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Which is the greatest genre of music?

12 Jan 09 - 08:29 PM (#2538493)
Subject: Folklore: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: jimmyt

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately and would like your opinions. I grew up as a brass player and at that time had no doubt that the single greatest type of music was that music which had "lots of brass", concert band,etc. As I got educated, I became convinced that symphonic work was " the pinnicle of musical endeavor"

I loved rock and roll as a teen, and then got more and more interested in jazz, especially when Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago did that fusion of jazz and rock in the early 70's. Folk was always a wonderful medium for me ,and when disco came along I have to say that I really appreciated the complex orchestration although the music itself, especially the fact that no beat had distinction, was a bit boring to me. I played Dixieland as a youngster as well as a number of Minstrel shows,and always admired the folks that could keep that library of music in their heads at one time.   I even enjoy hearing a bit of barbershop from time to time. I have always enjoyed the pure technique of polka band musicians, zydeco players and bluegrassers. Now I am performing a do-wop show of 30 songs with 4 part "gee whiz," harmony songs and having a blast. My accompanist is a retired piano man who played 13 years on a cruise chip and gigged around Europe for 5 years just playing piano bars.

My sentament is that music is all wonderful, some of it appeals to me more than other types, but I have to say I enjoy all of it. I have to say country is not my thing but I appreciate the terrific musicianship that so many country artists possess. I have a bit of trouble getting the idea of rap, but hey, you can't have everything. Anyone want to elaborate on this? I am hoping to concentrate on the positive here if possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment   jimmyt


12 Jan 09 - 09:03 PM (#2538506)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Joe Offer

Well, in my book, discussions about superlatives in music are futile. It's like arguing whether the ocean is more beautiful than the mountains - both have vast amounts of perfect and incomparable beauty. I think the same goes for music. Almost every genre of music has a number pieces that are at the pinnacle, that could be considered "incomparable."

In every genre you listed, I can think of pieces that I enjoy listening to, over and over again. In certain genres, there are pieces I enjoy performing, over and over again - never being able to exhaust the nuances of the beauty of the piece.

I think your last paragraph indicates you believe the same thing. In light of that, would you care to rephrase your question, so I can retitle the thread to something that doesn't become another futile argument about which incomparable piece is most incomparable?

How about "Musical Pinnacles"?

-Joe-


12 Jan 09 - 09:08 PM (#2538509)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Bert

Country.


12 Jan 09 - 09:09 PM (#2538511)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: jimmyt

fine, Joe I just wanted to start a dialogue about music ingeneral and why it is all good.


12 Jan 09 - 09:22 PM (#2538520)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: M.Ted

Don't forget that Country & Western used to be "Western Swing", which was pretty solidly jazz, but with fiddles and steel guitars. And there is "rap" music that is funny, wise, and even very powerful--

As far as the greatest, everyone has their own taste, and you can't really argue with people's taste. I do think that Bossa Nova is probably the most complex, rhythmically and harmonically, and that is capable of expressing a great range of emotions with great subtlety, but then, not everyone goes for that, either.

I have noticed, and much to my despair, that far from being a "universal language", people can be extremely divided by music. Rap and Country seem to irritate and annoy some people to no end. And it wasn't long ago that rock, and before that rock and roll, were seriously denounced as tools of Satan.

So it will be interesting to see where this goes--


13 Jan 09 - 12:17 AM (#2538612)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Nerd

Tuvan throat singing. No, wait...show tunes!


13 Jan 09 - 02:51 AM (#2538627)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Gervase

What's the best colour?


13 Jan 09 - 07:30 AM (#2538646)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: cptsnapper

Surely it's the song or the instrumental piece which grabs your heart and they're to be found in all genres.


13 Jan 09 - 07:36 AM (#2538649)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST,Woodsie

Appreciation of different genres of muisic is a very personal thing. For myself I seem to go through phases. My tastes range from Blues, Folk, R&B, Ska & early Progressive & Psychedelia in the late sixties. Then moving onto the U.S. west coast sound of The Dead, Airplane, Quicksilver etc. Then in the mid - late 70 a whole lot of U.S./U.K. New Wave stuff and, Jamaican Dub. The 80's for me were pretty much a non-music period - I didn't even have a record player. Since the advent of the CD I have discovered Miles Davis and a whole load of modern jazz stuff which I never used to like, but suddenly a door opened and wow! I've always enjoyed folk rock ever since seeing Fairport Convention at Hyde Park in 1968 and stuff like Dando Shaft and Fotheringay at the Roundhouse in 1970. I think the best folk music I have ever heard has been at small local clubs and pubs with amatuer unheard of performers, when the atmosphere is just right and that magic happens.


