Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The confused answer of how to debate music....

So I may seem like a slacker when it comes to this weeks post because I have waited until Sunday afternoon to write this. But honestly, I had absolutely no idea of how to start this blog. I waited, hoping that someone would write something that would spark the thoughts flowing in my head, and yes, people wrote things, but I still don’t exactly understand the assignment. ☹ All I can say is that I don’t often debate music. If you can see the comment that I left on Mo’s blog it says something about “discussing” music. In order to understand what I am going to say about “discussing” music, you have to understand how I deal with music. I deal with music, for the most part, on an emotional level. Yes, technique is amazing and theory is wonderful, but I cannot say that I know enough about technique or theory to have an educated debate about that aspect of the music. I “debate” music on the level of how it makes me feel. Yes, I enjoy lyrics and I enjoy harmonies, but in the end those also lead to the way you feel about a piece.
Now, the other posts that I have read have kept mostly to the classical aspects of music, but when I first read this assignment I took it to mean more in general. How do you debate the differences between classic rock and country? Rap versus jazz? The answer, I don’t know. So, I guess you could say I’m dodging the question. I don’t think you can debate about something that, at least in my case, is based mostly on emotion. I was always told that a feeling is not wrong, it just is. So, music, which I believe to be based on feeling, whether it be the feeling of the composer, conductor or musician, can not be wrong, so therefore there is no way for it to be debated. Every piece of music somewhere was liked by someone or else it would not have been created. Yes, in my opinion there is some music that is superior to others, but that is my feeling. Others may disagree, but there is no way to prove that one is better than the other.
I hate to bring this up, but in Katz’s book Capturing Sound, there is a section in Chapter 2 about how everyone felt that America was being left behind because the majority of the citizens were not being exposed to “good music” or classical music. They were hearing more modern things. Music played in piano bars or at home. However, looking back I bet that there were many people who considered the music they had been listening to before the recordings of “good music” were available to be wonderful. (I think that was an awkward way to write it, but I don’t know how to word it to make sense.) There is no way to debate with these people that the music they were listening to was inferior simply because it was not the “good music” of Europe. They were still enjoying themselves and experiencing music in their own personal way.
Again, I apologize if I dodged the question. I answered it in the best way I knew fit, which was really no answer. Please, leave comments so maybe I can understand your thought processes more.


At 9/10/2006 5:31 PM, Blogger Kitt_Katt said...

I felt the same way. No clue what to write. And we didn't have our normal FYS class to discuss it.

At 9/10/2006 9:02 PM, Blogger Godfather Outlaw said...

Yes, this is definately a weird and challenging question.. It's good that you let us know how you felt about it.

At 9/10/2006 9:31 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

It's interesting that you brought up the book, because I thought of this topic a lot when reading the chapter.


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