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szvarga

 

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

What makes a music "good"? 

Guys, i'm wondering a lot about this question:

What makes a music "good"? Why i'm listening a music, and say, whoooaa, that's awesome, and why bores me another.
Not talking about PdL, who impress me, and David Guetta, who's not.
Talking about the genres i like, the flamenco guitar players. One is impress me, the other bores me...

Well, I came up with this, i'm curious, what are you thinking:

First, what is music? For me, as a musician, it is unity of melody, harmony, and rhythm after all. That's the bottom line.

But all the guitarists plays melodies, harmonies and rhythms. Moreover, if I play only an EMaj chord quarters, and add high E note sixteenths for five minutes, I played five minutes of music. No one can tell the opposite. There is melody with sixteenth, there are harmony with an EMaj chord, and there are rhythm. But that will bore you to death.

So, i came up to think, the melody+harmony+rhythm definition is not the point.

Variation. That's what i think the point is.

Look, the melody is nothing but sequence of notes. A melody contains one note, or a melody contains same repeating notes, is a boring melody - but that is still a melody. What makes it interesting, is the variation of the notes.
And so, the harmony is a sequence of chords. And an interesting harmony is the variation of that sequence. A one chord harmony, or a repeated but constant sequence of chords is boring.
Rhythm is the same. The variation, what makes it interesting, not the pure presence, even it is a complex one.

And, if I look at it this way, the music i like, where the quality and quantity of variation is fits my taste. Not the technique, how the melody has played, but how interesting the variation of the notes? Not the amount and complexity of cords and changes, or the rhythm played. But the freshness and the surprise of the variations.

So, variation.:)

And that makes me thinking, not to learn notes, chords, or rhythm patterns.

But learn how to variate them...

What are you thinking about that?

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2019 11:47:35
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11057
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

quote:

A one chord harmony, or a repeated but constant sequence of chords is boring.


Absolutely not. Modal music is based on this, much of which is my favorite music ever.

What you look for is probably tension and release... that is what engages a lot of people. If it is predicable then perhaps it’s boring, but some folks want or need that predictability so opinions vary.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2019 16:16:14
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2811
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

quote:

What are you thinking about that?


I think you are over-thinking the issue by trying to parse the various elements and place them in discrete boxes. Just roll with the music and don't over-intellectualize it.

Bill

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With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2019 16:44:59
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to BarkellWH

Over-thinking is my middle name...:))

But I'm not a natural born flamenco. This kind of guitar playing is not in my blood. If I just rollin' nothing comes out. Well, nothing interesting.

I have to learn it first.

And to analyse is my way to learn. Simply, because I get more possibilities by analyse than by trial-and-error.

But I'm really curious about your answer too to the question above: how you name the difference between the flamenco guitar player who grabs you with his playing and the one that bores you?

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2019 18:38:16
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to Ricardo

Nothing is wrong with modal music. Or any music, where the whole point is to NOT variate. (Well, with any music at all...) Personally, one of my favorite is René Aubry, whose music is as simple and monotonic as it can be. And I find it everything else than boring.

I'm looking for the element, what makes the flamenco guitar playing interesting. (I mean flamenco music, or any music where the variation is an important element). Because I want to focus on that element. I want to focus my practicing time on it, and build my playing on it.

quote:

If it is predicable then perhaps it’s boring


Yes, I find this element my be the amount of predictability. Not the technique, or the complexity, or the phrasing, or anything else.

And of course, there aren't a right amount of it. It's all depends on a personal taste. One needs more, one needs less, and all of them are just fine.

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2019 18:58:54
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1418
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

Music is just a tool for expressing your feelings.
A guitar is just a tool to make music.

So, if you are able to get your feelings expressed with music, and you manage to use a guitar as a tool for that, another person can vibrate with your feelings directly.

I think that is happening with the music we like

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2019 21:00:59
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2576
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

One thing that makes music interesting is surprise. The music sets up expectations, then goes in a different direction.

