Page 1 of 5
#1
This is something that's been on my brain for a while so I thought I could start a discussion about it. The concept is barely defined or explained at all and just seems to pop out of the mouths of people who are jelly of someones technical abilities on the guitar, or if another accomplished guitarist happen to threaten someones idol(someone who they identify with, or whatever, you get it).

Ever read something like this: "he just sounds like a robot X plays with way more feeling blahblah".
But what does this really mean? If you were to create a sophisticated robot(which would resemble a guitarist with "no emotion" I guess) playing an exact same piece as BB King(with all bends, vibrato, everything), you would hear no difference.

The only thing that would resemble this concept in any way is simply a guitarist with an appealing way of creating music to the specific listener. Or in improvisation, the trained ability to use more complex phrasing than for example(anything that is regarded "simple" really), eight-notes in an ascending major scale over a 4/4 time sig. And bends, don't forget bends(and stupid faces of course).

Thoughts?
#2
The people who are saying stuff like "he doesn't play with feeling", "He got no soul in his playing" etc are just stupid, my 2 cents.

It is a question of perception, depending on who you ask you're going to get a different answer. I always find it funny and sad at the same time when you see these kinds of arguments on Youtube were one guy says "BB king plays with so much soul" and the other guy goes "Yngwie Malmsteen has way more soul in his playing than some stupid blues player". People need stop "fanboying" about musicians and just accept the fact that it is all music, and what appeals to me might not appeal to you.

Playing technical stuff =/= no emotion
Playing simpler stuff =/= less of a musician

It's just different ways of playing, both valid, both awesome and people need to stop the "competition" within music overall. We've all dealt with enough pretentious "i can play faster than you/you suck/insult" musicians.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#3
i agree. you really only see that kind of judging on youtube now, though. and what they're really saying is "i don't like this style of music," the strongest statement possible where music is concerned.
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#4
"I consider that music, by its very nature, is essentially powerless to express anything at all, whether a feeling, an attitude of mind, a psychological mood, a phenomenon of nature, etc. . . . Expression has never been an inherent property of music. That is by no means the purpose of its existence. If, as is nearly always the case, music appears to express something, this is only an illusion and not a reality. It is simply an additional attribute which, by tacit and inveterate agreement, we have lent it, thrust upon it, as a label, a convention—in short, an aspect which, unconsciously or by force of habit, we have often come to confuse with its essential being."

- Stravinsky
.
#5
There is most definitely playing with soul/feeling/emotion. It's what separates the great from the good. What separates someone playing a cover of Comfortably Numb and the actual recording.

Is there no emotion in singing?
Last edited by Nitnatsnok at Nov 1, 2013,
#6
"No soul" is just a blanket statment used by people who can't explain why they don't like something IMO
#7
Quote by Nitnatsnok
There is most definitely playing with soul/feeling/emotion. It's what separates the great from the good. What separates someone playing a cover of Comfortably Numb and the actual recording.

Is there no emotion in singing?


I never said there aint' no such thing as playing with feeling. Neither did i say there were such a thing.

However, who's to say that the guy that's playing the cover is just playing with an emotion you don't enjoy?
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#8
Quote by Sickz
I never said there aint' no such thing as playing with feeling. Neither did i say there were such a thing.

However, who's to say that the guy that's playing the cover is just playing with an emotion you don't enjoy?


The TS did.

I didn't say the the cover dude is playing with no feeling.
#9
Live performance definitely matters. You can tell when someone is just going through the numbers vs someone actually loving what they do. There's an energy that comes from it, and that energy is the reason I like live music. When they love it, you love it.
Watching a technically proficient robot will always be boring to me. Maybe the other person doesn't play the same piece as perfect, but if he (or she) is genuinely into it, it will show.
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#10
Emotions are subjective but many people feel same kind of emotions when they listen to the same song/solo or whatever. You can't say that somebody plays with emotion or doesn't play with emotion but you can say that you don't feel it. And it is true that if somebody really sucks at guitar, you can tell that he's just remembering the notes of the song but he can't do anything else but play the notes because he's not good enough to express himself through the music. He just memorizes the notes but not the dynamics, the groove or anything. This is of course all subjective but again, many people can tell the same about the same guitarist.

