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categorisation of music

The Sandman 03 Feb 07 - 04:15 AM
Alec 03 Feb 07 - 04:30 AM
Marje 03 Feb 07 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 03 Feb 07 - 06:03 AM
The Sandman 03 Feb 07 - 08:58 AM
Marje 03 Feb 07 - 10:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 07 - 10:56 AM
Scoville 03 Feb 07 - 12:26 PM
The Sandman 03 Feb 07 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 03 Feb 07 - 05:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 07 - 05:47 PM
Declan 04 Feb 07 - 07:18 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Feb 07 - 08:45 AM
RTim 04 Feb 07 - 12:11 PM
Bill D 04 Feb 07 - 02:11 PM
alanabit 04 Feb 07 - 02:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Feb 07 - 06:16 PM
Bill D 04 Feb 07 - 06:24 PM
GUEST 05 Feb 07 - 03:06 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 05 Feb 07 - 03:21 PM
Bill D 05 Feb 07 - 03:56 PM
Tootler 05 Feb 07 - 04:08 PM
bubblyrat 05 Feb 07 - 06:04 PM
Bill D 05 Feb 07 - 06:36 PM
dick greenhaus 05 Feb 07 - 10:24 PM
Bill D 05 Feb 07 - 10:28 PM
GUEST 06 Feb 07 - 02:14 AM
GUEST,Russ 06 Feb 07 - 11:28 AM
Cluin 06 Feb 07 - 01:01 PM
Cluin 06 Feb 07 - 01:57 PM
Scrump 06 Feb 07 - 02:32 PM
Cluin 06 Feb 07 - 02:40 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Feb 07 - 03:09 PM
dermod in salisbury 06 Feb 07 - 03:11 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Feb 07 - 04:54 PM
Bettynh 20 Jun 11 - 02:23 PM
The Sandman 20 Jun 11 - 04:30 PM
Bettynh 21 Jun 11 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Dave in Michigan 21 Jun 11 - 04:03 PM
The Sandman 21 Jun 11 - 04:13 PM
Bettynh 21 Jun 11 - 05:22 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 11 - 12:40 PM
Bettynh 23 Jun 11 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 23 Jun 11 - 08:57 AM
The Sandman 23 Jun 11 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 23 Jun 11 - 02:36 PM
Bettynh 24 Jun 11 - 02:59 PM
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Subject: categorisation of music
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 04:15 AM

Is the categorisation of music as important as the performance.
Without music there would be no collectors of it,it can also be argued that without collectors we would have no music.
There are quite a lot of grey areas that make definition,possibly less important.
In the early twentieith century,in america, black musicians and white musicians,crossed over and recorded[so I believe]for race and non race labels,.
was the music[and the performance of it] more important than their colour or different cultural background.
Jimmie Rodgers,recorded with earl hines and louis armstrong,described as country, the correct categorisation[arguably] should be country blues /jazz.
when I listen to this recording,it doesnt alter my enjoyment,that it has been incorrectly classified.
Fred Jordan, a traditional singer and also a revival singer,is his performance of both kinds of music more important,equally important, or less important, than the classifications.
BobRoberts[classified as a traditional singer]but also a songwriter,is his songwriting to be valued in importance by collectors,as his traditional material,.
he clearly thought it was equally important, as he recorded both and performed both very well.
I hope this can be discussed amicably,and without acrimony.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Alec
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 04:30 AM

I share your desire for reasoned debate Captain.It's a good subject and a toughy.Although I recognise & accept the need for categorisations I feel a lot of really great music is being made in the margins of categories (You cite a couple of excellent examples Yourself)A long standing belief I have, which I suspect that you may be sympathetic to,is that the phrase "Fusion Music" is nonsensical precisely because all music is fusion music in some way or another.
Some categorisation is over done (Precisely how many sub-categories of Rock do we actually need?)
For this reason I place ALL music into only 2 categories.
1)That which I like. 2)That which I don't.
Can't help being aware how unhelpful that is in this context though.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Marje
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 05:42 AM

I think the answer depends on what you really mean by the question.

If you mean: "Does music have to stay within recognisable bounds and categories, and is it wrong to break those barriers?" most people would say no. This relates both to performance and to appreciation and enjoyment of music - it's very limiting to ignore certain categories or genres or music, or dismiss something because it hasn't got the right label on it.

