#1
This thread was inspired by something I saw whilst flipping through some random channels on TV today. I randomly saw a live performance of a Brittney Spears concert and, while I consider pop music to be almost completely lacking in substance, I feel obligated as a serious musician to at least be aware of modern music trends.

Anyway, what I saw kind of baffled me. The stage was devoid of any musicians (at least from what I saw), so for all I know the accompaniment could have been a backing track. Coupled with the fact that Brittney Spears was very obviously not singing, there might not have been any real music being played. The focus seemed to be about this very elaborate stage set up, with costumes and choreography.

So, it got me thinking, has music reached a point where the aesthetic has become more a form of performance art than, you know, real music? I take the same issue with Lady Gaga. Now, people claim there is more substance to Lady Gaga's art, that she is culturally trying to accomplish something similar to what Bowie did back in the 70's (appropriate elements of popular music and culture and imbue them with intellectual depth). But I mean my response that is simply that, at the end of the day, her music, when stripped of the imagery, the theatrics, is nothing but simple pop music. It isn't the type of stuff you're going to be listening to years, decades down the line, still gleaning more from it.

Obviously, it would be ignorant to say that nobody appreciates great music anymore. Merely that it seems as though a great schism has grown between real art music and popular music. You know, there's the high art crowd that appreciates the new developments occurring in classical/jazz music, and then the vast majority that don't even know who John Coltrane is. I can't be sure, but I really feel like the average person used to be more artistically inclined, I mean surely that must have been the case if small combo jazz music was one of the dominant art forms from in the 50's?

What do you think, is music going to become more divided between the high brow art crowd and mainstream people who don't care to make the effort to listen to and decipher more complex forms of music? Also, do you think art music has become so esoteric that the average person won't be able to relate to it as they did with Miles Davis, Bill Evans, all the classic jazz music?
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#2
That's deep.
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#3
It's the style of music. Pop is derived from the word Popular, hence why you see a lot of Fashion trends in Pop shows. It's not that there isn't music (Good or bad you choose), but it's just that genre's style.

When you think of a Rock n Roll show, you think drums thumping the beat, loud guitars. and sonic singers with lots of stage stunts like flips, slides, etc. You don't see them wearing the latest fashion, I remember seeing Extreme in 2009 I believe and they are pretty casual dressed having fun, head banging and pumping the audience. Pop, obiviously different, uses more choral forms to potray it. You see the "jazz" hands, preplanned dances, and back up dancers moving and swaying to emphasize the main star.

Every music genre is different, if you go to a Metal show, don't expect to see pop style dancing. Lkewise if you go to a Pop show, don't expect head banging. It's the form of expression the genre tends to take.

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#4
stop being such a condescending bowel movement, it's so irritating when people get a high-and-mighty opinion on music.

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#5
I think music is getting exponentially more fragmented and "mainstream" no longer holds the power that it once did due to the Internet and the diversion it has created.

My attitude on it is that people who listen to mainstream music will never be inclined to listen to art music based on lots of environmental factors, so it wasn't really a loss in the first place. On the other hand, I suspect that more people are getting exposed to art music, or at least music that is not pop.

But yes, art music has gotten too esoteric, which is in a way sort of inevitable. Like any other discipline, the knowledge and development of music grows at a pace faster than individuals are able to keep up with. This is true of almost everything in life. When technology had much more simpler mechanics, just about everyone knew exactly how the technology worked. But now, a lot of people drive cars and have no idea what's happening under the hood. We use powerful computers and yet most still can't name the essential parts inside one.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#6
Quote by Hail
stop being such a condescending bowel movement, it's so irritating when people get a high-and-mighty opinion on music.

MAAAAN THE 60S AND 70S MAN

your profile says you're 21

don't act like you were there

geez

How was that condescending? I'll admit that I do think pop music is becoming rubbish, but I also hinted at my opinion that some of the things happening in "higher" music are starting to sever the connection with most audiences and it's just becoming musician's music. I'm not a snob (not a huge one, at least).
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#7
Quote by thegloaming
some of the things happening in "higher" music are starting to sever the connection with most audiences and it's just becoming musician's music.

I think there should be musician's music.

If science had to restrain itself to the relevance of common man, we'd still be stuck in the 19th century.

