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  1. #51
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    Troy:

    Jesus F'ing Christ, are we still talking about rap?

    Hell yeah. I didn’t start the thread. As long as I see something worth discussing, I will discuss. I notice that Barry & Joel never weighed back in here, though. Hmmm....

    Don't loophole me J. You know the implications of saying "anyone".

    Then why say ‘anyone?’

    There will always be an exception to the rule, but a rule is a rule for a reason.

    There are some rules for which there are no exceptions. One is, if I see something worth discussing, and I am physically capable, I will discuss.

    The driving thing was meant as an easy-going humorous poke atcha Jay. Guess I poked too deep. Excuse me.

    Oh, no. I wasn’t offended. Just clarifying.

    Everyone (again there's always exceptions to the rule, but they are rare) can sing "Happy Birthday", but not everyone can play it on an instrument was my contextural point..

    I understood that. I just found it a trifle weirdly ironic that you chose that particular song, considering how difficult it actually is. I got the point.

    Yes, you missed my point completely. See, I AGREE with your paragraph, Jay, whether you realize that you shot yourself down or not. These individuals that don't know how to play anything other than the overplaying you describe don't have the foundation to play simply. Sure, they can play complex, but they don't understand that in order for the complex parts to really impact, you need to offset them with simple parts. Therefore, they do not play the complicated parts well because they don't understand about counterpoint and letting the music breathe. Nope, in order to play complicated, well, you have to be able to play simply, well.

    Shot myself down? You’re saying that you have to be able to perform the simple well, both in art & music, in order to do the complex well. What I know about art would fill a thimble (preferably one in a gallery, so someone could call it ‘art’ ), so I wasn’t really looking to get involved in the analogies much. But my point was that there are tons of guys out there who CAN perform complicated music well WITHOUT being able to perform simple music well. And I would wager that there’s a goodly amount of SUCCESSFUL musicians who play complicated music well who are not capable of playing simple music well. In art it may well be that you really CAN'T do anything complex without a strong knowledge of the simple, but in music that’s not the case. Most rock players learned how to play their instruments while playing what they liked best, not what they didn’t. Players who play complex music, some of the time, or a lot of the time, probably didn’t spend much time with simple stuff. Which of course is easy, and anyone can do it.

    As an aside, I pulled out a file from nearly 3 years ago where I had archived an epic rap debate. Not on the old board, on the board before that one. Lots of debate back & forth between you, me, Darius, Brad, Kevin B, & others. And in that debate, you said this, which I found interesting given what you said in this thread:

    Personally I think you need to be able to do ornate art before you can be justified in knowing what you're doing when you're doing minimal art.

    Interesting.

    If you can convince the art establishment that your pile of paperclips stacked "just so" at the MOMA is an artistic statement by writng some longwinded polysylabic manifesto about it, then hey, you're an artist!

    But wait, that's only the cogonscenti's perception. Does that mean that they're right? Hell no. You and I have just as much right to say whether it's art as they do.


    Only to the point of defining it for one’s self. You do NOT have the right to insist that another must share yr perception. If it’s art to THEM, then it’s art TO THEM. If it’s not art to YOU, that doesn’t mean it’s NOT ART, only that it’s not art TO YOU.

    I reserve the right to my opinion just as much as anybody else, so if I say it's not art, then it isn't. It's a terrible mistake to let someone else make these decisions for you, yet that is precisely how most of the world operates.

    If you say it’s art, but I say it is, then yr first sentence is incorrect, because it only applies to yr perception, not mine. If the dictionary says it’s art, unless I have a violent disagreement with the definition, then I’ll defer to the dictionary. And I’d have to have a pretty goddamn good reason to find fault with the dictionary definition.

    I have always felt that few vocalists deserved to be referred to as ‘musicians,’ but I never held that as a hard & fast rule. I might’ve felt more strongly had I had less experience with people who were insistent that a non-instrumentalist could never be considered a musician. Rather than try to reason with someone who chose to steadfastly deny that Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra could possibly be a musician, I decided that a loose application of that basic standard, with room for exceptions, was a reasonable policy. Having seen the dictionary definition that I saw the other day, I see no reason to dispute it.


    That does not mean that I am going to all of a sudden expand my personal definition of ‘musician’ to include anyone with no musical skill who may randomly create chartable musical sound by banging on some instrument—but I must accept that if someone is creating chartable sound, that is music, and if they are creating music, then, according to the strictest dictionary definition, that person is a musician. And it can be Dusty’s friggin’ cat, too, YES. If he records his cat walking on the friggin’ keys, the resulting sounds may be charted. If you can chart the notes, then you have music. PERIOD.

    Now, again, it’s a matter of putting things into perspective, and realizing that this doesn’t make non-musicians musicians all of a sudden; I’ll stick with the standard that most people generally apply in order to define the term. There may be some quibbling, but most would agree that a musician is someone who possesses a requisite, level of skill (the level of which is always going to be debatable) when it comes to being an instrumentalist, and probably a higher level of skill if you’re talking about someone who’s strictly a vocalist. Yet, according to that dictionary definition, taking the argument to extremely ridiculous yet technically correct extremes, anyone who ever does anything that results in the creation of musical sound is creating or performing music, and therefore a musician. Anybody care to argue this? (Hold on, Jackson. I've got plenty for you below)

    If so, while you’re at it, explain how a CONDUCTOR can be a musician, since they are not performing music, not creating music, not playing an instrument, not even singing. That the dictionary considers a conductor to be a musician is something I have to live with, since I think it best to rely on the dictionary in this matter; but, needless to say, I feel that, while a conductor is certainly performing a musical function, and must be a person with great knowledge of music, or music theory, or whatever, what they do is NOT the same as being a musician. But I’ll accept that, just as I accept that whoever wants to put forth the admittedly idiotic argument that a skill-less person banging on a piano is a musician is technically correct.


    The Matrix WAS under the radar. It happened to strike a chord with the masses and become a hit.

    The movie cost like $100 million to make. Under WHAT radar? Do you actually think that the budget necessary to make that movie would’ve been approved if it had been felt that this film would fly under ANYONE’S radar? Come on.

    Your comments about feeling ripped off if it hadn't been made is extremely weird. How many supercool things haven't been made? Do you feel bad? Well, I don't . . . because they haven't been made. How can you miss something that doesn't exist?

    Easy. I know that if record labels were willing to finance what I like, rather than what they think will sell, then there’d be a lot more on the market that I like. Yes, of course there’s always going to be underground stuff that will be created in spite of, or because, what labels put out is 'this or that' (or, more specifically, NOT 'this' & not 'that' either), but it definitely has an impact.

    If more bands of the sort that I like had been signed 20-25 years ago, regardless of success level, fewer bands that are the sorts of bands that I like would have broken up; fewer would have had to pack it in before ever recording, or after putting out one or two minor releases. Fewer would've had such a difficult time out on the road--something that killed the Minutemen's D. Boon.

