenor and I am a bass-baritone, and I take issue sometimes with the way he does certain songs. I do, however, try to emulate his approach (as a professional, a minstrel) to the music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 05:02 PM

The approach I'm talking about:

Richard Dyer-Bennet was quoted as saying, "No song is ever harmed by being articulated clearly, on pitch, with sufficient control of phrase and dynamics to make the most of the poetry and melody, and with an instrumental accompaniment designed to enrich the whole effect."

I agree. One can do that without trying to imitate him.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 05:40 PM

Life is too short to drink bad wine or listen to bad music... Guess that makes me a snob???

Hey, let's get real here... I appreciate good music... Even genres I'm not generally into... I know if someone is messing up even if it's opera... And I know if they ain't messin' up... Guess that comes from listening to lots of music...

The P-Vine and I were at this monstrously large antique/collectables mall yesterday and they were playing "old time" (not bluegrass) music... Well, the P-Vine is a classically trained singer and it was really bugging her... She kept complaining that the folks were off key... I tried to explain that a lot of mountain music is sung in modal keys but that didn't make her happy... She just hasn't been exposed and therefore not able to appreciate old time music...

I donno... I guess that makes her kinda snobbish...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: pdq
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 06:07 PM

I believe the intonation problems you here in Old Time Music are from the untempered scale.

The traditional English Folk Music and Scottish fidde tune tradition probaly predates the tempered scale used in European "classical" music since about the time of Bach.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 06:09 PM

Does she have perfect pitch? That could really make some music tough.

I like what I like, and there may be many reasons why. I first heard Cajun music on the folks show out of WRPI in Troy, NY (Jacqui Alper hosted, back in 1973 or something). I thought it was the most horrible, gross, uncool music I'd ever heard. Disgusting. Cut to 1987, and I was trying to learn how to play it, because it was the most amazing stuff I'd heard. (Totally irrelevant 'BTW': this was about the same year I heard a show and wrote down the name of a group I'd really liked: "Steel Ice Band".)

Music I don't like --IF it's well done-- is usually music I don't understand. I don't understand rap, but there's one song I love. I don't understand jazz, but I'd never say it's all bad just because I don't get it. I'm not a big fan of bluegrass, but I can get into it sometimes. I can't think of anything I loathe 100% of. Bad musicians are closest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 06:17 PM

Here is an example:

Don Byron on Andy Statman

the snide stuff starts at 9:21.

He can't even mention Statman by name, in the same way that Al Whittle hates Martin Carthy so much he can only number him as one of an anonymous gang of "traddies".

Bugger him. Listen to this:

Andy Statman and Zev Feldman


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 07:48 PM

On the contrary I like Martin's work very much. Have several of his records - two DVD's. I've had him stop in my house.
Seen him play innumerable times. Have one setting on my variax - tuned to his Famous Flower of Serving Men tuning - C tuning.
I just don't think that's the only way to sing folksongs. And actually - neither does Martin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Joe_F
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 08:17 PM

I suppose being reactionary counts as one kind of snobbery. For me, something dreadful happened to popular music about the time I was born (1937). It probably had something to do with the shift from a hit being a song that sold a lot of sheet music to being one that sold a lot of records.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 08:32 PM

Just because ya do or don't like something is not a measure of snobbishness. However, when ya say shit like this or that music is better than this or that music just because you think so, then there's a problem. IMO, Mahler was one of the world's geniuses of music. I do not care who does or does not agree with me. Nor do I care who does or does not agree that Dylan is a great song writer. Nor do I care who does or does not agree that October Winds is a great song with a beautiful melody, or Silent Night or, or, or. These things are a matter of personal taste and not something I would wish to or would argue in public.

I like many pasta dishes. Some are better than others I suppose. But I also like Kraft Dinner on occasion, and I don't really care who does or doesn't like it. However, that's speaking for myself. If YOU came to supper, I'd find out what you like and cook that for you because then what YOU liked would be important to me.

I would not go into a trad club and sing because I know very little about trad or the music. I have heard some wonderful singers do great songs that I have enjoyed very much. I have also heard some who should have taken up needle point instead of their chosen art.

I dislike arrogance and people who decide what is good or bad. You don't like it, don't stay. Door's over there. That's what I suggest to snobs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 08:45 PM

Tell Laura not to cry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 08:47 PM

I happen to own a copy of the Duke of Bedford's "Book of Snobs."

Me? If I don't like I don't listen to it. And as Amos knows, I can deliberately disgrace and destroy a song (as I did one night at Getaway). But you can only do that if you love the music -- like Victor Borge or Peter Schickele (PDQ Bach).


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 08:53 PM

Ditto, Ron.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 05:05 AM

I watched a fascinating documentary two nights ago about Ravi Shankar, the sitar player of great renown. Now Indian music is intriguing, it has semi-tones and quarter-tones, so it seems to slide up and down seductively. Absolutely wonderful stuff to lose oneself in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Mooh
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 06:52 AM

I think my outward appearance to someone who is uninformed about my tastes and experience may be one of snobbery, yes. If all one knew of me was the celtic folk festival performances one might unreasonably assume that was all there was to me and that I was closeminded to other music forms. Wrong.

In the course of my work I have to teach a wide variety of musical styles, some not really to my liking, but all get my attention and honest effort for the sake of student progress and success. If we are to encourage students to play music we must accommodate their tastes. Those tastes will change, widen, and evolve anyway. I can't afford to be a snob, not only would it lessen me as a person and teacher, it would reduce my income and limit my own possibilities.

Yesterday morning found me singing in the church choir, the afternoon found me practicing celtic tunes (guitar/flute), the evening would have found me jamming classic rock with some old friends if the weather had been better. Today I will teach some guitar lessons in pop (likely stuff like One Direction), classical, a jazz tune or two, ukulele, and some songwriting. One highlight is teaching a severely disabled man anything at all. You want to cut snobbery to the quick? Teach the extrememly mentally challenged.

I find way more musical snobbery in young male metal guitar players than in any other genre. These folks can be very closeminded and disparaging. They usually soften their stance as they mature, usually as they follow their heros doing the same.

It's too hard to learn new things with one's nose in the air.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 07:09 AM

""You mean there are people who can't tell that opera and symphonic music are more complex and demanding to compose and perform than hip-hop and trad?

No way. If so, they're beyond hope.

I'm not crazy about opera, but even I know that much.
""

If that was not a direct response to my post Lighter, then ignore this.

If it was a direct response you missed my point entirely.

I was talking about those who try to establish exclusive ownership of those genres by pricing and/or embarrassing what they would call the plebs out of participation.

Think Glyndebourne, for which a "Right Honourable" prefix to one's name, or a foreign diplomatic position are prerequisites for having any real chance of getting tickets.

Disliking, or liking, certain genres is not a definition of snobbery, even if one is crass enough to think that one's dislike makes a genre crap.

A snob is one who believes that the rest of the world is too stupid to understand or participate in his chosen genre (whichever one that is) and should therefore be kept out.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 11:06 AM

"visceral dislike of rap"    Well, it seems to me that can be seen as very well justified in large part.

First of all, anybody interested in melody is out of luck.    Melody is hugely important to me (and others, I suspect). Too bad for us.

Then there's subject matter:    misogynistic lyrics, attacks on the police, glorification of weapons and crime--and to top it off, foul language.   There are exceptions on the subject matter issue, but in general that's what it is.

I mean, what's not to like?    How could anybody object?


So, fine, lots of ballads glorify crime and attack authority.   Na und? Actually, the criminal often repents at the scaffold;   the ballads are often quite moralistic.   So, again, there may be exceptions;    I don't think Sam Hall is sorry for his deeds.   Nor the main protagonist in
"Adieu, adieu". And there's lots of misogyny in folk.

OK, well if these had throbbing bass tracks, no melody, and were loaded with scatalogical language, I don't think many of us would rave about them either.

For rap, my benediction would be taken from "Fiddler on the Roof".   Is there a blessing for   commercial rap music?   Of course. May God bless and keep it---far away from us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 11:59 AM

RE glyndebourne....I hate that kind of sterotyping, that all who go there are upper crusty snobs....I go..I am neither rt.honourable nor rich, I just happen to like opera. I also like Folk, Jazz, Blues..all kinds of music as long as it is well played or sung.
The real snobs are those who equate opera and classical music lovers with elites..it is a narrow and infuriating point of view.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 01:01 PM

Maybe it's more of a UK thing-- a heightened sense of class consciousness?   It doesn't bother me if those who are fans of opera and classical music in general are thought to be elites.    Why should I care what people who hold that opinion think? I can converse knowledgeably on early rock, doo-wop, country, bluegrass, western swing, folk, sea chanteys, etc.--since I love a lot of it--in addition to classical music.

I wouldn't have much to say to somebody who thought that rap--or folk-- is the only form of music worth listening to--though a lot more to a folkie than to a rap addict. I'd just know that person is depriving himself or herself of a lot of pleasure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 01:12 PM

It bothers me if they are thought to be elites..because it is a form of stereotyping that is railed against by most thinking people. Frankly, I am sick and tired of being referred to as an elitists because I like certain things...its a bore and is usually perpetrated by people of some considerable ignorance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 01:19 PM

I think Mooh has it right when he says,"If we are to encourage students to play music we must accommodate their tastes."

I have run across too many music students who had bad instructional experiences because their teacher used their position to impose their own musical tastes. These teachers don't understand that most people want to learn to play a particular sort of music because they want to be a part of the community that listens to it.

As people get older, they tend to recognize that there are broader, more diverse communities out there, that they want to be a part of.
As music teachers, our challenge is to give them skills that they can build on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 01:30 PM

Oh, and for the record, I know a lot of people who create both pop and hip-hop/rap music. Don't any of you kid yourselves; this is well crafted music, performed and created by highly talented and highly skilled people. It may not be your cup of tea, but it speaks to millions of people, deal with it however you may...


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 01:43 PM

But people who stereotype are often just showing their own ignorance.   So let them do it--though I think my description of rap is not far off the mark.

At any rate, if we are thought elitists since we like classical music, we can see it as sour grapes---and as I said, we are actually quite lucky to be able to appreciate classical music; it has to do with the environment we were brought up in.


Just like we are really, really lucky to have grown up in an era of such fantastic pop music--especially 1956 to about 1980 (though to include disco may be stretching the definition of "fantastic pop music" beyond recognition.)    But listening to the top 40 of the year a few years ago sure drove home the point that our pop music was light years beyond the current crop.

OK, yes, that's what our parents probably said. And in fact, in my view, they were right---the best pop music ever was 1920's through 1940s.   Depression and war, for some reason, brought out the best in pop music--wit, sophisticated lyrics in general, heartfelt sentiments, and wonderful melodies. Yeah, I know about Mairzy Doats--exception that proves the rule.   But if you doubt it, check the list of the top 40 for any year in the 30s or 40s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: pdq
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 01:46 PM

"... hip-hop/rap music. Don't any of you kid yourselves; this is well crafted music, performed and created by highly talented and highly skilled people."

Fine, but fans of this stuff can listen to it on earphones.

Anyone who blasts any noise into my house that is loud enough to make the dog throw-up on the carpet should be jailed (or worse).


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 01:46 PM

"well-crafted music". Right.   Anything you say.

It sells. I don't think being well-crafted is the goal.

And as I said, melody is a bit lacking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 02:03 PM

I'm glad no one has seen it is as necessary for this thread to be shifted up into the music section. It's a good example of sonmthing that set me to start this thread just now, a discussion that straddles the two halves of the Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 02:10 PM

Without meaning to sound condescending, Ron, what you or I think doesn't really figure in any of this. As to the melody business, it's dance music, and as you know, in many cultures, traditional dance music is often played on percussion instruments only, so, in that sense, you're actually getting a bit extra.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 02:39 PM

I'm glad no one has seen it is as necessary for this thread to be shifted up into the music section. It's a good example of sonmthing that set me to start this thread just now, a discussion that straddles the two halves of the Mudcat.

I don't understand why this thread is below the line. It has a BS tag but I don't think that it is in any way borderline. It is about music and people's attitude to it. It belongs up top.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 03:01 PM

And it's pulled in a whole bunch of people who might well have missed it above the line, and they have carried out a civilised discussion that touches on other aspects of prejudice and snobbery.

This kind f thing isn't just about music, it's also about all kinds of other things. The music is   A way f finding examples. Books, plays, films, the way people dress and speak...


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 03:14 PM

Doug--absolutely.   That's what I said earlier.




"percussion instruments only"...." a bit extra"

This bears an amazing resemblance to grasping at straws--or lipstick on a pig.    Look, in rap, there is no melody.

Therefore for those of us partial to melodies, something is lacking.   Plain and simple.

And the lyrics therefore bear an even large burden than usual   Please give us all the lyrics to a rap song which in your view is "well-crafted", since this is supposedly a strong suit for rap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 03:15 PM

"larger burden"


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 03:22 PM

This kind f thing isn't just about music, it's also about all kinds of other things.

Look at the thread title. It is not about snobbery in general but specifically refers to music. Thread drift may well bring in other aspects but it doesn't change the fact that this is primarily a music thread and belongs up top.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 03:38 PM

Amen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 04:20 PM

Well if you go by the title people put on threads,,,    About half the music threads would be shifted down here.

It's convenient having two sets of threads, because before it happened the fact that BS threads tended to involve people batting back replies much quicker than the more music related ones. That gave a completely false impression that there were more threads like that.   But convenience shouldn't compel us to inconvenience all the people who found it convenient to post to this while it was below the line.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 04:43 PM

Both the title and the content are obviously about music. To allege anything else is willful blindness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 04:57 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 05:00 PM

Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead."
― Aldous Huxley,


"Consistency is the hallmark of the unimaginative."
― Oscar Wilde


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 07:20 PM

"But listening to the top 40 of the year a few years ago sure drove home the point that our pop music was light years beyond the current crop."

It can also be exaggerated though as to how great things were 40 years ago. Lot of good stuff about then but a lot of less impressive stuff too. We've been watching the old repeats of TOTP since they stared showing them last year at 1976. Skip through most of it as it is pretty dire. Plus there is some good stuff about now too. Just because it doesn't get in the charts doesn't mean it isn't there. Kids nowadays also have easy access to so much. Much more than we did. They can go onto youtube, napster or whatever and listen to all the 60s and 70s stuff etc - and many do. They aren't all just listening to rap or dubstep. My own 17 year old son seems to be playing mostly early 70s Van Morrison, mid 60s Dylan and anything by Bruce Springsteen at the moment. What I've noticed though is it doesn't work asking him to listen to things. He likes to discover them. May seem absurd to us that someone just suddenly discovers something like Neil Young - but to them it is all new. I was kind of the same. No-one in my house played classical music but for some reason one day I bought a recording of Holst's The Planets and was blown away. To me it was new.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 08:11 PM

Snobbery is not about taste. It's about feeling superior to others. There are many types of music I don't like, but I don't feel I'm in any way superior to those who do like them. I've just had a different set of life experiences than they have, and those experiences have led me to like particular styles of music. If I'd been in my high school band, I'd probably like brass instruments instead of thinking they should all be melted down and turned into guitar strings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 08:27 PM

If you start at 1976, I'd certainly agree a good portion of the pop hits are pretty dire.   The best years were before 1976.

