music with words is inferior

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music with words is inferior

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:03 pm

seriously, because words distract from the chords.
The only musical aspect in music is the progressions of the chords.

The rhythm is not necessarily musical, a beat isn't music. Music is melody. Do we agree? Or, if not, don't quote me boy because I aint said shit.

Rap-music is n apt term, as rap isn't of itself music.
You have to put it to music and make it as musical as possible, which is why it is getting more feminine now, and less and less is being said.

But pop music still has words like "love" and "I" and and "you", and often enough this makes for plenty of emotion that no melody need be felt.

All you feel is a drug of someones used emotion. I hate that.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Sauwelios » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:58 am

This is why I don't care if I can't understand song lyrics. (I do think voices are unique and sometimes even supreme instruments though; I much appreciate them being there.) Lyrics are seldom deeply philosophic, anyway. The only exception I would make would be a complete Greek tragedy, or even comedy, complete with music.

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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:24 pm

I used to think the same. Regarding words, of course. I am in eternal disagreement with you regarding rhythm, however. Rhythm is a good thing. Whether to consider it a part of music or not, however, I don't know. If you think that music = melody then why have two different names for it? Why not simply call it melody?

If done well, words should not be a distraction.
I consider musicals > music.
Musicals have all the juicy parts: melody, rhythm, poetry, dancing and acting.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Pandora » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:56 pm

Lisa Gerrard's singing is beautiful, but she sings in gibberish, just made up vocal sounds. If one didn't know that one would just assume she's singing in some foreign language (like Clannad's Celtic songs, which are sung in actual language); and so one would just ascribe own meaning to the music. And sometimes, the song sounds better when you don't know the translation of lyrics. It is rare to see lyrics live up to beautiful music. Lorena McKennet was good with matching words (ballads) to music, but you don't see a lot of that.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Pandora » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:10 pm

In some religious communities musical instruments were forbidden and music was made by singing alone (choir). There are still vocal only choirs (Christian); Muslim singling is often vocal only too.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby fuse » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:13 pm

^ Lisa Gerrard also came to mind when I saw this thread.

I think I get what you mean, Fixed Cross. Words often have a prescribing affect on a song. They can sort of package the expression into something more surface level, with a ready use and context. Something more consumable. This needn't always be the case, but it often works out that way.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Fixed Cross » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:52 pm

Hey fuse,

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fuse wrote:^ Lisa Gerrard also came to mind when I saw this thread.

Yes.






I think I get what you mean, Fixed Cross. Words often have a prescribing affect on a song. They can sort of package the expression into something more surface level, with a ready use and context. Something more consumable. This needn't always be the case, but it often works out that way.

Ironically, Ive been making hiphop, but using words as instruments primarily, and the meaning is allowed to come into being as a function of the musical power of the words. So you get a very musical, wide-spread meaning, a pregnant atmosphere and context rather than a literal statement. But all good lyrical music does this. Its a good art to circumvent the statement so as to arrive at a kind of bed of narrative power that doesn't itself make any claims/limits.

Still, Lisa Gerrard takes it all the way.

Then there is simply the endless universe of actually wordless music.
This guy is on the cutting edge. Listen how many harmonies he manages to weave through each other.

https://soundcloud.com/josephchambers
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Fixed Cross » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:06 pm

Pandora wrote:Lisa Gerrard's singing is beautiful, but she sings in gibberish, just made up vocal sounds. If one didn't know that one would just assume she's singing in some foreign language (like Clannad's Celtic songs, which are sung in actual language); and so one would just ascribe own meaning to the music. And sometimes, the song sounds better when you don't know the translation of lyrics. It is rare to see lyrics live up to beautiful music. Lorena McKennet was good with matching words (ballads) to music, but you don't see a lot of that.

For the sake of the argument I might note that this is less meaningful than Lisa Gerrards words. You just say some things, but what are they grounded in, or pointing to? Will it not immediately be forgotten? Be wary of taking such disdainful positions without having enormous treasures to offer. Nature demands a balance there, or you will recede. [/argumentative stance]

All Gerrards selected words certainly do have tremendous meaning - she could not conceive them other than from her reality - too much meaning to be taken so lightly as an indirect reference. As is the case with poetry as well, you have to directly interpret it with your soul, heart, whatever it is that you probably look down on. [////argumentative stance]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFEgcOwcS18

Pandora wrote:In some religious communities musical instruments were forbidden and music was made by singing alone (choir). There are still vocal only choirs (Christian); Muslim singling is often vocal only too.

