Is Music Objective? Does Our Music Suck?

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Is Music Objective? Does Our Music Suck?

rorysade
Roadie

This question has been on my mind for years. I think that between aesthetic pleasure, individual taste, cultural relevance, creativity, innovation, applied skill, and any other variable artistic qualifier, music still has to be, to some degree, objectively bad or good. 

 

Compare Daft Punk's Random Access Memories to Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Both are  p h e n o m e n a l  works of art, but what are they? I mean, both are a culmination of an entire career's artistic and commercial developement and, I think, should define the state of the era. Is it okay if artistic development overshadows skill and technique? How do you guys think today's greatest music will be viewed a hundred and fifty years from now? This stuff is wrecking my brain. 

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Re: Is Music Objective? Does Our Music Suck?

Rock Star 18
Rock Star 18

@rorysade

 

Just a quick reply for now, without dig too much the subject. :)

 

First of all, I refuse to put on the same level Daft Punk's Random access and Beethoven.

 

Beethoven is creative and wrote everything key by key and it's still tought, played by the biggest Symphonic Orchestras even after almost 200 years.

 

Random Access (in my own opinion) is just a copycat and / or a rewriting of what have been doing some years ago in the disco decade. It won't stay in the collective memory. (Thats my opinion. Well I have just to say I hate this record :D  ) That said Daft Punk was much more inventive at the beginning of their career.

 

Actually, artistic development is polluted by the marketing. The music creation is less important than the "showing off". Actually the majority of people (all over the world) are too lazy to try to look for creative new music by themselves. They "eat" what the "marketing" told them to "eat". Just to have an eye on the charts in every country, except a few local artists, they are all similar.

 

Hopefully it still keeps some "different" people, able to spend 3 or 4 hours every morning to dig all the new releases on the market, to try to find the few ones with some originality. Is that good or not ? I don't know. But I am proud to be one of them and to not follow the mass like a sheep. :D :D

SoundofusRock Star 18
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Re: Is Music Objective? Does Our Music Suck?

rorysade
Roadie

 

@Soundofus

 

Thanks for your response! I think you've brought up a lot of good points and a whole lot of questions. I know you didn't intend to dig too deep into the subject (so feel free to leave it at that), but I do. I brought RAM to the table as a demonstration of one of our present era's best offerings, in regard to its cultural relevance, critical reception, commercial success, and my personal opinion.  You disagree with me on this point, so of course, this brings us to a subject I meant to touch on. Can we actually say that something is bad? At another time in my life, I absolutely hated certain pop artists such as Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus (I mean, her last album was pretty bad actually), Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, not because I didn't like their music, but because I believed commercial pop was void of any substance or value. At some point, I expanded my paradigm and sat down to a Katy Perry record and discovered that it made me really really happy and that she has kind of a cool aesthetic, and to that I give value. So when I say that Miley Cyrus's last album was pretty bad, I'm counting on the majority of you to agree with me, and if you don't you're the odd one out. It's not even fair really. Even if you believe art is subjective, you'll still point to certain things and say "that's bad" or "that's awesome" (not looking at you Soundofus, you clearly stated that was your opinion. thanks), so on some level, art has to be objective, right? 

 

 

So, RAM vs. Beethoven's 9th (I know it sounds pretty moronic). Our impulses will probably lead us to the proper conclusion that Beethoven's 9th is "better", but again, I can only say that because I know the majority of you will agree with me. To continue this, I'm curious what 21st century album or artists you guys would actually put on Beethoven's level. Maybe then we can actually discuss this on a more beneficial level.

Re: Is Music Objective? Does Our Music Suck?

Jedebel
Roadie

Nobody you have heard of @rorysade. THAT is the point @soundofus is making.

Re: Is Music Objective? Does Our Music Suck?

Rock Star 1
Rock Star 1

@rorysade this is a subject that you could spend a very long time discussing. Here are some quick thoughts.

 

1. You ask if "Our Music Sucks". You might say "Our" is what's popular but music rarely is popular music the best music being created, because it has to appeal to a large spectrum of people. This is why so much popular music uses the same chords and verse chorus structure. You do have exceptions but that's usually an artist that became popular with a more easily consumed sound and than switches to something more complex (ex. Brian Wilson doing Pet Sounds,  the Beetles doing Sgt. Pepper, Radiohead doing Kid A). If you say "Our" means any music being made in this tie period than you'll find artist that will definitly be remembered 100 years from now.

 

2. Is music Good or Bad I think it only matters to the person, if you enjoy a song and yet everyone hates it what does it really matter. If a song you loved is forgotten 100 years from now what doe sit matter you'll already be dead and vice versa. I used to, and sometimes still do, really spend alot of time worrying what "critics" or "people" think and my Dad used to ask me "Doe it make you happy? Do you enjoy it? If so than what does it matter?" My Father loved Jazz and it was everything from "critically" praised artist to "Pop Jazz" and he passed away when he was on 60. I realized I could waste my life worrying about what others thing about my music or I could just enjoy what I enjoy because in the end thats all that matter in the end.

 

Oh and Brian Wilson has been compared to Beethoven, especially how he used the studio as an instrument.

 

JESquareRock Star 1
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Re: Is Music Objective? Does Our Music Suck?

Rock Star 1
Rock Star 1

 

Of the artist you love the most why? Do you love originality more etc? Is it just how a song makes you feel? What elements do you notice makes the biggest impact on you?

 

Oh and I wanted to point out an artist may be amazing and ahead of there time but for one reason or next may be lost to time. I saw the documentary on the band "Death" awhile ago and its a great example of that. Though I feel like Spotify helps those artist because you can now search them out without having to "Buy" an album sight unseen. 

JESquareRock Star 1
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Re: Is Music Objective? Does Our Music Suck?

rorysade
Roadie

I'm a pretty emotive person and generally lean toward music that's very evocative or has an aesthetic that connects with me. I love Olafur Arnalds for his melancholy and simplistic mastery of dynamics and tone, Ulrich Schnauss for his intrinsic mastery of decidedly German shoegaze and analogue sensibility, Justice for their "not sure if this is gritty or really slick" energy and heat, M83 for his angelic fusion of arena-rock, 80s pop and progressive rock. I always find myself describing an artist's sound in relation to terms we know, but at the root of my motives, I probably just listen to these artists because they make me feel good. An artist I like might cause my mind to wander to another place, or to dance, or to just feel really cool. With some artists e.g. Bjork, Oneohtrix Point Never, Aphex Twin, I can get emotional enjoyment purely out of its impressive technical density.

 

If I can make any pointed observation about how I consume music, it would be that all music I enjoy is 1: evocative, and 2: in someway innovative, original, or technically rich. If the latter isn't in place, that blunts the emotion for me. Conversly, that's not to say that I don't respect and appreciate music that doesn't make me feel things. I enjoy listening to nu-disco far more than the genre's pioneers and forerunners, but I still appreciate them. Call me an insular retro-revivalist millennial, but sometimes I listen to music because I want to learn, and other times I listen because I want to relax, or dance, or float, or whatever.

 

From our present era, I have no idea what will stick. So much music gets produced every day, any number of masterpieces could be overlooked just because we didn't listen quite long enough, or because our ears are a product of a culture that's just not ready. So, as @Jarefri so aptly stated ;), I'm sure that a lot of today's greatest music will never reach my ears, and if it did, I very well might hate it.

 

It's an ever-evolving discussion, so part of it may as well happen here.

Re: Is Music Objective? Does Our Music Suck?

rorysade
Roadie
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