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#1
Progressive, prog, avant-garde. You've all seen these terms thrown around to classify music, but can any of you actually tell me what it means? What are the parameters? What qualifies something as "progressive?" Some say that it involves the use of irregular rhythms, and complex song structure. Others will say it involves unusual instrumentation.

However, we are again faced with vague and imprecise terminology. What is "irregular," what is "complex," and what is "unusual?" Is there a difference between progressive, improvisation, atonality? This is what progressive music is to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI0P1NnUFxc

It's completely alien, it's foreign, it's uncanny. This is avant-garde:



It's very existence questions the nature of art, and how we think about it.

So again I ask, what is progressive music? Does such a thing as progressive metal exist, or is it simply a misnomer applied to bands that deviate slightly from the traditional formula but do not reach or transcend the boundaries of their particular niche? I don't expect many answers, but I hope that we can at least question and think about this issue together.

Oslo (see what I did there?) If this has been done before, I apologize, and Strangles or Duncan can shut me down.
Quote by Senor Kristian
Viking fact no. 1: Viking helmets did not have horn.
Viking fact no. 2: Vikings tobogganed on their shields into battle.
Viking fact no. 3: Vikings drank mead.
Viking fact no. 4: One of your ancestors are likely to have been raped by a viking.
Last edited by The Virtuoso at Mar 24, 2012,
#3
I'm not a huge fan of Faith No More from my brief encounters with them in the past, and I'm sorry to disappoint.
Quote by Senor Kristian
Viking fact no. 1: Viking helmets did not have horn.
Viking fact no. 2: Vikings tobogganed on their shields into battle.
Viking fact no. 3: Vikings drank mead.
Viking fact no. 4: One of your ancestors are likely to have been raped by a viking.
#4
I don't see how this warrants a thread in any, other than philosophical approach.
#5
Labels are for artists who want to make their work more fancy
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-Jackson Soloist Std. Professional '93
DiMarzio Evolution (bridge) SD Lil' Screamin Demon (neck)

-B.C. Rich Warlock Special Edition Metal Web

-Peavey Bandit 112
#6
This is an internet forum where a group of individuals congregate to discuss aspects of music that they find pleasing. This is the metal forum. Progressive metal is a genre. Not to mention the majority of users in this particular forum who enjoy progressive rock, and much more "avant-garde" music. I fail to see how this does not warrant a discussion.
Quote by Senor Kristian
Viking fact no. 1: Viking helmets did not have horn.
Viking fact no. 2: Vikings tobogganed on their shields into battle.
Viking fact no. 3: Vikings drank mead.
Viking fact no. 4: One of your ancestors are likely to have been raped by a viking.
#7
Quote by The Virtuoso
This is an internet forum where a group of individuals congregate to discuss aspects of music that they find pleasing. This is the metal forum. Progressive metal is a genre. Not to mention the majority of users in this particular forum who enjoy progressive rock, and much more "avant-garde" music. I fail to see how this does not warrant a discussion.


Because,

Quote by unnamedplayer
Labels are for artists who want to make their work more fancy
#8
^I disagree with that statement entirely. Labels, or rather genres since we are talking about music, help definite a specific sound and the ideology behind the music. There is more to the term Black metal than just mere fluff. It forewarns you of the extreme nature of the music, of it's somewhat intolerant and misanthropic message. Furthermore, genres help separate the histories of the various permutations of sound across the ages. You would not just say, "oh, it's music." If I pressed you further to describe the sound, would you continue to enumerate the various instruments, or proceed to hum a melody? Genres are shorthand to give us immediate access to the "idea" behind the music. If you say, "oh, this is death metal." I know exactly what you are talking about; it avoids ambiguity and generates specificity.
Quote by Senor Kristian
Viking fact no. 1: Viking helmets did not have horn.
Viking fact no. 2: Vikings tobogganed on their shields into battle.
Viking fact no. 3: Vikings drank mead.
Viking fact no. 4: One of your ancestors are likely to have been raped by a viking.
#9
This thread is going to be full of complete waffle.
Quote by Ultraussie
I want to try that while playing the opening riff to "Tempting Time".

0-0-0-13-0-0-0-0-13 or something like that alalalala but It;s so heavy and off time and awesome and you could not f**k anyone to it.