The rules instilled by fear can chill some folk to the bone.

As those who read me know my philosophical position is grounded in the realization that language itself, as representations of designated Objects and Procedures, is entirely foolish. Ive managed to hone in on the one sound concept: valuing. Thats the constant, the consistency, the character, the nature. In that concept we transcend the folly of representation and become truthful.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Fixed Cross » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:18 pm

Sauwelios wrote:This is why I don't care if I can't understand song lyrics. (I do think voices are unique and sometimes even supreme instruments though; I much appreciate them being there.) Lyrics are seldom deeply philosophic, anyway. The only exception I would make would be a complete Greek tragedy, or even comedy, complete with music.

Thats a pretty big exception though. If not the very rule itself from which the basics of our musical culture have risen.... like perfidious fumes from a dank stew... haha. Of eternity, laughing Zarathustras east north south and west and everywhere in between, madness.

"Nausea", Sartres shirking back from Nietzsche.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Pandora » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:00 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:For the sake of the argument I might note that this is less meaningful than Lisa Gerrards words. You just say some things, but what are they grounded in, or pointing to? Will it not immediately be forgotten? Be wary of taking such disdainful positions without having enormous treasures to offer. Nature demands a balance there, or you will recede. [/argumentative stance]

All Gerrards selected words certainly do have tremendous meaning - she could not conceive them other than from her reality - too much meaning to be taken so lightly as an indirect reference. As is the case with poetry as well, you have to directly interpret it with your soul, heart, whatever it is that you probably look down on. [////argumentative stance]

Are you trying to say the music that has a greater emotional impact is more meaningful, such as melody vs. a sad ballad (or tragic opera) because of its more direct effect?
Maybe so, but it would also be unbalanced, since it would also ignore or bypasses higher functioning areas (reason, language, analysis, etc.). Another thing that it would not have is context. But what if you can also incorporate context and language, and have the same emotional effect? Wouldn't that be superior? Superior in the sense that it would also stimulate more areas of one's brain? Think of approaching music as approaching life in general. If you encourage all music to be pure melody, wouldn't you also encourage pure passive emotionalism in general?

All Gerrards selected words certainly do have tremendous meaning - she could not conceive them other than from her reality - too much meaning to be taken so lightly as an indirect reference.
Or... maybe its due to laziness, or lack of skill. One size fits all thinking. Note, people still provide their own context for her songs. A person feels an emotion and expresses that emotion to another person directly though melody. No context is given, so nobody (maybe not even her) knows why she feels this emotion, or what is the chain of events that could have possibly led to it. What's going on? We don't know. We just feel an emotion. So, you're stuck with feeling an emotion and nothing else. Why do you need this? Self-validation? But you can't live through life being helplessly and cluelessly stuck in reactive emotions, just as you can't spend all your life looking at yourself in the mirror. Maybe as an artist, living all his life in his niche, and making art out of it, but in general, life demands a lot more than that, and in that sense, purely emotive music might not be really helpful.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Fixed Cross » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:22 pm

Pandora wrote:Are you trying to say the music that has a greater emotional impact is more meaningful, such as melody vs. a sad ballad (or tragic opera) because of its more direct effect?

First off, I am never trying to say something. Im saying things, and thats what you should be focussed on. Don't try to guess whats behind my words. Theres just me.
You discern between melody and emotive power.
I dont experience music like that.
Gerrards words are musical, rhythmic and melodic.
Further, I hate opera, except Bizet. Opera is pathetic. precisely because it uses so many words and actually tries to be literal. Extremely stupid.

Maybe so, but it would also be unbalanced, since it would also ignore or bypasses higher functioning areas (reason, language, analysis, etc.).

On the contrary. Melody can only be written by a Higher Mind.
A talent for melody implies a talent for all the abstract arts.
Music and geometry are inextricably tied. Read up on Pythagoras and the tuning of strings, if you don't have that knowledge ready.