    So I KNOW that there has been stuff NOT done, and a lot more not easily available, because it was not considered commercially viable (or whatever). Now, since you know what I like, you know the sorts of bands I’m talking about. Now apply it to you. How much more of the sort of stuff that you like might have been created & produced if more sorts of bands that you like had been signed? A lot of the stuff you like was not in vogue 20 years ago because of the general decline of prog in the late 70s. What if it had rebounded & thrived & been as prominent (if not as popular) as either the early/mid 80s Brit pop New Romantic/new wave thang, or the later 80s hair metal/power ballad thing? What do you think, Darren, Dave G, Demetrio? Wouldn't it have been nice if there had been more of what you like back then? Instead of seeing the popular MTV bands rule the pop charts & the mass imagination, maybe the sorts of bands you like could've been more prominent. Hell, maybe the world is different, and maybe Peter Gabriel never leaves Genesis (yeah, I know that happened earlier), maybe Roger Waters never leaves Pink Floyd. Of course, I could care less, but do those thoughts not at least intrigue you?

    Obviously there are market forces to think about, and it’s a silly thing to have a chip on one’s shoulder--especially since, to my ears, all the current crop of punk bands are surely the Emperor's New Clothes if ever I've heard it...though my lack of patience with how lousy I think they are may have been less of a factor if major labels were financing bands I liked 20 years ago (it might've taken a long time to get to the point I'm at now with bands doing Don Henley songs--disgusted). A few good years with prominent punk bands would've been a good thing so far as I'm concerned, but it didn't happen, and at least what I like was prevalent & available in the 90s for awhile (and there's bands like the White Stripes & the Hives around now), so I count my blessings for that, especially since most people I knew who liked the music I did in the 80s felt roundly ignored, to the point of being insulted.

    But every once in awhile I think of how improbable it was that this or that was successful (the Beatles being probably the BEST example, considering that in the beginning they were turned down by as many British labels as they were). Now does it seem so weird?


    Kids today are being TOLD that rap is where it's at now and they just blindly buy into it, hook, line and sinker.

    Oh, and kids in the late 50s & early 60s weren’t told the exact same thing about rock music by Alan Freed, Murray The K, Dick Clark & others? Can’t believe you’d fall into that trap. Substitute ‘rock’ for ‘rap’ and there’s NO difference between yr statement & what most people older than 30 were saying about rock’n’roll 40-45 years ago.

    Besides, I never said that "Rap is not music".

    No, you didn’t, not exactly. Here’s what you said in that old thread, though:

    It cheapens the rest of the music in the world .

    Of course, that was said about rock, too. Then you said

    None of these guys can play an instrument .

    Now, you backed off that statement, because you had to & you knew it. But it’s the same thing as saying ‘anyone can.’ But then you admitted that

    Sometimes I just can't get past the form to see the content

    …which says an awful lot about yr perceptions of rap, of course. When you seemingly can’t turn on the television without being bombarded with rap videos, and all yr message board pals send you tons of the stuff & you don’t like any of it, you probably think you’ve heard a lot of it—and you might be right. But you might not be. I hardly care if you don’t the stuff. But I have to wonder how informed all these things are that you say about the stuff. I’m sorry, it just doesn’t sound like you’ve heard much, and that’s not a good thing to have in common with people who say the sorts of things you say about it, yet don’t know or understand or possess 1/100th the knowledge & understanding you have about music in general.

    And you can tell me 'til you're blue in the face that rap is not about debasement and greed. You are deluding yourself. Just turn on MTV and watch 5 rap videos at random, dude! It's truly appaling.

    Okay, now you’re crossing into territory where you’re not only just plain wrong, but it borders on ignorance. I’m not going to tell you or anybody else that I was at Kool Herc’s or Afrika Bambaataa’s block parties in the late 70s, because I wasn’t. But I bought my first rap record in 1979. I was exposed to it in school all the time, and so was a guy I went to school with, Rick Rubin. The guy who co-founded Def Jam records with Russell Simmons, the guy who was responsible for a lot of the first rap records a lot of people ever heard, like Run-DMC with Aerosmith, or the first Beastie Boys album with the white-boy Led Zep/Black Sabbath guitar riffs, or Public Enemy, or LL Cool J.

    While I wasn't a consistent fan of the stuff the entire period, I heard quite a few records at the time (1979-1986) that flew under a lot of people’s radar. And most of ‘em weren’t about debasement, or anything remotely like it. Greed? There was bragging involved, but to say that they were about greed is a distortion. Whatever greed aspect there was, was tongue-in-cheek and as much of an exaggeration as anything else the bragging happened to be about. So unless you’re going to go back & listen to all those records, don’t tell me I’m deluding myself.

    Yeah, I noticed, you used current tense—what rap IS about. So think about that for a second. What you just did is akin to someone in 1970 who was hearing stuff like the Who, the Beatles, Vanilla Fudge, the Rolling Stones, CSNY, Jefferson Airplane, Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Buffalo Springfield, and Jimi Hendrix telling someone who was listening to Elvis & Little Richard & Jerry Lee Lewis & Ike Turner well over 10 years before that ‘you can tell me ‘til you’re blue in the face that rock is not about drugs & social (and maybe a little political) protest. You are deluding yourself.’ So while rock had indeed become significantly about those things, it had not always been that way, nor was it something that was comprised solely of those aspects—or anything CLOSE to solely. Rap is NO different in that sense.

    As for turning on MTV—why would I do that? Part of why I continue to listen to rap at all is because I IGNORE whatever it is you’re seeing on MTV. If my opinion of ROCK music was based solely on what’s currently popular, I’d think it was all about whatever Sum 41 or Good Charlotte sing about, or that it all sounded like Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park or Metallica. Is THAT accurate? All that stuff is appalling, too, only in a different way, which may not be as worse. But to some people it just might be.


    Maybe you own the few rap albums that are not about crawlin' up inside giant black a$$es and the 'bling, but that is an exception to the rule. It's like saying that Heavy Metal is not about agression and violence because there are some Christian metal bands.

    Bullsh*t. I’m not going to say there isn’t a ton of stuff out there that is everything you’re saying it is, because I know there is. But…the ‘few’ rap albums? Give me a break. You want me to produce a list, I will (though Darius would probably be more qualified). But also keep in mind that there was NO SUCH THING as a rap album for several years. It was all 12" singles.

    The sky is NOT blue. I've seen thousands of colors in the sky.

    If there wasn’t a general perception that a CLEAR sky in DAYLIGHT is GENERALLY blue, I doubt there would be a shade of blue called SKY BLUE. If you can best this general perception with something from the dictionary that says we should never use the phrase 'the sky is blue,' or if there is scientific research that says we should never do this, present it. In this case I say the general perception that the phrase 'the sky is blue' is representative of what most think--and proof that if you asked 100 people what color the sky is, at least 99 of them would forget about nighttime, cloud cover, & sunsets, & offer blue as the answer. And if they're all wrong, then I'll happily join them in being wrong on this.

    Art doesn't piss you off, it doesn't make you angry or depressed.

    So art depicting Nazis wearing swastikas isn’t art, because art 'doesn't do those things? Who’s doing the deluding here?

    Jack70:

    You didn’t answer me on Nordine, Heron, or Johnson, Jackson. I am curious & very interested. While you’re at it, I’m also wondering what yr opinion on Miles Davis & Quincy Jones both recording rap albums in the late 80s/early 90s. Come on, don’t duck me on this.

    I'm simply saying I don't consider it music, but it don't bother me that others do.

    There are people of religion that similarly feel their religion is the word of God, yet most are willing to accept the fact others see the "world of God" differently.