For example, at the moment I'm copping some bulerias falsetas from Niño Ricardo. The harmony is definitely old school, you might even say boring. But the rhythm is fun. He plays a couple of straightforward compases, then he sets off on what promises to be a train wreck. Seems like he will inevitably go out of compas, but on the last three beats he pulls a rabbit out of his hat--then a couple more perfectly straightforward compases--and so on. It's fun.

The 18th century classical composer Josef Haydn pulled so many tricks of harmony and rhythm that he puts a smile on just about everyone's face--some actually laugh at his jokes. One of his pieces is nicknamed the "Surprise Symphony."

Deceived expectation is just one element that makes music interesting--there are lots of others.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2019 21:14:28

Piwin

Posts: 2174
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

You could dig into some works on the aesthetics of music, but I don't know how much of it would be applicable to actual practice. Until recently, most of it seemed to focus on Western "classical" music. Thinkers otherwise strongly opposed like Adorno and Scruton found agreement in their distaste for popular music. In more recent times there have been some thinkers in analytic philosophy who have tackled the aesthetics of music and opened up more to popular forms of music. The focus (at least in the case of Peter Kivy and Stephen Davies, who are the only two I know of) seems to be mainly about expressiveness, expression, etc. (so, not beauty proper).

The difficulty is in bridging the gap between physics and metaphysics. All the tools you can use to make "good" music fall in the realm of physics. Yet, the result you're creating will be judged in the realm of metaphysics. For instance, you can create a sense of yearning or reaching for something with a well-placed ascending scale (say you go a bit but stop before reaching the top, then a next run you go a bit higher, etc. building up that anticipation until you get to the climax). The physical part doesn't tell you much and you don't get a straight correlation like "repeat use of ascending scales=sense of yearning or reaching for something". The resulting feeling is a matter of metaphysics.

So you won't be able to point to one single physical element as responsible for what makes good music. "Variation"? A tool among others. Used in the wrong place or at the wrong dosage, it might be counter-productive. Anyways, that's my long-winded way of saying basically that I agree with @gerundino63. Music is about using aural tools to communicate feelings. Whether the music is good or not will depend on the quality of those feelings and the ability of the musician to use those tools to express those feelings.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2019 22:41:18
 
kitarist

Posts: 535
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to Piwin

I found this website which features articles "germane to philosophy of music". A lot of the links go to the full text pdf articles.

http://www.philosophyofmusic.org/

Something to explore little by little..

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2019 23:53:26
 
Moloko

 

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RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

I don't think this is an answerable question, so it sounds like a waste of time to use body energy to think about it (IMO, not to look down aesthetic or something). Also, you guys have a very funny perspective about modern/popular modal music.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 4:40:11
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

Whoa, guys, these are a lot of interesting toughts!

This philosophical line is very interesting, and truly worth some time to spending on it.

But this really not the point, I like to discuss with you. (Maybe my topic subject wasn't clear enough.)

My question is not about "which genre is good music" or "what makes a genre good, or better than others" which is of course meaningless.

I thinking on a much more simple thing. In a same music genre (in this case flamenco), playing the same instrument (guitar), why I say hearing one guy "whoa, what the hell is he doing?" and skip another guy, as they both play the same music on the same instrument. And not about the subjective things like sense of taste, which is meaningless also.

What is the objective thing, what we can learn, what we can focus on that makes the difference?

Am I clear enough now?

Lets say, i'm looking for some solea falseta to learn. There are a lot of them available. But i will skip the majority of them, and say "o.k., but it isn't impress me". Even if it has some flashy technique, (or on the contrary it's balanced and relaxed), or some complex thing on notes or chords or whatever.
But there will be one, when i say "hey, it's interesting! How can I play like that?" And this will be the one I want to learn.

What makes the difference between the skipped ones and the picked one?

And yes, the final answer for music is to express emotions (well, we all know the final answer is 42, but move on:) ), and the instrument is a tool for that. When I practice, I learn to use this tool. I have to learn it, it will never get used by itself. And to learn, i have to set a goal. A focus.

