It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Portable Music and the Death of an Art.

page: 1
1

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 10:35 AM
link   
Hey E&M! It's been a while, huh.

Most of us use portable music: CDs, MP3 players, even tape players. What does this mean for music as an artform?

Well, I believe that it means that we view it as less of an art, and more of a distraction... a background noise, if you will. Example, you're in a subway station and the only other thing to listen to is the screeching of the subway trains breaks before you get on, or the inane chatter of the general population surrounding you. A better time for music, surely has not existed! The perfect thing to listen to, to drown out the unwanted noise.

But not too long ago, music was more like a ritual. You HAD to be there, when the music was being performed, live. There was no way to capture the sound and take it around with you to unleash at your will. And, I'm certain this made people appreciate the music that much more. Because the only other way to carry the music around was to remember it, to hear the details and technique and progression in your mind.

Which, by the way, still happens: We have catchier tunes now more than ever. Constantly people have a song or a phrase stuck in their heads (I am guilty of this), and with portable music it becomes that much WORSE for the individual afflicted with the condition. "Ohh! I COULD be listening to that song right now!"

I work an extremely boring job. I used to listen to music all the time at work so that I would not spend my 10 hour shift staring in boredom at my watch, waiting for the clock to strike 4:00AM so I could just go home and sleep. I bought an iPod and it broke. I bought an iPod nano and realized I don't have a charger. My Discman is lost, and my tape player... well, lets just say all my tapes are really old and I don't want to listen to them.

So last night, instead of listening to music.... I made my own! I hummed while I drummed, and since I work in a factory, it bothered no one. For 5 hours I did this! And many people walked by and commented on it, some said I was clever some just gave me dirty looks. So I woke up this morning (dreading that I have to go to work yet again haha, you know how it is) and wondered if I should take music with me: Not only to drown out that insufferable sound of the factory, but to take my mind off the incredible boredom that my job entails. And yet more I started to wonder, how does this change the fundamental way in which I view music as an artform?

Now, I am only 20 years old, so I wasn't around before distortion was existed, but have you ever wondered what the people in say, the 1600's would say if we were to bring an amplifier and a guitar and a distortion pedal, and played some heavy *$#$#in metal for them? They would probably scream in agony, "STOP THIS MONSTROSITY!" probably. I can't say for sure, I've never lived in the 1600's. Distortion makes sense in todays world because music is more of a distraction than something to be admired. The noisier it is, the better it will cancel out the noises we wish to not hear. And that, my friends, is the death of an art.




posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 10:55 AM
link   

Originally posted by LususNaturae
Distortion makes sense in todays world because music is more of a distraction than something to be admired. The noisier it is, the better it will cancel out the noises we wish to not hear. And that, my friends, is the death of an art.


You bring up interesting points but I disagree here.

For one thing distortion on instruments in an effect for that instrument only. It enhances instrumentation and subsequently ushers in new music forms. This is the beginnings of new art.

There is another kind of distortion that occurs with music players that results from either over-amplified input or output that cannot be reported accurately by the speakers or headphones. THIS kind of distortion is something that NOBODY likes and could not be used as a distraction from life in any way. This is not a death of an art because nobody desires it.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 11:03 AM
link   
I digress. The post was made in haste and I didn't really think through all my points. Certainly I agree that distortion has changed the face of music (could you imagine how silly death metal bands would sound without distortion! hahah) I listen to loads of distorted music, and not always to distract me. It feels a lot.... eviller. Or heavier, if that's how you prefer it.

And not to piss on your parade but a lot of drummer now-a-days are just too damned fast for my own good. I can't handle it. I can barely play a 200bpm on a drumset and there are these freaks who play like 600, 700, whatever! TOO FAST! Sure it takes practice to get that fast, but I'm more impressed by drummer who drum in awkward time. Some say it doesn't sound as good, and usually, at first, I'd agree. But once you get the feel of the beat it starts to sound a lot better.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 11:03 AM
link   
Distortion captures a plethora of emotions. When I play guitar in different tones and settings, the sounds tend to communicate different messages. Distortion can communicate raw aggression, angst, excitement, urgency, distress, melancholy, chaos and so much more. The main effect of distortion, that I've come to notice, is more "umph."

That is to say that with distortion you tend to communicate a more powerful sense of whatever emotion you're trying to convey. It's in your face, it flows through your body with a heaviness that resonates. A sudden stop, that chunk, adding bold pulsations of rhythm.