    I don’t get with this analogy. It’s either music, or it isn’t.

    No, I don't consider certain CDs, LPs and cassettes "music"

    Neither do I, but I never said they were.

    I'll grant you that there is some Rap stuff that has enough musical involvement to be considered more under the "music" umbrella.

    But... a LOT of it just isn't.

    Examples? I’d like to know what record you’ve heard that isn’t ‘musical’ enough for you to consider it to be ‘music.’ And please tell me where you draw yr lines--what makes one 'music,' and another 'not music?' Where do you draw yr lines? What do you have to hear, or not hear, to make a determination? Examples & specifics, please.

    And simply being live on stage isn't necessarily a "musical" event

    Again, never said it was.

    Sound ain't music

    If the sound contains notes that can be charted, then how can you possibly say this?

    This is more artistic (cultural) relativism gone beserk IMO... a sign of the times, I suppose.

    No way. Dictionary definitions are HARDLY artistic/cultural relativism going beserk. It has NOTHING to do with avant-guards telling us there are no rules & EVERYTHING to do with what it says in the dictionary. If sound contains chartable notes, then it is music. If rap contains none, then it is still music on the basis of the rhythm (of course, if you listen closely to the stuff that seems like it's more just rapping over drums and/or percussion, you'll hear a bass line in most cases). If rap cannot be music because the only connection to music is rhythm, then African tribal drumming devoid of melody cannot be music, either. I think Baba Olatunji would’ve had something to say about that, wouldn’t you?

    I sell a lot of rap CDs on Ebay. I listen to almost none of them. But I look on AMG for credits & stuff like that--so I can say in my auctions, 'this Ol' Dirty Bastard record features Anita Bryant as guest artist,' or something along those lines. Some of the time I see nothing resembling organic music credit--but a LOT of the time, I see credit given for drums, for bass, for guitar, for keyboards. IT AIN'T ALL SAMPLING. Even if it were, the original artists are paid & credited.

    Ozzy Osbourne won't let anyone sample his music unless they pay him $100,000--but he does allow it. If he's paid & properly credited, WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? If Ozzy Osbourne MUSIC is recycled on a rap record, what's the difference between that & him releasing a live album with songs he's already released? Oh, it's a performance, unlike the rap record. Well, you can't assume that, number one, and number two, you don't know how much overdubbing & autotuning & ProTools manipulation have gone into anybody's recording, regardless of how genuine the musicianship is on the record. But rap 'isn't music.' Jeez.


    My "criticisms" (if ya wanna call em that... but it's not) of Rap, have NOTHING to do with the processes inherent to it. My "criticism" is simply one of nomenclature and subtype. It's a fine point, and one that too many have missed.

    You haven’t convinced me, either. Actually, quite the opposite. Miles Davis & Quincy Jones both made albums well over a decade ago that prominently featured rap, and today there are still people out there trying to tell others that the stuff ain’t music. The mind boggles, really.

    You can atonally bang on the piano all day long if you want, and you can call it "art" if you you want, but it ain't "music"... it's masturbation.

    Actually, it may be both. If it can be charted, again, IT IS MUSIC, even if it’s masturbatory music banged out by someone with absolutely no musical skill (which is to say, someone with a lot less skill than a rapper).

    That's fine for the person doing it... but don't tell me I'm elitist because I don't appreciate it.... jeeze.

    I wouldn’t say you’re an elitist for not appreciating it, but perhaps for not understanding that, in the strictest sense of the word, it is music.

    Understand that I'm not the one pushing the boundaries here, nor do I necessarily want to see them pushed simply for the sake of irrationally technical definition. But there will always be a John Cage or a Yoko Ono or someone like that doing exactly that, and there will always be a Duplex Planet so that people like Ernest Noyes Brookings can be thought of as poets & songwriters. But if you disqualify him, it's not far from there to Daniel Johnston, really. So how do you exclude one & not the other?


    I was just explaining (with the religious analogy) that I was NOT a zealot on this (largely) semantic issue. If you are, fine... but I'm not, is all.

    I’m not going to get into the religious analogies, but ‘it is NOT music,’ as you posted, tells me that you ARE something of a zealot on the issue.

    When I hear sportscasters and sports-talkshow people discuss bowling (as "sport")... I accept their methodology, even if I see it a little differently (it's NOT a big deal). Same with Rap...

    No, it’s not the same, at least not on this board. Here I think it’s perfectly valid to say that if someone’s going to say the things about rap that have been said so far, that the discussion is fair game. If someone wants to say that sport is technically anything athletic that involves competition, they’ll be excluding chess, but including bowling. If it’s competition only, it can be flipping coins, or seeing who can talk the girl at the end of the bar into bed. So there are lines to be drawn there, but it doesn’t really work as an analogy for me, really. Because you can go by dictionary definitions if you like, and in the case of music I’m certainly doing that, but you can also say that the sports press & the sports-related press covers these activities that some don’t consider sport.

    I’m not sure that means chess is sport; but I can tell you that there aren’t many music publications out there that would refuse to cover rap on the basis that it’s NOT MUSIC. Actually, the converse is true. So you’re isolating yrself from not only the mainstream, but underground music presses, all of which either embrace rap or cover it in some varying degree of depth, or at least How many are there in the music world, really, that refuse to acknowledge rap as music? The more time passes, that number drops more & more. When there’s nobody left who’s going to dispute that rap is music, will you still insist that it is not?


    but I can live with most people calling it "music", unlike say, religious zealots who have a hard time living with other popular world views.

    How easy can it be to live with it if you’re so at odds with this conclusion?

    classic producer Jerry Wexler was talking about Solomon Burke on 60-Mins last Sunday.... he called "all singing" as a trade between music & drama. Considering rappers use little melody in their "singing", one could say it IS more in the drama family (performance art).

    Rap ISN’T SINGING. It’s RAPPING. If anything it takes the punk rock ethos of ‘anyone can do this’ even further—whereas in punk rock it wasn’t necessary to play GREAT or sing GREAT, in rap you don’t have to be able to sing AT ALL. You DO, however, have to do things that are different than most singing, things that involve rhythmic skill—which is to say it involves musical skill. Yet you continue to insist that rap is outside of music, mostly if not completely on the basis of there being no melody in the vocals. This is ridiculous.

    As for it being anything having to do with performance art—one major criticism I have of rap is that, unlike a very few artists, there is nothing resembling a work ethic when it comes to putting on a show. Choreography is used sometimes, but who the hell wants to see that? Well, obviously someone does, but it ain't me. There’s little if anything from the rock world when it comes to entertaining the audience, and that’s really a shame. I haven’t seen a ton of rap shows, but all the ones I saw except for the Beastie Boys always sucked, and I’m told by someone who sees a lot of it that there just is no conception of putting on a great show for the crowd. They mostly just stand there with a microphone. A guitarist standing stock-still on a stage is bad enough, but a rapper meandering around a stage--usually aimlessly--is worse, so far as I'm concerned, in terms of entertainment value. So I quibble slightly with the idea of it being performance art, from the point of view that there is, in my opinion, a component of performance art that exists to elicit way more of a response from the audience—even if it isn’t a general, common, base, or rank form of entertainment.

