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Thread: What does music mean to you?

  1. #1
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain

    What does music mean to you?

    What does music mean to you? For some people, it's just background noise. For others, it adds some enjoyment to their lives. For me, it's much more important. I've learned so much about life, and other people's lives through it. I've learned about love, hate, betrayal, happiness, despair, grief, and more, way before I experienced any of them in real life. Music prepared me for when it happened to me. Good music makes me think, or feel, or dance. It can make me happy. Bad music makes me angry. But what is bad music? What is good? Why does it annoy me so much when some TV ad is using a song I like, out of context, edited horribly for time. I shout very angry words at the TV several times a night for this very reason. They're ruining my songs to sell pointless crap. Why does it rile me so much? Is it just me? Why do bad songs piss me off to no extent? Do I need to get my head checked? Is modern music getting worse or am I just getting old and whiny?

    Questions, questions...
    Boing. Peng. Boom-Tschak. Peng.

    System Shock 2 Walkthrough

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Well shit, you said it all didn't you? There is some incredibly good stuff being made now but that doesn't mean it will resonate with us on the same level it does with those younger. When I think back to the seventies the only thing that somehow explains it all, that takes me back, and puts my mind right in the day is music. It's the very feel of a particular age. And there is some magic in it. It makes you feel. It makes you remember how you felt. It's a lot like love in that. Using it for commercials is like the difference between meeting someone and hitting it off and winding up in bed together marveling at the wonder of the connection and someone who just uses you or worse tries to sell you sex.

  3. #3
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Alright I'll bite.

    Music to me is first of all a form of meditation, self-expression, and above all self-discipline. I need to play music constantly just to keep myself in equilibrium. It's like exercise; I'm not doing well when I'm not doing it in a regular way. I play jazz piano, and once nice thing about it (like martial arts or chess or painting or whatever) is that it's a bottomless well. No matter how much you practice it, there's always deeper levels to plumb.

    That also feeds into how I listen to music. I listen with a mind of how I'd make music. Everything is fodder for ideas to go into possible tunes. And I make music in the way I'd want to listen to it. The best way I could express it is I listen to music ritualistically. I listen to it to evoke a certain emotion, like a kind of practice. And I'll latch on to certain styles and pieces that really evoke it and obsess over them, no matter how popular or obscure--they're all equal--whereas loads of music that doesn't evoke anything for me just never stays on my radar.

    It's interesting because the music that speaks to me often has a pop sensibility. It's not like I'm listening to "meditative music" (not entirely true as I listen to a lot of dark ambient; but even noise can be well-composed, if you know what I mean, as opposed to people just lazily throwing a bunch of drones on top of each other). So I listen for a pop sound almost religiously.

    Very recently I've been getting into synthesis, which is a whole other thing. For that, it's not just music by itself. It's trying to create the perfect sound. That also has a kind of mystical side to it. And now when I'm listening to electronic music, I'll really focus on the sounds it's making to see what ideas they're coming up with and how they're using it...

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I'm like on the opposite side of this spectrum from you guys. I, y'know, like music, some of it, makes me feel things and all. But... Not very strongly, not like you guys describe. Sometimes I have background music on... More often I don't. Once I'm concentrating on something, I won't notice either way. If I hear a song I like turned into a jingle, I'm like, hey, I recognize that, neat.

  5. #5
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    A bit of this, a bit of that, a whole lot that I still need/want to explore. Funny enough, I'm always picking up the -sound- and MUCH later the vocals (I have to reaaaally pay attention to listen to what someone's singing or it's just another (wonderful) instrument).

    I gotta explore more. Hrrrm...

  6. #6
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I remember having an argument discussion about the nature of music a long time ago. The way someone who creates it versus someone who only experiences it can be very different. To the classically trained pianist I spoke to, music tended to be math, more an extension of skill and technique combined to form beauty. And I know the thrill of performing a run of brilliance on the keys, multiple harmonies playing off each other at the same time, contrapuntal melodies, using weird time signatures, all that jazz.

    But still: to me, music's like oxygen. The right kind of song is like an electric tingle thrumming along my spine, setting each nerve aflame until it reaches my brain, and then I process the nuances like a perfectly executed bass swoop in time with the rest of the rhythm section, or a ridiculously liquid guitar line, or the synthesis of all of this with a lyrical melody that ties the entire piece together with exactly the right words. It's that feeling, where this disparate bunch of sounds magically comes together to set your own soul reverberating like a taut bowstring against the fabric of the universe, that is what music means to me. It could have been math, it could have been stories, but it is this.

    And so, yes, the flip side is that the wrong kind of song, wrought out of vacuousness or tepid commercialism makes me inordinately angry. I often get linked to pop songs I know in my bones are lazy, insincere; I can't contain my ire for them sometimes. Artifice pisses me off, especially when it's uninteresting. But there is great music being made out there still, it's just difficult to sort through the sheer volume of lazy dreck to get to it.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 9th Aug 2019 at 04:22.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    For me, music is all of the above. It's background music, it's emotional, it can be a story experience (eg some of U2's music videos have good stories to them), it's an experience. It's all of the above. I love music. Listen to it very often daily, and it's a different experience for each genre.

