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#1
I started this thread in hopes that we could get some good discussions going on the philosophy of music. So post some good discussion topics, quotes or whatever.
Those with closed minds bring on themselves nothing but limits.
#3
That's a very vague post. What exactly do you want us to talk about? What music is?

Music is structured sound that may or may not evoke emotion in the listener depending on the listeners experiences and personal taste. The emotions of the composer and player may or may not influence the final product, though this is no guarantee that such emotion will be conveyed to the listener, or improve the final product in any objective (or even subjective) way.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#4
well this can really go in many directions. What is music? it's something that sounds "good" to people. But then everyone has a different opinion of what sounds good. It's a very broad topic and i don't know enough about human anatomy (the ear and brain) and psychology (emotions from music, maybe?) to give much insight. But this kind of stuff has interested me


Saying the Red Hot Chili Peppers have no talent is like saying Guy Fawkes didn't have an epic mustache.
#5
Quote by gonzaw
Hmmm, music invokes feelings?


...?

Yes but so does seeing someone you care about crying or laughing.
Poetry, novels, movies, the stock exchange all invoke feelings, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one.
A hammer can invoke feelings if used incorrectly.
So though I tend to agree there is definitely more to it unless all these things are music

Music is a temporal aural art.
by temporal I mean experienced over time (For example a movie would be temporal whereas a photograph would not)
Aural meaning to do with sound.

Which of course begs the question - what is art?

The aesthetic manipulation of forms to bring about the existence of something new and beautiful with the intention of invoking a particular emotive experience in an audience that appreciates it. The creator and the audience can be one and the same.

I don't know? Too many big words? Everyone knows what music is, why did I just write all that? Will nailing down a precise definition in ugly english words create any benefit for mankind? Arrgggh - Philosophy? The art of questions.
Si
#6
Quote by Archeo Avis
That's a very vague post. What exactly do you want us to talk about? What music is?

Music is structured sound that may or may not evoke emotion in the listener depending on the listeners experiences and personal taste. The emotions of the composer and player may or may not influence the final product, though this is no guarantee that such emotion will be conveyed to the listener, or improve the final product in any objective (or even subjective) way.


This.

Music is sound.
You are like a hurricane
There's calm in your eye.
And I'm gettin' blown away
To somewhere safer
where the feeling stays.
I want to love you but
I'm getting blown away.
#7
Quote by estranged_g_n_r
This.

Music is sound.


that's true... but I think more specifically, music is organised sound... the sound of me clacking some spoons together is only music if I decide it is going to be...

same as if I accidentally drop my guitar... the sound that comes out isn't music unless there's an element of organisation there... either I meant to do it for the sound it created, and it's therefore music (a clangy A11 chord )... or I didn't mean to do it, and it's just an ugly noise, NOT music... the sound's the same, the intent isn't

it's why the train rattling down the track with its horn blaring might have rhythm & texture and a musical feel to it, but it ultimately ISN'T music... but the blues guys who attempted to mimic those sounds on guitars and harmonicas etc WERE making music... it's about intent

of course sampling technology opens another door... sound that wasn't intended to be music at the time it was generated being LATER organised and therefore becoming music...

anyway that's how I feel about music: it's organised sound

like 20Tigers said, 'temporal aural art' is a good way to put it... except many musicians and composers seem to be better described as artisans than artists... music doesn't have to have anything in the way of artistry to strictly be music...
Last edited by inflatablefilth at Aug 8, 2008,
#8
So what's the question then; "what is music"? Or are we gonna discuss the field of phil. of music?

*grabs his Davies and Gracyk books*
A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin where he would go after he died. Hakuin answered 'How am I supposed to know?'
'How do you not know? You're a Zen master!' exclaimed the samurai.
'Yes, but not a dead one,' Hakuin answered.
#9
Quote by 20Tigers
Yes but so does seeing someone you care about crying or laughing.
Poetry, novels, movies, the stock exchange all invoke feelings, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one.
A hammer can invoke feelings if used incorrectly.
So though I tend to agree there is definitely more to it unless all these things are music

Music is a temporal aural art.
by temporal I mean experienced over time (For example a movie would be temporal whereas a photograph would not)
Aural meaning to do with sound.

Which of course begs the question - what is art?

The aesthetic manipulation of forms to bring about the existence of something new and beautiful with the intention of invoking a particular emotive experience in an audience that appreciates it. The creator and the audience can be one and the same.

