Author Topic: How do you hear music?  (Read 7606 times)

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Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #100 on: May 17, 2017, 06:07:38 AM »
~ Honk If You Love Noise ~
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Offline North Star

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #101 on: May 17, 2017, 10:24:25 AM »
But if you love it, is it noise?
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Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #102 on: May 17, 2017, 08:47:14 PM »
But if you love it, is it noise?

 0:) Precisely!0:)

Thanks :-)
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Offline eljr

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #103 on: July 05, 2017, 11:47:56 AM »
But if you love it, is it noise?

well, in that case, it's lovely noise! :P
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Offline BasilValentine

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #104 on: July 12, 2017, 09:58:10 AM »
One of the executives within BBC radio has claimed this week that men predominately listen to the technicalities of music, whilst women have a predominantly emotional response.

I don't relate to this generalisation, but wondered if it holds any truth for the people here.

Mike

Doesn't hold any truth for me. First and foremost I listen aesthetically, not technically or emotionally.

Offline Florestan

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #105 on: July 12, 2017, 10:10:58 AM »
First and foremost I listen aesthetically

What does "listening aesthetically" mean?
The golden mean, the truth, is no longer recognized or valued. To win applause one must write stuff so simple that a coachman might sing it, or so incomprehensible that it pleases simply because no sensible man can comprehend it. - Mozart

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #106 on: July 12, 2017, 02:27:57 PM »
Listening 'aesthetically' or 'technically' or 'emotionally' are equally as meaningless to me. I enjoy the aesthetics of various pieces of music, as determined by the tools and techniques a composer/musician employs, because they evoke an emotional response in me.

Offline North Star

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #107 on: July 13, 2017, 01:22:50 AM »
To be blunt here, there is only one way you can possibly listen to music. No, not with your nose. No, not with your toes. No, not with your elbows.

With your ears, fullstop!


BUT, there are hundreds of situations you can listen to music, that is a different matter.

There could be aspects of music that take your fancy but that is really picking apart things in a rather mundane way. "Emotion" sure, but how does this differ? you know? it's just not the way music is really perceived.

I suppose you could say that you are a more emotional type of person (as in more emotionally sensitive or receptive), which would relate to the way you interpret on a personal level but you are still listening with your ears  ;) not your nose  :laugh:
With loud bass frequencies involved, your whole body can be a part of the listening experience, though. The ears are really just picking up vibrations, and the actual listening is what the brain does with the information, so it could be said that we don't listen with our ears but with our brains.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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How do you hear music?
« Reply #108 on: July 13, 2017, 01:26:14 AM »
The ears are only the entryway.

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millionrainbows

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #109 on: July 13, 2017, 08:09:55 AM »
"The ears are the only entryway." ---Stravinsky's duck

Yes, it's a given that we all hear 'harmonically,' because pitched sound 'models' the harmonic series in various ways; not literally, but as a 'model' of a fundamental with its subservient harmonic components.

The Berg Violin Concerto is an example, perhaps not ideal, of how a composer can convincingly create 'harmonic meaning' in music which is not actually tonal, or based on a tonal hierarchy. Some listeners mistake this artistry, as well as much of Schoenberg's later atonal works, as being 'tonal' because the composers have so convincingly manipulated the harmonic sequences and progressions, which make sense to our ears, but are not "tonal" at all, as in being referenced to a central tone.

But the harmonic meanings are comparative and relative to each other, in what preceded and followed, not in reference to a central tonic, as in tonality.

Naysayers who reject Schoenberg obviously do not have good enough ears to hear the harmonic logic. Those who do understand it often mistakenly call this 'tonality.'

So, yes, "the ear is the way in," but what about after that?

I'm afraid that the majority of listeners, even certain astute and educated ones with good ears, are groping in the dark when they try to interpret such sounds in Schoenberg as 'tonality' of sorts. Only the Second Viennese ties to tradition are what make this music palatable or meaningful to them, and only because the music resembles tonality, in its ebb and flow of tensions, do they 'gain admission' into the rarified territory of chromaticism and atonality, without fully grasping what they are hearing.

When faced with more difficult fare, such as late Webern or Elliott Carter, they fail, and call this 'tonality.'

Sure, we all have ears, and we can all swallow, and we can all reproduce; but beyond these 'automatic' talents, the 'brain' part of 'ear/brain' is skewed towards the sensual, the visceral, the emotional, and the easy spasm of knee-jerk attraction. Music is more than that.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:18:41 AM by millionrainbows »

Online Mandryka

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #110 on: July 13, 2017, 08:22:06 AM »
When faced with more difficult fare, such as late Webern or Elliott Carter, they fail.

This just doesn't ring true for my own experience with the Webern cantatas or Carter Quartet 4. I'm listening right now to Babbitt 5 and it sounds stuffed with tunes and harmonically sounds natural and logical.

Basically I've lost the sense of disorientation I used to have with this sort of music, it now feels comfortable and relaxing.

(I listened earlier today to Reich's double sextet and that felt disorienting - like what's the point of this?)
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millionrainbows

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #111 on: July 13, 2017, 08:32:11 AM »
This just doesn't ring true for my own experience with the Webern cantatas or Carter Quartet 4. I'm listening right now to Babbitt 5 and it sounds stuffed with tunes and harmonically sounds natural and logical.

Basically I've lost the sense of disorientation I used to have with this sort of music, it now feels comfortable and relaxing.

(I listened earlier today to Reich's double sextet and that felt disorienting - like what's the point of this?)