But if you mean "Is it useful and/or interesting to discuss music in terms of categories?", then many (most?) people would say yes. An analytical approach and an awareness of the different influences and styles that characterise a particular song, tune, performance or musician can enhance appreciation for the listener. I also think that a performer who understands where ths music has come from as well as where it's going will tend to interpret the music with more depth and interest, particularly when the material has links with traditional sources.

So if I enjoy a performance, I can just say "That's the sort of music I like", which is fair enough, but doesn't really allow for much further discussion. But if I can also say, "What I like about it is the way it uses a strong traditional tune and then does this and that with it..." or whatever, it opens the way for discussion and comparison of ideas and tastes.

Using categories, looking at sources and influences, enables us to compare ideas and views of what makes music enjoyable for us, and helps us to know what to expect. I can say, "On the whole, I prefer traditional English song to blues," without saying I will never listen to anything that calls itself blues; I will know that if I go to a traditional song club, I'm more likely to enjoy myself there than at a blues session or, for that matter, the punk-rock night in the pub across the road.

I think some of the acrimony that arose in a related thread recently was because people were confusing these two questions. I don't see that "performance" and "categorisation" are in any sort of competition - to me they are complementary, two sides of a coin.

Marje


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 06:03 AM

labels are communication - without them how do you describe?

rigid categories defy the purpose of music and for listening they are superfluous.

For telling other people they are the way we tell it and are as personal as the teller. But ya gotta start somewhere.

And as for archiving - how do you pigeon hole? No pigeon holes - no archive - just a pile. With the aid of computors the cross referencing and multiple entry helps but once it gets too comprehensive it is just a dilute mass. So fairly tight categorisation usually wins, because the human mind is not good at data - better at information and superb at pattern recognition.

IMHO


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 08:58 AM

marje said,[its very limiting to dismiss something because it hasnt got the right label on it].
I agree,However I believe[and if I am wrong Im sure I will be corrected] collectors like Sharp, did do just this, by restricting their collections to specific areas[geographically and socially].
COLLECTORS ARE FACED WITH A DILEMMA ,Do they collect everything from a singer,whether its a composed peice or music hall song,or a song learned by FROM THE revival process.
Do they not collect from foOtball grounds,Because the performance might be inferior.
If they dont they could be making a decision based on performance.
as far as I know Sharp never collected music hall songs or industrial folk songs,He made a decisionas regards categorisation.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Marje
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 10:43 AM

Everyone doing any sort of research has to decide how extensive the topic should be, and define their terms in a way that keeps the project manageable. It doesn't mean they're rejecting other avenues of study as irrelevant.

I suppose Sharp felt that music hall songs were already familiar and well documented at the time. In his collecting, he did concentrate on certain areas, and on rural rather than urban song and music, but I don't know of any evidence that he thought the rest was in the "wrong" category - I think it more likely that he simply concentrated on what interested him most, and the places where he felt socially comfortable, which is perfectly understandable.

If someone does decide to study the songs on football terraces in 2007 (and I do hope someone will!), they'll have to decide what to include and leave out, but most people won't criticise them for not extending their interest to children's skipping rhymes or folk-rock, we'll just be interested to see what they find out about that one category of song.

Marje


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 10:56 AM

Categories are OK so long as its recognised that someone or something can belong in several categories at the same time.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Scoville
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 12:26 PM

Very good point, McGrath, and they change over time. The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers were country back when but the Carters are folk today (nobody recording in that style now would be considered country by modern systems of classification) and Jimmie, as noted, is country/blues. Furthermore, in some respects early country recordings aimed at rural migrants had more in common with "race" records aimed at African-American buyers than they did with mainstream pop music. The Maddox Brothers were "hillbilly", which I suppose fell under country, but are often almost indistinguishable from rockabilly as it was known ten years later.

And of course it's almost hard to classify music when you know a lot about it because you know too much about all the subcategories in each genre. It can't just be country, it's got to be modern (Nashville, Bakersfield, neotraditional, outlaw, etc.), Classic (honky-tonk, rockabilly, etc.), early (Western swing, country blues, folk style, hillbilly . . . ).