We've been over this before.   For my money the best year for pop music in the rock era was 1966.   In the US charts that year were big hits by the Beatles, Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Lovin' Spoonful, Supremes, 4 Tops, Temptations, Marvelettes, Miracles, Mamas and Papas, Dionne Warwick, Peter and Gordon, Peter Paul and Mary, etc. All in that one year. And no doubt I've left some out. Even some interesting novelty songs like Winchester Cathedral, and Lovin' You Has Made Me Bananas. And a lot of it was surprisingly mature in any number of ways.   Peter Paul and Mary's offering was in fact mocking some of the others.

There were good songs after 1966, sure, but I'd posit that that the sheer wealth and variety of good stuff peaked in 1966 and began a slow decline. The influence of drugs didn't help--it seemed starting in 1967 that it was awfully easy to snow a drug-addled public with mindless repetition and twisting dials in a studio.

And the 1920's through 1940's were even better than any year in the rock era--probably for the reason I cited.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 08:39 PM

And by the way, congratulations for discovering classical music on your own.   The more who come to it, the better, no matter what route they take to get there.

Some of us were lucky enough to grow up with it--but as I said, that's just luck.    For me all the Beethoven symphonies, all the Brahms symphonies, Symphonies 3, 4, and5 by Mendelssohn,and most of the Tchaikovsky symphonies, as well all the Beethoven piano concertos, lots of Mozart piano concertos, all the Mozart violin concertos--- and a huge host of other classical music--- are old friends.   And you can't have too many friends.

If somebody says I'm a snob for loving so much classical music, somehow I can live with that--it's their loss that they don't like classical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 08:45 PM

I can't take Wagner, but I'm not daft enough to think I should despise those who do. I go along with the man who wrote "Wagner's music is much better than it sounds". The essential element in snobbery is not that you dislike some aspect of another person, but that you feel superior to them because of this difference.

And the snobbery is directed at the person rather than the cultural artefact. I don't think it is snobbish, for example, to despise The Sun, or in America, perhaps Fox News ( I go by reputation), but it would be snobbery to despise the readers or viewers. (Detesting them might be a different matter. It might be wrong, but it wouldn't be snobbery.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 08:45 PM

I can't take Wagner, but I'm not daft enough to think I should despise those who do. I go along with the man who wrote "Wagner's music is much better than it sounds". The essential element in snobbery is not that you dislike some aspect of another person, but that you feel superior to them because of this difference.

And the snobbery is directed at the person rather than the cultural artefact. I don't think it is snobbish, for example, to despise The Sun, or in America, perhaps Fox News ( I go by reputation), but it would be snobbery to despise the readers or viewers. (Detesting them might be a different matter. It might be wrong, but it wouldn't be snobbery.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 09:11 PM

Kevin, don't you even like the overtures--   Tannhaeuser, Lohengrin, Flying Dutchman?--or the choruses?    I love a lot of those.   Admittedly I'm sure it helps that I've been in orchestras which have played the overtures, and in choruses which have sung the Wagner choruses--an unearthly experience.

The arias, etc., which go on forever--I'm with you there. I think somebody also said Wagner has good minutes and awful quarter hours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 09:40 PM

You like what you like, Ron, I haven't noticed anyone calling you a snob for that.

I'd rather not post any hip-hop lyrics, you can find them if you want. You've made up your mind, and that's fine.   I like a lot of the music that you do, from the 50's and 60's, and could fill in a lot of names that you've forgotten. However, I think pop music is as good as it ever was, and that was then, and this is now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 09:56 PM

Sorry, "well-crafted" sticks in my craw.    I have never heard one rap song I would call well-crafted.   You tell us they exist. It's reasonable to ask for the lyrics to support the proposition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 10:00 PM

"First of all, anybody interested in melody is out of luck.    Melody is hugely important to me (and others, I suspect). Too bad for us.
Then there's subject matter:    misogynistic lyrics, attacks on the police, glorification of weapons and crime--and to top it off, foul language.   There are exceptions on the subject matter issue, but in general that's what it is."

Lack of melody and attacks on the police can also be applied to punk but I have a visceral attraction to punk. Then again, punk is not misogynist and certainly not racist. It's loud, abrasive and noisy but it is meant to express anger and disgust at the world as it is. I recognized elements of dada in punk right off and maybe that had something to do with why it appeals to me. But visceral reaction to punk is that it makes me want to thrash to it whereas my visceral reaction to rap is that it makes me want to turn it off.

I don't think we should lump rap and hip-hop together either. Hip-hop can actually be very melodic. The thing is that both rap and hip-hop are non-musical ways of making music. When you get musical people to play it, you get something musical but when unmusical hacks take a crack at it, you get something that sounds like unmusical hacks fucking around but they make a lot of money while doing it. Consequently, rap has become the reality TV of musical genres. Reality music. Maybe that's what they mean by "keepin' it real."

"So, fine, lots of ballads glorify crime and attack authority.   Na und? Actually, the criminal often repents at the scaffold;   the ballads are often quite moralistic.   So, again, there may be exceptions;    I don't think Sam Hall is sorry for his deeds.   Nor the main protagonist in "Adieu, adieu". And there's lots of misogyny in folk."

For me, it isn't so much the subject matter. It's how the music strikes me on a gut level with no intellection involved. It doesn't matter what rap's subject matter is, I simply don't like it at a gut level. For all the ideas and chances for innovation present in the music, they remain virtually unexplored and always will because the fans are too unsophisticated to accept innovation. They are perfectly content for it to remain the way it is. I'm not trying to be mean, I simply state a fact or at least what I believe to be a fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 10:23 PM

Now admittedly I'm not going to spend much time investigating this but "hip-hop can be very melodic"?   That is an interesting proposition.

I'm willing to dedicate about 3 minutes listening to a hip-hop song deemed to be melodic.    Can you cite one we can call up on YouTube? Please don't say we have to buy it.   That's unconstitutional--cruel and unusual punishment.


"loud, abrasive, and noisy" and "expressing disgust".   That would be" Won't Get Fooled Again", probably the best rock song ever.    But most punk doesn't seem to come close to that standard--a lot is just noise. If you want to protest, it helps if the listener can understand the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 10:38 PM

Over time the good stuff does tend to survive, and often we learn to recognise the good qualities in it that we may have missed at first, and the rubbish gets left by the way. Not wholly true, because there is always some good stuff that gets ignored t the time, and never gets picked up later. But I can't think of much rubbish that actually survives.

That applies to books, poems, even buildings.

Believing that stuff is rubbish, as opposed to not liking it, isn't in itself snobbish, though we should always be cautious about it. That applies even if it seems pretty popular. If we are right, it doesn't mean we are superior, just that we are lucky.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 11:12 PM

Kevin, don't you like any Wagner overtures? There are a lot of great melodies and stirring orchestrations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 11:15 PM

I like this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 11:21 PM

Some melodic hip-hop

In your face, motherfucker


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 11:27 PM

PDQ Bach is just great stuff.   I don't think New Horizons in Music Appreciation (Beethoven's 5th, first movement, broadcast as a baseball game) has ever been bettered in the field of musical humor.   That whole album, PDQ Bach on the Air, is just spectacular--skewering everything from Baroque music to sports broadcasters, to call-in shows. And the more you know about music, the more you appreciate PDQ Bach.


I was lucky enough to be able to play 2nd kazoo in a live performance of a PDQ Bach concert, with the Maestro conducting.    But the first kazoo got all the glory. Curses, foiled again.

Peter Schickele asked us what we normally wear for a concert.    We said tuxedos. But for this concert we wore bathrobes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 04:17 AM

There are only two types of music in the universe: the first is the music you can hear, the second is the music you can't. This is the same for each and every one of us. The wise man rejoices in the former, and leaves the latter well alone.

The wise man also understands this - that no one music is inherently superior to any other, for they are all the product of 50,0000 years of individual & collective creative Genius which gives rise to a plethora of Musical Traditions & Traditional Musics every single one of which provide the same subjective joy and empowerment to those who love and understand them but fail to engage the passions of those who don't.

Overall this phenomenon is called TASTE - it's about whatever floats your boat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 04:47 AM

Re Wagner. Sitting through the whole of The Ring would be too much for me, but the Ride of the Valkyrie ... When I'm angry or feeling low, I put this on in the car ( I have a Classic FM CD of favourites) at full belt. I have a good music system in my little Fiesta. My word, that piece of music has my heart leaping in two seconds. As to the latest 'Hits' I regularly catch up on them on TV and find myself liking many. I used to adore the fifties and sixties Hits, but today's stuff is just as good, only different. And the accompanying videos are often excellent. No-one surely could call me a 'snob' for liking a bit of Wagner, or 'low-class' for enjoying Ri-ri or Beyonce.
As to the folk who go to Glyndbourne, are people jealous of their wealth perhaps? Because many of them have a bob or two. That doesn't make them 'snobbish', just rich! What I don't like (and other posts have said the same thing) is any type of music performed badly. We all have a right to judge the merit of any performance. That isn't snobbery either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 05:31 AM

""It bothers me if they are thought to be elites..because it is a form of stereotyping that is railed against by most thinking people. Frankly, I am sick and tired of being referred to as an elitists because I like certain things.""

Try reading the whole of my posts, in which I made mention of the genuine lovers of Opera and Classical music, the kind of people who attend the Proms (of which, I am one and can well believe you are also).

My reference was to the kind of people who would close off, by price, access to what they consider their exclusive property. If you haven't seen and heard them, you haven't been looking or listening.

They are much in evidence when Arts Council funding is discussed, yet, no matter how much is awarded, seat prices remain way out of reach for people like me.

Don T.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 06:15 AM

well crafted rap - look no further than Yorkshireman Nic toczek. he has done Punk, rap, new wave - been a brilliant children's author and gigs all over the world. His work is routinely stolen by millionaire popstars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9nrSoYuEvg


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: JennieG
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 06:27 AM

The two quotes on Wagner were supposedly said by Rossini and by Mark Twain - Wagner

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 06:49 AM

A good introduction to Wagner is his "Rienzi" overture.

Alternatively, you could have Elmer Fudd singing "Kill the wabbit!"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 07:44 AM

Mark Twain was quoting when he put that sentence on paper in his autobiography. It's supposed to be from a man called Edgar Wilson Nye. Of course he might have taken it from someone else.

Any number of good quotes seem to come from people you've never heard of. They get attached to famous people, I imagine because that's a way of giving them some extra authority. There have been lots of great remarks by Mudcatters over the years. If any of them ever get to be famous quotes, don't expect them to be ascribed to the people who originated them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: John P
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 09:13 AM

People who denigrate music that others enjoy are snobs. All musical genres are rife with snobs. I hear it a lot from classical music fans, and from classical music non-fans. The jazz scene is terrible in this way. I hear it regularly on Mudcat about traditional folk music and about non-traditional folk music, and about folk music versus almost anything else. There's a lot of it going on in this thread.

I think the only way that I'm a musical snob is that I don't like to see people who aren't ready to be on stage getting up on stage anyway. There is often an attitude in the folk music community that everyone gets to share and that everyone needs to get a start some time. I disagree. I think people should stay at home until they're ready to perform. Yes, everyone needs to start performing sometime, and I'm very supportive of people who have done their homework and are showing it off for the first time. It's pretty easy to tell the difference between lack of stage experience and lack of sufficient practice (or skill) to be able to play the song competently and remember the words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 09:18 AM

Playing 2nd kazoo with PDQ Bach and the National Symphony in the Kennedy Center concert hall was a truly amazing experience.    He sure does have a great dry sense of humor--on or offstage.

And they gave me a contract (admittedly all the verbiage about the Kennedy Center having exclusive rights to my services in the area, in preference to any other venue which might be salivating at the prospect of getting my expertise, was crossed out. )    But they did pay me $100.    I can't recall what the arrangement with the musicians union was, but I was listed as a guest soloist.    Maybe if you're a guest soloist you don't have to be in the union.   I meant to frame the contract but forgot to do it.   But it's somewhere in the house.

And they gave me a fancy kazoo for the occasion.

It must have been really something to see when 180 choristers in bathrobes and carrying toothbrushes came on stage at the Concert Hall As a guest soloist, I unfortunately had to wear a tuxedo.   But that sacrifice was worth it--to put it mildly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 09:27 AM

"getting up on stage anyway".   I have to say I disagree. When somebody gets on stage for the first time, that person is bound to be nervous. (In fact that never goes away completely, not matter how many times you perform--it's just less).   So the performance is probably not going to be as good as it was at home.   I think anybody who wants to perform--and has memorized what he or she is doing-- should be supported.    If they are reading it off a sheet, my support goes down dramatically.   Sure it would be nice if everybody in a singaround carried off a song without a hitch.   But that's not a reasonable requirement.

As far as I'm concerned, more power to the beginners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 09:37 AM

no one says you have to like everything. But there are often virtues in music that you don't appreciate -its a bit like modern painting. It is an area of activity that someone has devoted their life to.

You may not get it. But it doesn't mean it is without substance and the artist is not deserving of a measure of respect.

How deep that measure is, is up to you. As the audience, you do the artist the courtesy of listening. How much courtesy he is entitled to, is also up to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 02:03 PM

'People who denigrate music that others enjoy are h

People who denigrate other people for the music they like are snobs. But saying you think some music is no good isn't snobbish, though it may well be unwise or plain wrong-headed.
............
'. It's pretty easy to tell the difference between lack of stage experience and lack of sufficient practice (or skill) to be able to play the song competently and remember the words.'

No it isn't much of the time. Inexperience makes people come to pieces sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 02:23 PM

"the artist"    Commercial rap singers.    Seems to be a contradiction in terms.

