Response to Music Philosophy Debate #1

Michelle – hmm I have asked quite a few people how they can tell the difference between minor and major chords, and they usually raise their eyebrows if I say “sad” or “happy” so I feel like it’s a Westernized convention, but as blissinger said before, some cultures have extensive dissonance and like it very much.. and don’t find minor to be depressing at all.. I think it all depends on how you are exposed to music in the different contexts.. Western composers will always use minor keys for sad things like elegies and funeral marches, so I suppose people link sad feelings with them in time :P when I listen to Gregorian chants and other things in rather dissonant keys like Mixolydian and Dorian, it all sounds rather depressing to me but people back then found it very passionate and very.. ‘happy’ and ‘inspiring’ in an uplifting way.

Michelle

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Philosophy 101

According to philosophy, each individual interacts with their own individual world. That is to say that, a person with colour-blindness sees a red ball as green. But in a room full of colour blind people, the ball is actually green.

This is the secret of the music industry and why they control what is perceived as “good music”.

I understand that the music industry survives on selling its music. I also understand that they are selling a package, the “artists” are a commodity and they have to make them appealing to as many people as possible. But, I believe that the general public need to hear good music. Original songs, with lyrics that make sense and Rhythm, Melody and Harmony.

People like Jamie Cullum and to a lesser extent Michael Buble have gone a long way toward changing the public psyche with regards to what is good, popular music, but they will never have the same kind of backing as the more edgy, dangerous and very unhealthy people they tend to highlight.Which is a shame, because they do use genuine musicians, they can perform  live and they have spent time learning their craft.

Don’t get me wrong, I have noticed a vast increase of new bands in other genres who are genuine musicians and who I am not including in this commentary. I am focusing on more on the Pop Genre.

At the end of the day, the music companies tell the public what is good music and what is not….. So if the people in music companies genuinely love music, why not steer them toward real artists who can at least play an instrument or sing the right note.

What is music to me?

Music means different things to different people. I want to explain to you, the reader, what it means to me. I would welcome input from you with regards to your personal relationship with music. I would be happy to place any comments left on this subject, onto the main post.

The relationship I have with music has been a very intimate thing. It has always been as though music speaks to me in a way that words cannot. In a way that explains all that it needs to, without having to clarify or repeat itself.

Whereas people often confuse me, music never has. People make me angry, anxious, afraid, stressed and irritated, but I know that when i put on some of my favourite music, all that will not matter. It is like the best friend that knows that you want to get something off your chest and gives you a cup of tea and a hug.

Different types of music affect me in different ways. As a young(ish) man I seemed to have developed an allergy to young people’s music quite early on in life. The sound of sickly sweet Pop music, or X Factor drop-outs new singles, or some good-looking 18 yr old guy with a six-pack singing about how he “wants to get wit’ ya” or something equally as deep, either makes me walk out of shops, puts me in a bad mood, makes me angry, or just makes me feel sad for the kids – this is what they are going to have as their song one day, (seriously, go to a young persons wedding, it’s hilarious!).

I appreciate that I sound like a 60 yr old, who doesn’t like “those pesky kids”, but I can assure you that I am not. I just happen to have a taste in music that probably averages out at about 1960, or thereabout.

As you may have read before , I really got into music via Motown and the Blues. And since then,  have branched off into Folk, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Flamenco, World Music and more. And my tastes are constantly changing……I have recently found an elegant beauty in Classical Music which I used to be snub as elitist nonsense.

But, I have come to realise, since learning how to play, and how it works, that music is all inter-related.

All these different, styles of music that all have their mystic roots and traditions, all conform to a universal rule of music. The more instruments you can learn, the better a musician you will become. If you play guitar, you should learn the basics on Piano and vice versa. A percussion instrument may well help you develop a more natural playing style. All these little nick knack instruments that you see in music shops will all help you to become a rounded musician.

The way I see it is, that if you speak one language, you can understand people who speak that language, if you learn another language, one more group of people you can talk to. The more languages that you learn, the more people you can speak to. But, If you can work out how languages work, the inner workings of linguistics, you can potentially communicate with everyone.

It is the same with Music, I don’t remember how many musicians I have jammed  with, without even having to speak the same language.

Music is universal, make sure that you are as universal as it is…..