Quote by Ingested
burzum IS nazi. well, varg is.
#10
If it makes people say "my 5 year-old kid could play that!" then it's atonal. If it makes people say "that sounds out of tune!" then it's microtonal. If it provokes people to say "that's just noise!" then it's avant-garde. Is that clear enough? lol
#11
Yeah, it's of to a bad start because of this relevance derailment. Shall we leave it open a bit longer for some of the regulars to contribute?
Quote by Senor Kristian
Viking fact no. 1: Viking helmets did not have horn.
Viking fact no. 2: Vikings tobogganed on their shields into battle.
Viking fact no. 3: Vikings drank mead.
Viking fact no. 4: One of your ancestors are likely to have been raped by a viking.
#12
Quote by The Virtuoso
^I disagree with that statement entirely. Labels, or rather genres since we are talking about music, help definite a specific sound and the ideology behind the music. There is more to the term Black metal than just mere fluff. It forewarns you of the extreme nature of the music, of it's somewhat intolerant and misanthropic message. Furthermore, genres help separate the histories of the various permutations of sound across the ages. You would not just say, "oh, it's music." If I pressed you further to describe the sound, would you continue to enumerate the various instruments, or proceed to hum a melody? Genres are shorthand to give us immediate access to the "idea" behind the music. If you say, "oh, this is death metal." I know exactly what you are talking about; it avoids ambiguity and generates specificity.


I don't agree with that, genres are just generalizations. I like the band Kamelot, I like all their material, I listen their albums almost every day, they are considered progressive, symphonic, as well as power metal. Yet I don't seem to be taking any liking in other progressive, symphonic or power metal bands. So can I really describe their music the same way as I would describe any other progressive, symphonic or power metal band?

Therefore it's not a good idea to label music.
Last edited by Aralingh at Mar 24, 2012,
#13
Quote by Aralingh
I don't agree with that, genres are just generalizations. I like the band Kamelot, I like all their material, I listen their albums almost every day, they are considered progressive, symphonic, as well as power metal. Yet I don't seem to be taking any liking in other progressive, symphonic or power metal bands. So can I really describe their music the same way as I would describe any other progressive, symphonic or power metal band?

Therefore it's not a good idea to label music.


First I would like to say that if you are not going to contribute directly to the thread topic could you please refrain from posting here, and just post on my profile wall if you wish to discuss this further.

I will just say that I think classifying Kamelot as progressive and symphonic (I hate this tag, anyone with a keyboard can be considered symphonic) just wrong. Power metal seems to fit due to the delivery of the vocals (high and soaring), the keyboards, the melodic guitar lines. I apologize for the vague summary, but it's the best that I can do on the spot without going into depth with research. If I were to tell you that McDonalds is gourmet, fine cuisine, and delicious, you would probably disagree with me on most of those claims- although it is delicious when you're hungover. The reason why genres seem to be merely generalizations is due to carelessness in applying the specific terms, hence my qualms over the use of the term progressive to describe any band with long songs, polyrhythms, and technically demanding music.

Of course it's a generalization, but that does not mean that it is entirely incorrect or imprecise. It's just a template, a jumping off point, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a clearly defined basis for the music.


Quote by AmalgamOfMeat
If it makes people say "my 5 year-old kid could play that!" then it's atonal. If it makes people say "that sounds out of tune!" then it's microtonal. If it provokes people to say "that's just noise!" then it's avant-garde. Is that clear enough? lol


I believe that this tongue in cheek response can actually help shed some light on my current predicament. "It's just noise." I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people use this to describe most metal. This presents another problem though: the insider-outsider problem. I love opera, but I cannot help but feel that most of the performers sound similar in their vocal delivery; but I am not a trained operatic singer, so I cannot pick up on the subtle nuances in the performances. The same applies to metal, or any other genre we wish to put forth. So we're faced with the problem that what may seem to be progressive to one listening group, may in face be quite tame and derivative to another group. So shall we simply designate progressive as what sounds foreign to you, or is it an entirely separate entity in and of it self that all can agree upon.