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 04:58 PM

Is the categorisation of music as important as the performance.
Sam and Kirk mcghee,recently played two tracks on you tube,one was a blues,and the other a recent composition,
I enjoyed both tracks,what impressed me was Sam Mcghee,s delight with and love of performing,plus his brilliant performances.
The categories of the two peices [blues and popular sixties]made no difference to the pleasure I received from these videos,They were clearly of no importance to Sam and Kirk, Either.
I have heard Bob Davenport sing Moving Day,and The Blarney Roses,BOTH composed peices,I enjoyed both,at no time did I think I mustnt enjoy this because its been composed recently,so in those instances category was not as important as performance.
marje,sharp made a conscious decision to collect only certain types or categories of music,in doing so category[for whatever reason]was of primary importance.
so sharp decided category was of primary importance[it may have been for a number of reasons,or just, as you say because it was what interested him most,.
logically, Sharp considered category[Inclusion and exclusion of certain categories] more important than performance.
Secondly, His and other collectors, alteration of songs,would suggest that the original performance,was not as important,as the fact that they were of a category that were suitable for schools.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 05:18 PM

Categories serve a purpose to isolate stylistic differences in music. IE: I like Irish fiddling.
I hear definite regional differences and tend to gravitate to certain kinds which come from certain regions of Ireland. I am a bad fiddler (if you can even call it that) but I attempt to imitate that which I like. Donegal, for example, intrigues me.

I love the early recordings of Louis Armstrong and differentiate between the New Orleans style of jazz and the later Dixieland style which was probably popularized by the Original Dixieland Jass Band. Both have value and are different musical styles.

Visiting the Jazz Festival in Denmark, I was impressed by a European approach to jazz which was quite different than the American style they were seeming to emulate. No one would classify The Hot Club of France as an American jazz ensemble. Even Louis didn't apparently get it when he met Django. One of Louis Armstrong's fave bands was Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians. Talk about different categories.

From a standpoint of isolating and recognizing certain styles of music, categories make sense. But from the standpoint of the creative musician, they may be impediments particularly if they are subject to pronouncements of music critics (Leonard Feather who claimed authority on jazz and dissed both Django and Jelly Roll Morton).

I think there has to be balance. Without these categories, though, the humor would be lost in Louis singing English madrigals or Alfred Deller doing chain-gang shouts.

Categories, however, don't mean you have to like everything in it. There is good and bad in all and this can be subjective depending on the listener.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 05:47 PM

Louis singing English madrigals

Tell us that wasn't a made-up example! And point us towards where we can find it. (Alred Deller singing chain-gang shouts I can do without.)


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Declan
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 07:18 AM

Nothing wrong with putting music into categories, as is obvious around here different people have different categories. And some of my favourite music tends to defy categorisation.

What is bad is when people get elitist about a particular category. We will all have our preferences, but saying a particular singer is not traditional (or whatever) is often intended by some people as a put down.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 08:45 AM

I've just seen an advertising flier, for some sort of rock group, stuck to a lampost. This 'band' (hate that word in this context!!) was described as (something like), "chaotic indie rockabilly grunge punk". Funny thing is no-one ever seems to object to this sort of absurd categorisation ... but say that you like traditional English folk song and everyone jumps down your throat! I think that this is really because there are people out there who want to replace folk music with rock music. They seem to think that folk music is narrow and elitist whereas rock music is is a broad, all-encompassing 'church'. Actually, I believe that the reverse is true - rock music is a relatively recent, rather narrow form of expression, which has been pushed by marketeers to become all-embracing and is driving out many other musical forms.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: RTim
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 12:11 PM

I was once billed at a Folk Clubs as:

Tim Radford - Singer of Songs


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 02:11 PM

Music needs useful catagories when is is being advertised or sold. I may LIKE various flavors, but if I am in the mood for slow old ballads, I don't want to buy a ticket to a concert that features topical songs about Iraq. If I join a 'folk club', I need to know how broadly they interpret 'folk'.

Words are useful if they aren't used to cover so much that they mean almost nothing.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: alanabit
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 02:28 PM

The problem has been around as long as the hen and the egg. You need certain words to describe something, but not everyone agrees on how to define those words and genres. On all those "What is Folk?" threads, some of the better and more interesting replies were along the lines of, "What folk means to me is..."
For purposes of study, collection, storing and archiving, we definitely need categories. I expect most members here even have some form of categories among their own record/CD collections. If you like Doc Watson and Led Zeppelin, it is unlikely you would keep those CDs next to each other. Categorisation of music is not a bad thing in itself. We just have to be more aware of the fact, that we all categorise music in our own ways. It is not really a subject in which you can be either "right" or "wrong".