So TS, when you listen to music, do you feel anything? If you do, feeling in music exists. Or at least it exists for you. It isn't objective feeling of course.

Also, many professional guitarists can play fast and "with feeling" at the same time. Playing pointless scale runs doesn't usually have any feeling. I think most people enjoy more melodic playing. That's just more pleasing to the ears than shredding at 300bpm. Of course shredding may be impressive and it fits some songs perfectly (for example Slayer). There's a difference between pointless wanking and musical shredding (again, it's all about the listener but many people would agree with me).

But yeah, I agree with TS. It's stupid to compare two guitarists. Shredding doesn't fit blues and blues doesn't fit shred. It's all about playing what the song needs you to play. Shredding can ruin a song but bluesy playing at the wrong place can also ruin a song. It's all about the context.
Quote by AlanHB
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Nov 1, 2013,
#13
Listen to an accurate Guitar Pro file of the most emotive instrumental you know, then tell me there's no such thing as emotion in real playing.
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#14
Quote by ryanbwags
Live performance definitely matters. You can tell when someone is just going through the numbers vs someone actually loving what they do. There's an energy that comes from it, and that energy is the reason I like live music. When they love it, you love it.
Watching a technically proficient robot will always be boring to me. Maybe the other person doesn't play the same piece as perfect, but if he (or she) is genuinely into it, it will show.


Wouldn't that simply be a musician enjoying what he does? Like the presence of an audience cheering or having people listening to his work? With the example with the robot, I meant that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference difference if there were only sounds conveyed. If feeling is actually a component of performance you can fuse into music then you must be able to recognize it without "watching" the musician; but considering the conclusion in example with the robot, you can't.

If there even was such a thing as feeling, it wouldn't matter as you wouldn't be able to recognize it as a separate element(considering what is written in the above paragraph.
#15
Quote by Nitnatsnok
There is most definitely playing with soul/feeling/emotion. It's what separates the great from the good. What separates someone playing a cover of Comfortably Numb and the actual recording.

Is there no emotion in singing?


I wouldn't say there is any emotion in singing itself, there could be emotions awoken by singing though; and how that works would be a discussion for anyone active in the field of music psychology(quick read on the almighty wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_and_emotion).

As for "separating great from the good" argument, then you would need an objective way of determining what is good and great. What happens to be the original version of a musical piece does not necessarily have to be perceived as most appealing to the listener. In other words, someone might actually like the cover of Comfortably Numb better than the original.

Sorry for double post. How do I quote more than one person in a reply?
#16
Quote by TJ1991
Listen to an accurate Guitar Pro file of the most emotive instrumental you know, then tell me there's no such thing as emotion in real playing.


Guitar Pro is not the be all and end all of sounds conveyed by robots(computers) simulating real instruments. I'm sure that even with todays technology and with careful sound editing you would be able to create something that would by easily mistaken for a real person playing an instrument.
#17
Quote by kurt_cobain9
no emotion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIVWKlUvvBU&t=3m0s

Emotion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7EpSirtf_E&t=4m31s

pretty easy to tell the difference between wankery and something you actually feel.


The ability to convey more varied phrasing than another person equals more "feeling"? Why? Can you explain, without any comparisons to other pieces, why that first piece contains no emotion?
#18
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Emotions are subjective but many people feel same kind of emotions when they listen to the same song/solo or whatever. You can't say that somebody plays with emotion or doesn't play with emotion but you can say that you don't feel it. And it is true that if somebody really sucks at guitar, you can tell that he's just remembering the notes of the song but he can't do anything else but play the notes because he's not good enough to express himself through the music. He just memorizes the notes but not the dynamics, the groove or anything. This is of course all subjective but again, many people can tell the same about the same guitarist.

So TS, when you listen to music, do you feel anything? If you do, feeling in music exists. Or at least it exists for you. It isn't objective feeling of course.

Also, many professional guitarists can play fast and "with feeling" at the same time. Playing pointless scale runs doesn't usually have any feeling. I think most people enjoy more melodic playing. That's just more pleasing to the ears than shredding at 300bpm. Of course shredding may be impressive and it fits some songs perfectly (for example Slayer). There's a difference between pointless wanking and musical shredding (again, it's all about the listener but many people would agree with me).