Not to say that other forms of music can't communicate strong emotion either, I mean, I love Johann Sebastian Bach's stuff. Elegant and just wonderful to listen to. But I also appreciate the concept of blasting out emotion in a very powerful but great sounding way.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 11:12 AM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 11:13 AM
link   

Originally posted by LususNaturae

And not to piss on your parade but a lot of drummer now-a-days are just too damned fast for my own good. I can't handle it. I can barely play a 200bpm on a drumset


I agree. I have no urge to go anywhere close to 200bpm. Then again I'm not into death metal. I'm not convinced it's even true 200bpm: probably 100 bpm with a lot of 32nd and 64th notes.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 11:33 AM
link   
Trust me music is still an art form. It's just easer for musicians to get there own music out to the masses. With technology being what it is today the sky is the limit as far as types of sounds and gadgets. Things evolve take the Beach Boys Pet Sounds for example. The used everything they had in the studio to make music such as ashtrays and other objects. Since your 20 I would recommend this album it was the breakthrough for a new type of sound and the Beatles heard it and said...What do we do now...and they did Sgt Pepper. It's ok that it's portable. It's ok that it's everywhere or distorted. The main thing is it's still alive and well. Or schools have cut back on programs for the arts...It had to go somewhere. It's evolving. Thanks



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 11:56 AM
link   
I agree with you on the point that music may be taken for granted. It is blaring around us at all times, sometimes whether you like it or not

. It used to be the only time you heard music is when you witnessed it. Now obviously that had to be a magical experience. Musician/Magician.

Now I believe the witnessing of music is the only time people are really mesmerized. Not everyone can play an instrument but anyone can play an ipod.

This works well for me being a live musician and not particularly obsessed with recording my music. With all the piracy it's hard to make your living selling music nowadays but no one can reproduce what I do live. This is why so many bands are touring now. I make a good living doing so.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 12:01 PM
link   

Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
I agree. I have no urge to go anywhere close to 200bpm. Then again I'm not into death metal. I'm not convinced it's even true 200bpm: probably 100 bpm with a lot of 32nd and 64th notes.


Listener can't subdivide at 200+bpm.

Listener says musicians aren't playing @ 200+bpm.

That music cannot be fully appreciated by listener.

This does not make the music less of an art though. People just have different tastes. Perception is key.

I don't really think the OP has reached any profound conlusion but in their own mind.


[edit on 3-6-2010 by Protostellar]



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 12:24 PM
link   

Originally posted by Protostellar
Listener can't subdivide at 200+bpm.


Who says that?


Listener says musicians aren't playing @ 200+bpm.


200bpm and 100bpm are basically identical, just depends on how many notes you want to cram in a measure if you notate it.


That music cannot be fully appreciated by listener.


Fully? No. Not for me. It's esoteric stuff.


This does not make the music less of an art though. People just have different tastes. Perception is key.


Yep. It is quite the art. But just like a Picasso, I don't care for it much.


I don't really think the OP has reached any profound conlusion but in their own mind.


The OP has a bizarre take on things for sure



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 12:55 PM
link   

Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Who says that?


In your own post you typed you can't be convinced people are playing at 200bpm, that there are probably just a bunch of 32nd and 64th notes. Since you can't be convinced it would make sense that you can't subdivide @ 200bpm. It definitely wasn't a knock against you at all, but I see how it can come off that way.


200bpm and 100bpm are basically identical, just depends on how many notes you want to cram in a measure if you notate it.


Time signatures prevent that problem. We could argue semantics but music theory operates in practicality.


Fully? No. Not for me. It's esoteric stuff.


That I fully understand.



Yep. It is quite the art. But just like a Picasso, I don't care for it much. .


I couldn't agree more! I'm really sorry I didn't word my post differently because it totally seems like an attack. I'm sorry! It definitely wasn't meant to be that way. I let myself get wrapped up in illustrating a point. I really do apologize.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 01:06 PM
link   
When I was growing up music was either on record, radio or live. Cassette players only became affordable when I was a teen. Still, we had tape players in our cars and my first boring job I got through courtesy of a Sony walkman and Frank Zappa.
When CD's came along the first thing I noticed was how empty the sound was. It was clear, too clear and lacked any warmth that our LP's had. Now MP'3s have made music even more compressed.
Hip hop is the other thing I can't stand, it's everywhere - on tv, radio, on speakers when you're pumping gas, in the cars going down your street. It's as though we were trying to apoligize for white culture by playing this garbage all the time. That is when it isn't country music, which is just redneck pop music now. Country music died when Garth Brooks got a recording contract. We miss ya Mel!
Oh yeah, also when I was young we actually had music appreciation courses and a school orchestra. It's very sad to see how classical music is dying for lack of education and funding.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 01:18 PM
link   

Originally posted by Protostellar
I really do apologize.


