Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My opinion about others' musical opinions

First of all, when it comes to music I am always correct, and that is just how it is.

Actually I don't feel like that at all. In fact, I believe the greatest thing about music is it's universal appeal and it's ability for interpretation in an infinitive number of ways, even by the same listener. One can change an opinion about a song or piece of music every time one listens to it. The fact that music is found in all cultures in some aspect means that everyone in the world can have an opinion about it, even if they don't like it at all.

When I debate, it is always about something I know a lot about. The best debates I have had about music were with the people who had similar tastes and opinions as me because our slight differences in opinion were what drew us to the music itself. For example, I've never had a debate about country music because I don't listen to it. I have voiced my opinion about my distaste for it, but nothing beyond that. However, it is very possible for me to have a debate with a country music fan about bluegrass because I have a love for that kind of music, and it paved the way for a lot of modern rock and a lot of modern country. The point is music has the versatility to include all listeners in a debate. There is usually something in a piece of music that can be related to another style of music, which is familiar to everyone involved in the debate.

Musicians often debate about the style in which a piece should be played or sung. Vocalists can deliver completely different renditions of a work, but all of the interpretations can be effective. A musician performs a piece the best if he or she plays it according to how it touches the soul rather than just following a predecessor. Great debates have ensued over which opera star was the greatest in terms of musicianship, voice, interpretation, looks, and style. However, there can never be a true answer because all opinions are subjective.
That is what makes music debates so fascinating. The debaters will probably never agree because there is never a “correct” way to perform a piece if you are performing it accurately and from the heart.

Jareth vs. Billie Holiday
-Who is better? That is all in the opinion of the debators.

I debate music according to what I know, and what I like. It is really fun to meet someone and bond over differences in opinion and a love for music. The root of any debate is found in the passion of the people involved. So, as long as you have a group of people who love what they are talking about, then the debate will be heated and invigorating.

At least that is what I think, and I am always correct, right?


At 9/10/2006 10:47 AM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

Emily, I liked your blog. The points your presented are so true and you touched base well on the subjectivity of music. And your opening and closing lines made me laugh! =)

At 9/10/2006 5:57 PM, Blogger Kitt_Katt said...

I agree you cannot debate about something that you don't know about. And I love to hear different points of view on the same subject too, because you can learn from that.

At 9/10/2006 6:56 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

I like how you touched on a variety of aspects that could be debated.

At 9/10/2006 7:19 PM, Blogger Becca said...

It's very true that you can't debate on something you know little to nothing about. Good point. I always hated when people would argue for something they had no clue about. And I'd hate to have to defend myself when I was less than prepared.

At 9/10/2006 7:55 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

I liked your first sentence. The blog was well written.

At 9/10/2006 10:27 PM, Blogger Vera Lynn Waters said...

hey emily. no i'm not making any comments on grammer this time around. i like your first line. i agree with it. i'm always right about everything as well. anywho, i liked the jareth vs. billie holiday thing too. btw, billie holiday wins that one.


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