Music is no different. The inner circle may be shutting itself from the rest of the world, but the innovation will eventually bleed through. The role of commercial application, whether it'd be science or art, is to eventually net those innovations and deliver it in a form that the public will find practical relevance in.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#8
music is music

obviously people who hone the craft will have different tastes to recreational listeners

that doesn't make you better than them or make your music better

that sort of pomposity is why people go to classical shows for face, or keep their weird tastes to themselves. who cares, if you enjoy it, you enjoy it. it's not worth caring about what other people think.

i'll just put it out there that the beatles were underground at one point too. there was a saying that went similarly to "if jesus did come back, would we believe him?", and that applies. maybe music isn't as "good" as it used to be because people worry more about scrutinizing and comparing it than listening to it. no, i don't like creed, but am i gonna say that they're quantitatively shitty because someone else likes them? of course not. it's not like hendrix did anything other than pentatonic wanking and blues licks, but he made good music.
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#9
Quote by thegloaming
some of the things happening in "higher" music are starting to sever the connection with most audiences and it's just becoming musician's music. I'm not a snob (not a huge one, at least).


Then stop torrenting and buy their musician music so they can continue to give you ideas to play to the common human being!


Higher Musician ---> Higher Music ---> No money = No more music

Why? No one buys its

Higher Musician ---> Higher Music ---> Consumer (You) ---> Knowledge (= or < Power) ---> Your playing ---> Your composing ---> Debut EP ---> other consumers = Money for you and Money = Power

Congrats, you are a rockstar and powerful because you opened your mind to art!
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#10
Quote by Xiaoxi
I think there should be musician's music.

If science had to restrain itself to the relevance of common man, we'd still be stuck in the 19th century.

Music is no different. The inner circle may be shutting itself from the rest of the world, but the innovation will eventually bleed through. The role of commercial application, whether it'd be science or art, is to eventually net those innovations and deliver it in a form that the public will find practical relevance in.


Hmm, sure that's true to an extent. You can't limit yourself to the understanding of those with no proclivity for music.

However, I recall this quote from a Pat Metheny interview in downbeat that really resonated with me, it was something along the lines of "I play music for nonmusicians, but if you are a musician than everything you want to find is there". That's pretty much the perfect summation of, for me, the greatest music. Take an album like Kind of Blue, debatably the best jazz album of all time (though I think Giant Steps is impossibly close). It was virtuosic music in terms of the new harmonies Bill Evans was introducing to jazz, his dynamic control of the piano, Coltrane's soloing etc. But it was also so lyrical that a person with no formal musical training could hum Mile's solo on So What. It was music for everybody, really.
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#11
TS, you don't understand pop music. It's supposed to be danceable (especially in a club setting), have a sing-along hook and just be an overall fun time. It's not meant to be musically deep. It can be, but that is not the main purpose. I love me some Last Friday Night and Bad Romance.
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#12
Quote by thegloaming

However, I recall this quote from a Pat Metheny interview in downbeat that really resonated with me, it was something along the lines of "I play music for nonmusicians, but if you are a musician than everything you want to find is there". That's pretty much the perfect summation of, for me, the greatest music. Take an album like Kind of Blue, debatably the best jazz album of all time (though I think Giant Steps is impossibly close). It was virtuosic music in terms of the new harmonies Bill Evans was introducing to jazz, his dynamic control of the piano, Coltrane's soloing etc. But it was also so lyrical that a person with no formal musical training could hum Mile's solo on So What. It was music for everybody, really.

But not everything has the luxury of what Metheny and Miles Davis was doing. Not everything can or should be lyrical or rhythmically familiar.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#13
i absolutely love some dubstep that's original and filthy. yeah, it's just sounds, but it's fun. it's not 'less' than anything just because it's somebody on a macbook rather than a "real instrument".
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#14
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But not everything has the luxury of what Metheny and Miles Davis was doing. Not everything can or should be lyrical or rhythmically familiar.

Well sure, music should communicate many things. Miles communicated a feeling that was (at least for me) very serious and melancholy, and he presented it in such a way that it was accessible to most people. Whereas a player like Anthony Braxton was probing the depths of his own psyche and trying to express some very abstract and visceral feelings. Both are legitimate, but I think that the more universal emotions that Miles evoked makes his music more worthwhile.

Jesus how did the conversation get from Brittney Spears to this hahahahah...
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#15
Quote by thegloaming
This thread was inspired by something I saw whilst flipping through some random channels on TV today. I randomly saw a live performance of a Brittney Spears concert and, while I consider pop music to be almost completely lacking in substance, I feel obligated as a serious musician to at least be aware of modern music trends.