I don't know? Too many big words? Everyone knows what music is, why did I just write all that? Will nailing down a precise definition in ugly english words create any benefit for mankind? Arrgggh - Philosophy? The art of questions.



+1
©Fleabass5

FreakyStyley
#10
Frank Zappa said the most important part of art is the frame, without it we wouldn't know where it starts and ends. Say I have a synchronizing problem while recording and there is a ten second silence before the actual song starts. Who's to say this ten seconds isn't music? Music is dependent of the listener, someone might find a car going by rhythmic and beautiful, while most would hear it just as a car.
Those with closed minds bring on themselves nothing but limits.
#11
Quote by lumpy890
Frank Zappa said the most important part of art is the frame, without it we wouldn't know where it starts and ends. Say I have a synchronizing problem while recording and there is a ten second silence before the actual song starts. Who's to say this ten seconds isn't music? Music is dependent of the listener, someone might find a car going by rhythmic and beautiful, while most would hear it just as a car.


I always thought FZ meant that music is whatever the composer chooses to be music, and that the difference between music and sound is the 'organisational intent'...

in other words, I always thought he was saying the opposite of what you're saying... that music is dependent on the composer's intent, NOT the listener's perception...

I can find the clacking of typewriter rhythmic and musical... does that mean it's music? I personally don't think so until the person doing the typing intends it to be that way... as FZ said 'putting the frame around it'
#12
i think i agree with inflatablefilth. i just need to ask a question for clarity:

so if i was to turn to you and say, "I'm about to play some music" and then proceed to hammer six nails into my guitar, break a bottle on my amp, throw a shoe at the wall and then play a C dim chord, would that be music?
#13
Quote by Archeo Avis
That's a very vague post. What exactly do you want us to talk about? What music is?

Music is structured sound that may or may not evoke emotion in the listener depending on the listeners experiences and personal taste. The emotions of the composer and player may or may not influence the final product, though this is no guarantee that such emotion will be conveyed to the listener, or improve the final product in any objective (or even subjective) way.


wow, you really have a problem with the idea of expression in music.


Expression is what I enjoy about music, or any art for that matter.

Quote by sisuphi
i think i agree with inflatablefilth. i just need to ask a question for clarity:

so if i was to turn to you and say, "I'm about to play some music" and then proceed to hammer six nails into my guitar, break a bottle on my amp, throw a shoe at the wall and then play a C dim chord, would that be music?


it depends on whether you are expressing something. The actions on their own, just like that act of making a string vibrate do not constitute music. If you perform those actions in an organized, meaningful way, it could possibly be considered music.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 8, 2008,
#14
wow, you really have a problem with the idea of expression in music.


Where did I say that?
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#15
Quote by Archeo Avis
Where did I say that?



Quote by Archeo Avis
The emotions of the composer and player may or may not influence the final product, though this is no guarantee that such emotion will be conveyed to the listener, or improve the final product in any objective (or even subjective) way.


whats the point in saying that ?

that is a statement that discourages expression. It serves no good purpose other than to discourage something, that maybe you're not willing or able to do yourself.
shred is gaudy music
#16
Quote by GuitarMunky
it depends on whether you are expressing something. The actions on their own, just like that act of making a string vibrate do not constitute music. If you perform those actions in an organized, meaningful way, it could possibly be considered music.

I remember that we had a pretty heated debate on this subject a while back; the fact is that it's really impossible to nail down the philosophy of "what is music". For example, who defines what a "meaningful" way of creating sound is?
#17
Quote by :-D
I remember that we had a pretty heated debate on this subject a while back; the fact is that it's really impossible to nail down the philosophy of "what is music". For example, who defines what a "meaningful" way of creating sound is?


the composer/ artist defines it. If the audience gets it (or gets something out of it)...... the composer is successful at expressing themselves.

It has to be meaningful to the artist 1st...... the person creating the art......the one doing the expressing.
shred is gaudy music
#18
that is a statement that discourages expression. It serves no good purpose other than to discourage something, that maybe you're not willing or able to do yourself.


It doesn't discourage anything, it's a statement of fact. You can "feel' whatever you want when writing music, it just doesn't guarantee that the listener will feel the same thing, because music has no inherent emotion.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#19
Quote by GuitarMunky
the composer/ artist defines it. If the audience gets it (or gets something out of it)...... the composer is successful at expressing themselves.

It has to be meaningful to the artist 1st...... the person creating the art......the one doing the expressing.

