Poll: *clears throat*
Poll Options
View poll results: *clears throat*
Roses are red
48 55%
Violets are blue
47 53%
TS is a knob
73 83%
And so are you
37 42%
Voters: 88.
Page 1 of 2
ali.guitarkid7
Gets Easier
Join date: Oct 2009
2,304 IQ
#1
So I've been interested in this topic for a while, thought I'd come in here.

I've always been of the opinion that music is a meaningless artform, it is purely abstract. It only has the potential to express mood and tone, but not image, idea or theme (unless by "theme" we mean a specific melody, but I mean it in the literary sense). If you showed 10 different people a nameless, lyric-less piece of music, they're likely not to end up with the same interpretation at all, or the same image etc. However, show them a piece of prose, and they will all more or less derive the same meaning (unless the text intends not to do that, but we're talking about ability).

So, do you agree?

Do you think music can have meaning?
Quote by Aeolian Harmony
Ali priori / Ali posteriori
Quote by GuitarGod_92
Jesus christ Ali is a nutcase

I actually feel sorry for him, like seriously, get help
rockingamer2
Larmarky Remark
Join date: Nov 2006
408 IQ
#2
No.

OT: There are certain ideas that will evoke similar, if not identical, emotions and reactions from most people. High, drawn out screechy violins tend to have the same effect on people no matter what.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
Last edited by rockingamer2 at Jan 30, 2013,
Bob_Sacamano
UG Board King
Join date: Jan 2012
238 IQ
#3
Nooooo

Thinking about this too hard has temporarily killed it for me a few times.
Quote by Sliide90027
But as a bigoted lemming, you have so cry an Alinslyite slur revealing you lack of reason and sense.


Quote by MusicLord16
BOB 1. ur 20 and two u like evil things and idk if u worship the devil
Wolfinator-x
Teeth
Join date: Apr 2007
1,337 IQ
#4
That's most to all art for you, dude.
You are now using UG Black.
You are now using UG Classic.
Artists I'm listening to a lot lately:
Stray Cats, Gustav Holst

Mah Youtube vids.
if you truly loved me, you'd watch them (psst; it's not just glam stuff)

Mah Soundcloud
blake1221
‭‭
Join date: Oct 2007
711 IQ
#6
I don't know. There are some crafty post rockers and ambient musicians that can construct bitchin' soundscapes and textures with their music alone. Sure, it's still up to interpretation, but a lot of people derive the same emotions from the music.

Quote by genghisgandhi
THAT POLL!!!!!


One lolstack por tu, good sir!!


THE OLD PIT IS BACK HAHAHAHA

Last edited by blake1221 at Jan 30, 2013,
ali.guitarkid7
Gets Easier
Join date: Oct 2009
2,304 IQ
#7


Quote by Wolfinator-x
That's most to all art for you, dude.

I don't know. I mean, you could paint the image of something as plain as a tractor. You could write a paragraph describing a room. You could take a picture of a car. These all evoke a direct image, but in the end a melody cannot do this. I find this odd, because it's the only form of art I can think of that is extremely popular but also (imo) totally abstract.

Quote by blake1221
I don't know. There are some crafty post rockers and ambient musicians that can construct bitchin' soundscapes and textures with their music alone. Sure, it's still up to interpretation, but a lot of people derive the same emotions from the music.

Well, that's what I meant by mood. That's pretty much all you can express with abstract art.
Quote by Aeolian Harmony
Ali priori / Ali posteriori
Quote by GuitarGod_92
Jesus christ Ali is a nutcase

I actually feel sorry for him, like seriously, get help
Last edited by ali.guitarkid7 at Jan 30, 2013,
Todd Hart
Do Sadists go to Hell?
Join date: Sep 2009
153 IQ
#8
Of course music can have meaning. Humans naturally associate certain sound patterns, tempos and chords with specific emotions. It's no different in conception to the fact that certain linguistic ideas and rhythms (especially in poetry) illicit a similar response from all people. A quatrain or couplet feels complete to almost everyone, regardless of content, whereas a tercet feels incomplete or extended. We just naturally have rhythms and rolls of sound that we find pleasing.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
CALL_OF_TABLE
Banned
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
#9
art is about the meanings you give to it and the feelings associated with them. also the artist might have a certain intention or no intention at all.
Musicforyou17
I get bored
Join date: Nov 2011
123 IQ
#10
I disagree with you ts.

The composer might (or might not) have written a song with specific feelings or experiences in mind. Even if there is no clear meaning it still means something to someone.

Also music leaves a lot of room for self interpretation in most cases so eh maybe I agree with you.