Anyway, what I saw kind of baffled me. The stage was devoid of any musicians (at least from what I saw), so for all I know the accompaniment could have been a backing track. Coupled with the fact that Brittney Spears was very obviously not singing, there might not have been any real music being played. The focus seemed to be about this very elaborate stage set up, with costumes and choreography.

It's a show, you know entertainment, not unlike Disney on Ice, Cirque du Soleil, Mythbusters Live, etc. It sells tickets, people enjoy it, get over it.
Quote by thegloaming
So, it got me thinking, has music reached a point where the aesthetic has become more a form of performance art than, you know, real music? I take the same issue with Lady Gaga. Now, people claim there is more substance to Lady Gaga's art, that she is culturally trying to accomplish something similar to what Bowie did back in the 70's (appropriate elements of popular music and culture and imbue them with intellectual depth). But I mean my response that is simply that, at the end of the day, her music, when stripped of the imagery, the theatrics, is nothing but simple pop music. It isn't the type of stuff you're going to be listening to years, decades down the line, still gleaning more from it.

See above. I am going to see "Roger Waters - The Wall" in May because it should be a good "SHOW", not to see Roger and friends (not Pink Floyd) play some old songs.
Quote by thegloaming
Obviously, it would be ignorant to say that nobody appreciates great music anymore. Merely that it seems as though a great schism has grown between real art music and popular music. You know, there's the high art crowd that appreciates the new developments occurring in classical/jazz music, and then the vast majority that don't even know who John Coltrane is. I can't be sure, but I really feel like the average person used to be more artistically inclined, I mean surely that must have been the case if small combo jazz music was one of the dominant art forms from in the 50's?

In the 50s, 60s, and to a lesser degree the 70s and 80s more people needed to be entertained by live shows. Guess what, there were a lot more of them but if you think that all of it was "high brow" you are living a fantasy of what the past was like. You have to remember when I grew up we had three TV channels on a good day, two were operated by the Government (one in French). Radio was still AM (I didn't have an FM receiver in my car until 1984), My "stereo" had zero bass response and the only time I heard real music was live. The reality is there were little distractions and entertainment outside of reading, sports and live shows. To put it in perspective, I wasn't even born until the 60s and I am relating what I remember.
Quote by thegloaming
What do you think, is music going to become more divided between the high brow art crowd and mainstream people who don't care to make the effort to listen to and decipher more complex forms of music? Also, do you think art music has become so esoteric that the average person won't be able to relate to it as they did with Miles Davis, Bill Evans, all the classic jazz music?

I will answer this with a quote:

"I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose." Charlie Chaplin.
Last edited by Quintex at Feb 3, 2012,
#16
Quote by thegloaming
I take the same issue with Lady Gaga. Now, people claim there is more substance to Lady Gaga's art, that she is culturally trying to accomplish something similar to what Bowie did back in the 70's (appropriate elements of popular music and culture and imbue them with intellectual depth). But I mean my response that is simply that, at the end of the day, her music, when stripped of the imagery, the theatrics, is nothing but simple pop music. It isn't the type of stuff you're going to be listening to years, decades down the line, still gleaning more from it.


Here's my advice to you.

Learn something about music before you denigrate it. I suspect that once you learn a little bit more about music, if you actually look at what Lady Gaga is doing musically, you'll be surprised. The above paragraph is, therefore, nothing more than a confession of your own ignorance. People who know music have a tremendous amount of respect for Lady Gaga's music even if its not what they choose to listen to most of the time.

Of course, you know, people were saying the same thing about those four lads from Liverpool. "It's just pop. Nobody's going to be listening to that in forty years."

I can't be sure, but I really feel like the average person used to be more artistically inclined, I mean surely that must have been the case if small combo jazz music was one of the dominant art forms from in the 50's?


Except that it wasn't.

The top 10 songs of 1955:

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White Perez Prado
Sincerely McGuire Sisters
Rock Around The Clock Bill Haley & The Comets
Sixteen Tons Tennessee Ernie Ford
Love Is A Many Splendored Thing Four Aces
The Yellow Rose of Texas Mitch Miller
The Ballad of Davy Crockett Bill Hayes
Autumn Leaves Roger Williams
Let Me Go Lover Joan Weber
Hearts of Stone Fontane Sisters

Yeah, you'v egot "Autumn leaves" in there. But you know what? I think "Rolling in the Deep" (2011's top song) stands up pretty well to the songs in that list, don't you?