Hey, no problem at all. You know, the more I reckon it the death metal stuff would have to be at 200bpm, not 100.

But I've seen some drummer videos where the drummer would say "Now I'm going to play 200bpm!", and they play something to it, but really it seems as if they're doing a 100bpm beat on the 200bpm metronome setting. But notating a 200bpm death metal beat at 100bpm would result in an unreadable black page.

Anyway, those blast beats are definitely cool and hard to do but to me I've become more attracted to feel rather than speed. I can play fast but usually reserve it for distinct fills or in a solo if some band members forces me into one.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 01:19 PM
link   
I didn't really come to any conclusions at all in my post, it was merely random observations and the thoughts that came along it really. I'm sorry for wasting your time, I suppose.

Now I have a pretty wide musical taste. I listen to lots of metal, hip hop, modern classical (although I like baroque as well),punk, rock, blues...heck even some pop. This wasn't supposed to be about any specific genre. I was just noting that with the increased availability of music, the true purpose of music - to unify people, bring them together and generate an identical state of mind - is being lost. I just feel that music has lost a lot of its magic and people kinda just deal with music being everywhere.

But then again, I understand fully why people want portable music. Heck, I'm taking my tape player with me to work today and some groovin' reggae tape I found and this really old scatman lp that I had lying around. And the battery life ain't half bad!

Peace,
LususNaturae



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 01:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by LususNaturae
I was just noting that with the increased availability of music, the true purpose of music - to unify people, bring them together and generate an identical state of mind - is being lost. I just feel that music has lost a lot of its magic and people kinda just deal with music being everywhere.


I think you raise a good point here but I disagree with some of the premise. Yes, the old days of people going out to concerts and being together is waning (believe me, I know, I still perform concerts). But I don't think it's largely due to portability. Walkmans have been around since the 70s and music has been a portable distraction for decades. The thing that's different these days is the massive improvements in other entertainment forms. The internet and cable TV keep people at home. Video games have vastly improved and keep people at home. On top of this, concert prices have risen beyond belief and consumers are tired of being screwed. This confluence of events work together to make a live musical concert an entertainment form with lesser immediate gratification than current technology provides. That's my 2 cents.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 11:09 PM
link   
Thank you for your input everyone.

But I feel as if I have made a mistake in the way in which I expressed myself.
By "Death of an Art" I didn't literally mean the end of music. I meant it like, the end of music ... as it was known. It has changed. Perhaps more like, the death of an art and the birth of an industry?



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 12:10 PM
link   
Wanted to add that I read a book long a ago called" the Secret Power of Music". It goes into, how long ago in the Chinese Dynasties music was a way to measure the happiness of a people. If the people listened to beautiful harmonious, with happy lyrics music then they would be considered content but if the music showed signs of anger and rebellion with discord they would have to be watched for possible uprisings.

Some of the dynasties created orchestras as large as ten thousand people and played in various parts of the land. The music could be heard sometimes up to 100 miles away. Maybe this is an exaggeration in the book but this was an attempt at purifying the land and sustaining peace within the country. The book also went into spiritual and magical effects like controlling weather with music. A very interesting read.

Compare that to today's music and you can see what I''m talking about with very dark music quite common. Obviously there is unrest, anger, and frustration in today's music especially with the youth.

Now I love heavy metal because it pumps me up and gets the testosterone going but I don't just listen to that type of music. A well rounded ear is the best programming for the spirit.

How do you want to feel?



posted on Nov, 14 2010 @ 08:47 AM
link   
hip hop is white music. created by new york white producers and with black models trained for promotion. listen to a country hillbilly record played slow, and theres hip hop.



posted on Nov, 14 2010 @ 10:03 AM
link   
reply to post by Trower
 


I think you have it backwards. Brian Wilson was impressed with the Beatles album Rubber Soul, and has credited that record as his inspiration for Pet Sounds.


As for the death of music due to portable media. I some what agree only for reasons not yet mentioned. I think that one of the worst things about digital downloads is the loss of visual art. When I buy an album I always sit and stare at the visual artwork while listening to it the first time. I'll read the liner notes and the song lyrics. Often times the art for an album will set the tone for the music (or vise versa). Taking out a CD or LP off the shelf and putting it in/on the player is a ritual as well, but none of this exists with the new media. And as previously mentioned MP3's are compressed and lose some of the sound quality.


I can't imagine CD's being around much longer, but hopefully vinyl records will stick around for us weridos that actually like to have something physical.



new topics

top topics



 
1

log in

join