13 Jan 09 - 07:37 AM (#2538651)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Suegorgeous

Blimey what a very daft question! well said, Joe and Gervase! and what a waffley thread this could turn out to be... *groan*


13 Jan 09 - 07:43 AM (#2538659)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

Different genres each tend to have a different empahsis and it seems to me that this is mainly what determines whether you like them.

Do you listen to the tune or the words?
Do you prefer melody or chords?
Do you have a preference for certain time signatures?
Do you prefer lots of bass notes or shrill notes etc... ?
Are you looking for strict time keeping or the opposite?
Are you looking for improvisation?

The list is endless


13 Jan 09 - 08:18 AM (#2538670)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Les in Chorlton

The one you like


13 Jan 09 - 08:21 AM (#2538674)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Cappuccino

M.Ted refers to rap, which makes me recall a comment from Frank Allen, bass player for the Searchers - he said that the only thing missing from rap is the 'c' at the beginning.


13 Jan 09 - 08:47 AM (#2538688)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod

" ... and before that rock and roll, were seriously denounced as tools of Satan."

So are you saying they're not the tools of Satan, then? I wonder what Satan has to say about that!


13 Jan 09 - 09:04 AM (#2538703)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: The Villan

Rock n Roll


13 Jan 09 - 09:10 AM (#2538708)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Brian Peters

Bubblegum


13 Jan 09 - 09:17 AM (#2538717)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Big Al Whittle

Brian 'bubblegum' Peters and his concertina for swinging lovers.


13 Jan 09 - 11:09 AM (#2538772)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

I truly cannot pick one over another, saying it is the greatest and most worthy. I can eliminate certain sounds that fail to please or which grate on the nerves, rap being one of them - just a personal choice. That said, I think the answer is "whatever I choose at the time - whatever suits my mood in the moment." I think that music is tied to the soul and to circumstances.

I enjoy, at different times, folk, blues, string ensembles, brass choirs, full orchestras, tradition and progressive jazz (I'll leeave out "valium jazz," the Kenny G stuff, etc.). I've listened to country, western swing, pop (in every manifestation since the early 1950's)and classical music from all eras.


13 Jan 09 - 11:22 AM (#2538781)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: David C. Carter

Leonard Cohen's Bagpipe Party Hits.Extreamly moving!

Only found on the black market though!


13 Jan 09 - 11:42 AM (#2538803)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)

Motown


13 Jan 09 - 11:43 AM (#2538807)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: PoppaGator

I think the collision/interaction/synthesis of European and African musical conceptions that occurred in the Western Hemisphere during the 14th through 19th centuries marked the creation of a new "genre," and eventually a whole slew of genres. Certainly the most important musical genre in history, and in at least that one sense, the "greatest."

Indeed, that synthesis is the basis of just about every different kind of music we enjoy today, with just a few obvious exceptions: pre-existing stuff like pre-1492 European classical compositions, Gregorian chant, and the long-established musical traditions of India, China, Japan and other Asian cultures. And, of course, the folksong traditions of the various European peoples.

Folks can argue whether the very first interplay of African and European music took the form of blues or spirituals or early-jazz or whatever ~ my vote is for "work songs" ~ but all the plausible suggestions fall under the umbrella category of American Folk Music.


13 Jan 09 - 11:54 AM (#2538815)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: greg stephens

There can really be no discussion: it's George Formby, all the way. Nobody could seriously dispute that.


13 Jan 09 - 01:22 PM (#2538902)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Stringsinger

Every form of music seems to have arbitrary standards that critics and scholars place on it.

It's like asking who is the greatest person in the world.

I'm wondering Jimmy if it is an important question? Isn't appreciation for all kinds of music the best emphasis?

I believe that to evaluate any form of music, it must be studied whether rap, rock, folk, classical, etc. The more you know about it, the greater it becomes.