What do you think, is music going to become more divided between the high brow art crowd and mainstream people who don't care to make the effort to listen to and decipher more complex forms of music? Also, do you think art music has become so esoteric that the average person won't be able to relate to it as they did with Miles Davis, Bill Evans, all the classic jazz music?


The best-selling album of 1959 (the year Kind of Blue was released) was Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn." It was followed by two soundtrack albums and two albums by the Kingston Trio. (And not because Kind of Blue was a late entry. It was released in August).

As for deriding "popular" vs "high brow" art, let me ask you this:

Who had a bigger impact on the future of music: The Beatles, or Phillip Glass? Both were just taking their first steps in the early 60s.

In conclusion, sometimes it helps to know what you're talking about before you speak.
#17
Quote by HotspurJr
Here's my advice to you.

Learn something about music before you denigrate it. I suspect that once you learn a little bit more about music, if you actually look at what Lady Gaga is doing musically, you'll be surprised. The above paragraph is, therefore, nothing more than a confession of your own ignorance. People who know music have a tremendous amount of respect for Lady Gaga's music even if its not what they choose to listen to most of the time.


Can Lady Gaga sing/arrange a tune? I suppose. But if she is focusing so much more on the performance art/dancing aspect in a live setting, and often times missing vocal parts due to being exerted from dancing (I've observed this in numerous vidoes), I'm not really interested in listening, I'd rather go hear somebody just really play.

As for jazz not being a culturally significant music in mainstream society, I hate to sound like an ass but that's simply wrong. I know this because I know people/have studied under people that were around then. And what they tell me is that musicians and non-musicians alike got really deep into the music. You're right that throughout the 50's and 60's rock became increasingly the more commercially successful music as jazz started to go far beyond swing into bebop/modal/free. But a lot of people were listening to jazz.

Look, I didn't mean to come off as sounding like a know-it-all (actually I've just happened to have had a bit of a bad day and was in a weird and kind of self-righteous mood).

So, suffice it to say that I'm just afraid that a lot of the elements in the music I think is truly great are being lost in modern styles, yeah?
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#18
Quote by thegloaming
This thread was inspired by something I saw whilst flipping through some random channels on TV today. I randomly saw a live performance of a Brittney Spears concert and, while I consider pop music to be almost completely lacking in substance, I feel obligated as a serious musician to at least be aware of modern music trends.

Anyway, what I saw kind of baffled me. The stage was devoid of any musicians (at least from what I saw), so for all I know the accompaniment could have been a backing track. Coupled with the fact that Brittney Spears was very obviously not singing, there might not have been any real music being played. The focus seemed to be about this very elaborate stage set up, with costumes and choreography.

So, it got me thinking, has music reached a point where the aesthetic has become more a form of performance art than, you know, real music? I take the same issue with Lady Gaga. Now, people claim there is more substance to Lady Gaga's art, that she is culturally trying to accomplish something similar to what Bowie did back in the 70's (appropriate elements of popular music and culture and imbue them with intellectual depth). But I mean my response that is simply that, at the end of the day, her music, when stripped of the imagery, the theatrics, is nothing but simple pop music. It isn't the type of stuff you're going to be listening to years, decades down the line, still gleaning more from it.

Obviously, it would be ignorant to say that nobody appreciates great music anymore. Merely that it seems as though a great schism has grown between real art music and popular music. You know, there's the high art crowd that appreciates the new developments occurring in classical/jazz music, and then the vast majority that don't even know who John Coltrane is. I can't be sure, but I really feel like the average person used to be more artistically inclined, I mean surely that must have been the case if small combo jazz music was one of the dominant art forms from in the 50's?

What do you think, is music going to become more divided between the high brow art crowd and mainstream people who don't care to make the effort to listen to and decipher more complex forms of music? Also, do you think art music has become so esoteric that the average person won't be able to relate to it as they did with Miles Davis, Bill Evans, all the classic jazz music?

You seem to think this is a new thing, it's not.

Popular music has arguably always been a case of style over substance and has been for decades - it's perhaps a little more obvious now simply because its so easy to record and play back music in the modern age, hence the frequent absence of actual musicians.

