Sunday, July 29, 2012

Music is Art

- and art is expression.
Given that i made music a category for my posts from the start, it seems a bit odd that i have not yet made even a single post specifically about music. This is largely because i'm not equipped to make myself sound informed by throwing around words like melody or timbre, rhythm, key or ... ummm, ok, see i'm drawing a blank for another one.
I don't talk the talk. I don't even walk the walk. Still, anyone unfortunate enough to spend any amount of time around me has probably seen me toss out song lyrics as catchphrases or bons mots. My mp3 collection is extensive, eclectic and only the slightest bit extravagant.
I do not, however, have any real interest in the nuts and bolts of music. I don't remember how to read sheet music, i have no idea what and how exactly an amplifier is amplifying, i can't tell a baritone from a tenor and i'm usually at a loss as to what instruments are being played aside from 'percussion' versus 'strings'. Style and message, mood and pacing, attitude and cleverness tend to be my concerns. I'm interested in what and how well a piece of music expresses. The rest of it always seems as if it's just insiders 'talking shop' - i don't particularly care whether that guitar riff was more difficult, a greater technical accomplishment for the guitarist; what i care about is whether it helped the song make its point.

It's the gestalt that matters. What idea or emotion is that piece of music as a whole attempting to illustrate and how well does it do so?

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