Frank


13 Jan 09 - 01:45 PM (#2538929)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Suegorgeous

Wow David! sounds like a must-have! 'ow much, guv? :)


13 Jan 09 - 02:15 PM (#2538956)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

Another thought occurs:

Years ago, I met a gentleman from England named James Symington, of the port wine family, at a wine tasting event here. At the conclusion of his presentation, during the Q&A session, a doctor in the audience asked, "How long can one age a vintage port?" Symington looked at him, cocked an eybrow and said, rather dryly, "That's rather like asking, "how long is a piece of string," isn't it?"

In other words, music, like fine wine, is too complex to rate easily or to make judgemental comments about in a vacuum. You have to know all the variables that go into the mix. In the end, past the technical aspects, it is mostly subjective.


13 Jan 09 - 07:39 PM (#2539227)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Hey, Jimmy! How wonderful to see you!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were sitting around the kitchen table reflecting on how delightful it was when you'd drop in.

Hint

Hint

The greatest genre of music? Depends on the time of day. Late at night it's probably jazz or classical, earlier in the evening, it might be the Bonzo Dog Doo Band or the Orioles. In the morning, rock and roll gets me up.

This question reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago. Ayoung man received two sweaters from his mother for Christmas. The next morning he came down the stairs proudly wearing one of the sweaters.
His mother looked up at him as he descended the stairs and asked him with a deep hurt in her voice, "You didn't like the other one?"

Jerry


13 Jan 09 - 08:23 PM (#2539251)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Joe_F

I don't even know which is the least.


13 Jan 09 - 08:54 PM (#2539261)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: jimmyt

I justr threw this out as a means of opening a dialogue, not to appear really stupid, which, apparently I have. I guess I just wondered how many of you in this forum really appreciate other genres than trad/folk. (I know that will get me in trouble as well) I have always enjoyed music, all music, and have felt in the past that there was a bit of " only folk is worth listening to," mentality here. I have played in a folk group for several years and the other members are getting a bit lazy and not wanting to get together much or book any gigs and frankly the music is getting a bit shopworn when we do play together. I have re-formed my do-wop group and have a couple gigs scheduled, and my other folk group members sort of look down on this type music as beneath them or something. I believe anything done well is worthy, and even though do-wop maybe very shallow lyric wise, the harmonies are right on and in that sense, every bit as difficult as any folk I have performed. Have I made anything clearer, or am I just rambling incoherently?


13 Jan 09 - 09:49 PM (#2539289)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Suegorgeous

No, that's interesting, Jimmy, and explains a lot. But I think you do have the wrong title for the thread, and won't get the discussion you're looking for. How about something like "Why do folkies often look down on other genres?" or "What's wrong with non-folk music?". Then in your first post, put exactly what you've just said above.

Personally I think that in every genre there are people who, for whatever reason, are convinced their genre is the superior one, and usually there's no way to convince them otherwise. Your doowop group sounds great, and is obviously giving you a lot more than your folk group. What if you came clean and told your folk group members what's not working for you any more, and their part in this? maybe it might just stir them into putting more into it again. Maybe some of them are bored too? But sounds like something needs to change.


13 Jan 09 - 09:57 PM (#2539292)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Yeah, Jimmy. I love a crazy range of music, much of which is not appealing to many folks in here. As it is everywhere. I participate in a blues community, but feel straight-jacketed only talking about the blues, especially when such a high percentage of the blues they talk about is electric. You're just weird, Jimmy. Like me. I've always been a generalist in my life. Some could say that it's a lack of focus, and maybe it is.

When I was a kid with a nickle to spend, all the penny candy in the case looked good to me. I guess I'm still that little kid. Almost all music sounds good to me... at least some samples of each kind.

I've always loved and played folk music. I've found in recent years that escept for the old stuff, folk CDs don't find their way onto the turntable as much as several other kinds of music. I still love to play it, though.

Maybe this title isn't all bad, after all. I came in here wondering, "What the?" That's not all bad. :-)

Jerry


14 Jan 09 - 05:38 AM (#2539437)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: David C. Carter

Suegorgeous:50 CDs a Fiver,'ows that sound!