    The whole debate of "what is music", is a pop-cultural dynamic that's very inexact and fluid

    I say wrong, and the dictionary agrees with me.

    Definition one: any art presided over by the Muses, especially music…

    Definition two: the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity…

    Definition three: vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony…


    If my cat walks on my Casio, the resulting sounds create a melody, though it may not be conventional. I’ll be happy to chart it; once it’s committed to a chart, find a way to convince yrself that this is not music, and do be so kind as to share yr conclusions with me, please.

    "music" is NOT a scientific fact

    Re-read definition two.

    But how about if I just say: "I don't care"... or "it don't matter".

    It mattered when you said “rap is NOT music,” so why not now?


    Chris:

    Great reply.

    Hey, thanks, but you didn’t have to re-post the whole thing, ya know. You could get in trouble doing that. I take up lots of bandwidth. You sure you want to compound that?

    The majority of rap that is out there is not what I'd call "art". I don't like much of it. Most of it has all the same lyrics anyway. But you can't deny that some rap artists have a talent that others can't duplicate. If rapping was just fast talking, you'd see way more people doing it, and a lot more people making money in that industry. Obviously, it isn't something that just anyone can do, and do well.

    Good paragraph. The stuff about the Grammys is obvious, if true. The stuff about river dancing puts it into perspective nicely, though.

    I don't like others.

  2. #52
    Close 'n Play® user Troy's Avatar
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    I'm gonna have to give you the short stack today. Too much going on at the moment.

    Don't loophole me J. You know the implications of saying "anyone".

    Then why say ‘anyone?’


    Because there are (virtually) always exceptions to the the rule. It's implicit. If you prefer, I can say "most" anyone in the future.

    As an aside, I pulled out a file from nearly 3 years ago where I had archived an epic rap debate. Not on the old board, on the board before that one. Lots of debate back & forth between you, me, Darius, Brad, Kevin B, & others. And in that debate, you said this, which I found interesting given what you said in this thread:

    Personally I think you need to be able to do ornate art before you can be justified in knowing what you're doing when you're doing minimal art.

    Interesting.


    Rooting around in 3 year old threads to find me with my pants down? Yeesh, you are hardcore.

    This is not me being self contradictory. It goes bothways. I just think that the best artists (and yes, that includes musicians) are the ones that are well rounded, the ones with a lot of experience and background utilizing their medium in in every way it can be utilized. By working outside of your comfort zone, it's changes your perception OF your comfort zone and consequently makes you better at what you do best.

    You and I have just as much right to say whether it's art as they do.

    Only to the point of defining it for one’s self. You do NOT have the right to insist that another must share yr perception. If it’s art to THEM, then it’s art TO THEM. If it’s not art to YOU, that doesn’t mean it’s NOT ART, only that it’s not art TO YOU.


    Yep. We all reserve the right to say "that crap is not art, it's crap!" Not that it's just crappy art, but that it's not art at all. And you reserve the right to say I'm wrong.

    If you say it’s art, but I say it is, then yr first sentence is incorrect, because it only applies to yr perception, not mine. If the dictionary says it’s art, unless I have a violent disagreement with the definition, then I’ll defer to the dictionary. And I’d have to have a pretty goddamn good reason to find fault with the dictionary definition.

    Except for the Nazi reference below . . .

    I have always felt that few vocalists deserved to be referred to as ‘musicians,’ but I never held that as a hard & fast rule. I might’ve felt more strongly had I had less experience with people who were insistent that a non-instrumentalist could never be considered a musician. Rather than try to reason with someone who chose to steadfastly deny that Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra could possibly be a musician, I decided that a loose application of that basic standard, with room for exceptions, was a reasonable policy. Having seen the dictionary definition that I saw the other day, I see no reason to dispute it.

    That does not mean that I am going to all of a sudden expand my personal definition of ‘musician’ to include anyone with no musical skill who may randomly create chartable musical sound by banging on some instrument—but I must accept that if someone is creating chartable sound, that is music, and if they are creating music, then, according to the strictest dictionary definition, that person is a musician. And it can be Dusty’s friggin’ cat, too, YES. If he records his cat walking on the friggin’ keys, the resulting sounds may be charted. If you can chart the notes, then you have music. PERIOD.

    Now, again, it’s a matter of putting things into perspective, and realizing that this doesn’t make non-musicians musicians all of a sudden; I’ll stick with the standard that most people generally apply in order to define the term. There may be some quibbling, but most would agree that a musician is someone who possesses a requisite, level of skill (the level of which is always going to be debatable) when it comes to being an instrumentalist, and probably a higher level of skill if you’re talking about someone who’s strictly a vocalist. Yet, according to that dictionary definition, taking the argument to extremely ridiculous yet technically correct extremes, anyone who ever does anything that results in the creation of musical sound is creating or performing music, and therefore a musician. Anybody care to argue this? (Hold on, Jackson. I've got plenty for you below)

    If so, while you’re at it, explain how a CONDUCTOR can be a musician, since they are not performing music, not creating music, not playing an instrument, not even singing. That the dictionary considers a conductor to be a musician is something I have to live with, since I think it best to rely on the dictionary in this matter; but, needless to say, I feel that, while a conductor is certainly performing a musical function, and must be a person with great knowledge of music, or music theory, or whatever, what they do is NOT the same as being a musician. But I’ll accept that, just as I accept that whoever wants to put forth the admittedly idiotic argument that a skill-less person banging on a piano is a musician is technically correct.


    Dig these definitions from Websters:

    music

    1. The science and the art of tones, or musical sounds, i. e., sounds of higher or lower pitch, begotten of uniform and synchronous vibrations, as of a string at various degrees of tension; the science of harmonical tones which treats of the principles of harmony, or the properties, dependences, and relations of tones to each other; the art of combining tones in a manner to please the ear.


    musician

    One who composes, conducts, or performs music, especially instrumental music.

    One skilled in the art or science of music; esp., a skilled singer, or performer on a musical instrument.


    According to these definitions DC is wrong: a cat walking on the keyboard is NOT making music because it lacks the harmonic principles and patterns associated with music.

    Again, note the word PLEASING. Apparently, it IS about esthetics afterall, not just that it can be charted. I suppose it's like saying a string of disassociated words is not writing even though the words can be written . . .

    Singers are musicians. But only SKILLED ones, which is kinda what I've been saying all along (eg: the Bowie reference). I don't get the conductor thing either, except to say that it must have to do with his consumate knowledge of the piece and theory in general. Most art directors I know are artists themselves.

    The Matrix WAS under the radar. It happened to strike a chord with the masses and become a hit.

    The movie cost like $100 million to make. Under WHAT radar? Do you actually think that the budget necessary to make that movie would’ve been approved if it had been felt that this film would fly under ANYONE’S radar? Come on.


    I honestly don't think that anyone in the industry thought that movie was gonna be the phenomenon it became. They all thought it was gonna sink without a trace like all the other $100 million sci-fi epics like "Battlefield Earth", "Waterworld" or "Reign of Fire".

    Your comments about feeling ripped off if it hadn't been made is extremely weird. How many supercool things haven't been made? Do you feel bad? Well, I don't . . . because they haven't been made. How can you miss something that doesn't exist?