They're out for success, for all the trappings that go with it--and especially the money.
Tell me they are expressing their souls.    It's remarkable how conveniently expressing your soul can be done by denigrating women, attacking the police and glorifying weapons and crime. With no requirement to be able to carry a tune.    But you might be advised to carry an automatic weapon, since your fellow artists may take umbrage at something you say or do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 02:37 PM

"Cars in Cairo" is great. But it seems poetry rather than rap music--where's the dominating thudding bass? And the sense of humor plays a role--as I've noted before, humor goes a long way to offset any perceived sin.   Give me humor over outrage any day.


But unfortunately commercial "rap artists" seem to specialize in the latter, not the former.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 02:53 PM

Finally got around to "some melodic hiphop".    Much better than I expected.--mostly since the "artist" seemed to be parodying folk dancing, the song "Buffalo Gals", and hip-hop itself.   And as I just noted, for a sense of humor I'll forgive almost anything--certainly the use of the 4 minutes of my life I will never get back.

Also appreciated that the body count was relatively low.


But "melodic"?    Somebody who swallows that must have had his ears shot off in the war. Somehow I don't think Mozart, Schubert--or Gershwin--need be very concerned about the new competition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 02:58 PM

Ah yes, and "In your face" is wonderful.    The perfect self-parody.    I only hope it was meant to be so crude and stupid as to be a parody.   I trust this is so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 06:45 AM

People who denigrate music that others enjoy are snobs.

Idiots more like! This has to be one of the most depressing threads I've read here for too long a while. It's as Folk is a byword for cultural intolerance born, no doubt, from other deep-seated insecurities. Weird given that of all the diverse idioms of Western Popular Music, Folk is the most universally reviled. Go figure!

As for the dreaded 'Rap Music' (you guys kill me) the first time I heard this I wept at the perfectly crafted beauty of the thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6CJQ_hnm24


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 07:06 PM

Yup. Perfectly crafted, all right.   For somebody who can't do anything without a studio to twist dials in and who seems to have a problem with English--or at least keeps falling into the gutter.   Also interesting how the "tough guy" facade collapsed when Taylor Swift, of all people, caught him being (probably typically) stupid on some high-profile broadcast.

"made me cry"    The poster must be a pool of tears every time he turns on the radio.   Pobrecito.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 07:10 PM

Sorry, "I wept at...".    Certainly don't want to misquote the illustrious poster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 07:13 PM

This is of course on the off-chance that the poster was actually serious in what he said--not that sarcasm has ever been seen on Mudcat.   Of course not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 05:11 AM

Very serious. It's a serious matter - this persistent worrying over music by people who can neither understand, hear or appreciate it, but nevertheless feel themselves qualified to hate. Hip-hop has been the most vital, inspirational & energising idiom of popular music for the last 30 years & more - subjectively speaking that is - I first started hearing it around 1980 and have been constantly startled & delighted by it ever since. I tune into Tim Westwood and I'm amazed afresh each time. The Celebrities come and go, but that's in the nature of a collective Tradition of a music, and its people, which rolls on regardless, innovatively, inspirationally and internationally.

Judging the beauty, craft, genius, virtuosity and vibrancy of a music by such evidently limited musical standards only hints at deeper cultural prejudices. So stick to what to know - which judging by your posts here isn't so very much, eh?

Meanwhile, back in 1994, Digable Planets were grooving with Wah-Wah Watson and Lester Bowie as part of Red Hot & Cool.

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


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 06:22 AM

""So stick to what to (sic) know - which judging by your posts here isn't so very much, eh?""


And speaking of musical snobbery...........!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 06:45 AM

(Sic)

You point out a typo on Mudcat and accuse me of snobbery???!!!

Well - okay - yes - it's a fair cop, Guv! I confess - I'm the biggest musical snob there is, but (mostly) I get on with it in the privacy of my own ivory tower, though this gets difficult in the Radio 2 sucky-blanket realms of Folk Muzak, especially when the heart & soul of the thing (Harry Cox - Harry Smith - Sproatly Smith) is every bit as dynamic & energising & inspirational & unmelodiously filthy as hip-hop.

Now back to my daily labours which today are accompanied by the music of Juan del Enzina (sic) as interpreted by the maestro Jordi Savall.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 09:03 AM

Allen Conn:"But listening to the top 40 of the year a few years ago sure drove home the point that our pop music was light years beyond the current crop."

It can also be exaggerated though as to how great things were 40 years ago. Lot of good stuff about then but a lot of less impressive stuff too. We've been watching the old repeats of TOTP since they stared showing them last year at 1976. Skip through most of it as it is pretty dire. Plus there is some good stuff about now too. Just because it doesn't get in the charts doesn't mean it isn't there. Kids nowadays also have easy access to so much. Much more than we did.


Exactly! As someoneelse said, our parents probably said the same thing when we were listening to stuff in the 60s and 70s. There was an *awful* lot of crap about back then....it's just that we only remember/ replay the stuff that's stood the test of time.

And it's ridiculous that so many people just denigrate *all* new music...there's a lot of good stuff about still, admittedly mostly not in the charts....but it was ever thus. The stuff I was listening to in the 60s and 70s was rarely in the charts and my parents had no idea of its existence....in much the same was as those above denigrating all modern music or idioms are almost certainly unaware of the majority of what youngsters are listening to these days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 11:14 AM

....Here, Ron, from 2004, is a rap video that you might actually like. I posted it then, but I'll do it again, it's a message from Marshall, who they call Eminem...Slim Shady's October Surprise


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 11:19 AM

I really think you've got to allow for the fact that the music we're inclined to dismiss as crap had a lot of value at the time. I mean - I sit in TERROR watching those old TOTP episodes which goes from the sublime (Bob Marley) to the ridiculous (Brotherhood of Man) in the blink of eye - BUT - someone must have loved this stuff. On another level, I think we must be thankful for it. Without such MOR Schlager there'd have been nothing the underground to kick against - this was (I think) as true in the UK as it was in Germany. Number One the day I was born was You Don't Know by Helen Shapiro; recorded that same year - John Coltrane at The Village Vanguard and The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra.

It takes all sorts...


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 11:32 AM

""And it's ridiculous that so many people just denigrate *all* new music...there's a lot of good stuff about still, admittedly mostly not in the charts....but it was ever thus.""

Absolutely true, just as it is ridiculous that so many people just denigrate *all* folk music...there's a lot of good stuff about still, admittedly mostly not in the charts....but it was ever thus.

But we still get stuff posted like:-

""It's as Folk is a byword for cultural intolerance born, no doubt, from other deep-seated insecurities. Weird given that of all the diverse idioms of Western Popular Music, Folk is the most universally reviled. Go figure!""

or:-

""I'm the biggest musical snob there is, but (mostly) I get on with it in the privacy of my own ivory tower, though this gets difficult in the Radio 2 sucky-blanket realms of Folk Muzak,""

Of which the first seven words have an air of credibility.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 04:26 PM

Avant-garde music has little to no melody or rhythm but is pure art. To dismiss it as "stupid" noise made by talentless hacks is the same as saying that because Picasso or Ernst or Pollack or Mondrian didn't try to render photograph-perfect real images, they too were talentless and stupid. Classical and jazz composers and musicians have drawn endless inspiration and ideas from avant-garde pieces. Most of vinyl and CDs of avant-garde were purchased at stores that specialize in classical music because few others will stock them.

The guy who did the music for Looney Tunes was Raymond Scott whose band was primarily jazz and classical. Scott, however, was primarily and avant-garde artist who invented his own electronic keyboards and music machines. He hired an assistant one day to help him. The assistant was skilled at building theremins--a strange electronic instrument used for sound fx in movies and TV but which was a serious instrument (see Clara Rockmore). The assistant was so overwhelmed by Scott's devices and knowledge that he went into making synths. His name was Bob Moog.

John Cage with a very early tape collage from 1952. An example of musique concrete:

Williams Mix

Milton Babbitt composition performed on the enormous RCA Mark II synthesizer housed at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center:

Occasional Variations


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 04:30 PM

[For some reason, I can't put all these links in one post.]


An early Moog synth composition by Morton Subotnik.

Silver Apples of the Moon

Edgard Varese's masterpiece that he made with visuals supplied by the Belgian architect Le Corbusier.

Poeme Electronique


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 04:33 PM

And let's go one more. This one should be heard with surroundsound speaker and lots of bass.

Tod Dockstader worked with tapes and oscillators prior to full synths being made. This is a piece from 1961. Dockstader also the did the sound fx for the Tom & Jerry cartoons.

Apocalypse II


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 05:21 AM

But we still get stuff posted like:-

Suggest you put the quotes back in the context of what I said - and what I said back in the context of the discussion - instead of trying to score points for folkish smuggery - a very different thing to musical snobbery, especially as (and I quote) the heart & soul of the thing (Harry Cox - Harry Smith - Sproatly Smith) is every bit as dynamic & energising & inspirational & unmelodiously filthy as hip-hop. Ta!

*

Avant-garde music has little to no melody or rhythm but is pure art.


Worth mentioning here is late Daphne Oram (31 December 1925 – 5 January 2003), the unsung & unlikely mother of UK electronica (& more besides) who's work teetered on the brink of experimentalism owing to its very nature but remained nevertheless rooted in more (dare I say) traditional idioms both classical & popular whilst anticipating a lot of future developments. Her 'Oramics Machine' typifies both the brilliance & eccentricity of her genius, and her music is never less than as perfectly charming as she was - both are the very epitome of Englishness. Lots of clips on YouTube - including the famous 'Snow 1963' film in which she had a hand (certainly you'll find the soundtrack on most Oram collections) as well as the truly stunning 'Four Aspects', the quaintly spooky 'Dr Faustus Suite' and the unsettlingly brilliant 'Bird of Parallax' which weaves electronic sounds & rhythms with orchestral samples and field recordings long before anyone even dreamt of the term 'psychedelic'. Certainly I doubt Ms Oram touched anything stronger than a tawny port in her life.

A brief overview of her work & significance: Daphne Oram, the unsung pioneer of techno

Also on YouTube is a Radio 4 documentary on Daphne Oram entitled 'We Have Also Sound Houses' - a quote taken from here:

We have also sound-houses, where we practise and demonstrate all sounds, and their generation. We have harmonies which you have not, of quarter-sounds, and lesser slides of sounds. Divers instruments of music likewise to you unknown, some sweeter than any you have, together with bells and rings that are dainty and sweet. We represent small sounds as great and deep; likewise great sounds extenuate and sharp; we make divers tremblings and warblings of sounds, which in their original are entire. We represent and imitate all articulate sounds and letters, and the voices and notes of beasts and birds. We have certain helps which set to the ear do further the hearing greatly. We have also divers strange and artificial echoes, reflecting the voice many times, and as it were tossing it: and some that give back the voice louder than it came, some shriller, and some deeper; yea, some rendering the voice differing in the letters or articulate sound from that they receive. We have also means to convey sounds in trunks and pipes, in strange lines and distances.

Francis Bacon, from New Atlantis, 1637.

The Tradition of musical vision & experimentalism is indeed an old & venerable one!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 08:16 AM

"Can't a person dislike something without being called a snob?"
Says it all really.
It seems to me more than a little insecure in your own preferences to suggest that people are "snobs" because they don't share them.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 09:39 AM

"[For some reason, I can't put all these links in one post.]"

The reason for that is you are posting as a Guest. That was explained to me a few moons back when I was attending to some stuff in unanswered requests. Just the way it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 10:21 AM

I did a bit of a disservice by posting only electronic pieces. Avant-garde does NOT have to be electronic. There are a huge number of avant-garde compositions for conventional instruments and orchestras. Often conventional and non-conventional are mixed in orchestras.

Varese composed a piece for orchestra that utilized a rope being pulled through a hole in a fiberglass tub. George Antheil's "Ballet Mecanique" from 1915 featured door buzzers and airplane propellers among the orchestra. In fact, I believe that Antheil vehemently insisted his composition was NOT avant-garde. Charles Ives wrote avant-gard pieces for orchestras as did Harry Partch who also wrote simply for voices and who created his own instruments so he could compose in microtonal scales.

Below is an avent-garde piece written by Varese for the flute. He wrote it for a friend to commemorate his new platinum flute. Varese entitled it Density 21.5 which is the density of platinum. Not infrequently, you'll hear the more adventurous souls tackle it at flute recitals.

Density 21.5


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 12:30 PM

On a minor point of pedantry, Harry Partch developed his 43-tone scale as an alternative to what he regarded as the abomination of the 12-tone tempered Western scale. Indeed, the only of his instruments designed to play the 43-tone scale were his retuned harmoniums and his adapted guitars & violas. His mathematics were Pythagorean, taken to extremes so that he could use pure intervals that you couldn't find in Western music. His music otherwise is perfectly 'tonal', though his writing for voice was concerned with the 'intonation' of the vernacular spoken voice rather than with singing per se, but a lot of it is surprisingly tuneful and folksy. Here's his setting of various hitch-hiker inscriptions collected from graffito during his travels which is infused with the humour and playfulness of his admittedly eccentric genius. The spoken voice here is Partch himself.

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


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 12:34 PM

I can be prejudiced, as old people often stick to what they know and love. I was in the car listening to Classic FM when Karl Jenkins' Mass For The Armed Man (the Sanctus) came on. At first I was tempted to switch it off, but very quickly I became captivated. That is music that blows your mind, it really is. One needs to listen and experience different forms of music with an open mind. It's nice to expand your tastes and enlarge your knowledge. Snobbery doesn't come into it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 01:45 PM

Have you watched the "Silver Apples of the Moon" link? It's utterly mesmerizing.

As far as snobbery goes, there was a time when avant-garde was regarded by classical patrons as horrible noise. I would regard Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" as avant-garde and it caused a riot the night it debuted in Paris. People were outraged because the music and dance were so obscene and animalistic. It didn't have enough melody, damn it! Nowadays, classical music includes much of the avant-garde. You can buy "Rite of Spring" in any Barnes & Noble with a small classical CD section (because I did).

Now, the snobbery has become internal to the music. Read the comments on the Density 21.5 link: "She's playing too fast" "She's playing too slow" "She's playing too mechanically" "She's not playing mechanically enough" "She's playing with too much passion that the pieces wasn't mean to have" "It's too fluid" "It's not fluid enough."

That's what I've always hated about the classical scene and why I prefer to hang out with the jazz set. I've met more jazz people who can play classical music than I ever have the reverse. Of course, most jazz musicians are classically trained and cut their teeth on classical pieces. I played Bach and Chopin until my fingers literally bled. I love classical music but I don't love the stuck-up scene. Don't get me wrong, a lot of classical music lovers are fine people and I have a lot of friends and contacts among them but I got so sick of some ass telling how I played this passage wrong and that it wasn't in the spirit of the composer and that I spoiled the mood the piece was meant to evoke and blah blah blah. "Well, perhaps then, you could show me how Mozart intended for that passage to to be played" and you find out the asshole doesn't even play an instrument or they play stinking.