One can't focus on everything. It's the same focus on nothing.

My goal is to sound as interesting, as the players i found interesting.

Where do I set the focus? On scales? On technique? On feeling? On...

That is, what I'm wondering on...

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 8:36:11
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1418
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

In my oppinion you have two kinds of focus in guitar learning.

You have to study them Seperately.

1 play good, without mistakes etc. Master the piece.

2 play beautiful. This is a different commando to your brain. So you have to study that too.

Once you manage to “play beautiful” and leave the worry for “play good” out, you can express your feelings freely.

In my oppinion that is what you hear with “wow!” Guitarists..

It is all in the brainset. But you have to study this. Especially when you have not the talent some of us have....

It is like the “flow” athletes talk about.

Peter

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 10:26:59

Piwin

Posts: 2174
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

That's what I was getting at. There is no one thing you can point to say "this is what makes it good". You just won't find anything. It's like trying to figure out why you like one book instead of another and then saying "I wonder if it was because of the grammar, the choice of words, the pace, the theme, etc. etc." You just won't find any one thing to answer that question.

What you can do is zoom in on one composer/player, and attempt to learn his style in the most minute detail so you can then reproduce it in your own playing, but that's it. There's no magic bullet. So if you need a focus, focus on a player or a piece you like, listen to him/it again and again, break it down, learn it all by rote until you've internalized it. That'll get you closer to sounding and composing like him IMHO.

@kitarist
Thanks for the reading material. Cheers!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 13:31:40
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to gerundino63

quote:

1 play good, without mistakes etc. Master the piece.

2 play beautiful. This is a different commando to your brain. So you have to study that too.

Once you manage to “play beautiful” and leave the worry for “play good” out, you can express your feelings freely.

In my oppinion that is what you hear with “wow!” Guitarists..


That's all true.

We have to do our job as a musician, and practice what we play, to play correct. And find a way to put emotions into the notes, and express it, to play beautiful.

I'm sure, if you have a dime you won't put on a guy's gig, who plays incorrect, and sounds bad. And you bet, me neither! :)

But, if you have to choose between to guys, one who plays perfectly correct and sounds perfectly good, but play the exactly same notes night by night, and one who's not perfectly correct, and sounds sometimes imperfect, but can surprise you night after night with unpredictable variations, which one you choose?

You put your dime on me, i'll choose the latter guy. And I think, i'm not the only one.

So, where do i put my focus on my practicing time then? On correct playing, on the expression of emotions, or on the ability to variate things? (Not the whole practicing time, but the main focus)

My answer is variation, so far.

I'm really curious about yours.

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 16:05:36
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1418
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

For me it is not the variation. For me the music is what happens between the notes.....

We disagree on this one, but I feel connected with you as a friend.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 16:27:13
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to Piwin

quote:

There is no one thing you can point to say "this is what makes it good". You just won't find anything.


No, I'm not looking for the "one" thing that works. It's clear, it doesn't exist. I never say that.

I'm looking for one (or more) component of music to aid by the others, to achieve my goal, which is to play interesting. Not to name one important, and the others unnecessary. All of them are necessary. As in a sport like Formula-1 racing. One guy is in focus (the driver), the others are supporters. To achieve they goal, which is to win the race. But all of them are important, one by one.

quote:

What you can do is zoom in on one composer/player, and attempt to learn his style in the most minute detail so you can then reproduce it in your own playing, but that's it. There's no magic bullet. So if you need a focus, focus on a player or a piece you like, listen to him/it again and again, break it down, learn it all by rote until you've internalized it. That'll get you closer to sounding and composing like him IMHO.


That is what exactly i did. Zoom on the players i find interesting, and try to figure out, why i find them interesting.

But not with the aim, to sound like them. Then I became a hundredth copy to them at best. And that is the opposite, what I found common in them. They not sound like a hundred other people. Nor ten others. (Why would I choose a goal as a musician, to be someone else's copy?)