    Easy. I know that if record labels were willing to finance what I like, rather than what they think will sell, then there’d be a lot more on the market that I like. Yes, of course there’s always going to be underground stuff that will be created in spite of, or because, what labels put out is 'this or that' (or, more specifically, NOT 'this' & not 'that' either), but it definitely has an impact.


    I see. What you're talking about is much more abstract and conceptual than what I was.

    I just don't think about stuff like that very much. You'll find that I don't usually play along in threads about "What if Roger Water's hadn't left the Floyd" very much. What is, is.

    I agree, it'd be nice if our favorite types of music were more popular, but I question whether it's quality would then become marginalized by all the bad copycat bands that the industry would then foist on us. ie: your bad ersatz modern punk bands.

    Kids today are being TOLD that rap is where it's at now and they just blindly buy into it, hook, line and sinker.

    Oh, and kids in the late 50s & early 60s weren’t told the exact same thing about rock music by Alan Freed, Murray The K, Dick Clark & others? Can’t believe you’d fall into that trap. Substitute ‘rock’ for ‘rap’ and there’s NO difference between yr statement & what most people older than 30 were saying about rock’n’roll 40-45 years ago.


    Yep, our dads. Rock sucked to him because of it's lack of musical sophistication. It was too simple, too primal.

    Rap takes that simplicity to new lows, it's stripped down to the point of losing the things that make music . . . musical.

    Sometimes I just can't get past the form to see the content

    …which says an awful lot about yr perceptions of rap, of course. When you seemingly can’t turn on the television without being bombarded with rap videos, and all yr message board pals send you tons of the stuff & you don’t like any of it, you probably think you’ve heard a lot of it—and you might be right. But you might not be. I hardly care if you don’t the stuff. But I have to wonder how informed all these things are that you say about the stuff. I’m sorry, it just doesn’t sound like you’ve heard much, and that’s not a good thing to have in common with people who say the sorts of things you say about it, yet don’t know or understand or possess 1/100th the knowledge & understanding you have about music in general.


    How much do I have to hear before I can make a judgement?

    And you can tell me 'til you're blue in the face that rap is not about debasement and greed. You are deluding yourself. Just turn on MTV and watch 5 rap videos at random, dude! It's truly appaling.

    Okay, now you’re crossing into territory where you’re not only just plain wrong, but it borders on ignorance. I’m not going to tell you or anybody else that I was at Kool Herc’s or Afrika Bambaataa’s block parties in the late 70s, because I wasn’t. But I bought my first rap record in 1979.

    Yeah, I noticed, you used current tense—what rap IS about. So think about that for a second. What you just did is akin to someone in 1970 who was hearing stuff like the Who, the Beatles, Vanilla Fudge, the Rolling Stones, CSNY, Jefferson Airplane, Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Buffalo Springfield, and Jimi Hendrix telling someone who was listening to Elvis & Little Richard & Jerry Lee Lewis & Ike Turner well over 10 years before that ‘you can tell me ‘til you’re blue in the face that rock is not about drugs & social (and maybe a little political) protest. You are deluding yourself.’ So while rock had indeed become significantly about those things, it had not always been that way, nor was it something that was comprised solely of those aspects—or anything CLOSE to solely. Rap is NO different in that sense.

    As for turning on MTV—why would I do that? Part of why I continue to listen to rap at all is because I IGNORE whatever it is you’re seeing on MTV. If my opinion of ROCK music was based solely on what’s currently popular, I’d think it was all about whatever Sum 41 or Good Charlotte sing about, or that it all sounded like Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park or Metallica. Is THAT accurate? All that stuff is appalling, too, only in a different way, which may not be as worse. But to some people it just might be.


    Uh-huh. I can't fault your logic.

    But here's the thing: Because the music is so repetitve and simplistic, it really does all sound the same. My association with it is that it's about the gangster ethic because of the videos I've seen and the songs I've heard that my friends kids like. Because it all sounds the same and the lyrics are virtually uninteligble, my association (however wrong) is that it's all gangsta rap. It's repetitive nature causes it to be guilty by association for me.

    Art doesn't piss you off, it doesn't make you angry or depressed.

    So art depicting Nazis wearing swastikas isn’t art, because art 'doesn't do those things? Who’s doing the deluding here?


    Then why does the word "pleasing" appear in the definition of art? I think the precept of what art is got turned on it's head in the 20th century.

    A supposed art piece with Nazis wearing swastikas in it that is designed to elicit an angry response is a political statement, not an artistic one. I didn't see anything about politics in the definition of art.
    Last edited by Troy; 12-11-2003 at 11:02 AM.

  3. #53
    Forum Regular jack70's Avatar
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    Re

    Mother of God, Jay! You trying to break this new software or sumptin? You know I might only click in here every other day, for just 5 minutes and then read it off-line later. I thought Dusty had put a rather nice end to this at the end of page-2. I've mostly avoided past Rap threads because it's not something worth my time (so how smart am I?), but there were some other interesting things brought up, so I stuck my hand in this. I'm starting to feel like a tar baby.

    I remember the first day of class in my freshman art course... the question was "what is art". And it was never answered, per se. My portfolio ended up as "my art" (no Rappin in it either). Art is based on personal aesthetics and culturally accepted conformities. It's a different paradigm from say, science. Let me just repeat that I think Rap is art, just not music (the "strict" Rap part anyway). So it's not a slam on it, it's just my view of how I order things and see the world. This debate reminds me a little of Robert Pirsig's philosophical examination on quality... an inquiry that led him to a mental breakdown. (hint) I'd like to answer all of your points (they're ALL erroneous hehehe) ... trouble is it's gonna take some time, and I'm about to go to bed. I'll be back...

  4. #54
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    Troy:

    Then why does the word "pleasing" appear in the definition of art? I think the precept of what art is got turned on it's head in the 20th century.

    The attached picture is of a sculpture which I snapped a photo of at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in NYC. To my knowledge it was created prior to the 20th Century, but if it isn't, there is certainly a substitute in that building that IS more than 104 years old. I would submit that this is one of MANY pieces of 'art' that is NOT pleasing, and was not prior to the 20th Century. I'm not sure I read that definition as saying that art HAD to be pleasing, just that it was a component that was at best recommended, not required. Surely this is pleasing to some, but keep in mind that it's a piece that shows the impending horror of a parent with mouths to feed & no way to do it. Can't remember the name or the artist; perhaps you know. All I know is that it generates in me feelings & emotions that I would in no way describe as 'pleasing,' yet I think it's art, and so does the Met. If the definition of 'art' is to be read that it HAS to be pleasing, then I've got enough of a case to disagree with it based on this one piece of sculpture alone. I see no such evidence that one could challenge the dictionary definitions of music with.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails To Hell In A Hand Basket-63-sculpture-court-1.jpg  

    I don't like others.

  5. #55
    Global Village Idiot mad rhetorik's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Holy Keer-ist, we're STILL going at it?

    Wow. Do you think you're vesting mebbe a little too much in this debate Jay? ; P It feels like people are blowing this way out of proportion with the original posting topic. Anyway, it's been a slow day, so I guess I'll bravely throw my $.02 in anyway.