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 06:16 PM

I've generally found that, when I try to to organise anything whatsoever, the biggest category always tends to be Miscellaneous, the stuff that won't fit in any one category, or maybe won't fit into any category (apart from Miscellaneous).


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 06:24 PM

"It is not really a subject in which you can be either "right" or "wrong"."

If you like Italian food, you 'can' put Jalapenõ peppers in it if you choose......at home. If you want to open an Italian restaurant, you need to know that there is a reasonably narrow 'accepted' way, else your customers may not come back.

Right & wrong may not be the operable terms, but clearly defined terms for the general public are quite important.
(I suppose that in a restaurant, you could offer Jalapenõs 'on the side' for those few who wanted to experiment, but in a concert or on a CD, everyone gets the same recipe, and if they do not already know what to expect from a performer, they can be unpleasantly surprised. I know *I* have been!. After hearing & enjoying several 'Celtic' bands like Ossian and Battlefield, I went to a concert by The Tannahill Weavers, with driving electronic bagpipe and ¾ of everything LOUD!...I need categroies!)


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 03:06 PM

There are few full-time collectors in these islands, I know of only one. He regards his job as to collect everything he is given, and that is what he is paid to do (though I have seen him introduce a little discretion on occasion). When he did this it was largely due to the pressure he was under (he took us out with him several times in the early-mid 70s). Even then, when there were many more singers about (Ireland) he described his job as 'a race with the undertaker'.
Those of us who collected in our spare time did not have the luxury of recording everything, had to make choices. While we never refused a song we were offered, we tended to steer our work towards those we considered important. This was no great problem as the singers we met, certainly those with a substantial repertoires of traditional songs tended to catergorise them for themselves. Walter Pardon was separating his songs into folk, music hall and popular songs as early as 1948 in his notebooks.
I agree with you entirely about acrimony-free discussion Cap'n, though I suggest you will achieve this goal by not introducing red-herrings such as categoration v performance; the two are not connected unless you wish to make them so.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 03:21 PM

I have nothing against catagorizing by collectors and scholars, but I do feel that it is wrong to force catagories onto performers and participants.

I don't think the restaurant analogy works exactly. If I go to an Italian restaurant and order linguini with clam sauce, the chef usually follows a standard recipe that does not vary much from establishment to establishmetn. If I order the chef's surprise, then I take what I get. Before I place my order, I know the ingredients and there is little surprise.

When I go to a concert, I usually have an idea of what the music is about. If I've never heard the performer, then I've just ordered the "chef's surprise" and take what is put in front of me. I may like it or I may not, but at that point I would not have been expecting pizza and delivered chicken parm.

Likewise, I would not order bagels in Des Moines and expect them to taste like a good NYC bagel.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 03:56 PM

Well, Ron...you sort of made my point. "Linguini with clam sauce" IS fairly standard: some cook it better than others, but you would NOT find Japalenõs in it. "Folk" and "Traditional" ...or some term...should, make it clear what to expect at a concert or on a CD. If your tastes are very eclectic, you may enjoy a very wide range of stuff that even vaguely resembles Linguini with...um...."folk", but some of us don't like the chef being too surprising in the 'regular' recipes.....as I say, The Tannahil Weavers were some sort of loud pop/folk/rock/celtic mix that was only VERY loosely 'trad'...I paid for a concert that I only liked 10% of. I didn't repeat the error, but that is only one example. Years ago, I bought a "Red, White & Bluegrass" album because of the performers, and found it was widely divergent from what I expected.
   I have to be VERY careful....and I will ALWAYS wish that there was some attempt to clarify, in a standard way, what I'm likely to get.

I realize (I really do) that asking and repeating these pleas is like shouting down a well...but I'm just putting one viewpoint out and hoping......


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 04:08 PM

Interesting thought about the Tannahil Weavers. I have an album of theirs from a few years back. While their style is somewhat strident their material is very much traditional.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: bubblyrat
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 06:04 PM

I agree !! I would certainly hesitate to classify "The Geese in the Bog" and "The Jig of Slurs" , even as performed by the Tannahil Weavers , as "avante garde " !!