Good explanation, leading into the next question; how does something not have meaning (purely from an artist's perspective)? Everything an artist creates is going to have some sort of meaning, at least the way I look at it.
#20
Quote by Archeo Avis
You can "feel' whatever you want when writing music, it just doesn't guarantee that the listener will feel the same thing,


Duh,
who cares?


Quote by Archeo Avis

because music has no inherent emotion.


thats not why, and no one thinks that music is alive or has human emotion.

The reason why has to do with our perceptions. Nevertheless, expression is prevalent in music / art. Personally its the reason for my involvement in music. Its what I enjoy about art. I see expression as something that should be encouraged.

Quote by :-D
Good explanation, leading into the next question; how does something not have meaning (purely from an artist's perspective)? Everything an artist creates is going to have some sort of meaning, at least the way I look at it.


simple.... don't express anything.

play notes strictly through muscle memory, but don't use your ears/mind.

anyway, I made my point. Im not going to go all day on this as its likely to get more and more pointless (we all know this is the case practically every time).
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 8, 2008,
#21
Quote by GuitarMunky
simple.... don't express anything.

play notes strictly through muscle memory, but don't use your ears/mind.

anyway, I made my point. Im not going to go all day on this as it gets more and more pointless. You guys can if you want though.

I'm not trying to argue with you, I'm trying to see your point. It's just that to me it's impossible to play something with absolutely no expression.
#22
Quote by :-D
I'm not trying to argue with you, I'm trying to see your point. It's just that to me it's impossible to play something with absolutely no expression.



If you can have expression..... you can have lack of expression. Otherwise the term wouldn't exist.
shred is gaudy music
#23
Well, obviously the expression falls in the listener (or composer which is the same as he is listening to it, or at least already knows how it sounds if he is deaf and has perfect pitch or something).
Since sounds are perceptions, and all our brains are different, and are wired differently, we perceive these sounds differently, maybe not in the physical point of view of how it happens (how soundwaves vibrate the ear bones and the perception goes through that nerve into the back of the brain (?) etc), but more on what happens to it next.

I don't know a lot about neurology, but every perception makes our brain react in some way or another. Some make our brain release certain hormones or chemicals, others make our brain tell us it is not nice (pain for instance), etc. I don't know which specific characteristic of the brain makes each piece of music sound better to some and worse to others, which would ultimately include taste, but well...

The emotions music transmits is a two way avenue, the composer supposedely writes the piece with the emotions he wants to transmit, and the listener supposedely responds with those emotions.
The composer would know which emotions to transmit by knowing how to organize sound in certain ways so those emotions are transmited. We all know minor scales sound sad, and major sound happy. The succession of sounds which is kept in our memory somewhat makes our brain react that way, and the composer takes advantage of this. Obviously, there is more to "emotion" than only theory-wise concepts, but if the composer knows these concepts, he knows how they are going to affect the listener (by experience for instance, like how that affects himself), but he needs to know how to apply them.
Also since the composer is the one ultimately writing the music, and every action we do is conditioned by what we feel, since our thoughts about actions to come are made by our brain (which is the one responsible for emotions), the composer will transmit some kind of emotion even though he doesn't know how they will affect the listener, but he will only do it once his brain is fully aware of the music (you can't transmit emotion if you blindly smash your hand on the keyboard without knowing what notes you are hitting).
So, the composer can or not transmit what he wants, but he will certainly transmit at least some of his emotions (unless it is the previous example), but these emotions can be received by the listener in many forms.
The listener's brain (because of evolution) is similar to most of other peoples, but not the same. Audioneurology (I invented that, whatever) would show that some aspects of music remain the same for everyone, but others don't. Music theory would be an example of aspects which do remain the same. The other aspects are totally related to the listener, meaning that the emotions that the composer wanted to transmit may not be the same as the ones that are evoked in the listener because of this, but certainly others will (like if a song is in a minor key=sad or something, etc)...
The composer's job is to make his music evoke the emotions he wants to invoke in the listener. This is done for instance by knowing about the listener's culture, tastes, etc, and by being aware of how to take advantage of these things in one's music....


Ehhh...long post...
Last edited by gonzaw at Aug 8, 2008,
#24
Quote by GuitarMunky
If you can have expression..... you can have lack of expression. Otherwise the term wouldn't exist.


Define expression, and how it relates to the organization of sound.

