Do you know music?

Do you know music?

Many years ago I became conscious of my ignorance of music. Of course, I recognized all the popular music and even tried to sing some of it occasionally. I had, for a very long time, been aware that I did not know music but for some reason I became conscious of this fact, my attention became focused upon this simple awareness. As a result I bought a package deal for ‘music appreciation’. My package included a book and some tapes.

I discovered that, for me, music appreciation was not going to be easy. I was directed to listen to certain tapes; I was told what to listen for and was informed as to the importance of that element I was hearing meant within the world of music. I had a very difficult time hearing what I was supposed to hear. I quickly lost interest and to this day I still do not know music. I do, however, know enough to recognize the depth of my ignorance. When I became conscious, through my music appreciation package, of the different elements of music I became knowledgably of the depth of my ignorance.

I miss much by this ignorance; this I am confident of. Someday I shall revisit this matter and hopefully I will stick it out this time and manage to jump over the barrier that surrounds this domain of ignorance. Once I get over that original high hurdle then I am confident my enthusiasm of discovery will carry me forward. That first step is the toughest in most domains of ignorance but once we overcome it we are supplied with the energy to carry forward because the joy of learning takes over.

Hobbies are ways in which many individuals express their individuality. Those matters that excite an individual interest and curiosity are those very things that allow the individual to self-understanding and also for others to understand them. Interests define individuality and help to provide meaning to life. We all look for some ideology, hobby, philosophy, or religion to provide meaning to life.

When examining psychosis the psychiatrist advises either the establishment of an interpersonal evolvement or for finding interests and perhaps new patterns of thought. Many of us find that our work provides that means for identity and personal fulfillment.

Few of us have discovered our full potentialities or have fully explored, in depth, those we have discovered. Self-development and self-expression are relatively new ideas in human history. The arts are one means for this self-expression. The artist may find drawing or constructing sculptures as a means for self-discovery. The self-learner may find essay writing of equal importance. Consciousness of individuality first becomes a possibility in the middle Ages. The Renaissance and further the Reformation enhanced the development of individual identification.

The word “individual” moved from the indivisible and collective to the divisible and distinctive. In this we see the development of an understanding of self-consciousness thus illustrating the dramatic change taking place in our developing understanding of the self as a distinct subject not just a cipher in a community. This was part of the Renaissance.

I recommend that each individual develop the hobby of an intellectual life. We could add to our regular routine the development of an invigorating intellectual life wherein we sought disinterested knowledge; knowledge that is not for the purpose of some immediate need but something that stirs our curiosity, which we seek to understand for the simple reason that we feel a need to understand a particular domain of knowledge.

Hobbies are for those who wish to have something to say about themselves in encounters with people, I think your avenue towards appreciating music is insane, how can someone mechanise one of the very few organic forces that man can create?

I mean, are you supposed to listen to a piece, and set off on the checklist,‘’ yes, that’s what I’m supposed to feel there’'. It’s pompous a-holes trying to create an ivory tower for wine and cheese parties.
As for what the artist is trying to say, well if he is using rules to funnel creative direction, then he might as well just stand beside me in the street and yell his life story down my throat with a megaphone.

In all fields of pursuit, whether it be artistic, scientific, philosophical, or even martial discipline one must first explore the possibilities wlthin oneself, if not, then you might as well think reading a thesaurus makes you a good writer.

But, every man to his own I suppose, but you will never make anything yours.

My interest of music developed shortly after leaving high school. In my earlier teen years classical had slightly piqued my interest, but not having much access or the wherewithal to pursue it, I left that behind. For some reason (while really not having slantings one way or the other) I gravitated to rock music…more precisely the technique of guitar playing. The versatility of electronic enhancements with different switches/pedals making the presence of the strings go out of octave with other various harmonic distortions, fueled my interest greatly. Although I would have enjoyed to to know the notes and chords, my developement was self taught. I even built what was called then a golden throat mouth tube in order to give the appearance of the music talking. I had even started with the building of a guitar ending with the rudiments of the body and the neck from a solid plank of walnut.

Then some years after getting married without having enough money to further my repetoire in purchases of more equipment, I sold the lot of it. The details of this decision I won’t go into. Religious concessions after many more years has settled me back into classical music in which I find musically satisfactory. Instrumentals of most ilks (with very few exceptions) seems to comprise my interests along with some chorales. Operas don’t have much affect on me musically. Music to me helps develope the creative side of me and stimulates intellectual thought. In this way I feel somewhat more well rounded in my being.