Edit: I think I misunderstood what your saying so just ignore this.
Last edited by Musicforyou17 at Jan 30, 2013,
whywefight
~I'm not fuckin around~
Join date: Dec 2010
1,725 IQ
#11
The meaningfulness of music is greater or equal to the meaningfulness of this thread
ali.guitarkid7
Gets Easier
Join date: Oct 2009
2,304 IQ
#12
Guys, I misspoke. I meant to call it abstract, not meaningless. When I say "meaningless" I mean it cannot express an idea or an image on purpose. As in, if I listen to something and imagine the apocalypse, that might not be what the artist intended I imagine at all (and IMO it doesn't count unless it's on purpose, that's the whole point of expressing meaning).

Quote by Todd Hart
Of course music can have meaning. Humans naturally associate certain sound patterns, tempos and chords with specific emotions. It's no different in conception to the fact that certain linguistic ideas and rhythms (especially in poetry) illicit a similar response from all people. A quatrain or couplet feels complete to almost everyone, regardless of content, whereas a tercet feels incomplete or extended. We just naturally have rhythms and rolls of sound that we find pleasing.

Really? Is "fear in a handful of dust" the same method of expression as a chord progression?

I might be wording my posts wrong, sorry.
Quote by Aeolian Harmony
Ali priori / Ali posteriori
Quote by GuitarGod_92
Jesus christ Ali is a nutcase

I actually feel sorry for him, like seriously, get help
Todd Hart
Do Sadists go to Hell?
Join date: Sep 2009
153 IQ
#13
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
Really? Is "fear in a handful of dust" the same method of expression as a chord progression?

I might be wording my posts wrong, sorry.


Not entirely, but poetry is much more than just the words.

T.S. Eliot, btw, was very much a student of musicality and music within poetry.

Music is not a 'realist' art form, unless you take what we oddly consider to be very abstract music such as soundbites and remixes of soundbites, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have inherent meaning.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
Last edited by Todd Hart at Jan 30, 2013,
Wolfinator-x
Teeth
Join date: Apr 2007
1,337 IQ
#14
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
I don't know. I mean, you could paint the image of something as plain as a tractor. You could write a paragraph describing a room. You could take a picture of a car. These all evoke a direct image, but in the end a melody cannot do this. I find this odd, because it's the only form of art I can think of that is extremely popular but also (imo) totally abstract.
Well a sad melody will make you sad, and a happy melody will make you happy.

and Barry White will make you horny
You are now using UG Black.
You are now using UG Classic.
Artists I'm listening to a lot lately:
Stray Cats, Gustav Holst

Mah Youtube vids.
if you truly loved me, you'd watch them (psst; it's not just glam stuff)

Mah Soundcloud
EpiExplorer
orsonfacenospace
Join date: May 2008
5,559 IQ
#15
Just came to say, TS is a knob.


Quote by Musicforyou17
I disagree with your tits.


RotMG avatar ftw.
o()o

Quote by JamSessionFreak
yes every night of my entire life i go to bed crying because i wasnt born american
Xiaoxi
Registered Luser
Join date: Nov 2007
2,744 IQ
#16
Just because it is abstract does not mean it doesn't have meaning. I consider the pinnacle beauty of music to be the fact that it does convey meaningful abstractions. The classic adage holds true: where words fail, music speaks.

I think what you're referring to is programmatic or verbal expression. In that sense, music is meaningless. But that is precisely why it is so great. It's so much more universal and absolute than any earthly concept.

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
Last edited by Xiaoxi at Jan 30, 2013,
ali.guitarkid7
Gets Easier
Join date: Oct 2009
2,304 IQ
#17
Quote by Todd Hart
Not entirely, but poetry is much more than just the words.

T.S. Eliot, btw, was very much a student of musicality and music within poetry.

Music is not a 'realist' art form, unless you take what we oddly consider to be very abstract music such as soundbites and remixes of soundbites, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have inherent meaning.

Yeah, but rhythm and line breaks in a poem work in a totally different way.


Let me try and put this in different terms: You can adapt a poem (one with a narrative or even an image) into film, prose or even a book. You can adapt a film into a book, vice versa, etc. But you can't adapt music into into anything, you can only use it to help set the tone. I'm not saying this to devalue music or anything, quite the opposite: it's such a distinct artform in this manner.

By the way, I'm not using narrative as the only "meaningful" art. Like I said, it could be anything such as an idea, like death, or an image.


^ I don't disagree with anything in that post. I'm really just using the word "meaningless" wrong. Like I said, I'm not trying to put down music, I obviously love music. But a lot of the time I hear someone say "what does this song mean?" and I think, ****ing nothing. It's a song. It's the most purely subjective form of art there is. It can't be assigned any tangible meaning, only mood, and even that can be up for debate. It's almost ironic that music gets confused with poetry a lot, considering nowadays how much music has lyrics in it.
Quote by Aeolian Harmony
Ali priori / Ali posteriori
Quote by GuitarGod_92
Jesus christ Ali is a nutcase

I actually feel sorry for him, like seriously, get help
Last edited by ali.guitarkid7 at Jan 30, 2013,
Joshua Garcia
Joshole
Join date: Jun 2009
5,717 IQ
#18
Ehh I don't care. I just wanna listen to it. Also, I only voted for violets are blue.
Quote by Hal-Sephira
Have anybody went on high lately?
v Smash dat mf
AcidParadox
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2012
528 IQ
#19
I sort of disagree and agree at the same time. Music can evoke a certain mood, and it can also evoke a scene in your head, using sounds that correlate with what you interpret that scene to entail.