You're stuck with a Romantic view of music (though, I too am a Romantic...I simply feel the need to play devil's advocate). Think of it as architecture, as J.S. Bach did. There is no inherent emotion to architecture, but if a structure is built perfectly or is astounding in its innovation, we can't help but to gape.

You can't give a frequency any more emotion than a steel girder.
#25
Quote by GuitarMunky
If you can have expression..... you can have lack of expression. Otherwise the term wouldn't exist.

*Have to run out right now, space saved here for long post later*
#26
Quote by 5/4
Define expression, and how it relates to the organization of sound.

You're stuck with a Romantic view of music (though, I too am a Romantic...I simply feel the need to play devil's advocate). Think of it as architecture, as J.S. Bach did. There is no inherent emotion to architecture, but if a structure is built perfectly or is astounding in its innovation, we can't help but to gape.

You can't give a frequency any more emotion than a steel girder.


Artistic expression:
" ideas which are expressed through a work of art"

Im not stuck. Your close minded if you think an artist can't express themselves through music...... or through architecture or any other form of art.

I don't have a romantic point of view. I just know that expression exists in art, and I happen to enjoy that aspect of it. You can deny it if you want, but your only fooling yourself.
Quote by 5/4
There is no inherent emotion to architecture.


the artist is the one that expresses, not the work of art itself.


Quote by :-D
*Have to run out right now, space saved here for long post later*


Don't bother. I won't be reading any more of this thread as its going where I predicted, and I wont no part of it anymore.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 8, 2008,
#27
Here are some quotes...

"For I consider that music is, by its very nature, 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 unconsciously or by force of habit, we have come to confuse with its essential being."

* Igor Stravinsky (1936). An Autobiography, p.53-54.


"The over-publicized bit about expression (or non-expression) was simply a way of saying that music is supra-personal and super-real and as such beyond verbal meanings and verbal descriptions. It was aimed against the notion that a piece of music is in reality a transcendental idea "expressed in terms of" music, with the reductio ad absurdum implication that exact sets of correlatives must exist between a composer's feelings and his notation. It was offhand and annoyingly incomplete, but even the stupider critics could have seen that it did not deny musical expressivity, but only the validity of a type of verbal statement about musical expressivity. I stand by the remark, incidentally, though today I would put it the other way around: music expresses itself."

* Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft (1962). Expositions and Developments.

"The phenomenon of music is given to us with the sole purpose of establishing an order in things, including, and particularly, the co-ordination between man and time."

* Quoted in DeLone et. al. (Eds.) (1975). Aspects of Twentieth-Century Music. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0130493465, Ch. 3. from Igor Stravinsky' Autobiography (1962). New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., p. 54.

Quotes and sources taken from Wikiquote.
#28
Quote by Erc
Here are some quotes...

"For I consider that music is, by its very nature, 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 unconsciously or by force of habit, we have come to confuse with its essential being."

* Igor Stravinsky (1936). An Autobiography, p.53-54.


"The over-publicized bit about expression (or non-expression) was simply a way of saying that music is supra-personal and super-real and as such beyond verbal meanings and verbal descriptions. It was aimed against the notion that a piece of music is in reality a transcendental idea "expressed in terms of" music, with the reductio ad absurdum implication that exact sets of correlatives must exist between a composer's feelings and his notation. It was offhand and annoyingly incomplete, but even the stupider critics could have seen that it did not deny musical expressivity, but only the validity of a type of verbal statement about musical expressivity. I stand by the remark, incidentally, though today I would put it the other way around: music expresses itself."

* Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft (1962). Expositions and Developments.

"The phenomenon of music is given to us with the sole purpose of establishing an order in things, including, and particularly, the co-ordination between man and time."

* Quoted in DeLone et. al. (Eds.) (1975). Aspects of Twentieth-Century Music. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0130493465, Ch. 3. from Igor Stravinsky' Autobiography (1962). New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., p. 54.

Quotes and sources taken from Wikiquote.



So why do you make music then?

btw, the artist is the one that expresses, not the work of art itself.

do you deny that human beings can express themselves?
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 8, 2008,
#29
in my opinion, the correct answer to "what is music?"
is this:
music is whatever you want it to be.
my 6 best friends:
Ibanez Artcore AF75
Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
LTD H-207 7 string
Ibanez Acoustic
#30
2 pages and look where we are already.