Another thing that it would not have is context. But what if you can also incorporate context and language, and have the same emotional effect? Wouldn't that be superior? Superior in the sense that it would also stimulate more areas of one's brain? Think of approaching music as approaching life in general. If you encourage all music to be pure melody, wouldn't you also encourage pure passive emotionalism in general?

I rather see melody as the active emotional force.
One must truly musical and poetic as a writer to achieve emotion.
(This is why I write with such passion, I always go for the music)

maybe its due to laziness, or lack of skill.

You're serious?
You're suggesting Gerrard is lazy and lacks skill?
Evidently you have not ever dared to try to sing, or to make music.

Jeraz Christ... that is so deeply modern, Pandora, I had not expected this of you.
You really think Justin Bieber and Katie Perry are more skillful than Zimmer and Gerrard.... because they use words?

One size fits all thinking. Note, people still provide their own context for her songs. A person feels an emotion and expresses that emotion to another person directly though melody. No context is given, so nobody (maybe not even her) knows why she feels this emotion

Im sorry to say it, but only an autist would not be able to discern the emotions in these songs. Thats actually literally the original definition of autism, not being able to discern emotions except when they are explicitly related in words.

Even more importantly, Context existed long before words did. Words emerged as a result of a context..... obviously. How could a word refer to anything otherwise? Use logic.

or what is the chain of events that could have possibly led to it. What's going on? We don't know. We just feel an emotion. So, you're stuck with feeling an emotion and nothing else. Why do you need this? Self-validation? But you can't live through life being helplessly and cluelessly stuck in reactive emotions, just as you can't spend all your life looking at yourself in the mirror. Maybe as an artist, living all his life in his niche, and making art out of it, but in general, life demands a lot more than that, and in that sense, purely emotive music might not be really helpful.

I guess I must take this as a portrait of your musical life.... seeking aid in it, rather than overflown into it. Your experiencing music from the opposite of musicality.

No, that relates in nothing to how I experience making music, or listening to it.
But it is true that religious communities use music as mantra, to affirm certain ideas about virtues they admire but cant find in themselves.
These forms are literally sickening to me, all too palpable is the weakness of heart, the lack of identity the hearing to be absorbed into someone elses truth.

This goes for Christian choirs, Islamic calls to prayer or Hindu mantras. Its all feeble hearted degeneracy, and I would hesitate to call it music.
Better: you've helped me arrive at the decision to disqualify mantras and prayer as music. Its just something else. Something that doesn't even deserve a name.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Pandora » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:34 am

Fixed Cross wrote:First off, I am never trying to say something. Im saying things, and thats what you should be focussed on. Don't try to guess whats behind my words. Theres just me.
I'm sorry, Fixed, but that's not how it works. I interpret the world my own way, and you, yours. And maybe we'll meet somewhere in the middle...maybe.
Fixed wrote:Further, I hate opera, except Bizet. Opera is pathetic. precisely because it uses so many words and actually tries to be literal. Extremely stupid.
So, opera is stupid because provides words and context?
On the contrary. Melody can only be written by a Higher Mind.
A talent for melody implies a talent for all the abstract arts.
Music and geometry are inextricably tied. Read up on Pythagoras and the tuning of strings, if you don't have that knowledge ready.
And when was the last time you yourself tuned any actual strings? Today, any ten year old can create an elaborate melody on a computer in 15 minutes. It doesn't take a musical genius to create a tune you speak of. In fact, you don't even have to have any musical education at all, you just have to know the program. What is a musical genius today? A guy sitting in front of the computer "scrapbooking" pre-made sounds and effects together into a kick-ass melody?

Fixed wrote:I rather see melody as the active emotional force.
One must truly musical and poetic as a writer to achieve emotion.
(This is why I write with such passion, I always go for the music)
One can do that with words and context, too.

Pandora wrote:maybe its due to laziness, or lack of skill.

Fixed wrote:You're serious?
You're suggesting Gerrard is lazy and lacks skill?
Evidently you have not ever dared to try to sing, or to make music.