I know must of us are happy to just write off the serious discussion of art as a matter of taste and opinion, but there is so much more to think about when it comes to aesthetics than whether you enjoy it or not.
Quote by Senor Kristian
Viking fact no. 1: Viking helmets did not have horn.
Viking fact no. 2: Vikings tobogganed on their shields into battle.
Viking fact no. 3: Vikings drank mead.
Viking fact no. 4: One of your ancestors are likely to have been raped by a viking.
Last edited by The Virtuoso at Mar 24, 2012,
#14
Quote by The Virtuoso
First I would like to say that if you are not going to contribute directly to the thread topic could you please refrain from posting here, and just post on my profile wall if you wish to discuss this further.

I will just say that I think classifying Kamelot as progressive and symphonic (I hate this tag, anyone with a keyboard can be considered symphonic) just wrong. Power metal seems to fit due to the delivery of the vocals (high and soaring), the keyboards, the melodic guitar lines. I apologize for the vague summary, but it's the best that I can do on the spot without going into depth with research. If I were to tell you that McDonalds is gourmet, fine cuisine, and delicious, you would probably disagree with me on most of those claims- although it is delicious when you're hungover. The reason why genres seem to be merely generalizations is due to carelessness in applying the specific terms, hence my qualms over the use of the term progressive to describe any band with long songs, polyrhythms, and technically demanding music.

Of course it's a generalization, but that does not mean that it is entirely incorrect or imprecise. It's just a template, a jumping off point, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a clearly defined basis for the music.


If I record a bunch of farts and guttural sounds to a fast drum beat with an out of tune drop C guitar playing random power chords, it would certainly be classified as avant-garde.

I'd say it's much better to drop the labels and describe it as "shit", than the description that avant-garde genre would normally apply.
#15
Quote by Aralingh
If I record a bunch of farts and guttural sounds to a fast drum beat with an out of tune drop C guitar playing random power chords, it would certainly be classified as avant-garde.


I wish my fart compilations would be classified as avant-garde, but they're classified as brutal death metal.
#16
Quote by Aralingh
If I record a bunch of farts and guttural sounds to a fast drum beat with an out of tune drop C guitar playing random power chords, it would certainly be classified as avant-garde.

I'd say it's much better to drop the labels and describe it as "shit", than the description that avant-garde genre would normally apply.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E

So that's the question: is avant-garde just "noise," or is it something else? What is music then? What is the distinction between noise and music, if there even is any? I would suggest that the distinction is decided by the listener, but once we decide that this sound is music, then we can start to look for patterns and motifs to clarify a specific sound or genre.

You would not call a Romantic novel a Modernist novel, nor should you simply call it just a book because of it's context and place in an artistic movement. I'm only applying the same standard that any academic would apply to literature or any other art form to music.
Quote by Senor Kristian
Viking fact no. 1: Viking helmets did not have horn.
Viking fact no. 2: Vikings tobogganed on their shields into battle.
Viking fact no. 3: Vikings drank mead.
Viking fact no. 4: One of your ancestors are likely to have been raped by a viking.
Last edited by The Virtuoso at Mar 24, 2012,
#17
Quote by The Virtuoso

I believe that this tongue in cheek response can actually help shed some light on my current predicament. "It's just noise." I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people use this to describe most metal. This presents another problem though: the insider-outsider problem. I love opera, but I cannot help but feel that most of the performers sound similar in their vocal delivery; but I am not a trained operatic singer, so I cannot pick up on the subtle nuances in the performances. The same applies to metal, or any other genre we wish to put forth. So we're faced with the problem that what may seem to be progressive to one listening group, may in face be quite tame and derivative to another group. So shall we simply designate progressive as what sounds foreign to you, or is it an entirely separate entity in and of it self that all can agree upon.

I know must of us are happy to just write off the serious discussion of art as a matter of taste and opinion, but there is so much more to think about when it comes to aesthetics than whether you enjoy it or not.

I'm a fan of some opera and I can recognize Luciano Pavarotti's voice from just a note or two, but that's probably why he's practically the most famous opera singer of all time. The basis for what people consider progressive is probably just a vague sense of what the majority of your particular culture would think is progressive, and it seems that's how most closely related musical genres are named.
#18
Quote by The Virtuoso
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E

So that's the question: is avant-garde just "noise," or is it something else? What is music then? What is the distinction between noise and music, if there even is any? I would suggest that the distinction is decided by the listener, but once we decide that this sound is music, then we can start to look for patterns and motifs to clarify a specific sound or genre.