At least in jazz, they pride themselves on never playing anything the same way twice. Classical fans fight to the death over the composer's instruction to play the piece "poco moto." They'll go around and around about what constitutes poco moto until a normal person is half-crazy from listening to it.

Folk is a bit more like jazz in that you're free to interpret a piece just about anyway you want to. Someone may not care for it but I don't have to hear "that line should be played andante and that doesn't sound andante to me!" And you don't see 8 yo kids being exploited to make money filling concert halls in the folk scene so that these kids are used up and strung out by the time they hit 21.

There isn't much difference between much of classical music behind the scenes and something from "Tiaras and Toddlers". It's the same thing--a popularity contest for children too young to understand how they are being exploited. I'm surprised, in fact, that no one has made a reality show like that. Call it--"So You Think Your Kid's a Virtuoso". I might even watch it to see the talent. But it ruins kids. Imagine being 9 years old and some grown-up is fawning all over you telling you how he has all your CDs and loves them all more than life itself and the only thing you had to do with those CDs is that they shuttled you in to the studio to record your playing and then shuttled you back out once they were done with you. Your whole life is playing, recording, traveling, playing, recording and traveling. I've known adults who couldn't take it. Imagine being a child on the chitlin circuit. The circuit of snobs--half of whom love you for know fair reason and the other half hates you for no fair reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,guestlexic
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 02:26 PM

Some raps alright!.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFBoeZm7-u4 great thread/read btw


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 06:57 PM

I think that the element that guards against the exclusive attitude of snobbery in music is the willingness to investigate the various musical forms. Each form and style has within it, its own value system and expertise that can't be compared with other forms successfully. Oranges and apples.

You don't have to like certain forms of music to understand and perhaps appreciate what it is that they offer. I don't like Schoenberg but I appreciate that he was a great musician and disciplined artist.

I'm not crazy about rap either but I see a kind of value in its story-telling approach to reflect on urban African-American life.

Hard rock and metal require a certain willingness to set aside personal likes and dislikes to understand the kind of musical approach of a Jimmy Page, for example.

The most identifying feature of a musician in my opinion is an open mind toward investigating all kinds of music and seeing how the styles interact with each other.

I'm no David Bowie fan but I absolutely love what Esperanza Spalding does with his music.

I'm no Dylan fan either but I enjoy others renditions of some of his songs.

Musical snobbery is a dead-end street. Musical preference is understandable and personal. The music itself has its own world and if you don't like it, fine, but you might make an effort to understand it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 07:39 PM

Stringsinger puts it where it is. I agree all the way.

Just because I may not like something doesn't mean it doesn't have value to someone else. If it didn't, it wouldn't be there. If I don't like something, it simply means that I don't like it. Maybe that's my loss,

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 09:17 PM

Others may like today's pop but it's a slippery slope. Those others might be 12 yo who have no knowledge of or affinity to music. They buy it because it speaks to their pubescent angst (first kiss, dating scene, current fashions, etc) and often buy simply because other kids are. They could care less if the music is any good and, in fact, wouldn't know the difference. In truth, if the music was actually progressive, they wouldn't like it. Part of the appeal is that it is simplistic enough for them to understand.

That's fine except if that's lopsidedly where all the money is in the recording industry then all the other artists find themselves needing to appeal to it to have careers. This has been the trend for a few decades now and it is getting worse.

"Since the '50s, there has been a decrease not only in the diversity of chords in a given song, but also in the number of novel transitions, or musical pathways, between them. In other words, while it's true that pop songs have always been far more limited in their harmonic vocabularies than, say, a classical symphony … past decades saw more inventive ways of linking their harmonies together than we hear now. It's the difference between Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" (2012), which contains four simple chords presented one after another almost as blocks, and Alex North's "Unchained Melody" (1955), which, though also relatively harmonically simple (it employs about six or seven chords, depending on the version), transitions smoothly from chord to chord due to more subtle orchestration."
--J. Bryan Lowder

You take a song like "I Can't Get Started With You" from 1936. It is written in a I-vi-ii-V7 scheme. It was done by countless jazz bands and singers--Anita O'Day, Bunny Berrigan, Ella Fitzgerald, Lester Young, etc. By the 50s, it had helped to give birth to doo-wop. How? Because doo-wop is very often I-vi-ii-V7.

Here's how to play "I Can't Get Started" barebones with your guitar:

Playing in C major in 4/4 time, play in the first bar Cmaj7 and Amin7. Then in the second bar play Dmin7 and G7. Third bar: E7, Amin7. Fourth bar: D7, G7sus. Fifth bar: Cmaj7, Amin7. Sixth bar: Dmin7, G7 with a flatted 9th. At this point, you hit a two-bar turnaround and go back to the first bar and repeat up to the sixth bar again.

Notice CADG--I-vi-ii-V. That's the same scheme used in so many doo-wops. But notice that in the third bar, we use an E7 rather than Cmaj7. Isn't E a iii in the scale of C and shouldn't it then be minor? No. E7 is used as a substitute for Cmaj7 and is technically still I in the scale. It throws a variation into the scheme so it doesn't become monotonous. In fact, I-vi is just an alternate ii-V. Doo-wop plays with that scheme in endless variations which is why it is so harmonically rich with only 4 voices.

Most pop songs since the 50s have opted for simple ii-V7 songs. A repeating bar rather than repeating every two bars. I think that's why Gene Vincent started combining rockabilly with doo-wop--it gave the rockabilly more variation and harmonic content. Just a small change in one chord would change the way the song sounded.

This is long gone in pop music today. So while we can say it still has value, we do have to concede that there has been some degeneration because all the artists that want to be big sellers have to "dumb down" their music for the sake of money/sales/profits. That does hurt us culturally speaking.

Someone mentioned Esperanza Spalding. She used to be jazz. Her first two releases were utterly brilliant. Her next two are not even jazz. She started turning into a pop diva. They want her to sing more and play less. Her bass lines have appropriately simplified. On her 4th CD, "Radio Music Society" her basslines can be played by anyone with two years of decent instruction. A far cry from the amazing basslines she was chunking off on those first two CDs that totally blew me away. It has made her a commercial success but at the sacrifice of her creativity.

Does that make me a snob to say all this? I don't think so but others might.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 11:28 PM

Actually, the song goes to E7 because it's the dominant chord in the relative minor. There is a D in the melody at that point which isn't in the I. I know this because I have been fooling with the chords to that song for the last 40 years;-)

As for, "dumbing down" and "degeneration", Keep in mind that a lot of today's music is based on minimalism--which is is an aesthetic that repeats simple musical figures, rather that extrapolating from them. If it is dumbing down, it is dumbing down that was inspired by Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, If it's "degeneration", remember that that's what they called Stravinsky.

Given that, if you like melodies, and you like the classical ways of harmonizing them, and if you like the way that the great jazz arrangers managed to interlace melodic ideas with rhythmic ones, a lot of this stuff might not speak to you, and I do understand that. I keep a huge folder full of 78s on my computer for that reason.

Musical tastes change, which could be comforting if you hated disco, but painful if you love the Four Freshman. It may be cold comfort, but all the changes in music are initiated by musicians. Audiences just decide whether they like it or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 12:57 AM

Still waiting for them to dumb down to my level.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 01:02 AM

"Actually, the song goes to E7 because it's the dominant chord in the relative minor."

Well, yes, because the next chord is A minor. On the circle of fifths, they are next to each other--E and A--and any notes next to each other on the circle are harmonically related. So if you have CADG and want to vary it up, you find another harmonically related note to precede the A. E works because V resolves to I very nicely but E can't be minor because the A is already minor. You're just substituting the E as an alternate I.

"There is a D in the melody at that point which isn't in the I. I know this because I have been fooling with the chords to that song for the last 40 years;-)"

D is ii. What else can it be in the C scale?

"If it is dumbing down, it is dumbing down that was inspired by Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder,"

Minimalism is a Zen concept of less is more. It has nothing to do with stripping things down to make them simple for simple-minded people any more than haiku is meant to be poetry for the mentally retarded. It's taking out the fluff and leaving the essence. Minimalist music and film are incredibly rich and nuanced. A film as "Samsara" is minimalist but is audially and visually far richer than the average Hollywood blockbuster. Below is a trailer:

Samsara trailer

"If it's "degeneration", remember that that's what they called Stravinsky."

When you can prove to me that Katy Perry or Eminem are in any way on the same level as Stravinsky I'll be happy to admit defeat. Well, I won't be happy--I'll be shocked. While you're at it, please prove to me that Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder are minimalists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 02:44 AM

Eminem has done some decent stuff as have a lot of modern artists,I don't buy it myself but my daughter changed my view on rap.Despite the content and language most these days deliver a positive message.A recent phenomena she pointed out to me was how many of them start out really negative then the better their "product" becomes the more positive it gets,might be a brain thing.Take the fun yt clip I posted above, that boy goes to school with my grandson and has gone from quiet boy to school celeb.This could get him to learn an instrument/mix whatever. What you don't want is someone coming in too soon and showing him all that's wrong with it.Wrong handling or snobbery could push him away from a potential passion/career.As peoples ears are educated their taste changes,stuff I was passionate about in my teens is only of nostalgic value now.
      Just tried to think of a genre/style where I could say yes never heard anything from that sphere that was any good,but I couldn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 09:03 AM

I don't condemn anyone who listens to rap. I don't like it myself but it's not up to me to decide what people should like. Would it bother me if rap died tomorrow? Only in the sense that I'd have to wait another 24 hours but someday it will die and be replaced with something else. Something better? I wouldn't count on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 04:48 AM

Geust DDT: … past decades saw more inventive ways of linking their harmonies together than we hear now. It's the difference between Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" (2012), which contains four simple chords presented one after another almost as blocks, and Alex North's "Unchained Melody" (1955), which, though also relatively harmonically simple (it employs about six or seven chords, depending on the version), transitions smoothly from chord to chord due to more subtle orchestration

That's cherry-picking one way. I could cherry-pick the other way and say that something like "King of The Road" contains only C, F, G7 in very simple progressions whereas Oasis' "Wonderwall" uses C, D, Em, Em7, Dsus4, A7sus4,G, Cadd9, G5, G5/F#/E and Em7/B with much more complex structure.

In general, my memories of late 50s/early 60s pop are that, with a few notable exceptions, it used 3 or 4 chords in very simple progressions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 09:46 AM

Please don't attribute that quote to me. I clearly marked it as someone else's quote (J. Bryan Lowder) that came from a European study of musical progress over a the period of 1955 to 2010. Instead of cherrypicking, it examined 464,411 songs. The study is nicknamed "The Million Song Dataset."

They found that songs have become both louder and more homogenized. The study found, among other things that "the diversity of transitions between note combinations - roughly speaking chords plus melodies - has consistently diminished in the last 50 years."

And it has gotten louder due to over compression, a trick by recording engineers because the louder it is, the newer it sounds. I have CDs that are so over compressed, you have to remember to turn down the speakers or they'll blow you right out of your chair despite the fact that every other CD was of normal volume at that setting. This has become a real problem in the age of digitizing music.

Lowder, editorial assistant for culture at Slate magazine, was simply commenting on the study with his own example or he pulled the example from the study for his own use. That you can find an example that goes against their findings is not surprising since they weren't saying it's true in every single case. They're saying it's a trend and that it is pretty much undeniable when you examine it closely enough and I fully agree. The old farts win. You can google the study on your own.

If you don't like their findings, please take it up with them. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 02:44 PM

Er, I seem to recall that we DID look at that study here a year or two back, and that I was one of the very few (perhaps the only?) contributor to that thread who actually bothered to go and look at where the source material for the "million song database" had come from and how it was put together. I'll see if I can dig it out when I have the time but my memory of the thread is that the way they'd selected songs for inclusion in the database left a lot to be desired....the way they'd structured it was such that it was skewed...so if your sample's skewed, the results are likely to be too.

And I AM an old fart myself....just not one who's mind is still mired in "good ol' days", trying to be *objective* and filtering out the fact that my first instinct is just to recall the good stuff from "back then" while having edited out of my memory the sea of dross it floated in. And realising that today is very little different....some decent stuff plus a lot of manufactured clone-sound.

When I go back and look at the charts of the late 50s and early 60s, I just can't agree with either you or the "study"...the more popular stuff back then, with a very few notable exceptions, was generally very simple, 3 or 4 quite basic chords put together in very predictable ways. Contrast with even fairly simple more modern songs like Cooper Temple Clause's "Who Needs Enemies?" (10 chords, including several flattened "sus2"s and "13"s) and Arcade Fire's "Intervention" which lulls you with its initial Am, F, C and G, then throws in Em and E before adding Bs Ds and Bms towards the end....a very very simple song but the little shifts make it more interesting to listen to as it builds...much more than I can say for the basic repetitive nature of most stuff from the 50s and early 60s:
Intervention Live

I agree entirely about the over-compression. In fact, the trend among the newer generation of sound engineers (and I know half a dozen of them) has been to fight against this over the last 5-6 years....and at last they show signs of being listened to!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 03:21 PM

I'm not an old fart but I agree with them. "They don't make 'em like that anymore" isn't just nostalgia, it's true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 03:34 PM

By the way, I am a recording engineer and have also worked a little as a producer. And I went to school to learn how to do it and my teacher was the guy who mastered all of Motown's hits from '64 to '68 after which he went to work for HDH at Hot Wax. His name is Bob Dennis. You can look him up. I was an "A" student.

Yes, they do over compress these days. Compression is normally for keeping soft and loud passages close together so that when the music gets soft, you still hear it and when it gets loud it doesn't blow your speakers. You have about a 23 dB range to work with (I was also trained on the old standard analog systems--SSL and API--and then attended more classes to learn digital recording later on). Over compressing is done so that the signals can be jacked up louder but there is also less dynamic response because the crests and troughs between the loud and soft signals are far too smooth. So everything sounds more homogenized.

And by the way, I was waiting for you to reject my source. I'll keel over and die the day someone puts forth a source for their info and it gets accepted. It will never happen at Mudcat--hasn't yet and it won't here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 06:08 PM

"deeper cultural prejudices".   Whatever you say.

Open mouth. Insert foot.

    Never mind that quite a few black people cannot stand rap--and they tend to be highly educated.    Also never mind that it happens that last night (after a dress rehearsal in the afternoon) I spent rocking out , with lots of gospel music--all memorized-- at an annual celebration of the life of Martin Luther King--with standing ovations interspersed throughout the concert.   And 300 of us, black and white, blew the roof off a sold-out (2,000, I believe) Kennedy Center Concert Hall.   Again.