David


14 Jan 09 - 06:34 AM (#2539460)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: quokka

I think something magical happens when genres come together and form something new. Like many of the posters above, I love a vast range of musical styles, including those which 'cross' boundaries and are hard to categorise. And I believe that most of the pigeonholed genres came out of a mix of other styles, evolving over the years until someone decided to call 'this' something else...rock and roll being a good example. And sometimes what you choose to call it is up to you...I think it's a shame and a sin to squeeze songs/music into little boxes and never let them be free...okay I'm rambling now ;-)
Getting OFF the soapbox and shutting up now...


14 Jan 09 - 06:35 AM (#2539464)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine

It's really like asking what's the best kind of food. I might like pizza best of all (this week at least) but I wouldn't want to eat it all the time.

I've come to the conclusion that there are only three types of music: music I like, music I don't like, and music I haven't heard yet.


14 Jan 09 - 07:32 AM (#2539503)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

One thing that I have noticed is that there can be quite a deffinate line between two similar pieces of music, supposedly from the same genre; one you like and one you hate.

It's as if you can adjust and appreciate the music as it alters in a particular direction but there comes a point at which the brain rebels and says enough is enough.

For example I'm fond of late 19th century/early 20th century, French school, church organ music (one of many odd genres that I'm into). I like Vierrne and Daquin and some Messian, but some of his pieces are just noise whereas others are masterpieces of dischord.

I get the same thing with voices, and I'm not talking about clarity of diction.
A voice that is too pure has no character, but you can consider it purely as an instrument I suppose.
A voice that has some slight inconsistencies has interest and a personality.
A voice that has too many warbles, or huskiness etc, detracts from the song. I'm afraid that I cannot listen to Shirley Collins without beig too distracted from the song for this reason.


14 Jan 09 - 07:37 AM (#2539510)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Liz the Squeak

Huh... typical JimmyT... don't see him for weeks and then he drops that on us... Just get me a tin opener for this can of worms!

Personally, I like all music, but some days I like rock more than classical, or folk more than jazz... it depends a lot on the mood I'm in, the circumstances experiencing and the people I'm with.

But I'll tell you this, I know both kinds of music... Country AND Western!

LTS


14 Jan 09 - 08:46 AM (#2539564)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST,goodlife

In answer to jimmyt i might be wrong {again} i thought this was a mainly folk site anyway the greatest genre is ----------------------------depends on your mood at the time


14 Jan 09 - 10:15 AM (#2539627)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh

The answer's obvious! That genre is the "greatest" which allows the rich and powerful to demonstrate to one another and the world at large just how all-fired cultured they are by dressing up in fancy clothes and attending concert halls to hear stuff composed by people patronised by their rich and powerful forebears and played by orchestras subsidised out of public funds, especially if the programme allows for an interval where they can sluice down the pre-ordered champagne whilst braying piercingly at one another, with the possible added bonus that afterwards they can "step over the homeless" on the pavements outside.

Or have I misunderstood?


14 Jan 09 - 10:31 AM (#2539646)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: sian, west wales

I like G.K. Chesterton's thoughts on these sorts of discussions:

If I set the sun beside the moon,
And if I set the land beside the sea,
And if I set the tower beside the country,
And if I set the man beside the woman,
I suppose some fool would talk about one
   being better.

Obviously no fools here then, as the general consensus (tomfoolery aside) is pro-variety.

sian


14 Jan 09 - 10:37 AM (#2539648)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Jack Blandiver

Jazz of course.


14 Jan 09 - 11:46 AM (#2539691)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe

Whale Song


14 Jan 09 - 11:50 AM (#2539695)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: kendall

Beethoven, Mozart,Brahms, they have stood the test of time like nothing else has.
Then there is:
Tom Paxton, Utah Phillips, Pete Seeger. Joan Baez, Gordon Bok, Stan Rogers and Hank Snow.

By the way, "Greatest" to me means most famous. That brings us back to Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms.


14 Jan 09 - 07:35 PM (#2539831)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: van lingle

I agree, Bert, but you didn't specify what country.


14 Jan 09 - 07:50 PM (#2539838)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Suegorgeous

David

Stone the crows, guv, you drive a hard bargain, dontcha! Awwight... 'ow abaht the lot for 4 squids, and you frow in a copy of Lennie's latest - "Hallelujah! 20 covers by stars including of course the fabulous Alexandra! and a load of others you haven't even heard of!"