A song could be an instrumental, play a bitchin' guitar solo, and in the background there is the sound of a car driving away. Wouldn't that cause a certain image to form in your mind? And depending on the context of the song, the emotions it provokes, the cause of that scene would have certain room for interpretation.

I may be talking out of my ass here, I dunno. All I'm saying is that sounds can cause images, and emotion evoked by that sound can warp those images. Music is just structured sound, and really some genres are built upon eradicating that definition.
necrosis1193
UG Nerd
Join date: Oct 2008
8,778 IQ
#20
Quote by Xiaoxi
Just because it is abstract does not mean it doesn't have meaning. I consider the pinnacle beauty of music to be the fact that it does convey meaningful abstractions. The classic adage holds true: where words fail, music speaks.

I think what you're referring to is programmatic or verbal expression. In that sense, music is meaningless. But that is precisely why it is so great. It's so much more universal and absolute than any earthly concept.


You know, while I respect your knowledge of music theory and compositional skills, I usually find your opinions about things of this nature arrogant and annoying.

But I pretty much agree with what you typed up here.

Edit:

Quote by ali.guitarkid7
But a lot of the time I hear someone say "what does this song mean?" and I think, ****ing nothing. It's a song. It's the most purely subjective form of art there is. It can't be assigned any tangible meaning, only mood, and even that can be up for debate.


If an artist says "I wrote this song because X", I think that's a pretty good explanation of its definition. It's not supposed to be easy to form a universal definition for.
Hey you! Yes, you! Buy my music! It's cool and stuff!

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern division champions, 2015: 81-81
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 world champions, 2015: 5-11
2015 Pick 'Em: 155-101
Last edited by necrosis1193 at Jan 31, 2013,
Todd Hart
Do Sadists go to Hell?
Join date: Sep 2009
153 IQ
#21
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
Yeah, but rhythm and line breaks in a poem work in a totally different way.

Let me try and put this in different terms: You can adapt a poem (one with a narrative or even an image) into film, prose or even a book. You can adapt a film into a book, vice versa, etc. But you can't adapt music into into anything, you can only use it to help set the tone. I'm not saying this to devalue music or anything, quite the opposite: it's such a distinct artform in this manner.

By the way, I'm not using narrative as the only "meaningful" art. Like I said, it could be anything such as an idea, like death, or an image.


Without poetry we wouldn't have music in any of its modern forms, many of the modern concepts of music are based on poetic ideas, mostly from ancient Greece (the trade goes both way, before some music fanboy rails at me (though poetry is clearly superior)).

But you are saying that the lack of narrative is a negative, no? I mean that's the only reason you can't convert music into a poem (though many have written poems based on musical inspiration), just as you can't convert cake into a poem. You can write about cake/music, but that's not the essence of what the cake/poem is.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
KiLLSWiTCH-KnoT
Banned
Join date: Jun 2008
664 IQ
#22
abstract emotion and feels are the only truths
images and concepts are illusions
music plays around with the heart of shit
its maths that we can hear
and maths is the blood of everything
word
Last edited by KiLLSWiTCH-KnoT at Jan 31, 2013,
crazysam23_Atax
Feuergesicht
Join date: Oct 2009
5,710 IQ
#23
Quote by KiLLSWiTCH-KnoT
abstract emotion and feels are the only truths
images and concepts are illusions
music plays around with the heart of shit
its maths that we can hear
and maths is the blood of everything
word

That was terrible...(actually, it was kind of clever, in an odd sort of way)

OT:
The beauty of music is that one person can listen to a piece and feel one way, while another person can listen to the same piece and feel the exact opposite. Now, that's not to say that certain types of music don't evoke certain emotions. Point is, it's all up to interpretation. Also, note that lyrics can help guide a listener's interpretation.
Wiegenlied
Registered Usurper
Join date: May 2008
1,620 IQ
#24
I've read a book, The World in Six Songs by Daniel Levitin on this topic. He basically elaborates that from an evolutionary perspective music has developed, and remained for six basic purposes. For example:

Knowledge: Things are easier to remember in song, especially if they rhyme. Think back to your childhood, things like the ABCs, tying your shoes, etc. all had little jingles that helped your memorize the order of things. Also in the times before parchment and the ability to write ideas down, they were passed down, threw word of mouth, often in stories and song. This is another reason how music was used as a tool for human learning.