But, by all means, perhaps the poster would like to tell us more about the emperor's finery.   Did the poster particularly like the doublet and hose?   Or perchance he swooned at the sight of the emperor's robe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 09:34 PM

Actually it was African music--we sang in Zulu-- as well as gospel.    Siyahamba and Shoshaloza were two of the African pieces.   And we danced too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 02:07 PM

In every era there is a disdain for the "new" music..Jazz was "evil"....rock, "evil" or "mundane" or "doggerel" or whatever.

I was never one to be "folkier than thou" because I recognized that cultural patterns in music are attributable to cultures or sub-cultures that are homogeneous to some degree. It's impossible to be a musical snob when you consider that one form of music evolves from another.

But to a significant point for me, music is not an exclusive club. The musicians who make it so limit their artistic options and deny the social aspects of music as being important.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 10:56 PM

Traditional jazz doesn't make use of the IV of the scale much. It was used as a passing note. A passing note is a kind of bridge note that is used to string notes in a chord when those notes are played sequentially rather than simultaneously. A ii-V7 of, say, D minor 7 and G7 could be played on the bass or the piano left hand as ascending CDEA (1,2,3,5) of C minor 7 and then descending as GFED (8,7,6,5) of G7. The passing note is #2 or D as it is not part of the C minor 7. Then it turns up again on G7 as #5 of which it is part. It is #6 or E that that is passing in G7. Since a chord is 1,3,5 then the passing notes would be 2,4,6.

In bop, however, the 4 was prominent and not just passing. This drove the traditional jazzers crazy. Emphasizing the IV???? Why, that's the end of jazz! The boppers have killed it!! Even now the traditionals and neoclassicists disparage bop and refuse to play it. That's one kind of snobbery.

There is also a cultural snobbery that permeates pop music, one reason I'm not dying to defend it from attack today and often attack it myself. It is a bastion of snobbery that dates back to the 60s when suddenly all forms of music from the previous decades were simply ignored. When I grew up in the 60s, I rarely heard anything from the 50s, most of which was considered a joke. And nothing from the 40s was ever played despite about 90% of America's songbook being songs from the 30s and 40s. Oldies stations specifically advertised themselves as playing music "from the 60s, 70s and 80s."

Not until the advent of satellite radio was 40s and 50s music resurrected. Today's oldies stations play a bit more 50s to compete with satellite but nothing from the 40s. All pop today is descended from the 60s or later and so has that snobbery built into it. It sees itself as all there is. As a result it is a largely degenerate music just as anything with an isolationist policy degenerates. And that is the reason it will not be remembered in 30 years. It's not worth remembering. Just see if I'm wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 06:26 AM

DDT, IMO you're wrong on several counts:

1) "All forms of music from previous decades" just *weren't* ignored from the 60s onwards. There are numerous examples of songs from the 60s to the present days being either remakes/covers of or based on musical styles from previous decades...one that comes straight to mind is Canned Heat's 1967 "Going Up The Country" which was virtually a remake of Henry Thomas's 1927 "Bulldoze Blues". Kitty, Daisy & Lewis also did a cover version in 2008. Same with "Hesitation Blues", originating in the early 1900s, then made popular in the 20s by Art Gillham, recorded by Rev Gary Davis, Janis Joplin in the late 60s and then many others such as Dave van Ronk, Ralph McTell, Taj Mahal and Steely Dan, to name a fraction. ...there are just thousands of examples.

2) And from the above examples it should be obvious that current pop isn't all descended by any means from the 1960s. I could mention The Long Blondes' mid-2000s song "Polly" as a homage to 1950s Doo-Wop, or Boogie-Woogie influences dating back to the 30s in several recent pop songs and recordings.

3) You say it won't be remembered in 30 years? Well there's a huge catalogue of pop from the 60s and 70s that's remembered by, influences and is covered by young musicians today, which is already well over your 30 year remembrance limit.

Your dismissal of all today's pop as degenerate and isolationist is far more snobbish IMO than any (AFAICS non-existent) tendency of pop since the 60s to ignore earlier music. There'll be stuff from the 2000s around and remembered in the 2040s just as there's stuff from both the 60s/70s AND from the 30s/40s influencing today's music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 12:21 PM

"new music".   If commercial rap were music.   Without melody it's a bit lacking--stretching the point, to say the least, to call it music. And it seems reasonable that you should be able to do it without electronic assistance.   2 serious problems for commercial rap " artists".

Not even going into the usual subject matter, which, among other things, plays into the hands of the NRA.   We have enough glorification of weapons in the US without the assistance of commercial rap "artists".


I believe in 'power to the people'.   One of the things 'the people' can do is make music.   The more you need electronic technology the less you are geting away from music. Somebody who needs a studio to "create" anything is no musician.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 12:26 PM

"The more you need electronic technology, the more you are geting away from music".


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 12:28 PM

"getting"    When will I learn to proofread?    It's amazing how much clearer you can see the words after you post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 02:11 PM

Snobs????..Naw, just some people have a more refined taste!!!

Example One

Versus

Example Two

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 03:20 PM

OK, that makes it clear. Please put me firmly in the unrefined taste category.    Bobby Vee beats the pants off the pretentious twaddle of Example 2.    He's fun to sing, you don't need the absurd list of electronic enhancements which plague Example 2,--and you don't have to take him seriously.

Sorry but my unrefined taste is also squarely with the Brahms, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies (all of them), Scheherezade,   the Schubert String Quintet, the Bruch Scottish Fantasy, Tallis, Byrd, etc.   Or maybe they make the cut of being refined--who knows?

The ironic thing is that all the personnel involved in Example 2 seem to have lots of skill. Pity they waste it on the Secret Garden or whatever it was called.   But I suppose it sells--and they were paid for their efforts. The music business is rough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 04:07 PM

Every genre of music seems to have its own aethetic. Irish session musi, f'rinstance, eschews harmony an counterpoint---which makes it agonizingly dull to my ears. Classically trained singers frequently try folk or pop songs---think of Peter Pears singing Benjamin Britten's settings of English folk songs or Dyer-Bennett singing "John Henry" (or, for tht matter, Springsteen crooning "We Shall Overcome".
Contrariwise, someone with a classical or operatic background who's unfsmiliar with field recordings is apt to recoil in horror at the the likes of Almeda Riddle or Sam Larner.
    To appreeciate any style of music, you have to "buy in" to its aesthetic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 05:06 PM

"1) "All forms of music from previous decades" just *weren't* ignored from the 60s onwards. There are numerous examples of songs from the 60s to the present days being either remakes/covers of or based on musical styles from previous decades...one that comes straight to mind is Canned Heat's 1967 "Going Up The Country" which was virtually a remake of Henry Thomas's 1927 "Bulldoze Blues". Kitty, Daisy & Lewis also did a cover version in 2008. Same with "Hesitation Blues", originating in the early 1900s, then made popular in the 20s by Art Gillham, recorded by Rev Gary Davis, Janis Joplin in the late 60s and then many others such as Dave van Ronk, Ralph McTell, Taj Mahal and Steely Dan, to name a fraction. ...there are just thousands of examples."

That's a complete misunderstanding of what I said. I never said people remake, rehash and retread the old music. I said you didn't hear the old music itself. In the 60s, I heard only a handful of songs from the fifties--a few Elvis tunes, "Rockin Robin" and like that. Everything else was recorded in the 60s, original or remake. And you NEVER heard anything earlier than the 50s unless you heard it in an old movie in the days before cable when old movies were all they showed on TV.

"2) And from the above examples it should be obvious that current pop isn't all descended by any means from the 1960s. I could mention The Long Blondes' mid-2000s song "Polly" as a homage to 1950s Doo-Wop, or Boogie-Woogie influences dating back to the 30s in several recent pop songs and recordings."

And whoever heard of it? Not me. Not anybody. Nobody wants to hear someone retread old territory. We want to hear something new by people who aren't musically ignorant. The 60s artists were great that way because they grew up on the 50s artists but didn't sound like them. They created something new and memorable. It wasn't their fault radio ignored the predecessors. That's why Hendrix took Buddy Guy with onstage, he wanted people to know where Jimi Hendrix came from. Today, nobody talks about who Katy Perry's influences were. Why? Because who cares? She's forgettable and won't be remembered 30 years hence. And neither will the stuff you mentioned-whatever it is. If I want to hear doo-wop, I'll listen to the real thing.

"3) You say it won't be remembered in 30 years? Well there's a huge catalogue of pop from the 60s and 70s that's remembered by, influences and is covered by young musicians today, which is already well over your 30 year remembrance limit."

Sure stuff from the 60s is remembered. I just explained why. I'm talking about stuff made today by kids who don't know anything that wasn't made before the 60s. And most never listen to anything made before the 90s. They need to listen to the old stuff to make better new stuff--not to remake old stuff. Didn't we do it right the first time?

"Your dismissal of all today's pop as degenerate and isolationist is far more snobbish IMO than any (AFAICS non-existent) tendency of pop since the 60s to ignore earlier music. There'll be stuff from the 2000s around and remembered in the 2040s just as there's stuff from both the 60s/70s AND from the 30s/40s influencing today's music."

As I said--just see if I'm wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 09:15 PM

I'm with DDT on this.    "Long Blondes" homage?    The answer to that is a top 60's hit:    "Ain't Nothin' LIke The Real Thing".

Why settle for a pale imitation?   Or in this case, a souped-up imitation.

That's what very often happens in remakes or "homage".    Tell me, does anybody actually prefer Grand Funk Railroad's elephantine version of "Locomotion" to the original?    And so it goes--in almost every case.

There are a few cases in which in my opinion the remake outshone the orginal.    First is "Dedicated to the One I Love".   But I'm just a Mama's and Papas addict. Second is Beach Boys "Barbara Ann."   Again, I just like the Beach Boys--especially in the early, unpretentious years.    Third is Linda Ronstadt's version of "When Will I Be Loved?"   I didn't even realize til recently the Everly Brothers did it first.    And I like gutsy female singers.

But by and large, the version done before the 1970's always trashed anything done in the 70's or after. And to a large extent, it seems to me a main reason is that there has been a progressively stronger fascination with twisting dials in studios--to the detriment of music.   (Synthesizers haven't helped music either--as well as putting real musicians out of business.)

It's a real shame we can't turn the Wayback Machine forward to 2040.    All this electronically enhanced "music", drum machines, synthesizer garbage, etc. will not in fact last. I'd place a large wager on this.

And people, as they always have, will be looking for real music--especially music they can make themselves, or music that speaks to them emotionally, which technopop, soulless as it is, is unlikely to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 10:34 PM

There's so many gizmos in the studio you can't trust anything you hear anymore. I have an old Roland VS-880 digital recorder and it's already obsolete and yet it's amazing what it can do. I can sing into it, for example, turn a couple of knobs and my voice turns into that of a female--an ugly female to be sure, but a female. If I put it out on a CD, you wouldn't know it wasn't a woman singing.

The following was recorded around 1952 or 3. It's Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West with Cliffie Stone on bass. This was in the days when what they played was what you heard. And---ohhh---what they played:

China Boy


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 10:36 PM

Ron Davies: "OK, that makes it clear. Please put me firmly in the unrefined taste category."

See, you answered your own question.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Rich Lew
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 11:01 PM

At first, I thought this was a thread for discussing musical snobbery. After reading it, I realized it was a thread for expressing musical snobbery. Sorry. My bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 02:10 AM

No, just musical snobbery. Are you introducing yet another one?

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Jim McLean
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 05:16 AM

I was on a long distance bus a number of years ago and a fellow passenger aske what kind of music I liked. I said Folk music. "Oh", he replied. "I prefer serious music". I thought about replying but decided to go to sleep instead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 05:42 AM

A good decision Jim.

Your comment reminds me of the spat between the literary critics FR Leavis and CS Lewis.

Leavis had this thing about the necessity for great writers to be 'morally earnest'.

Lewis replied, I would rather play cards with a man who simply doesn't cheat - rather than someone who is 'morally earnest' about not cheating.

I think the tradition is like that. Give me the singer who just does it, rather than the one who is forever festooning the world with historical justifications for his folksinging being wonderful, correct and the only right one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,MikeL2
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 11:15 AM

Hi

In my experience a snob is.....a snob !!! and likely to be snobbish about everything that they like. They think others are inferior.

Cheers

Mikel2


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 11:20 AM

You got it!..Spot on!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 12:07 PM

That's right, GfS.   I'm a person of unrefined taste, for whom all the Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky symphonies, a huge number of the Mozart symphonies, Dvorak's 8th and 9th, most of the Mozart piano concertos, all the Beethoven piano concertos, most Schubert symphonies, Bruch Scottish Fantasy, Bruch violin concerto, most Mendelssohn symphonies, all the Mozart violin concertos, Tallis, Byrd, Josquin, di Lasso-- and a long, long list of other classical pieces-- are old friends.   Maybe you're refined enough to like Webern, Hindemith etc. Good for you. I don't require my music to be intellectually challenging, nor to reflect the chaos and despair of modern life.

I do like it to be made by humans, not machines.

As I noted earlier, somebody who requires a studio to "create" is no musician. That seems to knock out a lot of commercial rap--and a lot of current pop.

Among other things, I think it's too bad that for current Irish music a lot of people seem compelled to create a fake 'ethereal" atmosphere with the aid of a studio or electronic 'enhancements'. And drum machines are an abomination--especially for anybody with a pretense to be doing "folk" music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Rich Lew
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 12:23 PM

Some people can't enjoy anything unless they can shove it in someone else's face. You may not realize it, but the rest of us do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 12:54 PM

Pobrecito. Too bad someone is forcing you to read this and comment.   It must be terrible to suffer so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Rich Lew
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 09:32 PM

My point is not that I am suffering, it's that no one takes you seriously, because you're being such a jerk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 10:21 PM

"forcing you to read and comment"

QED



Perhaps you'd like to take another Prozac before replying.   You seem to need something=- more-- to make you simmer down. Or perhaps you own a factory which makes drum machines.   That would certainly explain your intemperance.

I state my views, you state yours. That's the way it goes. But for some reason, you are easily upset.

As I said:   Pobrecito.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: number 6
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 10:36 PM

Let's face it

we are all snobs

all of us here on the Madcat

we are the upper most of the topper most of snobbery

we are snobs because we know everything about all things

there ... hopefully put a conclusion to this absolutely pompous thread

oh

and one more thing

Hi Ron Davies


biLL    ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 02:49 AM

Ron Davies: "As I noted earlier, somebody who requires a studio to "create" is no musician. That seems to knock out a lot of commercial rap--and a lot of current pop."