They sounds like themselves.

They all flamenco guitar players. All of them plays music with same roots. But in a variation, I never heard before. And I say: "oh, what was that? I hear, this is a solea, but i didn't expect this. What did he play? And what will he plays next?" (I can imagine, when people first heard PdL playing, they can't stop listening because of this question: what will he plays next?)
And I found, it's not because of any elements of music, not technique, not timing, not phrasing, but the ability (and courage) to make variations. And all the other elements are supporting this one. That's why they sound different, because they play the same thing - but with a different variation.

Or am I wrong?

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 16:32:06
 
kitarist

Posts: 535
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

quote:

ORIGINAL: szvarga

And I found, it's not because of any elements of music, not technique, not timing, not phrasing, but the ability (and courage) to make variations. And all the other elements are supporting this one. That's why they sound different, because they play the same thing - but with a different variation.

Or am I wrong?

Sz


I think what you call variation is broadly the same concept as (just the right amount of) unpredictability, surprising the listener; which itself is related to exposing the listener to new experiences.

The problem is that this will vary depending on who is listening, as we all have different musical histories and experiences, so I don't think you can find a truly objective way to determine "what is that amount of variation I need".

Also, variation (or surprise) does not have to mean variation in melody; it could be other musical qualities.

And it is never quite the same on repeated listening, isn't it. It would be amazing if we can feel again in the same way we did, perhaps as kids, when something completely new hits as for the first time. Or maybe it is good that we cannot truly feel as if hearing something new over and over - it will diminish the tender fragile beauty and meaningfulness of that very first time.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 17:06:42
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to gerundino63

quote:

For me it is not the variation. For me the music is what happens between the notes.....

We disagree on this one, but I feel connected with you as a friend.


We talking about the same thing we love: music. What else we can be other than friends? :)) I appreciate very much your time and effort you put in this topic (and you all!)

I would be glad, if you tell me something about your solution. How you put your focus on the things between the notes?

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 17:07:57
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1418
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

quote:



I would be glad, if you tell me something about your solution. How you put your focus on the things between the notes?


For me it is to study seperately to “play beautiful” after I manage the falseta or whole piece.
If I make a mistake, I play on and remember the mistake the next day and ty to train it away.

Then, on another time, seperated from that training session, I try to play the thing “beatiful” again.


It is a bit like this: If you are in a room, you look at the furniture, the wallpaper and the things that are in that room.
But, If you look at the SPACE in that room, the things in the room get another dimension.
It is like a paradigmashift.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 17:43:46
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to kitarist

quote:

I think what you call variation is broadly the same concept as (just the right amount of) unpredictability, surprising the listener; which itself is related to exposing the listener to new experiences.


Exactly. The point I found is surprise. The presence of unpredictability.

quote:


The problem is that this will vary depending on who is listening, as we all have different musical histories and experiences, so I don't think you can find a truly objective way to determine "what is that amount of variation I need".


I'm not looking for the right amount of it, because it doesn't exist. The right amount depends on personal taste of everyone of us, i agree with that fully.

I think it's not the right amount. It's the presence of surprise.
For me, free jazz has too much surprise. Gregorian chants has too little. But that is only my taste. Who loves free jazz, loves it for the large amount of surprise. Who loves chants, loves it for the opposite. But the presence of unpredictability (in the amount what one likes) what they prefer that music, I think. Without that, without the presence of surprise, sooner or later it will be a boring stuff.

And where the surprise comes from? What the musician do, to surprise me? I think, he/she make some unexpected variation.

quote:

Also, variation (or surprise) does not have to mean variation in melody; it could be other musical qualities.


Yes, it hasn't be in the melody. It can be in any elements of music. Rhythm. Phrasing. Dynamics, articulation. Any element can works for it.

quote:

And it is never quite the same on repeated listening, isn't it. It would be amazing if we can feel again in the same way we did, perhaps as kids, when something completely new hits as for the first time. Or maybe it is good that we cannot truly feel as if hearing something new over and over - it will diminish the tender fragile beauty and meaningfulness of that very first time.