Jeraz Christ... that is so deeply modern, Pandora, I had not expected this of you.
You really think Justin Bieber and Katie Perry are more skillful than Zimmer and Gerrard.... because they use words?
Okay, so maybe she has a low EQ, unable to verbalize her feelings. You seem to be assuming that there are some emotions/feelings that just cannot be expressed in words. I disagree. It's a matter of individual skill...and she was just one of the people who didn't have it. Little children sing in gibberish too, and that's because they cannot verbalize and communicate their feelings, so they use vocal sounds. In any case, I think you're just not able to envision a superior music that can do both.

Pandora wrote:One size fits all thinking. Note, people still provide their own context for her songs. A person feels an emotion and expresses that emotion to another person directly though melody. No context is given, so nobody (maybe not even her) knows why she feels this emotion

Fixed wrote:Im sorry to say it, but only an autist would not be able to discern the emotions in these songs. Thats actually literally the original definition of autism, not being able to discern emotions except when they are explicitly related in words.
Emotion itself is not context. You're happy. Why? You're sad. Why? It's the why that provides context, not emotion itself. Just like when you're describing your pain to your doctor, you're not describing context. Differentiating between throbbing vs. sharp vs. dull pain is not providing context for pain.
So, you can say that you can feel exactly what emotion she is feeling and can provide the same context as hers? I mean, exactly? I really doubt it. A sad melody alone would mean different things to different people. For one person, it would be a death of a family member, for another it would be a painful breakup. Different contexts. So, a lot of information would be missing from the piece and have to be filled in by the listener. That's why I said one size fits all thinking. Why provide context if the listener can add it himself, all by just giving him a vague input. How is that superior? Because it affects on a purely biological/visceral level?
I mean, in approaching music appreciation in general, what should you be looking for in judgement? Saying that superior is equivalent to emotional impact of sounds alone (melody) is a very basic requirement. Surely, we can do better than that. You can create music digitally very easily nowadays, but that's just like making great sculptures out of cheese and comparing them to those made of granite or marble; the quality of the process itself is ignored. You can make a table out of oak wood, or plastic that looks like oak wood, and if they both have the same effect on the viewer, then they get judged the same only on the account that the plastic look-alike has the same effect. The context itself was ignored, because nobody looks at how, only on the effect itself. And some people take advantage of that, ignorance, that is.

Fixed wrote:Even more importantly, Context existed long before words did. Words emerged as a result of a context..... obviously. How could a word refer to anything otherwise? Use logic.
And how is singing in gibberish providing context? Also, melody alone does not provide one single context. A listener still has to fill it in. I might even say that melody alone solicits context/meaning from the listener.

Fixed wrote:.... seeking aid in it, rather than overflown into it.
The way I see it, either way, a listener is a recipient. He either receives pure melody or melody plus context. For the producer, his music (especially without context) can always be hijacked to serve other contexts. Same with Gerarrd's music. Since she doesn't provide a context, it's easier for us to use her music for any context that suits us.

No, that relates in nothing to how I experience making music, or listening to it.
But it is true that religious communities use music as mantra, to affirm certain ideas about virtues they admire but cant find in themselves.
These forms are literally sickening to me, all too palpable is the weakness of heart, the lack of identity the hearing to be absorbed into someone elses truth.

This goes for Christian choirs, Islamic calls to prayer or Hindu mantras. Its all feeble hearted degeneracy, and I would hesitate to call it music.
Better: you've helped me arrive at the decision to disqualify mantras and prayer as music. Its just something else. Something that doesn't even deserve a name.
In this regard, Muslim Nasheeds appear to be popular. But here, it is context that adds most to the emotional effectiveness of the song. The context provided is historical and religious often pointing to the glory of the ancestors. Some might even call it inspirational calling one to be more than one is.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Blurry » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:51 am

Pandora and Fixed, I think you're both wrong, and right at the same time I suppose.

Music without words, without "context" as you put it, brings emotion that one may put into their own context, and music with words does exactly the same thing. After all, an artist may write lyrics with a specific emotion or situation in mind and I, upon hearing it, may relate to it in a way that the artist never intended or even thought of. Music, as a whole, is an experience that is unique to the listener. Personally, I appreciate different genre's of music for entirely different reasons, which I think is kind of the point. Whether you personally think it's music worth being listened to is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things, because someone else thinks it is worth listening to, for whatever reason they have, and while you're quite free to say another person's reason for liking or relating to something is bad or nonsense or bullshit, your opinion on the matter doesn't negate their reasoning to anyone but yourself.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Fixed Cross » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:16 pm

Blurry wrote:Pandora and Fixed, I think you're both wrong, and right at the same time I suppose.