    Anyway, I'm going to keep this conversation grounded and not deny rap as an art form. Rapping and freestyling is a rhythmic skill, if not an instrumental one (rappers are vocalists, not musicians). Even scratching a turntable is, to some extent, a musical skill in that it is a musical "effect" (feel free to debate amongst yourselves whether it is an instrument or not). I do like some of the genre, mostly the old-school stuff that Jay mentioned, and the early "new-school" artists (Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim). That was when MC's knew the meaning of melody, flow, and harmony, concepts that most hip-hop/rap acts today don't seem to be concerned about.

    I do lament the negativity and "gang$ta" outlook that have taken over mainstream rap. Someone here (I think it was Troy) stated that rap was about debasement and greed, and while that's not entirely true, it's becoming harder and harder to say that's not what it's about these days, especially with all the mainstream sources shoving the "bling-bling and murder" mindset down the listener's throat. It's a shame that the gangster rap trend started by Ice-T and NWA has escalated to this degree of excess, because I think the originals of the genre never intended it to become a spectacle of negative racial stereotypes. They were merely making music about what they knew, just like Ian Curtis of Joy Division was making songs about depression and suicide and Layne Staley of Alice In Chains wrote music from the angle of a drug addict.

    Anyway, I think the original statement at the core of this thread simply expressed displeasure at who the Grammys selected for their awards rather than attempting to start some lofty debate over what constitutes "music." Having said that, the Grammies are irrelevent on the basis of talent. It's all about commercial exposure and record sales, ex. the Milli Vanilli fiasco. I stopped paying attention to industry award shows (including the Oscars, for the most part) a long time ago. If anyone thinks that winning a Grammy is representative of having actual talent, they are in need of a reality check.
    Last edited by mad rhetorik; 12-11-2003 at 03:34 PM.
    "...and then at the end of the letter I like to write <i>'P.S. - this is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.'</i> "


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  6. #56
    Stainmaster Finch Platte's Avatar
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    So, could someone tell me...

    ...how the heck I'm supposed to follow who responded to whom?

    Merci.

    fp

  7. #57
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Finch -- A: Keep up!

    Quote Originally Posted by Toyr
    music

    1. The science and the art of tones, or musical sounds, i. e., sounds of higher or lower pitch, begotten of uniform and synchronous vibrations, as of a string at various degrees of tension; the science of harmonical tones which treats of the principles of harmony, or the properties, dependences, and relations of tones to each other; the art of combining tones in a manner to please the ear.


    musician

    One who composes, conducts, or performs music, especially instrumental music.

    One skilled in the art or science of music; esp., a skilled singer, or performer on a musical instrument.


    According to these definitions DC is wrong: a cat walking on the keyboard is NOT making music because it lacks the harmonic principles and patterns associated with music.
    That was intended as more of a hypothetical question -- my stance is that the cat is not a musician, because it lacks intent. Whether or not the result is music is outside the scope of my ability to think right now (been iterating all day).

    Funny that they say "...esp., a skilled singer..." and you insist on spin-doctoring that particular phrase to reinforce what you said, when in actuality it pretty unequivocally proves to me that you are wrong -- singers are musicians by this definition. Notice they said "skilled" -- people who write dictionaries are pretty particular about what they say and what they don't. They didn't say, "...esp. a singer who is also skilled in other areas...", they said, "...skilled singer..." with the meaning that singer is skilled as a singer, which is exactly what I've been saying all along -- the singer must be able to sing above a certain thresholed of ability. QED. Game set match. Checkmate. I win. You lose. Please insert two more quarters.

    WRT the word "pleasing" -- that's kind of a vague term. Since I hang out with goths a lot, the question arose, what is it I like about "that scene". And the answer I came up with is, "I find beauty in darkness" and that I enjoy the company of others who find beauty in non-traditional places.

    Also, I dig freaky chicks.

    Some people watch horror movies -- they like to be scared. They find this "pleasing", but not in the traditional "sweet-tooth" "finding a good parking space" kind of pleasing, but rather it evokes within them an extreme emotion that they desire to replicate.

    In that sense, someone finds rap pleasing (and, dare I say it, musical). So context is important. When you say, "rap isn't music", it depends who you're talking to. When you're talking to yourself, you can say, "Armadillos onsebegotten giraffe sublimage", because you understand what you're talking about. But when you're talking to someone else, (some of) these words have specific meaning, and unless you say things that are mutually agreed upon, you will be wrong.

    The societal agreed upon definition of rap is that it is music.

    Go to this page, and then click on the 5th selection and click go. Rap means to perform rap music (kind of a circular definition), but it still says that it is music. (Sort of like saying Picasso liked to paint things a blue colour -- redundant, but underlines that blue is a colour.)
    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    Wow. Do you think you're vesting mebbe a little too much in this debate Jay?
    Funny how people say that only when they don't want to hear what he has to say. (And I include myself in that group.) When I agree with him, I'm like, "you go, Jay!"
    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    Anyway, I think the original statement at the core of this thread simply expressed displeasure at who the Grammys selected for their awards rather than attempting to start some lofty debate over what constitutes "music."
    Who cares? The conversation goes where it goes.
    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    Having said that, the Grammies are irrelevent on the basis of talent. It's all about commercial exposure and record sales, ex. the Milli Vanilli fiasco. I stopped paying attention to industry award shows (including the Oscars, for the most part) a long time ago. If anyone thinks that winning a Grammy is representative of having actual talent, they are in need of a reality check.
    You got that right.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  8. #58
    Close 'n Play® user Troy's Avatar
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    At this point I don't give a double scoop of poo about whether rap is music or art or whatever. Like I WANT to keep talking about rap music ferchrissake. *Sheesh*

    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty Stalk
    That was intended as more of a hypothetical question -- my stance is that the cat is not a musician, because it lacks intent. Whether or not the result is music is outside the scope of my ability to think right now (been iterating all day).
    Oh, suuuuure, backpedal all you want! Fact is, even a human with intent and no idea how music works will only make noise when they start hammering on that piano, whether it can be charted or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Musty Shark
    Funny that they say "...esp., a skilled singer..." and you insist on spin-doctoring that particular phrase to reinforce what you said, when in actuality it pretty unequivocally proves to me that you are wrong -- singers are musicians by this definition. Notice they said "skilled" -- people who write dictionaries are pretty particular about what they say and what they don't. They didn't say, "...esp. a singer who is also skilled in other areas...", they said, "...skilled singer..." with the meaning that singer is skilled as a singer, which is exactly what I've been saying all along -- the singer must be able to sing above a certain thresholed of ability. QED. Game set match. Checkmate. I win. You lose. Please insert two more quarters.
    Now hang on a sec, bub. What makes a "skilled" singer? Would having the concept of musical theory and history under your belt make it so? Experience in different breathing and phrasing techniques? Sure, some singers have the ability to belt one out without any training, but imagne how much more skilled they could be if they did.

    I see the meaning of skilled differently than you do. Regardless of how much natural ability you have, training is always gonna make you better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Caulk
    WRT the word "pleasing" -- that's kind of a vague term. Since I hang out with goths a lot, the question arose, what is it I like about "that scene". And the answer I came up with is, "I find beauty in darkness" and that I enjoy the company of others who find beauty in non-traditional places.