In my opinion expression is to be enjoyed by the musician and the audience can pick up the pieces and see what they can figure out. As we all know, the listening experience is completely subjective in terms of emotion. I think maybe the rest of us are just fed up with people saying "Guitarist X is better than guitarist Y because he plays with more feeling."
#31
Quote by grampastumpy
2 pages and look where we are already.

In my opinion expression is to be enjoyed by the musician and the audience can pick up the pieces and see what they can figure out. As we all know, the listening experience is completely subjective in terms of emotion. I think maybe the rest of us are just fed up with people saying "Guitarist X is better than guitarist Y because he plays with more feeling."


im fed up with people implying that a guitarist/artist is incapable of playing with feeling and/or expressing themselves.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 8, 2008,
#32
Quote by GuitarMunky
im fed up with people implying that a guitarist/artist is incapable of playing with feeling and/or expressing themselves.


No one, anywhere, ever, said that. This has been explained to you countless times. I can only conclude that you're intentionally misrepresenting your opponents arguments.

in my opinion, the correct answer to "what is music?"
is this:
music is whatever you want it to be.


Words have definitions.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Aug 8, 2008,
#33
art is a way to express yourself on paper rather then keeping yourself tucked away. Music is just art through sound. everything in the world rings at a certain Hertz and frequency but humans have mastered the craftsmanship of making devices that play a unique and very clean sound wave (called musical instrument ) which we use! obviously there is deeper logic behind it all which i completely 100% agree with gonzaw. Music is indeed very abstract and completely unnecessary entity to survive yet we cant get enough of it. I think because music is so convenient for the ear and easy to enjoy is why we love it~!!! Just look at pop culture today! look at how uneducated you can be and still enjoy music!! lol
#34
Quote by sisuphi
i think i agree with inflatablefilth. i just need to ask a question for clarity:

so if i was to turn to you and say, "I'm about to play some music" and then proceed to hammer six nails into my guitar, break a bottle on my amp, throw a shoe at the wall and then play a C dim chord, would that be music?


yup, I think so... or at least the resulting sound would be music... and you'd be a composer

whether it's music that other people might enjoy or have any other strong feelings about is another matter but it's yknow... 'consciously organised sound' - therefore it's music
#35
Quote by Archeo Avis
No one, anywhere, ever, said that. This has been explained to you countless times. I can only conclude that you're intentionally misrepresenting your opponents arguments.




no it hasn't, and no im not.


Quote by LawnDwarf
art is a way to express yourself on paper rather then keeping yourself tucked away. Music is just art through sound.


not bad.

music can be alot of things, but it certainly can be and often is art.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 8, 2008,
#36
Quote by GuitarMunky
Don't bother. I won't be reading any more of this thread as its going where I predicted, and I wont no part of it anymore.

But you're still part of this thread; should I post, or just save my breath because the point will fall on deaf ears?
#37
All arts (and IMO, all things are art) are subjective of the one experiencing it. All thing's are relative, and every different person will percieve all thing's differently. This is obvious in that not everyone likes the same band, even though the same material is being presented (more or less).

If a composer creates a piece of music and gives it to two different people, it can be thought that he/she is giving out two separate peices of music. Each listener will see the music in a different way, because thier brains work in different ways.

If you disagree with the last paragraph, don't read this one. Since the concept of perception is relative, and their are actually two peices of music be given out (there isn't actually, there are actually two perceptions of the same thing), it can be thought that there are actually infinate perceptions, since the listeners mind changes over time.

Just a couple of my idea's.
#38
Quote by GuitarMunky
no it hasn't, and no im not.


not bad.

music can be alot of things, but it certainly can be and often is art.


I don't think anyone ever denied music being art, or denied it as a way of expressing themselves.

So, how about 4'33" by John Cage? 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence. In my opinion, if the composer intended it to be music, then it is, whether you like it or not. I'm pretty sure we've already established that though...
Last edited by RedDeath9 at Aug 8, 2008,
#39
Quote by Archeo Avis
Words have definitions.

whats that supposed to mean?
if your on this site you OBVIOUSLY like music, and your going to argue that "music CANT be whatever you want it to be?"
i play and listen to music because it helps me through rough times in my life.
you might play music for a different reason.
is there need for an arguement?
my 6 best friends:
Ibanez Artcore AF75
Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
LTD H-207 7 string
Ibanez Acoustic
#40
Quote by RedDeath9

So, how about 4'33" by John Cage? 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence. In my opinion, if the composer intended it to be music, then it is, whether you like it or not. I'm pretty sure we've already established that though...


I agree
shred is gaudy music
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