The other categories include love, joy, religion, comfort, and friendship
Quote by Night
wtf is a selfie? is that like, touching yourself or something?
Irondevil
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2009
40 IQ
#25
Music, like all art, is made to be enjoyed. Some may seek deeper meanings in them, some may not, but in general, all good art will make you feel emotions. And it doesnt really matter who you are as a person, something sad will make you feel sad and something happy will make you feel happy. And when you feel those emotions, you start to think. And those thoughts that form in your head are there for the pure reason that the music youre listening to put them there. The thoughts in your head are the images that the music is portraying, wheather the artist intended it to or not is irrelevent, since whats going through your head when you listen to a song is directly influenced by the sounds youre hearing, so the images you claim not to see are actually there, youre just looking in the wrong places and therefore think theyre not there. Try listening to a beautiful symphony, or a pounding heavy metal song and try to tell me it doesnt affect your emotions. Because it will, for the simple reason that thats what the artist intended when he wrote the song. He felt emotions, be it sadness, happyness, love or hate, and he put them into song form, and now you feel those very same emotions. If you can honestly tell me that when you listen to music you don't feel any emotions, than you need to start listening to some better music
________________________________ ________________________________
______________________________ ______________________________
Jehannum
Bant
Join date: Feb 2011
2,440 IQ
#26
Quote by rockingamer2
No.

OT: There are certain ideas that will evoke similar, if not identical, emotions and reactions from most people. High, drawn out screechy violins tend to have the same effect on people no matter what.


Ooh, do they make you horny too?

OT: music has relative meaning, prose has absolute meaning.
Last edited by Jehannum at Jan 31, 2013,
Xiaoxi
Registered Luser
Join date: Nov 2007
2,744 IQ
#28
Quote by necrosis1193
I usually find your opinions about things of this nature arrogant and annoying.

No fucks given. I have strongly held beliefs about my favorite subject in the world and I deserve them, having worked hard to understand it.

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
chaoticfables
all she needed was some
Join date: Jan 2008
2,012 IQ
#30
I thought that was up to the listener, just like all other forms of art?
my e-wife
mdwallin


soundcloud
a stupid scrapbook for my music
Burgery
crack hitler
Join date: Nov 2009
3,179 IQ
#31
music aint about chivalry

its about cold lyrics an delivery
Quote by JamSessionFreak
lots of really smart stuff
snipelfritz
Senior Fun Correspondent
Join date: May 2006
1,554 IQ
#32
Quote by T7E
Music = Organised sound

so maybe?

Not trying to start a semantic quagmire, but this isn't necessarily true. For example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbgBSFdy33Q

That's a composed piece that consists of eight radios controlled by eight people randomly being played at various frequencies at the controller's discretion.

While feedback can be controlled, the particular sounds it make will typically have a sense of randomness. That said, Sonic Youth is still music despite highly "disorganized" portions of their songs.

I don't really understand the comparison in the OP of prose to music without lyrics. One has words, one doesn't. Of course music will be more ambiguous. Even then, words themselves always carry connotations that will vary from person to person.

I think I had another point, but I forgot what it was. Like I said this is a quagmire in the making.
BOOM-SHAKALAKALAKA-BOOM-SHAKALAKUNGA
Crillz
UG Newbie
Join date: Mar 2007
59 IQ
#34
sometimes you get that meaningful music, I guess that's pretty meaningful sometimes
MadClownDisease
Just a Turing Machine.
Join date: Apr 2006
982 IQ
#35
It might not be as clearly marked, but if by "meaning" you mean the music is clearly about something, then I see no reason why not. For a start, as you say music can often very clearly mark a certain emotion or state. Emotions can be very easily and clearly expressed or indicated by pieces.

If you mean in terms of telling a story or talking about objects or events etc etc again a lot of music does do this, especially more classical stuff. A lot of classical was about stories and events.
Mephaphil
No empty frets.
Join date: Apr 2012
1,956 IQ
#36
People mean stuff when they wrote music so yea, it has meaning.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Burgery
crack hitler
Join date: Nov 2009
3,179 IQ
#38
Quote by snipelfritz
What if the meaning is that it has no meaning?

impossibru
Quote by JamSessionFreak
lots of really smart stuff
treborillusion
UG Fanatic
Join date: May 2009
3,126 IQ
#40
I think songs have meaning; If it's written by someone who you've never met, and the writer has their own meaning in their song, and you listen to it, there is nothing to stop you from finding your own meanings/relating to the song.

The song may even re-invent it's self, have whole new meanings down the line.
Quote by laid-to-waste
look nigga, if you're chillin with 5 bros and 2 hos, you're gonna wanna pay attention to all of em equally. not moon over the hos forever and laugh at every shitty thing they say and just stare at them all night, like some of my mates do.