Music feeds the soul: like beauty - most genres of music are valid, in my eyes!

Yes you are correct. One can enjoy music without knowing music. I am such an individual; however, I want more than that. We can get through life without ever examining life but as Socrates said “the unexamined life is not worth living”. I think this may be a bit hyperbolic but I think it is something worth keeping in mind.

I’m not talking about just enjoying music, that makes it seem ad-hoc, no, you can truly know music without studying music appreciation. Think about it, someone must have originally thought up all the stipends for music appreciation, so all within music is just what that person felt, and for him/her to say that his feelings are the true rosetta stones of music, and that your feelings aren’t is arrogance, and conscious arrogance at that, and that’s inexcusable.

When I listen to music, I reject the outside world, and make the piece my universe, I then open up my mind to all possibilities, stories, emotions, impressions, messages, even the undissected whole purity of the piece, and more, all that could possibly be said in the piece then when the music plays, all these are explored, fulfilled, emptied, screened, magnified, and combined. I allow this to happen for all the individual notes, instruments, and combinations too, not just particular movements.

How can anyone say that is simply enjoying music, and not ‘‘appreciating’’ it, it is more than appreciation under the diktat of some foppish ponse from a hundred years ago, it is all and more than the artist could have hoped for in his creative premise.

Chuck - I agree with TMS - you don’t have to know anything about music to enjoy it.

Go get yourself a musical instrument. Whatever you like, but a guitar or keyboard can be the most fruitful, as you can play more than a melody on those. If you want to understand music, become a musician.

Learn by doing, instead of by reading about it. You will learn more.

Maybe you will even learn true humility.

Ever heard of music theory? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with learning it. Music theory makes some people less organic in their compositions, but it can greatly enhance your appreciation and ability to write. It’s certainly not insane, especially if you want to be a good musician.

Not necessarily. I automatically do this in reverse, however. I’ll hear a song, say wow, I like that or this part makes me feel uneasy, and then on repeat listenings I’ll notice the little nuances that elicit that emotion.

I don’t understand all the hate.

My thoughts exactly. Insane.

If you like it, you like it- if you don’t, you don’t.

I’ll refer you to the above thread.

Music has been mechanized whether you like it or not. I’ll make a 1000000 to 1 bet with anyone that some song you’ve liked at some point in your life was written by somebody with a very mechanical understanding of music.

Any takers?

There has always been music theory, or nearly always.

African tribesmen, Ornette Coleman, Sitarists on the street in India.

While you don’t need to know theory to enjoy music - look - those who don’t know anything about music will assume that theory and technique are unimportant - just as those who don’t know philosophy, or anything else, will assume the same thing.

Music is mathematics. If you use pitches set apart at (set) mathematical intervals - if you use the frets on the cheap guitar you won in a poker game and play Dylan licks on to impress the girls - you are using theory.

But those music appreciation courses are usually designed for cocktail party conversation. They are shortcuts to talking points. Such course and books were quite popular fifty years ago. Maybe they have changed, but they are usually crap.

Chuck, I repeat - just learn an instrument. The first thing you will “appreciate” is that anyone can make music. Every instrument is easy to play, but difficult to play well. And if you are playing well, you are using theory and technique. despite what the “free spirits” say. They are not really objecting to theory - they are objecting to discipline.

In my opinion, art is pretty worthless unless it helps us learn something, or somehoew makes us better people (helps us to evolve, if you like). I dislike music which just sounds like ‘entertainment’ - “I think that you look good on the dancefloor”. Well, that’s nice, anything else you’d like to share with us oh wise master?
I know people who do art for arts sake. Making weird musical compositions just to create something ‘new’. If it doesn’t communicate something, it’s just sound, in my opinion.

This is completely irrelevant isn’t it. I’d delete it if I could.

Well then you can say the same thing about listening. Our minds are wired in such a way that certain pitches put together sound good.

I’d have to disagree with you. I play guitar relatively well and I know much less about music theory than I would like. You don’t have to know squat about music theory to play an instrument. ‘Using’ music theory implies that you know it and are manipulating your instrument in accordance with it, not just copying Bob Dylan.

Also, there are some people out there who don’t need music theory, they just happen to be musical geniuses…genii…genies… These people can hear a song once and replay it. They can transpose the same piece of music after that one listening. It’s not because they are using music theory on purpose, music just makes sense to them. Or they’re on lots of LSD. That’s not to say that some of these prodigies don’t benefit from music theory, but it certainly helps the average musician more than them.