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 06:36 PM

*smile*...yes, indeed...they DO use trad BASED material, but 'trad' is way more than the name of the tune. If material is altered enough, it kinda leaves the realm of trad. If I sing "Barbr'y Allen" with a rock 'n roll beat, what IS it? I do know it is not what I want to hear, except as a comedy routine for a special occasion.

Tannahill is 'borderline' in some stuff (--as I say, 10% of what I heard was ok--), and I might be able to find better examples, but as I say I am more careful now.

I have no quarrel with what people listen to, I just want this small island where those of us who don't appreciate much avant-garde can wallow in our narrow little rut (*grin*) without wading thru gratuitous sausage-making of our favorites.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 10:24 PM

Bill D-
Contrariwise, it might be handy for those that like electric Celtoid music to be able to avoid those mouldy old ballads. At least at times when they're not in the mood for them.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 10:28 PM

Oh, yes, Dick...that would be SO handy......for both parties...*grin*


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 02:14 AM

Ron,
Take your argument to its logical conclusion; if you ordered tomato soup and were served mushroom on the basis that it is all soup you would (I would) be pretty hacked off.
We go to concerts on the basis of the fact that we know what we are going to hear. If we don't get what we think we are going to get we are being sold short.
Put yourself in the position of a chamber music enthusiast who turns up for a concert to find The New Lost City Ramblers.
If we only listened to the performers we were familiar with, we would never hear any new ones.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 11:28 AM

Making music and categorizing music are two different activities.
Both valid. Both useful.
It is possible to be obsessed with one or the other.
Other people's obsessions never make sense.
Proper categorization remains unintelligible until you have something to gain by it.
Then you get it.

If you were a dairy farmer you'd be annoyed, and rightly so, at people who refer to soy bean juice as soy "milk."


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Cluin
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 01:01 PM

This raises a question I have had about the ID3v2 tagging for MP3 files, namely, who was it decided which categories to include in the drop-down menu for GENRE of the sound file?

The options included are:

Acapella
Acid
Acid Jazz
Acid Punk
Acoustic
Alternative
Alternative Rock
Ambient
Avantgarde
Ballad
Bass
Bebop
Big Band
Bluegrass
Blues
Booty Bass
Cabaret
Celtic
Chamber Music
Chanson
Chorus
Christian Rap
Classic Rock
Classical
Club
Comedy
Country
Cult
Dance
Dance Hall
Darkwave
Death Metal
Disco
Dream
Drum Solo
Duet
Easy Listening
Electronic
Ethnic
Euro Dance
Euro House
Euro Techno
Fast Fusion
Folk
Folk Rock
Folklore
Freestyle
Funk
Fusion
Game
Gangsta
Gospel
Gothic
Gothic Rock
Grunge
Hard Rock
Hip Hop
House
Humour
Industrial
Instrumental
Instrumental Pop
Instrumental Rock
Jazz
Jazz Funk
Jungle
Latin
Lo Fi
Meditative
Metal
Musical
National Rock
Native American
New Age
New Wave
Noise
Oldies
Opera
Other
Polka
Pop
Pop Folk
Pop Funk
Porn Groove
Power Ballad
Pranks
Primus
Progressive Rock
Psychadelic
Psychedelic Rock
Punk
Punk Rock   
Rap
Rave
Reggae
Retro
Revival
Rhythmic Soul
RnB
Rock
Rock & Roll
Samba
Satire
Showtunes
Ska
Slow Jam
Slow Rock
Sonata
Soul
Sound Clip
Sound Track
Southern Rock
Space
Speech
Swing
Symphonic Rock
Symphony
Tango
Techno
Techno Industrial
Top 40
Trailer
Trance
Tribal
Trip Hop
Vocal


I think, personally, there are a few missing there, like Traditional or Fiddle Tune or Salsa or Country Blues or Dixieland or Cajun or Zydeco, etc.

And I wonder at the inclusion of some of those... is there a difference between Punk and Punk Rock? What the hell is Trip Hip? Would Toby Keith be considered "Trailer"? How many people need separate categories for Euro Dance, Euro House and Euro Techno? I can't even think of a separate example of each. Acid Rock, I know what that is, but there's no listed category of that, though there is Acid, Acid Jazz and Acid Punk...