You would not call a Romantic novel a Modernist novel, nor should you simply call it a book because of it's context and place in an artistic movement. I'm only applying the same standard that any academic would apply to literature or any other art form to music.


That's the point, genres are generalizations, but they are very loose and are different to every single person. It includes opinion, and therefore, should not really be considered a good subject for debate.

Something you hear, you classify as music or not based on what YOU depict as music, regardless of any "society" standards. Same goes to genres. It's so subjective that I don't feel there's any room for objective reasoning in here, other than the debate on whether on not we should label anything, which is the one we are having here.
#19
I'd define music as any amount of noise (or a particular length of silence) created with the intention of the contemplation of its contents.
#20
I am not retreating, but I have things to do today, and I am hungry. Please feel free to discuss the issues among yourselves, and I will return later today to continue this discussion here if the thread is still open, or on your profile wall.

Edit: However, before I go, I would like to add the following: while there is opinion in this discussion with the matter of taste (e.g. is it noise or not, do I like, is it music to me), there is no denying the tangible and specific characteristics that we can use to classify music. You can go ahead and say that Slayer is not music, but it is not a matter of opinion how their music sounds viz. the particular harmonies, rhythms, timbre, vocal delivery, and melodies involved in creating their sound.
Quote by Senor Kristian
Viking fact no. 1: Viking helmets did not have horn.
Viking fact no. 2: Vikings tobogganed on their shields into battle.
Viking fact no. 3: Vikings drank mead.
Viking fact no. 4: One of your ancestors are likely to have been raped by a viking.
Last edited by The Virtuoso at Mar 24, 2012,
#21
Quote by Aralingh
That's the point, genres are generalizations, but they are very loose and are different to every single person. It includes opinion, and therefore, should not really be considered a good subject for debate.

Except that, like, they don't. Your intended labeling of "shit" would be subjective, if anything.
Philosophy > Life
#22
Quote by MoogleRancha
Except that, like, they don't. Your intended labeling of "shit" would be subjective, if anything.


Well, I considered what I described as shit, not music, someone else would label it as avant-garde. Just proves my point.
#23
I call a desk a grunga. Doesn't mean the label is subjective.

The definition is pretty definite.
Philosophy > Life
#24
Quote by MoogleRancha
I call a desk a grunga. Doesn't mean the label is subjective.

The definition is pretty definite.


The original label is just a compilation of the majority of opinions, which is what I would call subjective.
#25
As a fan of Kamelot I can tell you what genre they are. Power Metal. The reason they are called "Symphonic" is due to the use of Orchestral pieces in their music. Despite using these pieces, it's only used to carry the main melody or introduce a simple rhythm, harmony, or melody into the song that could be brought in on a different instrument and is mostly a novelty.

They have mechanical and pseudo-medieval sounding riffing, rather average Rock structure, drumming that is ether regular Rock drumming or a march like beat for their more anthem-like songs. The vocals, as The Virtuoso put it, are soaring, but people tend to consider the vocals very unique and not as technical as a lot of Power Metal vocals. I feel this is where people start to want to call Kamelot "Progressive" because of the different vocal style used in the songs, but anyone who knows anything realizes that that does not make a band Progressive.

Just wanted to clear that up.
#26
Quote by Morphogenesis26
As a fan of Kamelot I can tell you what genre they are. Power Metal. The reason they are called "Symphonic" is due to the use of Orchestral pieces in their music. Despite using these pieces, it's only used to carry the main melody or introduce a simple rhythm, harmony, or melody into the song that could be brought in on a different instrument and is mostly a novelty.

They have mechanical and pseudo-medieval sounding riffing, rather average Rock structure, drumming that is ether regular Rock drumming or a march like beat for their more anthem-like songs. The vocals, as The Virtuoso put it, are soaring, but people tend to consider the vocals very unique and not as technical as a lot of Power Metal vocals. I feel this is where people start to want to call Kamelot "Progressive" because of the different vocal style used in the songs, but anyone who knows anything realizes that that does not make a band Progressive.

Just wanted to clear that up.


I wouldn't call their last album power metal, not at all.
#27
Their last album was certainly different and seemed to make attempts at making a more "Progressive" album. Of course, this sense of the word is more in the vein of Rush or Dream Theatre.