You've even summed it up yourself by stating that small combo music was one of the dominant art forms in the 50's...popular music isn't about art, it's about being popular.

Django Reinhardt was at the peak of his powers in the 40's but George Formby was far more popular in the UK, in the US at that time it was all about the singers, rarely the musicians or the music.
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#19
Quote by steven seagull
You seem to think this is a new thing, it's not.
Popular music has arguably always been a case of style over substance and has been for decades


Nailed it. Except you said decades, it's more like centuries.

TS, check out the historical difference between pop music, art music and folk music. Admittedly the lines have blurred now do to the massive amounts of media available in music and to musicians, but they still broadly apply. I think you'll find that this isn't new at all, but has been happening since forever.

And just an aside: you mention jazz, which is an interesting point because it's been all three in just over a century of existence. It began as a folk music, turned into pop music around the 20s and then morphed into art music by the 50s.
#20
I guess i was thinking in terms of recorded music but yeah, go back further and your average commoner would be listening to bawdy folk songs, not the flowery music of the bourgeoisie.

Apologies for any inaccuracies there, my history knwoledge is crap and i can't be bothered opening Wikipedia
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#21
Yeah, most people don't think of pop music/bad music going back past the 50s/60s because they think of pop music as starting with the mass production of records. The TS apparently doesn't think it goes back past the 90s. But man, there is some bad music out there, it just gets forgotten. And it's not just pop music either, when you said bourgeoisie it made me think of French stuff and then it made me think of Rousseau, who wrote some of the most dreadful opera/music in general that I've ever heard.
#22
Quote by thegloaming
Can Lady Gaga sing/arrange a tune? I suppose. But if she is focusing so much more on the performance art/dancing aspect in a live setting, and often times missing vocal parts due to being exerted from dancing (I've observed this in numerous vidoes), I'm not really interested in listening, I'd rather go hear somebody just really play.


Sure. She's putting on a show that is about more than just the music. It's fine if that doesn't interest you. It doesn't interest me, either.

BUt that's not what you said above. You said that her music was bad. And that's just wrong. (I wonder if you've really seen this numerous times, by the way, since what I've seen of her - not much - doesn't involve a lot of dancing, and almost every artist who does a lot of dancing lip-synchs. So I can't help but think you're just making stuff up. But for the sake of argument, I'll assume you aren't. Nevertheless, you complaint about her live shows is irrelevant to the point you were making above).

As for jazz not being a culturally significant music in mainstream society, I hate to sound like an ass but that's simply wrong. I know this because I know people/have studied under people that were around then. And what they tell me is that musicians and non-musicians alike got really deep into the music.


You described it as one of the dominant art forms of the time. Again, this is just factually wrong. And I'm not saying this because "I know some guy who told me," but rather because I can point to actual numbers of records sold.

Yes, that was the golden era of small-combo jazz. Yes, the people who were fans were "really deep into the music."

But it was a niche music. It was a subculture. If your friends were part of that subculture, more power to them. But again, that's not the point you were making.

Rather, you were saying that someone that music was a big part of the POPULAR consciousness, musically.

And it just wasn't. Charlie Parker was never a household name.


You're right that throughout the 50's and 60's rock became increasingly the more commercially successful music as jazz started to go far beyond swing into bebop/modal/free. But a lot of people were listening to jazz.


Well, in the 30s and 40s, "big band" Jazz was popular dance music. Benny Goodman, etc. And that music is a lot of fun ... but I don't think you'd be getting up on your high horse about how great music was back then if we were talking about that stuff.

"A lot of people" is a vague statement. The truth is that the first of Miles Davis' albums to go gold was "Bitches Brew."


So, suffice it to say that I'm just afraid that a lot of the elements in the music I think is truly great are being lost in modern styles, yeah?


I think it depends where you're looking, and you've got a shifting set of criteria that allow you to see what you want to see.
#23
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Yeah, most people don't think of pop music/bad music going back past the 50s/60s because they think of pop music as starting with the mass production of records. The TS apparently doesn't think it goes back past the 90s. But man, there is some bad music out there, it just gets forgotten. And it's not just pop music either, when you said bourgeoisie it made me think of French stuff and then it made me think of Rousseau, who wrote some of the most dreadful opera/music in general that I've ever heard.


no dude slipknot was in the 90s! i love slipknot! and a7x! no pop there!
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