As a listener point of view, it is right. I myself didn't dig deeper. I like a kind of music, because it makes me feel good. And it is a valid answer, no matter what is exactly makes me feel good.

But as a musician, it can't be an answer: "I play this, because it makes me feel good" (o.k., this can be an important element in one way). As a musician, I have to play what makes the audience feels good. That's what they listen to. And I found, the audience listen to the surprise. As a listener, that what makes me pop up my head.

And listen to the player. What will he plays next...?

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 18:41:30

Piwin

Posts: 2174
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

Dunno, I'm not particularly worried about "becoming a copy". You can't really escape your own individuality and I find that people who focus to much on being unique for the sake of being unique, well, often I find it contrived and unnatural.

Anyways, I think I'll have to get off here because I honestly don't understand what you mean by "variation". As far as I can tell, that's not what's going to determine whether a piece is good or not (at least not to my ears). Plenty of boring music with lots of variation out there... Also, I'm not sure how you intend to transform that into a workable goal, but hey, that's your business Good luck!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2019 19:17:33
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

Hmmm... almost twenty replies by you guys, and no one received positively. It means to me, likely I was wrong with something. It made me rethink what I wanted to word with "musical surprise", or "presence of variation". I think, I spend the few following days to think it through again...

Thank you all, to help me clearing my keen but hasty thoughts...:))

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 30 2019 6:00:02
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11057
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

quote:

I thinking on a much more simple thing. In a same music genre (in this case flamenco), playing the same instrument (guitar), why I say hearing one guy "whoa, what the hell is he doing?" and skip another guy, as they both play the same music on the same instrument. And not about the subjective things like sense of taste, which is meaningless also.


If I were to compare two players playing same exact music.... I prefer, usually, the one with more conviction and expression and command over the material. I don’t need variation or surprises necessarily. The one sticking the neck out and not playing it safe whatever that means in context. I gravitate to artists that give more even than they should .... more is more kind of guy, not less is more like many opinionated folks. In this regard I am often baffled by other people’s tastes and consider myself in the minority group in regards to preferences. Not just for guitar but with singers and percussion too.

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www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 30 2019 14:17:56
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

ok guys, i thought things over a little while, and i came to think, that you all gives appropriate answers - the wrong question i'm putting to you...

In my defense, i try to figure out some blurred feelings of mine, about how to play and sound as i imagine it. And the first concept i can grab was as simply as "good".
But yes, it was a concept too universal (especially in relation to music). I tried to clarify my thoughts in my first post, but it seems without success...

So, it's still an interesting question, and a lot of interesting posts already, but now (thanks for this thread) i can word more precisely than "good", what's makes me choose one player instead of another. And it's not the presence of variation, i see now. It's just another element of a more universal quality of playing (which is, as it would seem, my personal favorite "thrill maker").

It takes me closer what i'm looking for, if i say it is some sort of "freedom over technique". When the player not struggling with the material, the technique not limits him to express feelings, no matters how complex or how simply the technique is.

And it can be the freedom of variation over the piece, and bring more music than the original contains, yes. But it can be also, to bring space, silence too, and play less.

When one have freedom over technique, the playing has driven by the feelings, not the technical limits or abilities.

And a practice schedule, or a main musical focus can build on (as i imagine) to get as more freedom as it possible. Not to practice, how to play a technique - but how to use that technique anywhere, and in any context of music, freely, driven by the momentary feelings, not by learned patterns.

Is this makes more sense?

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 4 2019 10:28:03
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11057
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

quote:

And a practice schedule, or a main musical focus can build on (as i imagine) to get as more freedom as it possible. Not to practice, how to play a technique - but how to use that technique anywhere, and in any context of music, freely, driven by the momentary feelings, not by learned patterns.