That said, I wish Bjorn got more time to show his voice on The Great Pandemonium.
#28
Quote by Aralingh
The original label is just a compilation of the majority of opinions, which is what I would call subjective.

What? There's no subjectivity in labels. Labeling a band a certain genre says nothing about how talented or good the music may be.
I'm starting to get confused about what you're trying to get across. Seems like you have a general problem with the construction of language. How do you exactly manage to get assistance in a department store?

"I'm looking for something to sit in"
"A chair?"
"Please don't call it that."
Quote by rg_metal
I love to utilize furniture to achieve the desired penetration.

UGH!
taste
kaygade
Last edited by Senor Kristian at Mar 24, 2012,
#29
Quote by Senor Kristian

"I'm looking for something to sit in"
"A chair?"
"Please don't call it that."

LOL
#30
A Genre is a musical device that is built by taking bands that use similar techniques, ideas, and sounds in music and putting them there for the sake of organization. This does not mean every band will sound the same because if that were the case then music would only require one or two bands per-genre.

EDIT: ^LOL means Loose Orange Lobes to me, therefore, I wish for you not to use it in such an Off-topic manner.
#31
Quote by Aralingh
The original label is just a compilation of the majority of opinions, which is what I would call subjective.

As is a chair. We all came together and defined a chair by certain physical characteristics, its utilities, etc. Same deal with genres of music: they have obvious defining characteristics that are collectively perceived and labeled as such. That's not opinion. That's sensory knowledge which is (for the most part) objective.
Philosophy > Life
#32
Quote by MoogleRancha
As is a chair. We all came together and defined a chair by certain physical characteristics, its utilities, etc. Same deal with genres of music: they have obvious defining characteristics that are collectively perceived and labeled as such. That's not opinion. That's sensory knowledge which is (for the most part) objective.


Musical genres are by far more loose a definition than a chair.
#33
Quote by Aralingh
Musical genres are by far more loose a definition than a chair.

Are they?

Quote by beadhangingOne
Are you talking about those weird sphincter-spasms where it feels like there's a ghost dick in your ass for a little while and then it just disappears?
#34
Quote by Crazed Shredder
Are they?



Um, yes, they are.


Also,


"http://alexandracampbellinteriors.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/7-worlds-most-bizarre-chairs.jpg"


"worlds-most-bizarre-chairs"


"worlds-most-bizarre-chairs"


"chairs"


"chairs"


"chairs"
#35
Exactly it's a chair, but not by the standard definition.
Quote by beadhangingOne
Are you talking about those weird sphincter-spasms where it feels like there's a ghost dick in your ass for a little while and then it just disappears?
#36
Quote by Aralingh
Musical genres are by far more loose a definition than a chair.

Not necessarily...like any definition, a genre is a composite of various specific qualities.
Philosophy > Life
#37
Quote by MoogleRancha
Not necessarily...like any definition, a genre is a composite of various specific qualities.


Net necessarily, but usually is, since music IS a more subjective subject than the definition of a chair. Just saying that explaining the definition of an object which is used as something to sit on, is a far easier and objective task than explaining how some combinations of waves in air you consider music and others, not.
#38
A chair is something you sit on. Music is something you listen to.

Adding specific parameters would allow you to classify music (or chairs) into more specific definitions i.e progressive rock, or folding chair.
Quote by beadhangingOne
Are you talking about those weird sphincter-spasms where it feels like there's a ghost dick in your ass for a little while and then it just disappears?
#39
Jesus christ, genres are just a helpful tool for searching new music and talking about it. It doesn't tell you exactly what it is, but it gives you an idea. To say they shouldn't be used at all doesn't sound very thought out. "I once had an unpleasant encounter with genre labes, therefore they shouldn't be used" doesn't seem like a very strong point either. Aralingh is really coming across as another pseudo-intellectual wanting to question anything because one can.

And that was pretty well put there Clyde, but I agree that classifying music is much more vague. Doesn't make it pointless though.
#40
If this thread doesn't contain any actual metal discussion, I'll move it to a different forum.
Quote by Ultraussie
I want to try that while playing the opening riff to "Tempting Time".

0-0-0-13-0-0-0-0-13 or something like that alalalala but It;s so heavy and off time and awesome and you could not f**k anyone to it.


Quote by Ingested
burzum IS nazi. well, varg is.
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