    Some people watch horror movies -- they like to be scared. They find this "pleasing", but not in the traditional "sweet-tooth" "finding a good parking space" kind of pleasing, but rather it evokes within them an extreme emotion that they desire to replicate.
    Yeah, I can agree with you on this to a certain extent. But it goes back to an individual's perspective. A lot of my own artwork is pretty dark . . . but like I said, the 20th century put the definition of art on it's ear. All these things that are dark and sinister that are considered art by the majority of society would never have been accepted as art even 50 years ago.

    I think that considering horror movies as art is a very recent phenomenon. There certainly has been a lot of tragic art all through history (like Jay's hideous statue). Pleasing? Maybe in an empathic way.

    So I dunno. What were we talking about again? Rap *music* as *art*? You think so? Enjoy yourself. Who cares what I think?

    And by the way, when someone types "Armadillos onsebegotten giraffe sublimage" with a straight face in order to explain something, that means that a thread has reached it's inevitable conclusion.

  9. #59
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    ...even a human with intent and no idea how music works will only make noise when they start hammering on that piano, whether it can be charted or not.
    I think you're getting me and Jay confused. I'm not the one who said "that which can be charted" (oversimplification, but suffices for the purpose of denial). I agree it takes more than a human with intent.
    Quote Originally Posted by yorT
    What makes a "skilled" singer? Would having the concept of musical theory and history under your belt make it so? Experience in different breathing and phrasing techniques? Sure, some singers have the ability to belt one out without any training, but imagne how much more skilled they could be if they did.
    I am not a "classically trained" snob -- I know too many examples of contradictions to believe that rule. I'm a results guy. A singer is skilled if he is effective. I base effective on his audience (even if potential). And let's not get back into that potential audience. Even if the singer only ever has an audience of one (themselves), there's still the possibility that if this individual were heard, the singing would be effective on that audience. That's what I mean by "potential audience". It's purely for pedants like you (and me) that I feel obliged to make this small distinction -- for the most part, musicians/artists have actual audiences (gasp!).
    Quote Originally Posted by Quoter
    And by the way, when someone types "Armadillos onsebegotten giraffe sublimage" with a straight face in order to explain something, that means that a thread has reached it's inevitable conclusion.
    You just don't like hearing how wrong you are.

    And who said it was with a straight face? I got a nose.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  10. #60
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    This thread ain't over until I decide it is

    Rooting around in 3 year old threads to find me with my pants down? Yeesh, you are hardcore.

    Thank you. I always thought that was a very interesting, something worth keeping. But I usually feel that way about anything I write. But I wasn't doing it to try to trap you or anything like that. I just found the comments interesting in light of the present discussion.

    This is not me being self contradictory. It goes bothways. I just think that the best artists (and yes, that includes musicians) are the ones that are well rounded

    Yeah...I didn't look at this as you being contradictory at all, actually. Just thought it was interesting.

    According to these definitions DC is wrong: a cat walking on the keyboard is NOT making music because it lacks the harmonic principles and patterns associated with music.

    Yeah, but then you listed this definition:

    One who composes, conducts, or performs music, especially instrumental music.

    Okay, so if the cat walks on the keyboard, and sounds are produced, and they are chartable, then you have music; the cat is, arguably, composing and/or performing that music. So here we have something of a contradiction.

    You'll find that I don't usually play along in threads about "What if Roger Water's hadn't left the Floyd" very much. What is, is.

    I'm with you on that. Sometimes, though, it's fun to dream, especially when you hear a recording that rings a bell that IF so & so hadn't broken up, or whatever, they might've turned out something that sounded like...

    I agree, it'd be nice if our favorite types of music were more popular, but I question whether it's quality would then become marginalized by all the bad copycat bands that the industry would then foist on us. ie: your bad ersatz modern punk bands.

    Well, we see the effect now with all of the popular new punk bands. I'm not surprised that there are a million of 'em & that they all the same. I am just a bit surprised that they mostly all suck as bad as they do.

    How much do I have to hear before I can make a judgement?

    Not much, probably far less than what you have heard. I have no issue with yr right to make a judgment. I only speak up to point out that, having had a different experience with this form of music, there's a different way of looking at this. I have no reason to expect that anything I say is going to get you to like the stuff. That doesn't mean that I'm not going to respond to a post going on about how it all sounds & seems the same. Which is not to say that so much doesn't all sound & seem the same; only that it wasn't always that way, and I hear & have heard plenty that doesn't sound the same at all.

    Because it all sounds the same and the lyrics are virtually uninteligble, my association (however wrong) is that it's all gangsta rap.

    The truth is that it's NOT all the same, never was. It's a real shame it would seem that way to someone who doesn't pay much attention, but that's the reality & I don't quibble with it. And I agree with what Mad had to say about this.

    A supposed art piece with Nazis wearing swastikas in it that is designed to elicit an angry response is a political statement, not an artistic one.

    Disagree. Why can't it be an artistic statement, even if it's a political statement at the same time? Because you say so? I'm not sure I'd go along with the view that would insist that it's purely an artistic statement, devoid of politics, though someone (probably the artist) might say that. But I remember seeing a big exhibit of political/social art at one of the big modern museums here in town about 20 years ago or so, probably on a school trip. It was either at the Whitney or MOMA. Not art?

    We all reserve the right to say "that crap is not art, it's crap!" Not that it's just crappy art, but that it's not art at all. And you reserve the right to say I'm wrong.

    Sure, you reserve the right to say that, it's a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. You can say LOTS of things that are WRONG, and BE wrong, even if you think you're right. I can say three plus six is twenty-two, and I have a right to say that, but I don't need you telling me I'm wrong to be wrong; I'm wrong whether or not anyone corrects me. I'll stand by my definitions of art & music; I think they're fairly rational.

    Fact is, even a human with intent and no idea how music works will only make noise when they start hammering on that piano, whether it can be charted or not.

    MY definition of music is that if it can be charted, it is music. If you have any rational means to disagree with that, hit me. After which I'll pose this hypothetical: I'll have my cat walk on my Casio, I swear I will, and I'll record it, and I'll chart it, and it'll be there in black & white, and can be performed by anyone with enough talent, in a studio, in Central Park, or in Carnegie Hall if I had enough money to rent it, and the onus will be on you to explain why or how it's NOT music. MUSICAL notes are MUSICAL notes. Again, to clarify: that doesn't make the cat a musician, not to me, though if someone wanted to be a complete prick & say that in the composition & performance of the notes that the cat is indeed a musician, in a purely technical discussion of the issue, according to the letter of the definition, I cannot disagree with that someone. Now, I know this is taking the whole discussion back to the irrational level it has existed at for a page or two now, but I do it for a reason. If the sound is chartable, and you say it's not music, then I can prove you wrong each & every time.

    I see the meaning of skilled differently than you do. Regardless of how much natural ability you have, training is always gonna make you better.

    Disagree on 'always.' Vehemently. Because there are certain things that are created by people who likely would never have created them had they had the training, and there are certain types of performers for whom training would have distorted what it was they did, even if it wasn't completely original.

