Traditional Music

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Traditional Music

Postby Magnus Anderson » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:14 am

I am Montenegrin and Herzogovinian by descent.
Because I am from Old Herzogovinia part of Montenegro, it's tempting to simply say that I am a Herzogovinian.
Either way, these nations share an aspect of their traditions which is a national musical instrument that is very peculiar.
I'm talking about gusle (pronounced as "gooss-leh".)

Here's a cartoon depiction of gusle:
Image

Here's a Herzegovinian singing to the gusle:
Image

The sound of gusle is god-awful.
We often hear from old people that gusle were used in battles to scare enemies away.



My question is this: if I am a Herzogovinian by descent, which I am, is it not natural that I feel attraction to this kind of music?
And yet, I don't. I find it extremely repulsive.
The question then is: why is this so?

I often hear from traditionalists arguing against any kind of foreign music (classical music including) and in favor of whatever is part of one's tradition (in my case, that would be clearly gusle.)
I am not only unable to argue against foreign music.
I am also unable to say anything positive regarding this kind of traditional music.
It is quite simply rubbish. Very primitive and unpleasant.
These traditionalists would consider anyone who rejects elements of one's tradition on the ground of inferiority as being a traitor.

My question is basically what's going on here . . .
Am I descended from other parts of the world?
Or am I brainwashed by foreign cultures?
Or is it simply that even though I am not part of foreign culture I can tell that it is superior to my own culture?
What's going on?

And yes, this is a thread dedicated to traditional music in general.
I'm just kickstarting it with the fact that it often sucks.
I got a philosophy degree, I'm not upset that I can't find work as a philosopher. It was my decision, and I knew that it wasn't a money making degree, so I get money elsewhere.
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Re: Traditional Music

Postby Magnus Anderson » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:21 am

This is a (reconstruction of, I think) Serbian traditional music.
It's much much better than gusle but it still has problems that are typical for traditional music.



Listen to the back vocals. Notice how they sing in one tone? Very monotone.
Dancing, if you can call it that, is also very rigid.
Very artificial. Women carrying smiles for too long.
It tells me they are trying to hide something ugly about themselves by being so stiff.
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Re: Traditional Music

Postby AutSider » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:53 am

I don't think that the intention behind gusle was to sound good. Or at least, I hope nobody thinks that stuff sounds good. Scaring, or irritating and annoying away enemies seems about right.

I don't see why you'd have to like every single song produced by your countrymen. Among every group there are superior and inferior individuals, and then there are differences in personality where one isn't necessarily superior/inferior, just different. It's completely natural to reject something that is below you or different than you.

Dancing, if you can call it that, is also very rigid.
Very artificial. Women carrying smiles for too long.
It tells me they are trying to hide something ugly about themselves by being so stiff.


It's not about hiding the ugly as much as emphasizing the good and presenting an idealistic image for the video. Nothing wrong with that.

One of my biggest complaints about a lot of traditional music is that it is either obviously outdated (though some old music is timeless), or simply so uninteresting it doesn't manage to catch my attention.
Most of it is like semi-pleasant background noise for social events, not something I'd actively listen to. I'd give examples but I can't recall anything in specific.

I'd also say that in the past people lived in a very different environment and had a different mindset, so it can be hard to relate to their music.

These are some traditional songs I do like, both are only a decade or two old though. The instrument (tamburica) is characteristic to the part of Croatia I am from.



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Re: Traditional Music

Postby Sauwelios » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:14 am

Oh, you poor KTS minion types... And I, too, am or was such a type!

I'm absolutely delighted by that gusle music. And just look at those CD cover pictures: behold a man!

It's funny that Magnus would use the word "god-awful" to describe it. In 2013, I used the word "Godawful" to describe this song, which one of my "kittens" had brought to my attention:--if you will listen to it for more than a minute, you're depraved!--

Depeche Mode, "Heaven"

In principle, every Westerner is spoiled by tonal music. Indeed, so spoiled as to find this sublime gusle music "repulsive"; "quite simply rubbish. Very primitive and unpleasant."

In his Proverbs of Hell, William Blake wrote: "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." And, similarly: "If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise."