See now you are adding all this background context to the artist, rather than judging solely on the performance. I remember a few years back all these folks going crazy for this homeless guy bashing out on 4 or 5 strings. Turned out to be Niño Miguel, a decent player from the past, nothing close to the league of PDL, but decent position in the pantheon of tocares. Probably would have gotten lost to everybody’s memory if not for the emergence of his tragic story, which added all this background context such watching the guy with no teeth hack his way through some PDL falsetas actually gets you choked up with emotion. If a rich spoiled kid had been playing like that on a Reyes his dad bought him, the response might have been quite different.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 4 2019 12:17:54
 
Mark2

Posts: 1466
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to Ricardo

I think in his day Nino Miguel was more than a decent player. Much more. I agree the reaction would definitely be different if it was an unknown kid but shouldn't it be? Doesn't one's history mean anything?


quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

quote:

And a practice schedule, or a main musical focus can build on (as i imagine) to get as more freedom as it possible. Not to practice, how to play a technique - but how to use that technique anywhere, and in any context of music, freely, driven by the momentary feelings, not by learned patterns.

See now you are adding all this background context to the artist, rather than judging solely on the performance. I remember a few years back all these folks going crazy for this homeless guy bashing out on 4 or 5 strings. Turned out to be Niño Miguel, a decent player from the past, nothing close to the league of PDL, but decent position in the pantheon of tocares. Probably would have gotten lost to everybody’s memory if not for the emergence of his tragic story, which added all this background context such watching the guy with no teeth hack his way through some PDL falsetas actually gets you choked up with emotion. If a rich spoiled kid had been playing like that on a Reyes his dad bought him, the response might have been quite different.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 4 2019 17:45:28
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11057
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to Mark2

quote:

I think in his day Nino Miguel was more than a decent player. Much more. I agree the reaction would definitely be different if it was an unknown kid but shouldn't it be? Doesn't one's history mean anything?


Well that’s the point.... the history might be the entire thing about it. The point I was making was that in order to get at what makes one performer “better” than the other or prefered over others is tricky to figure out until you can cancel out these other variables.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 5 2019 11:06:54
 
JasonM

Posts: 895
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to szvarga

quote:

What makes a music "good"?


I V vi IV
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 5 2019 15:11:34
 
Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1322
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

I think in his day Nino Miguel was more than a decent player. Much more. I agree the reaction would definitely be different if it was an unknown kid but shouldn't it be? Doesn't one's history mean anything?


quote:

Well that’s the point.... the history might be the entire thing about it. The point I was making was that in order to get at what makes one performer “better” than the other or prefered over others is tricky to figure out until you can cancel out these other variables.


When I read about Nino Miguel years ago it seemed that his importance was as a composer whose musical ideas influenced other musicians at the time - including PDL. He was also widely considered a virtuoso at a young age. The aspect of lost potential due to mental illness was yet another factor in the story. What a person of Nino Miguel’s caliber – and others like him - would have accomplished had he been unencumbered by illness is a timeless question which comes up often in various fields.

To say that a performer can be considered better or preferred over another without taking into account their place in the history of the technical and musical development of instrument is pretty ridiculous. It’s not just history, but the person’s place in history that is significant. People who miss this point tend to think they are on the same level as the musicians who actually added to the technical and compositional repertoire of the instrument. They are not.

There have been many stories about the decline of interest in guitar. There’s little to be excited about regarding guitar music since no one has done anything innovative on the instrument in decades. Sadly, the vast majority of guitar players are imitators: They are following in the footsteps of those innovators who came before them and changed the way people played the instrument. To suggest that such a historical context can or should be a variable that can be cancelled out is misguided and in some ways self-serving.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 5 2019 15:55:19

Piwin

Posts: 2174
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: What makes a music "good"? (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

quote:

There’s little to be excited about regarding guitar music since no one has done anything innovative on the instrument in decades


Strongly disagree. There's plenty of innovation to go around.

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"When I'm dead, I'm going to forget everything – and I advise you to do the same."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 5 2019 17:28:51
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