But yeah, I agree with TS. It's stupid to compare two guitarists. Shredding doesn't fit blues and blues doesn't fit shred. It's all about playing what the song needs you to play. Shredding can ruin a song but bluesy playing at the wrong place can also ruin a song. It's all about the context.


+1

(really +1 on what pretty much everyone in here has been saying )
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#19
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Emotions are subjective but many people feel same kind of emotions when they listen to the same song/solo or whatever. You can't say that somebody plays with emotion or doesn't play with emotion but you can say that you don't feel it. And it is true that if somebody really sucks at guitar, you can tell that he's just remembering the notes of the song but he can't do anything else but play the notes because he's not good enough to express himself through the music. He just memorizes the notes but not the dynamics, the groove or anything. This is of course all subjective but again, many people can tell the same about the same guitarist.

So TS, when you listen to music, do you feel anything? If you do, feeling in music exists. Or at least it exists for you. It isn't objective feeling of course.

Also, many professional guitarists can play fast and "with feeling" at the same time. Playing pointless scale runs doesn't usually have any feeling. I think most people enjoy more melodic playing. That's just more pleasing to the ears than shredding at 300bpm. Of course shredding may be impressive and it fits some songs perfectly (for example Slayer). There's a difference between pointless wanking and musical shredding (again, it's all about the listener but many people would agree with me).

But yeah, I agree with TS. It's stupid to compare two guitarists. Shredding doesn't fit blues and blues doesn't fit shred. It's all about playing what the song needs you to play. Shredding can ruin a song but bluesy playing at the wrong place can also ruin a song. It's all about the context.


I agree with what "should" be played should fit the context of the song(still subjective though).
I'm sure many people would agree with you that they may feel certain feelings when listening to music, but he music itself doesn't contain any feeling: It's the music that "awaken" the feelings I'd say(they deal with this in the field of music psychology).

Also, why is it that complex phrasing is an attribute to feeling(why isn't scale runs considered to be full of emotion)?
#20
There definitely IS such a thing as "playing with feeling", and there definitely are players that DO, and players that DON'T and everything in-between.


Quote by PunchSlap
If you were to create a sophisticated robot(which would resemble a guitarist with "no emotion" I guess) playing an exact same piece as BB King(with all bends, vibrato, everything), you would hear no difference.


Maybe YOU would hear no difference, but there are plenty of people with the ability to recognize the difference. The important thing to realize though, is that your robot is only imitating what B.B. did.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 1, 2013,
#21
Quote by Nietsche
"I consider that music, by its very nature, is essentially powerless to express anything at all, whether a feeling, an attitude of mind, a psychological mood, a phenomenon of nature, etc. . . . Expression has never been an inherent property of music. That is by no means the purpose of its existence. If, as is nearly always the case, music appears to express something, this is only an illusion and not a reality. It is simply an additional attribute which, by tacit and inveterate agreement, we have lent it, thrust upon it, as a label, a convention—in short, an aspect which, unconsciously or by force of habit, we have often come to confuse with its essential being."

- Stravinsky


Interesting, a quick investigation of this quote led my to this book: http://www.amazon.com/Poetics-Lessons-Charles-Norton-Lectures/dp/0674678567 I must get this one as fast as possible.
Thank you!
#22
Quote by GuitarMunky
There definitely IS such a thing as "playing with feeling", and there definitely are players that DO, and players that DON'T and everything in-between.


Maybe YOU would hear no difference, but there are plenty of people with the ability to recognize the difference. The important thing to realize though, is that your robot is only imitating what B.B. did.



How would you possibly hear any difference if the robot was completely perfect at mimicking some guitarists playing? Stop making it seem like there's some sort of sixth sense involved with determining whether music has soul or not since it's completely subjective.
#23
Music is just highly organized sound. Playing with a "feeling" has nothing to do with music itself, that's showmanship- it's to entertain the crowd. The reason why this issue gets brought up a lot is because humans inflate every single of their activities out of proportion to make it seem as if its' more than it actually is, you will often here these claims of lack of emotion come as an insult- a convenient culturally acceptable way to downplay those you don't like and to exalt those that you do, you will find similar insults in practically anything artistic in the form of "that's not art".