Well, actually a 'studio' is primarily a place to 'study'.
Some studios, have electronic devices in them which you can record and play back what you did, to analyze it...speakers, too!

Remember all those radios, CD's, records and tapes you've listen to, through the years??....THOSE pesky electronic devices!!..all started with those damned microphones!

So, if you want to check out what ya' sound like....I'll just bet you've used one or two, in your lifetime, yourself.

Ever use reverb?

Or maybe you've just done campfires....and sidewalks.

....and who's talkin' about trying to be commercial??...shit, learn your axe, practice the shit out of it, emote from the heart... an audience will find you!

GfS

P.S.........but then again, if that audience is THAT particular ..........................................................................................................................................................

(they might be snobs)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 06:48 AM

Irish session musi, f'rinstance, eschews harmony an counterpoint---which makes it agonizingly dull to my ears.

A few things here. First, sessions are a relatively new tradition. The majority of Irish tunes predate the modern penchant for playing them in sessions. They didn't start their lives as "session music". Second, playing tunes in a session is not primarily, or even at all, about providing a satisfying listening experience for an audience (though it's a great bonus if it does, and, in my view, it often does, but that's a personal opinion). Third, you might have experienced some pretty rigid sessions, but I don't think it's generally true to say that sessions eschew harmony. You won't find too many sessions that are melody instruments only playing in unison. As soon as you introduce guitars, mandolins and other stringy jobs, you have harmony (and there are, of course, instruments that can do double-stopping). What you don't get much of in sessions is arrangements (apart from unconscious things such as dropping in and out when you know or don't know the tune). That's the difference 'twixt a session and a band.

I'd argue that you don't actually need to embellish Irish tunes with too much harmony, if at all. A bit like Bach's unaccompanied cello suites, which have many passages without even double-stopping, harmony is "suggested" in the mind's ear when you hear the tunes well played. Not that I'm saying that Irish tunes as as good as that, but the argument still applies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 10:47 AM

Sorry, GfS, I suspect you know a studio in this context is not a place to study. But nice try.

I suspect you also know that studios are equipped with progressively more devices to change the sound 'artists" create, and that these devices are improving in fidelity and range all the time, such that, for instance, in such a studio--perhaps just with a synthesizer--you can create the sound of a clarinet, with excellent fidelity and a range exceeding that of the target instrument. And you can extend a person's vocal range 'on record' beyond the true range.

This is not good for the employment of instrumentalists--nor for music itself.

There is no comparison between earlier primitive techniques such as Spector's Wall of Sound and what studios can do these days, much as you want to lump all progress in sound recording together--gee, I wonder why you want to do this.

And a lot of music does not need the treatment available--which does not stop engineers from adding extraneous bells and whistles, in a bid by companies to win the approval of a jaded public.    Classical music recordings sometimes--not often-- have too much echo, for instance.    And Irish music is certainly strong enough to stand on its own without the "atmospherics" provided in the studio or with electronic "enhancement" devices--as in your Example 2.


Commercial rap is, it turns out, not strong enough without technological assist--which says worlds about its value. Not even to speak about its usual subject matter--which as I've noted, plays into the hands of the NRA.   And any reasonable person--perhaps that excludes you--should not be in favor of this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 11:12 AM

One other thing:   Number 6,   I just can't forget about Laura; it's just too painful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 11:28 AM

I would think a musician is someone who makes/plays music...........however he/she gets there.
Taste, again, may be a different subject.
I know of a synth/electric piano, that has a 32 bit sample of a Steinway full concert grand....sound so good, you can just about touch the 'wood', and the key action is perfect!.....are those on your list of 'no-no's?

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 01:09 PM

In a word, yes.   It takes work from a real pianist--and I like real pianos, not electronic imitators.   As do most real pianists.

If you can't see this, you are willfully blind.   Unsurprisingly.

And by the way, what are your views on drum machines?   Just fine by you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 01:10 PM

By the way, do you play classical piano at all?


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 01:12 PM

It's also interesting that you have addressed none of my points.

Silence consents.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 01:27 PM

I'd argue that you don't actually need to embellish Irish tunes with too much harmony, if at all. A bit like Bach's unaccompanied cello suites, which have many passages without even double-stopping, harmony is "suggested" in the mind's ear when you hear the tunes well played. Not that I'm saying that Irish tunes as as good as that, but the argument still applies.
   poppycock, what about o carolans tunes, an important part of the irish tradition, often played on the harp and played with chordal accompaniment which is harmony.
in fact the irish harp and the uilleean pipes both use harmony to a greater or lesser degree.
Steve,you remind me of Le Petomane


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 01:32 PM

Ron Davies: It's also interesting that you have addressed none of my points."

Are you talkin' to me?

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 02:44 PM

Dick, I expressed an opinion ("I'd argue that...") which is shared by many people who play and/or enjoy Irish music. Full-set pipes with drones and regs do indeed play harmony but it is relatively spare compared to that supplied by strummers (and, I'd argue, a damn sight more idiomatic). My point was that the tunes themselves contain harmony that works in your mind's ear. I didn't say harmony should be eschewed completely, did I ("IF at all..."). In fact I'm not a purist - I love bands like Patrick Street, De Dannan, the Bothies, Planxty etc. whose harmony playing adds a new (and, to me, valid) dimension to Irish tunes. But when I listen to them I'm listening to bands, not session playing. And I could listen to the pipes all night. As for Carolan, we have no clue as to what harmony might have accompanied his tunes. I don't think we have a single passed-down example. We have the licence to play around with 'em to our hearts' content. But they are not mainstream session tunes in the way that jigs and reels are, and it was the latter that I was addressing.

I'm off to drink beer harmoniously and play tunes, harmoniously or not, right now - see ya later! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 03:30 PM

Don't get your reeds wet!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 06:03 PM

Ron, please learn what you are talking about before making certain statements. Synthesizers and MIDI do not take work away from musicians. I don't know where you get that or why you think it would be true. I have worked in MIDI for over 20 years and own two synths which I use extensively. I know what I'm talking about. You sound like some pathetic old hippy who thinks electronic instruments are against man or will replace us all with machines or something. Utterly ridiculous and laughable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 07:51 PM

DDT: If you consider that somebody who plays a synthesizer is a musician then fine.    Sorry, I don't.   Synthesizers are the opposite of real music.    And it's you who are showing ignorance--I'm surprised you are not up on recent developments-- if you don't think that musicians lose work when arrangers choose to use a synthesizer instead--which is progressively easier as the synthesizers develop more and more fidelity and range-in any number of instruments.

There are more and more occasions in which management can choose to not have a full stage orchestra or band, due to advances in technology.   And they do. I'm amazed you don't realize this.

You need to do a bit more reading--and perhaps see more stage shows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 07:53 PM

Yes, GfS, i am talking to you. Let's start with your views on drum machines.   So far you've dodged the question.   What a surprise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 09:13 PM

Ron, you're putting down virtually every keyboard player currently in existence. Wendy Carlos isn't a real musician? Suzanne Ciani (a classically trained pianist whose synth work is heard in literally hundreds of commercials, songs and computer games since the 1970s) isn't a real musician? Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Keiko Matsui, Joe Zawinul,Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Tony Banks, Robin Lumley, Gary Wright, Daryl Dragon, Jon Lord, Kerry Minnear, etc. are not real musicians, eh? Son, you'd better be able to kick serious ass on your axe to make a statement like that.

A synth is just another instrument to make music with. What sets it apart from other electronic instruments is its astonishingly wide musical vocabulary. In the hands of master musician, it is an awesome thing to hear.

"And it's you who are showing ignorance--I'm surprised you are not up on recent developments-- if you don't think that musicians lose work when arrangers choose to use a synthesizer instead--which is progressively easier as the synthesizers develop more and more fidelity and range-in any number of instruments."

Name a single instance when this has happened. You can't replace a trumpet soloist with a synth in a live situation unless you can mimic one extremely well. That in itself would be an awesome achievement. You can play simple lines. Same with string sections. Background tone coloration is one thing but full orchestration requires a full orchestra. You don't just punch a button and all this prerecorded music spills out. Like any instrument, you have to play it. It would take a huge amount of expertise to imitate a Louis Armstrong trumpet solo with a synth. I don't believe it has ever been done or ever will be.

If synths replaced other musicians that easily, there wouldn't be any. You can make a synth sound like an upright bass--I do it quite a lot (even though I also own and play one) and if you're doing a simple bass line, there's nothing wrong with doing it with a synth but if you think you're going play one like Mingus or Nils Pederson, you clearly have no understanding of how a synth works, and if that is the case, why are talking about them as though you do?

"There are more and more occasions in which management can choose to not have a full stage orchestra or band, due to advances in technology.   And they do. I'm amazed you don't realize this."

Because it never happens. They use a synth when they want to use one. But the vast majority of composers will hire an orchestra when they need an orchestra. Even in the studio, it takes an extraordinary effort to simulate a full orchestra on a synth. Just trying to do a cello concerto would take months or grueling work to simulate it perfectly on a synth and it just can't happen in a live situation. The type of electronic editing required makes that impossible in real time. Believe me, Ron, I've been using synths for a very long time. They have their uses but they have their limitations.

If you say they take work away from musicians, then you might as well say the same thing about DJs. There was a time when the musicians' union went on strike because they said playing recorded music on the radio took away work from musicians. They lost the battle. Those stations that used recorded music couldn't afford to pay real musicians anyway. By the time recorded music became the norm, the entire music industry had changed and those musicians found their services in demand elsewhere--like television and movies.

"You need to do a bit more reading--and perhaps see more stage shows."

Quote me anything you've read that says that musicians are losing their livelihoods to synthesizers. As for stage shows, I don't need to see them--I've been in them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 10:22 PM

DDT--

If you think that every synthesizer player can also play the piano, you are sadly deluded.

However, I suspect that any concert pianist would have no problem playing a synthesizer.    You like synthesizer "music"--for whatever reason. I don't. No problem. Herbie Hancock, etc, are fine---on the piano. I never said they were not.   If they could only play synthesizer, my opinion of them would go way down. Fortunately, that is not the case--I'm sure they were quaking in their boots at the prospect.

Synthesizers in my view have no place in "folk" music--yet they are infesting it more and more--especially Irish music.    When they put synthesizers in bluegrass, I will stop going to sessions or buying it. Fortunately Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, etc. are safely on record already. Perhaps you think a synthesizer would give them some pep. I don't. "Newgrass"--who knows what will happen? That's already not my cup of tea.

I'm a traditionalist. You aren't, it seems.   I won't be coming to any of your gigs, you may be relieved to hear.    And please don't bring a synthesizer to mine.

And we'll get on just fine.

And your reading skills seem to be lacking a bit.   All you have to do is read this thread and you realize how real musicians are under pressure from synthesizers. Our own GfS was waxing lyrical on the wonders of a synth/ electric piano which sounds as good to him as a Steinway.   So, if he had a gig where the sound of a Steinway was desired, do you think he'd have a real Steinway--with somebody who could do justice to it? Give your head a shake.

And he is just dreaming, no doubt.    Plenty of others are actually making the calculation.    If you can't see this, your head is in the sand.

And as I've said more than once, it's not just pianos.   Technology has improved--and continues to do so--such that other instruments can be imitated with amazing fidelity--and more range than the actual instrument. Perhaps you're still living in the 70's. That would explain a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 11:48 AM

Boris Blank only plays synths as far as I know although I suspect he might be classically trained but I've never heard him play anything but synths. On the piece below, it's synths and samples. And his band--Yello--also do this live.

Swing - Yello

As for folk bands not using synths, that is so untrue that I'm laughing as I type this. My brother's band uses one to imitate a Zydeco accordion because they don't have or know any accordion players. Plus they'd have to hire one every time they wanted to play the song live which is simply out of the question.

I also interjected synthetic thunderstorms with rain as well as a synthetic stream, chirping birds and a dog barking in the distance for another folk band that I helped record some years ago.

Face it, synths are useful as hell and they are here to stay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 12:05 PM

"So, if he had a gig where the sound of a Steinway was desired, do you think he'd have a real Steinway--with somebody who could do justice to it? Give your head a shake."

I have a couple of dozen piano sounds in my synths from Steinways to cool player piano sounds. So what? That's not putting musicians out of work, Ron. You still have to be able to play a piano for these to be of much use. The great thing about such a keyboard is that my band doesn't have to haul a piano around which would frankly be impossible. We'd have to hope the venue had a piano there and that it's reasonably in tune. MOST keyboardists use these portable keyboards because most bands are their own roadies. We just can't haul a piano around, Ron, sorry about that.

If we go in the studio and there is a Steinway there, fine, we'll use it. If the venue has a piano there, fine, we'll use it. But what if they don't? By your standards, we turn around and go home. Well, real working musicians don't do that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 12:36 PM

Boris who?    You were the one who said you didn't recognize some of the current pop stars.    I venture to say more people will recognize Rihanna than Boris.   I recognize her--and don't even ever listen to her.

Sorry, Boris doesn't carry much clout.   The fact he loves sythesizer is not tremendously significant. In the words of my favorite musical analyst, Shania Twain:   "That don't impress me much."

So there may well be other bands which heavily rely on synthesizer.   Fine.   Just please make that plain and I will not be attending their gigs.    There is a wealth of wonderful stuff on YouTube--mostly the older stuff.    But there is also a huge amount of dross--most of which seems to include synthesizers, it seems.


Sure, synthesizers are here to stay.   More's the pity. And they're "useful"--especially in saving money by not hiring the real thing.

"My brother's band..."

QED

As far as I'm concerned, if a zydeco band does not have an accordion but uses a synthesizer instead, it's an ersatz zydeco band. And I'm not alone. Again:   "Ain't Nothin' Like The Real Thing".


By the way, as I said earlier, your reading skills need some work.    I never said said folk bands don't use sythesizers. I said the increasing use of them is a shame.

And as I said, they now plague Irish and pop music.    Perhaps that's just peachy with you. Not with me.

As I noted, I'm a traditionalist. You're not. Different strokes.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 01:05 PM

"Boris who?"

Boris Blank from Switzerland. He's recognized as a pioneer in synthetic pop, rock, Latin music and jazz.

"You were the one who said you didn't recognize some of the current pop stars."

That song I posted is from 1982. Yello (who as far as I know broke up long ago) were like gods to the New Wave groups of the 80s although they were not New Wave themselves. They were recording for Ralph Records, an S.F. underground label, for some years prior to that. I was already a big fan of Yello back then so that by the time the New Wave embraced them they were all latecomers to me.