Music without words, without "context" as you put it, brings emotion that one may put into their own context, and music with words does exactly the same thing. After all, an artist may write lyrics with a specific emotion or situation in mind and I, upon hearing it, may relate to it in a way that the artist never intended or even thought of. Music, as a whole, is an experience that is unique to the listener. Personally, I appreciate different genre's of music for entirely different reasons, which I think is kind of the point. Whether you personally think it's music worth being listened to is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things, because someone else thinks it is worth listening to, for whatever reason they have, and while you're quite free to say another person's reason for liking or relating to something is bad or nonsense or bullshit, your opinion on the matter doesn't negate their reasoning to anyone but yourself.

Sure. And this, again, is merely an opinion. Now there is one more opinion in this thread.

Cleary the only thing that really matters is the music itself. Ive personally never allowed myself an opinion on music (just taste) before I was fairly good at making it. And still I very rarely call something bad or pointless, and never "useless" -- music can not be judged in use-value except in the very cynical, musicless terms of the plantation owner.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Blurry » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:28 am

Fixed Cross wrote:
Blurry wrote:Pandora and Fixed, I think you're both wrong, and right at the same time I suppose.

Music without words, without "context" as you put it, brings emotion that one may put into their own context, and music with words does exactly the same thing. After all, an artist may write lyrics with a specific emotion or situation in mind and I, upon hearing it, may relate to it in a way that the artist never intended or even thought of. Music, as a whole, is an experience that is unique to the listener. Personally, I appreciate different genre's of music for entirely different reasons, which I think is kind of the point. Whether you personally think it's music worth being listened to is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things, because someone else thinks it is worth listening to, for whatever reason they have, and while you're quite free to say another person's reason for liking or relating to something is bad or nonsense or bullshit, your opinion on the matter doesn't negate their reasoning to anyone but yourself.

Sure. And this, again, is merely an opinion. Now there is one more opinion in this thread.

Cleary the only thing that really matters is the music itself. Ive personally never allowed myself an opinion on music (just taste) before I was fairly good at making it. And still I very rarely call something bad or pointless, and never "useless" -- music can not be judged in use-value except in the very cynical, musicless terms of the plantation owner.


I don't really think what I said was an opinion, just pointing out the truth of the matter really, that all one can have when it comes to music IS an opinion. No amount of knowledge on how to make music is going to convince a Taylor Swift fan that she sucks. I mean, I even like music that I KNOW is terrible. Doesn't stop me.
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Re: music with words is inferior

Postby Fixed Cross » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:42 pm

Blurry wrote:
Fixed Cross wrote:
Blurry wrote:Pandora and Fixed, I think you're both wrong, and right at the same time I suppose.

Music without words, without "context" as you put it, brings emotion that one may put into their own context, and music with words does exactly the same thing. After all, an artist may write lyrics with a specific emotion or situation in mind and I, upon hearing it, may relate to it in a way that the artist never intended or even thought of. Music, as a whole, is an experience that is unique to the listener. Personally, I appreciate different genre's of music for entirely different reasons, which I think is kind of the point. Whether you personally think it's music worth being listened to is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things, because someone else thinks it is worth listening to, for whatever reason they have, and while you're quite free to say another person's reason for liking or relating to something is bad or nonsense or bullshit, your opinion on the matter doesn't negate their reasoning to anyone but yourself.

Sure. And this, again, is merely an opinion. Now there is one more opinion in this thread.

Cleary the only thing that really matters is the music itself. Ive personally never allowed myself an opinion on music (just taste) before I was fairly good at making it. And still I very rarely call something bad or pointless, and never "useless" -- music can not be judged in use-value except in the very cynical, musicless terms of the plantation owner.


I don't really think what I said was an opinion, just pointing out the truth of the matter really, that all one can have when it comes to music IS an opinion. No amount of knowledge on how to make music is going to convince a Taylor Swift fan that she sucks. I mean, I even like music that I KNOW is terrible. Doesn't stop me.

Taylor Swift is a musical genius. Thats a fact, there are no two ways about that.
Doesn't mean I need to like each song she makes.
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