In reality, both claims of either having or not the "feelings" are irrelevant and empty, these are projections that are imposed on the musician by the public, if you are really interested in whether or not musicians experience any feelings when playing an instrument- ask them.
#24
Quote by PunchSlap
I agree with what "should" be played should fit the context of the song(still subjective though).
I'm sure many people would agree with you that they may feel certain feelings when listening to music, but he music itself doesn't contain any feeling: It's the music that "awaken" the feelings I'd say(they deal with this in the field of music psychology).

Also, why is it that complex phrasing is an attribute to feeling(why isn't scale runs considered to be full of emotion)?

Well, isn't it pretty obvious that you are the one that creates the feelings? All feelings are inside your head (well, actually everything is inside your head). Of course the music itself doesn't contain the feelings (because feelings are quite abstract - they only exist in your head). But music helps you feel those feelings.

Quote by kurt_cobain9
no emotion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIVWKlUvvBU&t=3m0s

Emotion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7EpSirtf_E&t=4m31s

pretty easy to tell the difference between wankery and something you actually feel.

I think why the first one sounds like it has no feeling is due to the chill background. It actually has a lot to do with the backing track you are playing over. For example drums can add a lot feeling to your playing.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Nov 1, 2013,
#25
Quote by Wppa
How would you possibly hear any difference if the robot was completely perfect at mimicking some guitarists playing? Stop making it seem like there's some sort of sixth sense involved with determining whether music has soul or not since it's completely subjective.


You don't need a 6th sense to determine whether or not music was played with feeling, just ears, a brain and some experience.

x
Quote by Aralingh
Music is just highly organized sound. Playing with a "feeling" has nothing to do with music itself, that's showmanship- it's to entertain the crowd. The reason why this issue gets brought up a lot is because humans inflate every single of their activities out of proportion to make it seem as if its' more than it actually is, you will often here these claims of lack of emotion come as an insult- a convenient culturally acceptable way to downplay those you don't like and to exalt those that you do, you will find similar insults in practically anything artistic in the form of "that's not art".

In reality, both claims of either having or not the "feelings" are irrelevant and empty, these are projections that are imposed on the musician by the public, if you are really interested in whether or not musicians experience any feelings when playing an instrument- ask them.


There are actually people that can hear the difference because they have enough experience to recognize it. I find that the people that most often deny it are those that feel bad when someone says that the music THEY like lacks feeling, so in defense they have to convince themselves that nobody plays with feeling.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 1, 2013,
#26
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Well, isn't it pretty obvious that you are the one that creates the feelings? All feelings are inside your head (well, actually everything is inside your head). Of course the music itself doesn't contain the feelings (because feelings are quite abstract - they only exist in your head). But music helps you feel those feelings.


I think why the first one sounds like it has no feeling is due to the chill background. It actually has a lot to do with the backing track you are playing over. For example drums can add a lot feeling to your playing.


Considering you wrote that it is subjective, the concept kind of destroys itself. If it is subjective then it can't be an existing element in music(if it were then it would be objective). You seem to use the concept synonymously with personal taste.

When we say that someone plays with feeling, then someone must be able to play without feeling. Imagine a piece that evokes strong emotions. Now "remove the feeling" from the piece, what happens? What is the difference?

You said: "For example drums can add a lot feeling to your playing" Can you explain what you mean by "adding feeling"? I feel that it may simply mean something in the lines of simply "spice things up" or "add dynamics"; if it is, then it would be better explained as that IMO.

Another thing you said: "I think why the first one sounds like it has no feeling is due to the chill background.", why would chill in the background "diminish" feeling?

Lastly: Let's say you're playing a cover, are you able to play with feel then?
#27
Quote by PunchSlap

When we say that someone plays with feeling, then someone must be able to play without feeling.


Both are certainly possible, and happen all the time.


Quote by PunchSlap

Imagine a piece that evokes strong emotions. Now "remove the feeling" from the piece, what happens? What is the difference?


You mean by like if a player plays the piece without emotion/feel?

What happens is that anyone listening would be more or less likely to have their emotions evoked, depending on how it was played.


Quote by PunchSlap
Let's say you're playing a cover, are you able to play with feel then?


A person could play that cover with feel, or not, or anywhere in between.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 1, 2013,
#28
<b> <u> You think a robot could recreate the intense feelings, that Hendrix puts in his music if so. Then you must be a moron I'd listen to a Blues player over a shredder running over scales any day of the week. That's not music, it's boring and repetitive. and requires no creativity anybody can lock themselves in a room and become a technical beast, but not everyone can actually compose a good song think about it.
#29
^YOU'RE boring and repetitive!