I only saw this thread today. And yesterday, I posted the following maxim:

"Enough! or Too much.--Tonal is the music of excess; atonal, of abstinence; and modal, of moderation."

I was a fool in Blake's sense, and you two still are. Persist in your folly! The worst fools are those who don't, who always remain fools precisely because they aren't foolish, töricht, furious enough.

In my experience one must be "burnt out by lust", by the Wollust (literally "well-lust", in the sense of goodly pleasure or yearning) of the spirit of music. It's like how I got rid of my addiction to tobacco-smoking multiple times (including for good): by taking such a strong drag from a cigarette that I was fully pervaded by how disgusting it was!

You must be purged from tonal music, from the passions enjoyed by virtue of tonal music, through the vehement discharge thereof. Indulge and over-indulge in it! Feel the erosion of that erôs, the emptiness it creates in you and which it can at some point no longer fill. Perhaps be "spoiled" by Nietzsche's music for the sufficiency of any other tonal music. Learn what noble music is, the stillness, patience, subtlety, coldness, slowness of noble music. And habituate yourself to modal music--overcome yourselves through cruelty against yourselves and your conditioned tastes.

::

"Scaring, or irritating and annoying away enemies seems about right."

Anyone can produce "adverse howling", as Nietzsche called it, but few can actually identify with it, enjoy it from the inside, take cruel and gloating pleasure in it--as I do in that gusle song.*

"I hope nobody thinks that stuff sounds good."

I do. And in that respect, I'm stronger than you. And it's an essential respect:

"It appears from a well-known passage in the Republic of Plato, as well as from many other references, that in ancient Greece there were certain kinds or forms of music, which were known by national or tribal names--Dorian, Ionian, Phrygian, Lydian and the like: that each of these was believed to be capable, not only of expressing particular emotions, but of reacting on the sensibility in such a way as to exercise a powerful and specific influence in the formation of character: and consequently that the choice, among these varieties, of the musical forms to be admitted into the education of the state, was a matter of the most serious practical concern." (Monro, The Modes of Ancient Greece, page 1.)

Modal music gets its name from the musical modes--e.g., the Dorian, Ionian, Phrygian and Lydian modes. Modal music is Classical, Feudal, Renaissance, whereas tonal music, including so-called "classical" music (Mozart etc.) is Modern. This alone is enough to condemn tonal and exalt modal music. As for atonal, that's Postmodern. It's the desert of nihilism in music. At this point it's better than tonal, though, just as abstinence is better than indulgence when the indulgence has become excessive. But moderation is better still; also harder. If you want to try atonal, though, try this:

http://billboethius.blogspot.nl/

And if you want to "overdose" on tonal music, try Nico:

Nico, "My Heart is Empty", live in Tokyo


"[Traditional music] is either obviously outdated (though some old music is timeless), or simply so uninteresting it doesn't manage to catch my attention."

Your attention has been spoiled. Wean yourself from your spoiled tastes. Eat your eggs without salt. Taste the actual egg (or nuts, or cheese, or whatever). Demodernise yourself! Dechristianise (I'm thinking of the fairy tale in which the youngest daughter said she loved her father like salt. King Lear's youngest daughter, in contrast, said "Nothing").

On second thought, I think Nico's music is rather for dosing yourself when you've already "overdosed"--climbing on your own head (or rather, heart).


"Most of it is like semi-pleasant background noise for social events, not something I'd actively listen to. I'd give examples but I can't recall anything in specific."

Something like this?:

The Tudors, Pavana alla Venetiana

Learn to actively listen to it. Wean yourself from the need to be ravished.

I'm thinking of posting that gusle song on my Facebook with the text: "Music for Men."

As for Trag's Mesecina, I find the opening chord regrettable, but do think there's a lot to like there. Learn to enjoy the "monotony"!

As for Slavonske Lole, however, I think that kind of music is very much weakened and attenuated from what it once was. In fact, judging from these posts, I think Magnus is from considerably nobler "descent" than AutSider. Maybe the Yugoslav Wars were not so bad, after all!

I'm also thinking of your avatars and signature(s). AutSider's are--ignoble.

Overcome yourselves!

*Unesco, Gagaku
Bismillah Khan, Raga Bhairav
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