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    It's interesting for me to think about lazy dreck. I used to get really upset by that too. I know it's a cliched punchline, but I remember some a Nickleback song coming on the radio once and getting physically queezy by the sheer emptiness of its soul as the song went on. The fact it was a really polished sound somehow made it worse. I can literally still remember where the car was at that moment, it made that kind of impression.

    But now, I mean I still have that reflex, but since I've started recording music, now I tend to think even a really bad or soulless song can have some good ideas I can yoink. It doesn't mean I suddenly like the song, but it means I'll listen to it with honest ears and try to pull out what might honestly be an interesting sound or trick. That's kind of a new thing for me and has opened my musical horizons quite a bit, because now I'll listen to anything with the thinking that ideas can come from anywhere.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    But still: to me, music's like oxygen. The right kind of song is like an electric tingle thrumming along my spine, setting each nerve aflame until it reaches my brain, and then I process the nuances like a perfectly executed bass swoop in time with the rest of the rhythm section, or a ridiculously liquid guitar line, or the synthesis of all of this with a lyrical melody that ties the entire piece together with exactly the right words. It's that feeling, where this disparate bunch of sounds magically comes together to set your own soul reverberating like a taut bowstring against the fabric of the universe, that is what music means to me.
    Wait... Oxygen is like that for you? I only really notice oxygen when it's not available...

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Tell that to a person who has anxiety .

  11. #11
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Wait... Oxygen is like that for you? I only really notice oxygen when it's not available...
    It helps set things on fire.

  12. #12
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    What about when there is no music around? I always hear songs at the back of my head, usually They Might Be Giants, but could really be anything I've listened to recently. There's always a song. Always. But it's not loud enough to drown out that damn lawnmower down the street that woke me up, so now I have to put the stereo on.

    :grumble:

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray View Post
    Is modern music getting worse or am I just getting old and whiny?
    No, it's the children who are wrong.

    I stopped watching TV a long time ago and know little of these commercials of which you speak, but I can imagine it also works the other way around, that someone hears a piece of music in a commercial and discovers a whole new song that becomes all theirs. So instead of your music being ruined, it's perhaps more like free advertising?

  14. #14
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    I've thought of that. Perhaps there are kids who never heard Depeche Mode: Personal Jesus, and might discover it through an ad for some crappy car. Good. Fine. But it pisses me off to no end that they've edited it for time, and also, WTF? This was clearly a decision made in a boardroom by a dozen people who have no idea what the song is about, but are using it either to trigger nostalgia in potential customers of my age, or just for the groove of it. So on one hand, good to get the exposure, on the other, stop ruining my adolescence! And don't use Beach Boys: Wouldn't it be Nice to sell crap, you're tainting the memory of my wedding. Piss off.

    [Edit]

    And when I say "modern music", I don't mean everything released in the last 15-odd years, but there's a trend that particularly upsets me. This really started in the 90s, with R&B (which, at the time, had neither rhythm nor blues). It's the wailing. That "soulful" way of singing that more often than not shows that the performer has no soul to speak of. This has then trickled down over the years to other genres, to the point where almost every new pop song has this laboured empty hollow singing, to the point that I actually notice the one artist or two that just sings it straight. I suppose I could use that as a filter to weed out all the crap, but it's so ubiquitous these days that hardly leaves anything left.
    Last edited by Gray; 9th Aug 2019 at 08:45.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    It's not just commercials and it's not just by boardrooms. Born in the USA has been used by political campaigns and Every Breath You Take at weddings for how long now?

  16. #16
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Well Bruce Springsteen famously told Reagan to stop using his song. Sting has said repeatedly that his song is not suited for weddings, it's about stalking. But I see your point.

  17. #17
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray View Post
    ... Depeche Mode: Personal Jesus ... a decision made in a boardroom by a dozen people who have no idea what the song is about,
    I understand what you are saying. And I agree.
    It's weird trying to sell cars by making people listen to a song about heroin.

    Then I thought, let's check it. There is a whole wiki-page about just this one song. Weird.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person...nd_composition
    It's a song about being a Jesus for somebody else, someone to give you hope and care. It's about how Elvis Presley was her man and her mentor and how often that happens in love relationships; how everybody's heart is like a god in some way, and that's not a very balanced view of someone, is it?
    Huh ? What ?
    Am I an idiot ?
    So I checked the lyrics.
    https://www.google.nl/search?complet...jesus%20lyrics

    Yup, it's about heroin.

    That "soulful" way of singing that more often than not shows that the performer has no soul to speak of.
    Also agree. I understand that there is music that I like and music that I don't like. Personal taste. No problem. But there is also music that is bad, no matter what your criteria are. The "new" way of singing definitely qualifies for the label "always terrible".