Here's some food for thought: whenever you listen to a recording of music (from a phonograph to an ipod), you're listening to a machine play it.

*drops the mic*
*crowd goes wild*
*I win again*
"I agree with Matthew about everything" - Everyone
#30
Quote by MattyBoy 1337
^YOU'RE boring and repetitive!

Here's some food for thought: whenever you listen to a recording of music (from a phonograph to an ipod), you're listening to a machine play it.

*drops the mic*
*crowd goes wild*
*I win again*


Yeah, but what is the machine playing?
#31
Most of emotive playing is a matter of technique. When you're playing intensely, flubs usually come from getting too excited and losing track of what's happening around you. Practicing your technique and musicality helps you focus that intensity for the audience's benefit.

If you have good technique and still can't emote, you need to zone in better and stop trying to show off!
#32
Quote by GuitarMunky
Yeah, but what is the machine playing?


A mere facsimile of a person playing.

-Person plays with "soul (voodoo silliness)"
-machine has no soul and can't process soulness
-plays imperfect version of original with no soul because it's a machine.
-end product is soulless because soul never made it past step 2.
-Therefore the only true soul exists live (where people inject the marijuanas and smoke the cocaines and are probably just imagining it anyway)

/me being facetious
"I agree with Matthew about everything" - Everyone
#34
Quote by Nietsche
"I consider that music, by its very nature, is essentially powerless to express anything at all, whether a feeling, an attitude of mind, a psychological mood, a phenomenon of nature, etc. . . . Expression has never been an inherent property of music. That is by no means the purpose of its existence. If, as is nearly always the case, music appears to express something, this is only an illusion and not a reality. It is simply an additional attribute which, by tacit and inveterate agreement, we have lent it, thrust upon it, as a label, a convention—in short, an aspect which, unconsciously or by force of habit, we have often come to confuse with its essential being."

- Stravinsky



That quote/concept changed my life. #notkidding
#35
Quote by GuitarMunky
You don't need a 6th sense to determine whether or not music was played with feeling, just ears, a brain and some experience.


You still didn't explain how you could do that, because you can't. If you can tell the difference between a robot "playing" the guitar (like on some music program for example) and a human playing the guitar, it's because the computer isn't exact. But if it were exact, there would be no way you could tell.
#36
Quote by GuitarMunky
You don't need a 6th sense to determine whether or not music was played with feeling, just ears, a brain and some experience.

x

There are actually people that can hear the difference because they have enough experience to recognize it. I find that the people that most often deny it are those that feel bad when someone says that the music THEY like lacks feeling, so in defense they have to convince themselves that nobody plays with feeling.


Please describe the method that lets you ascertain whether or not someone plays with a feeling and what is the definition of playing with a feeling. As far as I see it, you didn't actually contest anything that I posted, instead you are attempting to convince me of a certain truth by giving an account of "some" people who can sense something I am not convinced actually exists.

Playing an instrument is intrinsically a mechanical process, any emotion or feeling you feel are imposed with your expectation and values, but they are not "actually" part of the playing, it's "there" because you're a human playing an instrument, not because you're playing an instrument, but because you're a human.
Last edited by Aralingh at Nov 2, 2013,
#37
Quote by PunchSlap
Considering you wrote that it is subjective, the concept kind of destroys itself. If it is subjective then it can't be an existing element in music(if it were then it would be objective). You seem to use the concept synonymously with personal taste.

When we say that someone plays with feeling, then someone must be able to play without feeling. Imagine a piece that evokes strong emotions. Now "remove the feeling" from the piece, what happens? What is the difference?

You said: "For example drums can add a lot feeling to your playing" Can you explain what you mean by "adding feeling"? I feel that it may simply mean something in the lines of simply "spice things up" or "add dynamics"; if it is, then it would be better explained as that IMO.

Another thing you said: "I think why the first one sounds like it has no feeling is due to the chill background.", why would chill in the background "diminish" feeling?

Lastly: Let's say you're playing a cover, are you able to play with feel then?