Now I know that you can type any category you want to into the field (and I have seen some doozies), but I wonder at the default choices offered by the ID3 tag designers. Did they ask for suggestions from the public at large at one time? How did I miss that?


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Cluin
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 01:57 PM

And what the hell is "Primus"?

(I am familiar with the band Primus and Winona's Big Brown Beaver).


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Scrump
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 02:32 PM

Ooerr, Porn Groove sounds a bit dodgy to me.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Cluin
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 02:40 PM

Yeah, but we all know what that sounds like.

Kee chonk kee chonk ke chang chang


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 03:09 PM

If I ordered tomato soup and was served mushroom, I would send it back. Tomato soup is something that I know and represents a specific variety in the "soup family". If I ordered "soup of the day" and did not ask what kind, then the surprise would be on me.

Even if I order tomato soup, there are varitions. There could be milk in the soup, it could be chunky, it could be spicy, etc. It could be served hot or cold. I might not like it. Same thing with the linguini and clam sauce. Each cook will have a different variation. Some will be obvious additions (jalapenos) that

Soup= music
Tomato soup = Tannahill Weavers

Like I said in my first comment, I don't think the analogy works particularly well. As Cluin pointed out, there are numerous catagories that you can create.   If I saw "trad" on a label, what would that mean? It could be anything that anyone considers traditional. The problem is, I can come up with catagories that suit my need that will be different from yours. It simply adds to the conclusion.   If I bought a ticket to see the Tannahill Weavers and was disappointed because they had electronic effects, how would you expect it to be classified on the ticket?


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: dermod in salisbury
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 03:11 PM

As somebody earlier said, language is a collection of labels. It gives you a shortcut to current perceptions. But the wise person is always wary and questions received ideas. If you start from scratch, then folk music is properly that which can be felt and expressed, and passed on with minimum education and instruments. The next layer is what people with aptitude and experience and some degree of learning and good tools can add to the basics (most folk music as we now understand it and most country, jazz and pop). Thirdly, there is music as an advanced art form requiring much training and skill (here the listener usually has to share some training in order to meet the music half way). I agree with what somebody said that labels help you avoid buying tickets for he wrong concert. But that is about it they do. I dislike and distrust most of the musical distinctions that are current.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 04:54 PM

Ron-
If you see no need for labels, fine. But there are folks out here who like them. And, unlike your soup, I never figured out how to get my time and money back when I found myself at a concert or festival that presented genres I neither expected nor desired.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Bettynh
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 02:23 PM

I've been sorting through my old collection of vinyl albums for a yardsale and it got me thinking about categories and time. Scot Joplin fit nicely beside Bach, tho another collector might put them at opposite ends of the shelf. Some of the Donovan goes with Joan Baez, some with the Beatles. A recording of Pete Seeger, Memphis Slim, and Willie Dixon at a nightclub?? Really?? OK, OK just put them in a box and let someone else sort them.

However, when talking with my (29 year old) son, I was informed that the Grateful Dead are a bluegrass band, and they have been for decades. When did that happen?? I asked his twin brother, and he agrees. Is this just twinspeak (it must be wonderful to have someone who completely agrees with what you're saying, even if the rest of the world doesn't agree at all) or does it have something to do with the current popularity of "bluegrass festivals"? I have no idea, but Bill Monroe went into a separate box from the Dead.

Meanwhile, after I went to an Arlo Guthrie concert recently someone told me they saw me at a rock concert. I do wish they'd turned the volume down a bit, but really??

Anyway, I think I'm really happy with the Itunes/Ipod concept. I've turned off the "Genre" thing and make playlists with one song from here, another from there. When I browse music, I appreciate the 30 second previews if I'm totally unfamiliar with the players.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 04:30 PM

I would suggest that your son is mistaken, Grateful Dead, ARE DEADHEAD MUSIC,, or imo.Jazz, Long musical improvisation normally comes under the category of Jazz
wiki describes them thus.
The Grateful Dead were an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area.[1] The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock[2][3]—and for live performances of long musical improvisation.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Bettynh
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 01:30 PM

Thanks for the backup on this. They're hard to argue with when they agree. I know that Garcia and Grishman did what I would call bluegrass, but add lots of amplification and drums and it's just too far from the original. I have to wonder what other music categories have suffered semantic drift. Jazz and folk are so large that they almost lose meaning. Blues, at least, have a musical form to fall back onto.