"As far as I'm concerned, if a zydeco band does not have an accordion but uses a synthesizer instead, it's an ersatz zydeco band."

They are not a zydeco band at all. They are a straight folk band--guitars, mandos, banjos, fiddles, bass--the whole bit. But they did ONE SONG in a zydeco vein. With no hope of finding a zydeco player in their area, they used a synth to imitate and it sounds quite convincing.   and they do it very well onstage.

As for taking work away from a real zydeco player, I'm sure a million of them were dying to get that gig.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 04:29 PM

For those who think I'm a snob for disliking rap, here's the lyrics to Li'l Wayne's latest piece of garbage that's causing a ruckus now due to a reference to Emmett Till--never mind the misogyny, racism and drug references. This guy is being called "a rap genius." Well, read for yourself what this genius has to say:

KARATE CHOP
[Intro]
You know, This just some real nigga shit, a real nigga story
You know what I'm saying?

(Hook)
Slang a bunch of narcotics
Pull up in the new 'rarri
Living like John Gotti
Chopping bricks like karate
Drink a bunch of codeine
Serving to the dope fiends
Blowing money, stay clean
Michael Jackson, Billy Jean

[Verse 1: Future]
Got a Panamera round a young nigga neck
Got a young bitch pulling up in a vet
Smoke a lot of kush & I have a lot of sex
Had to beat the grind up, ran up my check
Bitch nigga get money, nigga get that
Roll a blunt of chronic, nigga sell a lot of crack
You can hit a nigga line, order what you want
I can whoop a Maserati, pulling up a donk
50,000 on yo watch, young nigga splurge
Pop a ace of spade bottle, sip a lot of syrup
Keep a young nigga workin' gotta buss a cape
I'mma take a phone call, hustle everyday

(Hook)

[Verse 2: Future]
Whipping up a cake, just to go and snatch a spider
Young nigga play with keys, like a type writer
Al Capone, John Gotti was a nigga idol
I was never snitching, I can put it on the Bible
In a 4 door beamer, driving with a rifle
Nigga where you at, nigga we go pull up on ya
Young Bitch looking like Janet in the 80's
We was grinding up from a tube and a baby
Got the girl dripping wet like a jerry curl
Got a styrofoam cup and its full of syrup
Send it over from Lil Mexico & Let me Work
I can get 36 for a clean shirt

(Hook)

[Verse 3: Lil Wayne]
Pop a lot of pain pills
Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels
Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till
Yeah....
Two cell phones ringin' at the same time
That's your ho, callin' from two different phones
Tell that bitch "leave me the fuck alone!"
See, you fuck her wrong, and I fuck her long
I got a love-hate relationship with Molly
I'd rather pop an ollie, and my dick is a trolly
Boy, I'll bury you like Halle
And these hoes say I'm blind,
Cause I don't see nothin' wrong with a little bump and grind
Man I just received a package
Them other niggas taxin'
And my pockets so fat, I'm startin' to feel contractions
And my cousin went to jail for them chickens
And he already home and that nigga must be snitchin'
Cut him off like karate!

(Hook)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 06:46 PM

He could well be a genius. I don't understand the lyrics. There are lots of writers i don't understand. Some of them - you study and end up being rewarded. Not all truths can be simply stated. Some of them - you say - sod it I can't be bothered with.

It remains the artists prerogative to make his statement, and your prerogative to reject what he has to say, or his manner of saying it. That's how it should be in a liberal society.

You may well not approve of the language that he uses. Still where would we be if that were the criterion. James Joyce, DH Lawrence, William Burroughs were all withdrawn from circulation on those grounds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 10:03 PM

Ron Davies: "DDT: If you consider that somebody who plays a synthesizer is a musician then fine. Sorry, I don't.

Monterrey Jazz Festivals ALWAYS keeps a Technics PSR-1 electric piano/synth on stage...I guess there aren't real musicians there either.

..and as far as drum machines...the programmable ones? or electronic drums?


DDT, what king of synths do you use?

Something we used to notice..then started saying, when I had the studio in L.A...."You can ALWAYS tell a purist..they're always out of tune!"

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 10:17 PM

A bad mechanic always blames his tools.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 11:31 PM

Ron, a question for you....what do you think of electric guitars??..bass?..Hammond organs??

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 04:17 AM

I play only acoustic guitar and sing. Accompanied by, if anything, only a bit percussion, other guitars and if I am lucky enough a brilliant viola player. Very occasionally my son will plug in and give me some lead guitar backing. I tend to listen more to acoustic based music. Find it more organic and it just feels right for me. However I do also like electronic music. I understand that someone can make music now with the help of technology without being really proficient on any instrument. However the fact that they are creating music by whatever means surely means they are a musician. Would we say that Bowie was being a musician when recording Hunky Dory but not during his Berlin period?


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 04:40 AM

He could well be a genius. I don't understand the lyrics." "            .    Your not missing anything.Mind you Shane McGowan did it singing about the world he saw.Imagine the kids head that plugs into that all day.So not so much a snobbery thing more a common sense mental health thing.As


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guestlex
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 04:43 AM

Just posted itself sorry.. As I mentioned above some do get more positive when they get more skilled.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 05:50 AM

Something we used to notice..then started saying, when I had the studio in L.A...."You can ALWAYS tell a purist..they're always out of tune!"

Do expand on your understanding of "in tune", would you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 08:55 AM

It's not his idea of "in tune", Steve. Obviously, you haven't participated in any arguements about whether "A" should actually be standardized at 440hz.

Here, selected a random from another website, is a selection of the sort of things that "a purist" might say:

"I've been reading about this as well, but can't come to any conclusions about who exactly changed the standard tuning from A432 to A440. Some say Bach, some Goebbels, it goes all over the place...

Two interesting bits I found said Verdi's music was composed and originally played at A432, and that the original Stradivarius violins were designed to be tuned to A432.

Also 432 squared is 186,624, which comes close to Einstein's figure for the speed of light - 186,282 miles per second.

And, if you plot the Pythagorean tuning for the C-Major scale on a 360 degree wheel, the wheel is based on 16 divisions, and if you set middle C as 256Hz (A432 tuning), you get 16 sections of 16Hz in the wheel.

One thing that caught my eye was when I calculated the hertz frequencies for the C-Major scale in 432. I posted this on my facebook as well, but here it is... I find it fascinating that the cycles per second work out to whole numbers with A432 and NOT with A440. Seems to make sense that this tuning would "feel better" to the human ear."


Please remember two things: A) I did not say this stuff myself
B) You asked. Let's just hope it ends here...


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 11:43 AM

Stim, VERY GOOD!!

It is pretty well recognized that 440 has been standardized as being 'A', however Stim's post may be enlightening for those who are concerned with wish to utilize the numbers that are mathematically consistent with the speed of light..(well done!)...That being said, the expression that I was referring to, about 'purists being out of tune', was aimed at those snobby folks who were too arrogant to either use a 'tuner' or deluded themselves into thinking that they had 'perfect pitch'..and consequently, weren't even properly in tune with themselves!..let alone any other accompanying instruments!!
One thing that musicians should be aware of and discipline themselves about,i s getting used to 'hearing' themselves being out of tune..but getting used to it!...it's much like making a recording, with errors, listening to the recording over and over, and getting used to the errors and writing it off...It's the same lazy process, and really makes an ass of the player...when he THINKS it was 'just great'!
Even if you use a digital tuner to 'lock in' what the frequencies really are, rather than what you THINK you've been accustomed to hearing, use them long enough to get accustomed to the absolute correct tuning. You may fine your ear has some adjusting to do. Remember, your listening audience may not feel like making excuses to themselves as to why it sounds 'OK, when it really isn't....they'll just give you a polite BS 'compliment' and move on to whatever conversation someone else wishes to engage in, without giving you a second thought.
AND, if you sing, for God's sakes, study!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 12:01 PM

DDT et al.--

I'm so sorry to hear about the Monterrey Jazz Festival using synthesizers.   I knew there was a reason I didn't attend.

Nor, with all due respect, will I be attending any gigs of your brother's band--he'll be crushed to hear this.

And as for New Wave, I predict that 20's, 30's and 40's music (not to mention early rock) will be around long after the New Wave has crashed and disappeared without a trace.

I actually have quite a wealth of musical opportunity without ever having to be at an event sullied by a synthezizer.    Already I can't find time to go to all the classical concerts I'd like to--fortunately I'm in a fair number.   Not to mention, doo-wop, bluegrass, Balkan, tradtional country, Sephardic, (real) Western swing, hot jazz, etc, etc.


Look, it's real simple. Some people insist on the real thing. Some will take anything.

You and I have both made it plain on which side of the issue we stand.

I am willing to live and let live. Somehow it seems likely that synthesizers will not go away any time soon--especially given the economic incentive to use them. It's interesting that you are not williing to admit they place--increasing--pressure on real musicians, though I have explained more than once how this happens.   I have also patiently explained that only if synthesizer is the only keyboard a person plays do I consider that person not a real musician.

However for some reason you're not willing to live and let live. I wonder where the intolerance lies. You evidently resent the idea that traditionalists exist.   Too bad.   I am not alone.

But I recognize the limits on my power.   You may not have observed that I do not run the universe.   I however have observed this fact.

And by the way, it's fascinating that, though I've asked more than once, neither you nor GfS have yet given your views on a related topic:   drum machines.    Could it be that you are dodging the issue?    Nah, not a chance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 12:38 PM

I am a drummer but I use drums machines extensively. I also use electronic pads. You can sync them together as well as pull out drums voices from my synths and use them all at once. You can also take non-drum voices and put them in the pads and play, say, a string section like a drum. Not only do drummers not see anything wrong with drum machines, most of them make use of them. The better a drummer you are, the better programs you can make up. Phil Collins's drum programs are incredible. I use the Alesis SR-16 which is kind of outmoded now but it still works. Millions of drum sounds and programs in that thing.

GfS: I use a Roland U-20 and a Roland D-10. The U-20 is actually a sample player rather than a true synth although you can do mind-warping things with the sounds. Its keys are weighted like piano keys and its string sections are incredibly lush. Other synths have thin string sections. Both my synths are outmoded now but I still use them. I'd like to get a Buchla Music Box but they are upwards of $10,000 so I guess I'll hold off on that for a while. I use Cakewalk and Sonar software but often resort to my trusty old Alesis MMT-8 sequencer if I'm just trying to get a demo down. If I like the line I played, I can always take it right off the sequencer and drop it into the Cakewalk.

Even though I do a lot of avant-gard, ambient and noise pieces, I still consider myself primarily an acoustic musician.

As for A=432 as opposed to A=440, I'm all for it. I'd love to go back to A=432.

People like Ron, who hide their inability to understand electronics with a veneer of snark, are the ones in the end who will lose relevance. If you have a choice between a musician who plays only acoustic and seems hostile to electronics and a musician who understands and plays both acoustic and electronic, which would you rather pick as a bandmate?

And, Ron, I can keep on answering as much as you wish. No inconvenience for me. Sure, I can live with you sneering down at everybody who doesn't agree with you, it doesn't affect my standing with anyone and I don't tell people that they should just live and let live and forget about arguing and then ask them, "Oh, by the way, what about drums machines? Can't comment on those, eh?" That's clearly perpetuating the argument and not living and letting live. But, as I said, I'm happy to answer any and all questions you may have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 12:42 PM

Thanks for telling me you use drum machines.   I suppose you're also now going to say they take no work from real drummers.

How detached from reality are you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 01:02 PM

only if synthesizer is the only keyboard a person plays do I consider that person not a real musician

What an amazing statement, Ron. Does this mean that, in spite of many years of musical training, of playing with other excellent musicians, of being able to read music proficiently (for example) - in spite of all that, a person choosing to express him or her self purely on a synthesiser is not a "real musician". How on earth can the choice of instrument have any bearing on a person's musical ability? They either play their instrument of choice well, or they don't.

I happen to have a Korg N1 synthesiser, a very fine professional instrument - on which I've played blues, boogie-woogie, jazz and all sorts of stuff. I also play guitar, mandolin, tenor guitar, bass and other stuff. Presumably, if I only played the Korg, I wouldn't be a real musician. But because I play other stuff I am...

Funny old world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 01:26 PM

They also make MIDI guitars, basses, violins, trumpets, saxes, even cymbals. You plug them into your synth or drum machine (which is really a synth) and program whatever voice you want to use. The beauty of that is several fold: first - these are MIDI tracks and so can be manipulated the same way MIDI can. Second - you can program any voice into these MIDI instruments and play them with that instrument's characteristics. You can take a timpani voice, put it in a MIDI violin and play the timpani as though it was a violin. That's a fantastic expansion of the musical vocabulary. Say you have a MIDI violin but what a bowed bass violin sound--just program the violin with a bass violin sound and saw away. No one can tell the difference. You can even play an extremely fast violin run up the neck and it will sound like the bass is doing it.

Because the tracks are MIDI, you can also change their voices after they were already recorded. Didn't like that trumpet voice you used when you played the MIDI trumpet? Just remove it and assign a new one. No re-recording necessary. What to change the key without altering the tonal characteristics? Just tell the computer to change it to whatever key you want. Want to change just one note in the solo? Bring up that track, locate that note on the graph and change it--any parameter you want such as pitch, tone, duration, volume, etc. or any combination of those. No re-recording necessary. You can speed up the tracks or slow them down and they don't lose their tonal quality. You can bounce tracks all over the place and never lose a bit of sound quality which is impossible with analog tape. You can bounce a track a million times and it still sounds identical to the original track. Can't beat that.

Korg is very good. So is Yamaha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 02:47 PM

What's remarkable is that a lot of the capabilities of this software is old turn-of-the-20th century technology. Player-pianos or pianolas as they were called used binary language just as today's digital programs do. Anywhere there was a hole in the roll was a 1 and where the paper was unbroken was a 0. When the metal finger that rode the surface of the paper roll encountered a hole, it "fell" through it and activated the key it was attached to and that note played. When the hole moved past the finger, it jumped back onto the surface of the paper turning the key off, so to speak. It's really the identical technology as a simple music box.

When composers used the pianola to punch the holes, they often did it in real time BUT they didn't have to. They could do it note by note by note and many of them did. You stop the roll wherever you wanted and punch all the holes you want to. When you finished punching the piece in, you could go back and add more notes to it if you wished. They often built up their chords to have more notes that a person could play in real time because the pianola gave them that capability. Jelly Roll Morton made great use of that.