That's all good, Mandryka. If you can approach this music on its own terms, you are obviously an astute listener.

Offline Florestan

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #112 on: July 14, 2017, 09:51:01 AM »
Naysayers who reject Schoenberg obviously do not have good enough ears to hear the harmonic logic.

the 'brain' part of 'ear/brain' is skewed towards the sensual, the visceral, the emotional, and the easy spasm of knee-jerk attraction. Music is more than that.

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« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 10:04:57 AM by Florestan »
The golden mean, the truth, is no longer recognized or valued. To win applause one must write stuff so simple that a coachman might sing it, or so incomprehensible that it pleases simply because no sensible man can comprehend it. - Mozart

Offline BasilValentine

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #113 on: July 16, 2017, 08:24:34 AM »
What does "listening aesthetically" mean?

The OP question is sort of like asking: Do you listen to language grammatically/syntactically or semantically? The answer is both because the two are indecomposably fused and mutually dependent. The same thing is true in music, it's just harder to hear and conceptualize.

Applied to music the technical vs. emotional dichotomy is just the ancient form vs. content question viewed from the perspective of the listener rather than from that of the aesthetic object. My view on these oppositions was succinctly stated by Mikhail Bakhtin in his "Content, Material, and Form in Verbal Art:"

"Above all, it is necessary to understand the aesthetic object synthetically, in its wholeness, to understand form and content in their essential and necessary interrelationship: form as the form of content, and content as the content of form.”

I believe the vocabulary and forms of common practice (and beyond) music exist as they do because they evolved symbiotically over centuries with the kinds of content they were conceived to embody. Why did the major-minor system evolve the way it did after Gioseffo Zarlino first made the distinction between modes with major thirds above the final and those with minor thirds above the final “a thing” in 1558? It fell out the way it did because composers then and since have sought clear binary musical oppositions to embody expressive and semantic oppositions in the texts they were setting and in the rhetorical development of their themes. Why out of the great diversity of sonata forms prevalent in the late 18thc, from the frequently monothematic movements of Haydn to the profusely polythematic designs of Mozart, did textbook sonata form settle on two themes as a norm? Because certain iconic works of late Mozart and Beethoven suggested the ways clear binary oppositions in content can be used to define large-scale formal processes in single movements and to guide cyclic thematic processes across multimovement designs. Form and content are indecomposable aesthetically and historically. Modern theory, in search of a quasi-scientific cache, has decomposed them and made oppositions like technical versus emotional sound reasonable. They aren’t and they really don’t work. So, Florestan, listening aesthetically to me means: “[hearing] form and content in their essential and necessary interrelationship: form as the form of content, and content as the content of form.”

In retrospect ^ ^ ^, maybe it would have been easier to just answer "both." ;)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 08:47:25 AM by BasilValentine »

Offline Florestan

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #114 on: July 16, 2017, 08:30:03 AM »
Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
The golden mean, the truth, is no longer recognized or valued. To win applause one must write stuff so simple that a coachman might sing it, or so incomprehensible that it pleases simply because no sensible man can comprehend it. - Mozart

millionrainbows

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #115 on: July 17, 2017, 11:44:41 AM »
Western music, though, has always been a dialectic between the sensual and the logical/geometric. To apprehend a form in music through the ears is one thing, to apprehend it with the mind is the other, and since Bach & Mozart it has been thus.

Otherwise, Western classical music is like any other didgeridoo player.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #116 on: July 17, 2017, 11:38:04 PM »
The OP question is sort of like asking: Do you listen to language grammatically/syntactically or semantically? The answer is both because the two are indecomposably fused and mutually dependent. The same thing is true in music, it's just harder to hear and conceptualize.

Applied to music the technical vs. emotional dichotomy is just the ancient form vs. content question viewed from the perspective of the listener rather than from that of the aesthetic object. My view on these oppositions was succinctly stated by Mikhail Bakhtin in his "Content, Material, and Form in Verbal Art:"

"Above all, it is necessary to understand the aesthetic object synthetically, in its wholeness, to understand form and content in their essential and necessary interrelationship: form as the form of content, and content as the content of form.”

I believe the vocabulary and forms of common practice (and beyond) music exist as they do because they evolved symbiotically over centuries with the kinds of content they were conceived to embody. Why did the major-minor system evolve the way it did after Gioseffo Zarlino first made the distinction between modes with major thirds above the final and those with minor thirds above the final “a thing” in 1558? It fell out the way it did because composers then and since have sought clear binary musical oppositions to embody expressive and semantic oppositions in the texts they were setting and in the rhetorical development of their themes. Why out of the great diversity of sonata forms prevalent in the late 18thc, from the frequently monothematic movements of Haydn to the profusely polythematic designs of Mozart, did textbook sonata form settle on two themes as a norm? Because certain iconic works of late Mozart and Beethoven suggested the ways clear binary oppositions in content can be used to define large-scale formal processes in single movements and to guide cyclic thematic processes across multimovement designs. Form and content are indecomposable aesthetically and historically. Modern theory, in search of a quasi-scientific cache, has decomposed them and made oppositions like technical versus emotional sound reasonable. They aren’t and they really don’t work. So, Florestan, listening aesthetically to me means: “[hearing] form and content in their essential and necessary interrelationship: form as the form of content, and content as the content of form.”

In retrospect ^ ^ ^, maybe it would have been easier to just answer "both." ;)

Very succinctly put. This is my view on the matter, as well.

millionrainbows

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Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #117 on: July 18, 2017, 08:39:52 AM »
Yes, that seems to wrap it up in a nice, neat little package.