    Now...getting back to the 'grammy' part of this thread, which I guess we all lost sight of, for the most part...obviously they mean little, very little in the scheme of things, to people like the regulars on this board, who are mostly, primarily, fans of rock music, fans with idiosyncratic tastes. But then I heard some news that, I've gotta admit, warmed my heart: the last recording I did--actually, it was the DAY before I got sick more than four years ago--is now being worked on by a guy who is in fact up for a Grammy, for Record Of The Year. Nope, no kidding, I'm totally serious. When you hear something like that, you forget about all those arguments about how the Grammys mean nothing, even if it's for only half a second. Why this recording is still being worked on four years later is a mostly silly story, and you'll probably never hear this recording (though Darius saw the band), but it was still a nice thing to hear.

    I don't like others.

  11. #61
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    Lightbulb Grammys = industry sales tool

    I am a newbie to your board... and don't mean to harp.. stifle or otherwise cajole the posterati


    but anyone in the music biz could tell you that the grammy awards are just a sales tool set up by that industry to promote itself...

    i hate to see people wasting their time deciphering the merits of Milli Vanilli vs Chingy vs ...

    This about moving units not stirring hearts...

    stick those grammy nominee stickers on those CDs and they end up under Xmas trees my friends...

    there's nothing better to end the year with than a bunch of self congratulatory backslaps around the label HQ holiday party... perhaps something to pump up the shareholder meeting & maybe warrant an end of year bonus to the staff ... or in these times, just barely stave off a pinkslip...

    The people that vote are not basing these things on artistic merit, it's an insular thing, and only top selling producers and execs even are in the academy to vote...

    they are just trying desperately to convince another few million hapless consumers to buy more crap...
    Quote Originally Posted by joel2762
    But you know, say like. Chinggy... How long do you think it took him to write something like that. It just repeats the same thing over. What about the singers and bands that have real talent? But these rappers come in and take the awards for their small effort. .
    So Joel, I hate to spoil your illusions about songwriting & whatnot... But it doesn't matter if you are Beethoven or The B-52's...They didn't win any Grammy's either... but Alicia Keys had one album out and has 5 trophies already...Norah Jones 8...

    Sometimes it isn't even about sales ...it's just about who you know...

    so Marilyn McCoo Davis has won 7 ... Alison Krauss 13...

    and 70s leftovers Jethro Tull once beat Metallica's notorious 10x platinum Black Album for best heavy metal album of the year, go figure...


    I see the Grammy Awards as something a music lover should definitely avoid... I routinely run across last year's Grammy compilations in the cut out bins at CD stores and that's generally where that **** should be...

    Real artists don't need trophies ...

    Do you really need some Whitney Houston

  12. #62
    Close 'n Play® user Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire

    According to these definitions DC is wrong: a cat walking on the keyboard is NOT making music because it lacks the harmonic principles and patterns associated with music.

    Yeah, but then you listed this definition:

    One who composes, conducts, or performs music, especially instrumental music.

    Okay, so if the cat walks on the keyboard, and sounds are produced, and they are chartable, then you have music; the cat is, arguably, composing and/or performing that music. So here we have something of a contradiction.

    (me)Fact is, even a human with intent and no idea how music works will only make noise when they start hammering on that piano, whether it can be charted or not.

    MY definition of music is that if it can be charted, it is music. If you have any rational means to disagree with that, hit me. After which I'll pose this hypothetical: I'll have my cat walk on my Casio, I swear I will, and I'll record it, and I'll chart it, and it'll be there in black & white, and can be performed by anyone with enough talent, in a studio, in Central Park, or in Carnegie Hall if I had enough money to rent it, and the onus will be on you to explain why or how it's NOT music. MUSICAL notes are MUSICAL notes. Again, to clarify: that doesn't make the cat a musician, not to me, though if someone wanted to be a complete prick & say that in the composition & performance of the notes that the cat is indeed a musician, in a purely technical discussion of the issue, according to the letter of the definition, I cannot disagree with that someone. Now, I know this is taking the whole discussion back to the irrational level it has existed at for a page or two now, but I do it for a reason. If the sound is chartable, and you say it's not music, then I can prove you wrong each & every time.
    No.

    While that's the definition of Musician, look at the definition of what a musician makes:

    1. The science and the art of tones, or musical sounds, i. e., sounds of higher or lower pitch, begotten of uniform and synchronous vibrations, as of a string at various degrees of tension; the science of harmonical tones which treats of the principles of harmony, or the properties, dependences, and relations of tones to each other; the art of combining tones in a manner to please the ear.

    As DC said, It's about intent: a consious understanding of harmony and "relations of the tones to each other". That does not mean a series of random notes in random time.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    I'm with you on that. Sometimes, though, it's fun to dream, especially when you hear a recording that rings a bell that IF so & so hadn't broken up, or whatever, they might've turned out something that sounded like...
    Sure, like "The freaky chamber jazz of (the moronically named band) Isildurs Bane sounds like what Frank Zappa would today if he hadn't died".

    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    A supposed art piece with Nazis wearing swastikas in it that is designed to elicit an angry response is a political statement, not an artistic one.

    Disagree. Why can't it be an artistic statement, even if it's a political statement at the same time? Because you say so? I'm not sure I'd go along with the view that would insist that it's purely an artistic statement, devoid of politics, though someone (probably the artist) might say that. But I remember seeing a big exhibit of political/social art at one of the big modern museums here in town about 20 years ago or so, probably on a school trip. It was either at the Whitney or MOMA. Not art?
    Yeah, I feel like I've been playing Devils Advocate a bit on this. Just going by that definition means that tragedy isn't art. Wrong. But I still stand by the fact they many of the things that 21st century man takes for granted as art would have been looked upon with derision and confusion 100 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    We all reserve the right to say "that crap is not art, it's crap!" Not that it's just crappy art, but that it's not art at all. And you reserve the right to say I'm wrong.

    Sure, you reserve the right to say that, it's a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. You can say LOTS of things that are WRONG, and BE wrong, even if you think you're right. I can say three plus six is twenty-two, and I have a right to say that, but I don't need you telling me I'm wrong to be wrong; I'm wrong whether or not anyone corrects me. I'll stand by my definitions of art & music; I think they're fairly rational.
    Music and art are not finite that way mathematical formula are. It's open to interpretation.

    Keep in mind that your talking to a guy that had a sticker on his car for years that read "2+2=5". No I don't think that it's true . . . but I wanted people to think about it. Question everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    I see the meaning of skilled differently than you do. Regardless of how much natural ability you have, training is always gonna make you better.

    Disagree on 'always.' Vehemently. Because there are certain things that are created by people who likely would never have created them had they had the training, and there are certain types of performers for whom training would have distorted what it was they did, even if it wasn't completely original.
    Ok, ALMOST always.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    Now...getting back to the 'grammy' part of this thread, which I guess we all lost sight of, for the most part...obviously they mean little, very little in the scheme of things, to people like the regulars on this board, who are mostly, primarily, fans of rock music, fans with idiosyncratic tastes. But then I heard some news that, I've gotta admit, warmed my heart: the last recording I did--actually, it was the DAY before I got sick more than four years ago--is now being worked on by a guy who is in fact up for a Grammy, for Record Of The Year. Nope, no kidding, I'm totally serious. When you hear something like that, you forget about all those arguments about how the Grammys mean nothing, even if it's for only half a second. Why this recording is still being worked on four years later is a mostly silly story, and you'll probably never hear this recording (though Darius saw the band), but it was still a nice thing to hear.
    Well, THAT'S cool! Congrats are in order then.

    And welcome dv8r.

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