So I suppose Morton, Joplin, Lamb, Scott and the other roll-makers were not real musicians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 02:56 PM

DDT--


So, fine, you don't think a listener should be concerned about whether he is hearing a drum machine or a drum. Nor should the difference between an accordion and a synthesizer imitating an accordion bother him.    And of course he should be fine with a synthesizer imitating a Steinway.


Let's consult an acknowledged expert, a recording engineer who is probably a pre-eminent authority in the entire world, and see what his views are.

He says:    "There's so many gizmos in the studio you can't trust anything you hear anymore."   He doesn't sound as if he welcomes this development, to put it mildly.

And who is this authority?   It's you, DDT, earlier in the thread,

So now you have contradicted yourself.   I have at least been consistent:   I don't like sythesizers, drum machines, etc.

You have been all over the map.

The suspicion arises that you don't believe a word of what you yourself say;   it's just that a good argument gets your juices flowing.

Well, well, well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 02:57 PM

"synthesizers"


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 03:22 PM

Ron, I wasn't dodging your question. I simply asked if you meant ALL electronic drums/pads or drum machines per se?..
but you DO seem to be dodging mine...electric guitars?..Bass?..Hammond organs.

DDT, I used to have an Alesis-16 as well..but don't have it any more. My keyboards have one built in, and I, sometimes(more not, than more) use it. I've been used to live drummers (my older brother is a drummer and in the 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame', as one). HOWEVER...sometimes drummers can be a pain in the ass. I'm working with one now who doesn't mind using a drum machine with his drumming...I know some that absolutely will not...personally, it's up to the piece and composer.
IT'S THE MUSIC, DUMMY!..however you get there is how you get there.
I have two wonderful acoustic guitars, an electric built for me at the factory, and a synth/piano. At one time I had 14 guitars, three synths and a regular, acoustic piano..plus an expanded set of top of 'their' line Tama drums.
DDT, I'd love to hear your stuff...any way?

Oh, Ron....sometimes when I write lyrics (or scripts) I use a pen...occasionally a pencil...and woe is me, even a computer!

Here, for those who think it matters... this guy was 14 years old doing this on an electric Example 1

Same kid, on an acoustic Example 2

Personally, I think he kicks ass either way....and really, isn't that the way it should be?

Regards To All You Musicians out there!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 03:38 PM

I love music.
I love listening to music.
I find it takes too much work and diminishes my fun to engage in the assholery required in deciding I don't like something before I hear it.
I'm afraid that sort of thing is what I do with posts at Mudcat, based on who's writing, but music? Nah. I'm not likely to enjoy something just because it has the approved instrumentation, and I'm not likely to hate it if it does. That sort of thing is better left to morons who lump things together and can't judge any one thing on its own merits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 09:38 PM

"Let's consult an acknowledged expert, a recording engineer who is probably a pre-eminent authority in the entire world, and see what his views are.

He says:    "There's so many gizmos in the studio you can't trust anything you hear anymore."   He doesn't sound as if he welcomes this development, to put it mildly.

And who is this authority?   It's you, DDT, earlier in the thread"

Yeah, but Ron...you sort of cut off the part where I refer specifically to vocal alteration. I was referring to singers who require electronic alteration to sound awesome. The music industry is so image driven that they don't care what the person sounds like as long as he or she has the right look. They can artificially craft a voice or other musical skill-set to that person and then hype the shit out of him or her after the fact. Milli Vanilli was a perfect example. Beyonce lip-syncing at Obama's inauguration or Rihanna lip-syncing at all her shows because she's dancing around too much onstage to sing at the same time is lying. What has that to do with using a synth or a drum machine?

I mean if you use a drum machine and then tell everybody that they are hearing you actually playing the drums and that it's not a drum machine then you're lying. Period. But if you make no such claim then when who cares?


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 09:53 PM

So true..so true...you forgot Britney Spears and Madonna lip synching, as well...but really, most of their stuff is lightweight, commercial pap...but I'd still like to hear your stuff, DDT...I, myself, am a sound engineer as well..so it looks like we have a lot in common.
....and Ron, it's OK...great acoustic players make a LOT of people shut up and listen..but you've got to practice your ass off, and emote from the soul. to get the re-action you want..and I honestly wish you ALL the best with that!!..Honestly!..The public NEEDS more re-enforcement of the inner soul!!..Go for it!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Feb 13 - 10:05 PM

Hey, I've performed as as a OMB (One Man Band) and as far as I'm concerned if you can figure out how to get more stuff workin' for ya then all is good... If it means 'lectronics then so be it...

That's just my opinion...

Never mind...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 03:32 AM

I guess this guy's not a musician then:

Nick Pynn


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 04:08 AM

Ah - Nick of "Nick & Dick" (Richard Durrant) fame! Two amazing musicians from my neck of the woods. Nick's a superb violin player and all-rounder - and Richard a fantastic classical guitarist who also indulges in the Gentle Art of Looping.

Their joint album - recorded live some years ago now in pubs all around Brighton - is superb. At the climax of one of the most wonderful tracks recorded ina riverside pub around midnight, Nick fell drunk into the river Adur (so Richard told me). Luckily he hopped out none the worse for a ducking...


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 04:14 AM

Richard Durrant used to run a monthly 'open mic' at the Airport and latterly the Ropetackle in Shoreham (near Brighton, UK). It was only an 'open mic' in the sense that you got invited to play in front of a paying audience, but it was always great fun.

One of his party tricks was to project a video of himself playing guitar on a large screen on one wall of the stage. The piece would then repeat with him playing along live to himself - amazing counterpoints and harmonies. The joke was that, when it had finished, the videod Richard would say to the live Richard, "Hey - that was fun - shall we do another one?". Which was always good for a laugh.

The point of this (for me)? No rules. None whatsoever. Do what you like, and pay the devil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Allan Conn
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 04:23 AM

"I predict that 20's, 30's and 40's music (not to mention early rock) will be around long after the New Wave has crashed and disappeared without a trace."

I don't think that is likely that the music that appeared out of the New Wave period (ie late 70s early to mid 80s or so) will completely disappear. Some of the music is so established now. For instance "Every Breath You Take" by the Police is now one of the all time highest grossing songs. But the rest of their canon and Sting's solo work is also well established. My son and his mates (in their mid-teens) all know and play Police material. Likewise we've had youngsters in our club playing "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads. Those over 60 mostly didn't have a clue what it was but that is a different matter. Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding" has almost entered the general folk (ducks for use of that word in this context)canon now as has the likes of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart". Work by The Jam and Weller's solo stuff is unlikely to be forgotten likewise with The Clash etc. We've had people playing Ian Dury material as well as Squeeze. The list goes on and on. Great pop songs out of the likes of Blondie etc. My son even plays some stuff by 'what are now' more obscure bands. eg "Making Plans For Nigel" by XTC. Just touched the surface here of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 05:23 AM

Absolutely, Alan. There's a lot of stuff from the 60s through to the present day that will be iconic songs for new generations for a long time to come. "Disappearing without trace" is most unlikely.....some people here sound a bit like many of my local contemporaries, who seemed to stop listening to new music sometime after their 29th birthdays, and now constantly hark back to "how much better it was in their day" (or before) and how "everything today is rubbish/ sounds the same"....pretty much what my parents used to come out with in the 60s!.

I play versions of Arcade fire's "Intervention", British Sea Power's "Canvey Island" and Bon Iver's "Flume" at open mics, and the youngsters there are often very surprised that someone pushing 60 has even heard of the bands, never mind likes to cover their songs..... while at the same time those youngsters are themselves covering songs like "Hotel California", "White Rabbit", "Wish You Were Here" and "Wild Wood"...OK, Wild Wood's only 20 years old, but the others are over 40 years old, and going strong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 05:28 AM

Will: The point of this (for me)? No rules. None whatsoever. Do what you like, and pay the devil.

Absolutely! That's what I love about the Bull sessions....jigs, reels and hornpipes alongside ballads, old music hall songs and the odd bit of Pink Floyd....and it's all just music....no-one commenting on eras, whether a song or tune is "real" music or not...just a lot of people having fun and also entertaining the other customers!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 05:45 AM

"synthesizers"

From Stockhausen to Daphne Oram to Delia Derbyshire to Forbidden Planet to Sun Ra to Pink Floyd to Popul Vuh to Klaus Schulze to Kraftwerk to Giorgio Moroder to Human League to New Order to Soft Synthesises and Neo-Analogue and beyond, the most significantly & amazing music of my lifetime has been realised by purely electronic means. I love synthesisers & count them as the most defining musical instrument of our age - quite possibly the only 'real' one to have given voice to a plethora inner dreams, myths & mysteries as part of the overall Tradition of human music making these past 50,000 years.

Whilst it's all a matter of taste and opinion, it's worth remembering that in all this time (i.e. 50,000 years) the single most important component of music has remained unchanged. Indeed - whatever the means of musical production, without THE EAR none of it would matter anyway. AIR is pretty essential too of course, otherwise any given MUSIC is just as REAL & AUTHENTIC as any other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Allan Conn
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 07:42 AM

"just a lot of people having fun and also entertaining the other customers!"

We are the same at Kelso. We specifically named the club "Kelso Folk & Live Music Club" to try and show we wish to have a place for folk music but not restrict it to folk music. Any type of music is welcome and one can hear Scottish music and other traditional music through to African drumming through to jazz, classical music and popular music from any era and people's own compositions. We start off with an open mic at 8pm in a non-licensed premises which tends to be more singer-songwriter, blues, folk-revival and popular tunes though the odd traditional player attends too. Then we go down the Cobbles Inn after 10pm where the night normally starts off on traditional fiddle based tunes and Scottish songs then through the evening gets more diverse. It doesn't please everyone (what does?) but it seems to please most people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 09:37 AM

"Musical" and "snobbery" don't go together. A musician is open to anything rather than to condemn it because it doesn't fit that musician's framework.

I mentioned before that I don't like Schoenberg and the Twelve Tone theory of music but I would be the last person to say that Schoenberg wasn't a great musician.

I feel that way about some forms of heavy metal, rock and roll in general and rap.
There is value in every music and that is why it's produced.

I have preferences as most do but the condemnation of a musical style generally makes no sense to me.   

The attitude of "snobbery" coming from folkies, which I have encountered, is a form of ignorance about music in general. The only way to really appreciate folk music, jazz or so-called "classical" is to look at the big picture of music and see how each style fits in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 01:38 PM

And by the way, what are your views on drum machines?   Just fine by you?

Just fine by me anyway. And sampling. And programming. And looping. And Glory Be to the Amen Break!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 02:57 AM

Here's a synth piece played completely 'live' at an 'open mike'

No 'pre-programming'..all live! Every note!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 04:27 AM

This is a track from a suite I wrote many years as incidental music to a theatre production of "The Wind In The Willows". This particular track is background music to Mole's sinister excursion into the Wild Wood on a bleak, cold winter's day, where he encounters evil creatures and sudden snow as night falls... All played on my Korg N1 keyboard...

The Wild Wood

Best played through loudspeakers - loud.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 04:39 AM

Will, for some reason my computer isn't playing it...but I SHALL listen tomorrow, on another unit...and I really understand about 'LOUD'..(and clean!). Glad to see you posted it!!

Warmest Regards!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 07:06 AM

Nice one, Will!

Have you explored the weird world of Korg's new range of analogue ribbon synths at all? Having been hooked on the Kaossilators for the last few years, I'm now enthralled by their Monotron series - pocket size synths coming in at around £35 a pop! Toys or true folk instruments?? Their pretty amazing things anyway. They also do the Monotribe, which is slightly bigger, but still evasive of anything too conventional. Here's a piece I did last week, in real time (no dubs), entirely improvised, just using the 'Tribe + some cheapo FX thrown in for good measure....

https://soundcloud.com/eleanors-visceral-tomb/take-me-to-your-lieder


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 02:30 PM

Thanks for posting your work, guys. GfS, I was hoping you'd post a link to that piece, because I love it, and I'd forgotten where to find it.

Really nice flavors, Will, and they flow together really well-not that we ever wondered, but it shows that you can do more than one kind of music.

Blandiver, that was an absolute delight(one can even dance to it!), and for such a low price!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 04:08 AM

Thanks Blandiver and Stim. I don't do much of this kind of music these days, but I really enjoyed creating collages of sound with the Korg and my Roland 8-track - overlaying different textures like a painting. Good fun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: fat B****rd
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 07:17 AM

Thank you, Will lad, Good one.
Personally I don't care what music is made on as long as I like it. So there.
Charlie


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 12:39 PM

Stm: "GfS, I was hoping you'd post a link to that piece, because I love it, and I'd forgotten where to find it."

Did you mean this one???


Here's another 'Live' recording, you might like.

I haven't gotten to Will's, yet..am going over today.

Regards!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 11:03 PM

Will Fly, Is there anywhere else besides 'SunCloud' where your music can be heard?...It won't play when I click the 'play' icon.
Thank you!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 11:49 AM

Try a different browser, GfS. Had the same problem when I brought it up on Camino, but it played perfectly when I used Safari.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 11:55 AM

Hey Stim!..Hi...
I posted another piece for you..did you get it?

I've got some more,and am planning on posting some other 'older' stuff, and am getting ready to record some even newer stuff. The 'older' stuff I was going to post as 'Private'..which would mean by invitation only..not open to the public. If you so like, I'll put you on the list to be able to view it.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 02:26 PM

Sorry, GsF - Soundcloud is the only place I store my audio stuff. Works OK with Firefox...


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 11:50 AM

This guy uses NO instruments....but does multitrack..because he'd need to find others who could do THIS!
For all those musical snobs who object to electronics!!!!
Enjoy!!..He's got more, just click them.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 11:57 AM

Back to musical snobbery.   I have my moments....even though I admit to liking a lot of 'bad' music. But I guess that just the fact I call it 'bad' music probably reinforces that 'snob' category.   I mean, how do we really judge what is 'good' and what is 'bad'?

I don't think there is any category of music I totally dismiss. My own personal experience has been that about 90% of music in every category I either judge as 'bad'....or simply don't care for.

Does that make me a snob? Probably.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: framus
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 07:57 PM

Maybe not strictly relevant, but I thank a quote from Sir Thomas Beecham (orchestral conductor) might be appripriate.
"The British don't know much about music, but they simply LOVE the noise it makes!".


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical snobbery
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 04:13 PM

Beecham was a great conductor, a keen observer, and very pithy--whether or not you agree with him.    One of my favorites (though it's somewhat amazing that he got away with it) is what he said about a female cellist.)

These days, when PC has in some quarters replaced a sense of humor, somebody would find a way to sue him.


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