But anyway, rereading the original post, I guess there was nothing there saying he was trying to learn music theory, and I’d have to agree that listening to what other people are telling you to listen to is unnecessary to some extent. If you don’t like Jazz and Blues, you don’t have to listen to it to appreciate Rock. If you like Yngwie Malmsteen you don’t have to listen to Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc.

If you know how to play a chord, you know something about music theory. You may not know that you know it, but you do. Music theory is not some arcane science.

People tell me all the time that they could never learn to read notation. After I have given them a five-minute lesson, they realise that they can. Theory is not the result of years of study. It’s understanding the math, for instance.

I was in business for several years, in charge of sales for the company. Later, I took a regular sales job, to learn “real” sales techniques. I found out that, after ten years in business, that I knew all the techniques. I just didn’t know that I knew them.

Same thng.

Many people talk about music as an art, but there is a very solid foundation of science behind music.
Music is entirely based on math.
Ever wonder how deaf people could become famous composers?

Having said that, I think that a lot of what is held as “music appreciation” is crap.
There are many things to appreciate in music; scales, chords, chord progressions, rhythm, tempo, verse structure, rhyming patterns, lyrical progression, and a lot more.
But all of these things are necessary components.

If you use ill formed chords, an unusual chord progression, or simply a non-rhyming lyrical pattern, your song will stand out as different, and usually in a bad way.
It doesn’t take a music snob to figure that out, either; it is something that is obvious to anyone who listens, simply because by not following music theory, you are creating something that will naturally sound “wrong.”

…and what faust said.

Music is a very emotional experience. Emotions are instincts. Why is there such an apparent direct connection between music and instincts? If we inherit our instincts from our animal ancestors one would expect to see a great response from primates to music. Is anyone aware of such a connection?

This is what interests me most at this time. Why does music have such a direct and strong ressonance with our emotions which are our instincts?

Frequency waves/ranges, there are different frequencies the brain uses for different emotions and sensations.

Certain frequency’s waves/ranges have different effects on us, they can imitate different sensations from all manner of pleasures and pains.

The military for example have designed and recently publicised technology where they use frequency waves to affect people. They gave a demonstration where they used frequency waves to make people feel like their skin was on fire for a brief moment, they said its intended is to make mobs, protesters and such disperse and/or back off.

Music utilises sound frequency waves within hearing range ( 20-20,000Hz ) that have a pleasurable listening experience.

I don’t know much on the subject but thats some of what I’ve gathered.

I started out copying what chords look like. I had no idea that a basic chord was the root note of the key, a third above that, and a fifth above that. That’s like saying if you can bake a pie you understand the complex interactions that actually let you bake. You understand it to the point where if you put this stuff in the oven it tastes good, but you’re not going to say you’re a culinary scientist, and you’ll never cook in a five star restaurant.

It kind of is, otherwise everyone would have a best-selling album.

Funny story. James Taylor can’t read music, and he’s friends with John Williams.

And honestly, learning music theory has very little to do with understanding the math. I suppose you could go about it that way, but it would be a very laborious transformation every time you wanted to play something. Hmm, an A…that’s this frequency, it would sound good with this frequency…and that’s a D…

Fixed that for ya.

Nor did he.

Math is not some arcane science.
Look at how many people need calculators to do simple multiplication.

Not in terms of frequency.
Nor does it need to.

There is no need to understand frequencies to understand music theory.
The math involved with harmonious frequencies is the foundation, but you don’t need to go back to basics everytime you do something.
Think of people who use WYSIWYG editors.
They may not understand the fundamental code behind such editors, but it makes them no less capable where posting to forums or building webpages is concerned.

Fish: Who are you? I wish I could do an IP check.

I just don’t like the bogus claim that you know music theory if you can play a chord. Music theory runs so deep and so far it’s ridiculous to compare a real understanding and the ability to place two fingers on a keyboard.

If music is ‘all about math’, then that means more than just time and meter. I chose to use the aspect of music that fit my argument better, sue me.

Also, math is quite an arcane science, and you prove it by saying that people need calculators to do it. If some people can’t multiply a two-digit and one-digit number, how do you think a differential equation looks to them?

In fact, that’s a good way to compare it. Playing a chord is as much an understanding of music theory as multiplying is to understanding calculus.