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: GUEST,Dave in Michigan
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 04:03 PM

"Here and Now", categorization is a mostly convenience for promotion.

From the publicity material of a highly self-regarding upcoming Festival in S E Michigan:

"Escovedo has virtually defined the Americana sound over the course of an esteemed 20-year solo career"

Huh? Maybe for _some_ people? Maybe I'm just totally out of touch?


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 04:13 PM

jazz has to be about improvisation


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Bettynh
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 05:22 PM

"jazz has to be about improvisation"

Certainly that's true now. But Scott Joplin wrote music that was very precise. Count Basie's band couldn't function if everyone was improvising. Dave Brubeck's groups were innovative, but not improvisational. Jazz, like folk, seems to me to be something you recognize when you hear it, but escapes rigid definition.



Rock (not rock-and-roll, which implies a time period) seems to me another category with no real definition. Volume and the presence of drums seem to be the only constant. Or have I missed something?


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 12:40 PM

scott joplin was not jazz, he was ragtime,
re count basie not everyone has to improvise for it to be jazz, one person will do.
BETTYNH, re Basie
quote,One night the band started [[improvisation|improvising a piece which Basie called "One O'Clock Jump.
Dave brubeck is brubeck not jazz, he has been incorrectly categorise IMO HE IS VERY GOOD BUT NOT JAZZ


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Bettynh
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 08:21 AM

LOL, shall we start a "What is Jazz" thread? Once something is set in a medium (paper or audio) that was once improvised does it cease to be jazz? What is the difference between improvisation and composition?


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 08:57 AM

I search endlessly for a category for my music; the latest is CHTHONICISM but to me it's still FOLK though to many here it probably isn't even MUSIC (see HERE for the piece in question - freely improvised violin & frame drum, & live electronics xechronously recorded in various locations and assembled / realised in real-time back the studio). I see musical category as more a matter of Aesthetic Intention, or Perception, but each and every type of music is defined by its own TRADITION - i.e. the direct & immediate consequence of what preceded it, even if it proves a dead end in itself, such as many Folk Songs. Genre & Idiom is juice of musical creativity which is, in itself, a pretty persuasive tradition - unbroken these last 35,000 years!

The Jazz Tradition was summed up and pushed on by Sun Ra and Rahsaan Roland Kirk who took it to the outer limits and back home again; Miles Davis likewise and countless others before & since - even as I speak. Duke Ellington said there was only two types of music: Good and Bad. But all music is either Good or Bad to someone, but none of it by horses...


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 01:03 PM

as I understand it, the improvisation has to appear to be spontaneous, like combustion, asnd should be different every time


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 02:36 PM

Improvisation is very much a state of mind; it moves in the moment aware of the organic uniqueness of all things and doesn't come with too much by way of preconception. It's also tolerant of a myriad possible outcomes. It's also a matter of dynamics and interaction / dialogue as well as striving for something as transcendently elusive as innovation. One might draw parallels between Improvisation and Sexual Intercourse (best not done in public?!) and conversation. Personally I'm always amazed there isn't more improv in folk music really; certainly it plays a large part in most things I do, even Traditional Songs & Ballads, the modality of which engender those sorts of freedoms & fluidities. Having grown up with Folk in the context of Free Improvisation / Psychedelic Rock / Jazz and diverse medieval / ethnic / experimental idioms, then I don't really have those sorts of distinctions, or expectations. However, as I'm sure I've said before, in a Folk Context I'm aware that Improv is a no-no, though in an Improv Context, audiences are more than happy to listen to a ballad or two...


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Subject: RE: categorisation of music
From: Bettynh
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 02:59 PM

"in a Folk Context I'm aware that Improv is a no-no"

I think that sort of context is very rare here in the USA. For one thing, there are so many traditions that it's impossible to tell when someone is being traditional and when they're taking freedom with a form. Shape note singers have to stick to the book, I guess. For many cultures here I really have no idea if they're being traditional or merging styles. We have everything from Mexican mariachi to Polish polkas, with new ones coming every year. Ballad singers get to choose from English or Appalachian versions. Sea chanties can come from traditions from Newfoundland to Jamaica. And that only brings to mind a new category :::shudder::: World Music - which I can't define and somehow seems to be misused a lot.


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