15 Jan 09 - 05:22 AM (#2540024)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: David C. Carter

Suegorgeous

You got it all wrong.

I pay you!

I got a Rolf Harris version;you ain't heard nuffink like it!
I'll throw it in.You can throw it out!
Consider yourself"Done".

Call this number..........

David


15 Jan 09 - 05:27 AM (#2540028)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST,Ralphie

The best musical genre......?
Music. End.


15 Jan 09 - 05:28 AM (#2540029)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1

I like the New Tradition genre.

I like it because it's filled with musicians who are happy writing and performing everything from New Traditional Folk Songs, to Acoustic Rock, Folk Rock, Country Rock, those last three without the Rock part, Classical, Jazz...or whatever else takes their fancy on whichever particular day.

They're people who have no boundaries, no hang ups and no prejudices, just a great love of Diversity in all things.

REAL Musicians, Singers and Singer Songwriters! :0)


15 Jan 09 - 09:07 AM (#2540215)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: kendall

Music is sound. Noise is sound. The difference is critical. To me, rock, rap and modern jazz is noise.


15 Jan 09 - 10:57 AM (#2540375)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: M.Ted

If it's just noise, Kendall, how can you tell which is which?;-)


15 Jan 09 - 11:16 AM (#2540400)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST,Jon

The one you get most out of. For me, I'd head first to play some Irish dance tunes with others but there is a whole lot of I suppose I'll widen it to anglo-celtic music that seems to offer me a lot.

Then there are things, eg.if Pip found say (it wouldn't be) the Trout Quintet was to be played in Cromer, I'd want to hear, then there is musicwhere I might see skill but find myself left cold all the same (eg. modern jazz) and some things (RAP tends to be one of mine) where I can't even see music, etc.


15 Jan 09 - 11:48 AM (#2540441)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: GUEST

Thanks for the dialogue. I appreciate all the input.


15 Jan 09 - 12:14 PM (#2540467)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: gnu

James... stupid? No such thing as a stupid question. Only thing stupid is not to ask questions.

That and the woman in front of me at Speedy Checkout cash at the grocery today who had over 30 items. I had to listen to CĂ©line Dion squeal and screech over the PA system for an extra three minutes!


17 Jan 09 - 05:31 PM (#2541695)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: TinDor

I think it's impossible to state which one is the "greatest" musically since everyone has different musical tastes but just based on it's influence on music globally, my pick would be JAZZ. Jazz, more than any other genre of music has the ability to adapt to and absorb any other form of music and create a whole new genre altogether. Just a list of forms globally that Jazz has influenced..



Soul,Rock, Funk, Bluegrass,Western Swing, Jamaican Ska, Trinidadian Calypso, Cuban Mambo-Afro Cuban Jazz, Brazilian Bossa Nova-Chora-Samba Jazz, Puerto Rican Salsa-Latin Boogalu, Nigerian Afrobeat, Ghanaian Highlife, British Skiffle, New Age Music, Ethiopian Jazz, North African Rai, Electronica, Haitian Zouk-Compa, Argentine Tango, South African Mbaqanga, Arab Jazz, Gypsy Jazz

Jazz's global influence is unmatched IMO.


17 Jan 09 - 08:44 PM (#2541815)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Which country, Bert?


18 Jan 09 - 12:06 AM (#2541908)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: Cap't Bob

I seem to like cornucopia

Cap't Bob


18 Jan 09 - 03:16 AM (#2541949)
Subject: RE: Which is the greatest genre of music?
From: VirginiaTam

I read greatest as largest ... sort of assuming which genre has the most songs.

But then that's just me slagging off slang.

Taking "great" at it's popular definition... I would say Blues is the most influential. Not that I listen to much (usually only on the weekends). It just seems to have touched so many other genre. One can pick out blues elements in so much music dating from the 1920s forward. Probably because it is musically amazing, composers can't help but pinch and adapt bits. Jazz, Swing, Gospel Blues(spiritual with a blues motif), Rockabilly (bluegrass and blues), Modern Folk (20th century) Country Western, Rock and Roll(50s forward including many sub genre), numerous world fusions, etc.

So it is really "great" (translate - fortunate) that we had Blues to bouy up and in some cases give birth to much of the music we love.