    The trick is to not get upset.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon's_law
    Once you realize this, and accept it, the world loses some of its ability to irritate you. Accept it like it is a law of nature. Nothing you can do about. It's just the way it is. Accept it, ignore it, and only spend your time and energy on stuff that is worthwile (the other 10%).
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 9th Aug 2019 at 11:22.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    But still: to me, music's like oxygen. The right kind of song is like an electric tingle thrumming along my spine, setting each nerve aflame until it reaches my brain, and then I process the nuances like a perfectly executed bass swoop in time with the rest of the rhythm section, or a ridiculously liquid guitar line, or the synthesis of all of this with a lyrical melody that ties the entire piece together with exactly the right words. It's that feeling, where this disparate bunch of sounds magically comes together to set your own soul reverberating like a taut bowstring against the fabric of the universe, that is what music means to me. It could have been math, it could have been stories, but it is this.
    Jean-Michel Jarre agrees with you:

  19. #19
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    I don't get too worked up when I see one of my favorite songs in an ad or commercial. The most I'll do is laugh a little bit. Remember that the band/musician signed off on this (99% of the time), strictly to make a few dollars. No one is using these songs without permission. So if they are OK with it, who am I to argue?

  20. #20
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Well, you're right, the musicians must be financially compensated, so they're probably fine with it. Why am I not? Because it's ruining my memories and what it used to mean to me when it's on TV 25 times a day IN A BADLY EDITED VERSION to sell some bloody car. I can't control when the ad comes on, but I can choose to play the song on purpose, to trigger memories.

    There's an ad on now for some slimming product that uses Salt & Pepa's "Push It". This is particularly painful to me, because once back in the 1980's my then band played that song live, and it was a very humiliating and embarrassing event. So every time that ad comes on now, I'm reminded of it. I have to turn the sound down. I've not been on stage since, but that's unrelated, that's just because I have no talent.

    And when it comes to bad music, sure, it's all about personal taste. Most of the time I can avoid stuff I don't like. What I object to is being exposed to horrible crap when it's beyond my control. A few months ago I went into a shop to buy sneakers, and the music was so loud I had to shout to the clerk and ask several times what he was saying. It was some recent hiphop crap that I can't name. I don't object to hiphop, I buy some on purpose, but in this setting it was counterproductive to the shop's main goal, which was to take my money. I did buy them, but the next time I needed shoes, I avoided that shop like the plague.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Jean-Michel Jarre agrees with you
    I very nearly posted the same thing. I grew up on JMJ.
    Last edited by Gray; 9th Aug 2019 at 12:24.

  21. #21
    Is modern music getting worse or am I just getting old and whiny?
    Just not looking hard enough. The music isn't getting worse, it's just harder to come by. And if you're looking for it on the radio or TV, those stopped to be good sources of new stuff years, decades ago.

    Small music review sites, happy accidents on Bandcamp, Spotify or other music platform, niche music festivals, your favorite artists recommending artists they like. That's where good things happen.

  22. #22
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    It was mainly a blanket statement intended to provoke conversation, and also play to the stereotype of old people like me complaining about new music. Read some of the above posts to see where it gets a bit more nuanced. But you're right, there is a lot of new good music out there, the trick is just to find it. I no longer go to rock festivals, but that used to be a good way to discover new bands. Tomorrow night I'm going to a charity event (Love Glasgow, Hate Racism) with several bands I've never heard of, because the headlining act is my favourite Scottish band Bombskare.

    My upstairs neighbour is a young guy, 26 years old and a history teacher, and we occasionally meet up for beers and a chat (and will do just that later tonight). He sometimes pimps me new bands I've never heard of, such as Lewis Capaldi. My stepson is about the same age and pimps me other stuff, like Gerry Cinnamon. He knows what I like, and I've certainly pimped many bands to him. I don't hate all new music, it's just some of it I really despise.

  23. #23
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2019
    Location: North Carolina
    My man it seems you have questioned a lot! for some music is life,for some its distraction from unwanted noise,for some its a stress releasing technique,some listen for concentration whatsoever music is addicted and its easy to connect your emotions with the songs.

  24. #24
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    I did ask, but you didn't answer what it means to you.

  25. #25
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray View Post
    What about when there is no music around? I always hear songs at the back of my head, usually They Might Be Giants, but could really be anything I've listened to recently. There's always a song. Always.
    I hate to quote myself, but I want to emphasise this point. Am I the only person who always has a song at the back of the head? If not TMBG, often Bombskare or Front Line Assembly. There is always something playing. TMBG usually, because of the combination of very catchy tunes and impossibly surreal lyrics you can never quite get your head around, and it's as if my brain is trying to decode a hidden message when I'm not paying attention, or trying to wade through the weirdness to find some meaning.

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