With "adds feeling" I meant that most people will feel it. Yeah, it adds dynamics but dynamics by themselves don't "add feeling".

Usually when people talk about "feeling" they mean "emotion". Maybe "emotion" would be a better word. Yes, the second track had a chill feeling but it had no emotion (or I didn't feel any emotion in it and I would guess most people won't).

Yes, you can play with feeling if you cover a song. But playing a cover with feeling means that you add something to it. You aren't trying to be the original artist. (Again, I'm talking about subjective feelings if it wasn't clear - but most people will tell that it "had feeling" in it, most people feel the same way.)

Feelings are always subjective. They can't be objective because you are the one that creates feelings in your head. Feelings don't really exist outside of your brains. They are inside you. So when I talk about feelings, I'm talking about subjective feelings. But it is true that most people will feel the same way about the same song. Many people can agree that a song is sad or happy (or should I say, they feel sad or happy when they listen to the song). It's just easier to say the song is happy or sad when people actually mean they feel sad or happy when they listen to the song.

Same with "good" and "bad" music. If somebody says a song is good, they mean they like the song, not that the song actually contains something "good", whatever that is. Good and bad are also subjective, abstract things just like feelings.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#38
Everyone has a unique playing style, in my opinion,
I just think of like, listening to a Radiohead song in studio, and seeing it performed live.
I think music can have a lot of presentation and personality behind it, especially guitar wise.
It's not as if every single guitar player can write using theory.
Covers are the same story. How many times has "lonesome whistle blues" been covered? I really think that song weather it's Williams, Dylan's, or Cash's rendition, have their own take on the emotions of the song.

I dunno, just my thoughts.
#39
Quote by GuitarMunky
Both are certainly possible, and happen all the time.


You mean by like if a player plays the piece without emotion/feel?

What happens is that anyone listening would be more or less likely to have their emotions evoked, depending on how it was played.


A person could play that cover with feel, or not, or anywhere in between.


Maybe you can provide an example of two guitarists, one who plays with feel, and one who doesn't. And then state the fundamental difference.

"What happens is that anyone listening would be more or less likely to have their emotions evoked, depending on how it was played. ".
Why is that? If the exact same tones are conveyed but "without feeling" why is it suddenly that the piece would evoke less emotion? As the sounds are exactly the same I would understand the piece in the same way even if there would be a robot playing it, wouldn't you?
#40
Quote by MaggaraMarine
With "adds feeling" I meant that most people will feel it. Yeah, it adds dynamics but dynamics by themselves don't "add feeling".

Usually when people talk about "feeling" they mean "emotion". Maybe "emotion" would be a better word. Yes, the second track had a chill feeling but it had no emotion (or I didn't feel any emotion in it and I would guess most people won't).

Yes, you can play with feeling if you cover a song. But playing a cover with feeling means that you add something to it. You aren't trying to be the original artist. (Again, I'm talking about subjective feelings if it wasn't clear - but most people will tell that it "had feeling" in it, most people feel the same way.)

Feelings are always subjective. They can't be objective because you are the one that creates feelings in your head. Feelings don't really exist outside of your brains. They are inside you. So when I talk about feelings, I'm talking about subjective feelings. But it is true that most people will feel the same way about the same song. Many people can agree that a song is sad or happy (or should I say, they feel sad or happy when they listen to the song). It's just easier to say the song is happy or sad when people actually mean they feel sad or happy when they listen to the song.

Same with "good" and "bad" music. If somebody says a song is good, they mean they like the song, not that the song actually contains something "good", whatever that is. Good and bad are also subjective, abstract things just like feelings.



Why wouldn't dynamics themselves add "feeling"?

But "why" is the second piece free from emotion? What sets it apart from something with emotion?

So if you play a cover the exact way it was done originally, there is no emotion in it? If so, why?

As for your fourth paragraph, the Stravinsky quote posted earlier is on that same dilemma(yes, you should go read it ). Considering it is subjective, then wouldn't the concept be quite useless?

I agree with you in your last paragraph. Everyone has their personal taste.

I guess your version of "playing with feeling" would be something like "a composer writing a piece that evokes emotion depending on what the listener appreciates", is this correct? If so, then it's completely true, but I find it unnecessary to rephrase it is "playing with feeling" as it certainly seems to be more vodoo then. Guess it's a semantics issue.
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