• Subscribe or Follow?
  • Started by Bill from November Sound
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Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #30 on: July 10, 2020, 13:30:21
I think it depends on how you define good music @Pleudoniem .
Good music, like good friendships, sometime last a lifetime. But there are also those, that are in sinc with a certain period in your life. I think we need to be gentle for ourselves if we judge our taste or lack of taste in the past.
When I was 16 I bought the Pink Floyd’s first single, their second, the piper at the gates of dawn and their third single. Plus a load of stuff from the sale part with discount LP’s like first with Andy warhol’s Banana. At the time no more than 9.500 copies of that one were sold.

Nobody a knowledged the release and I was a weirdo to buy that kind of stuff.
Decennial later, people who were involved in making those records were declared saints. And it was in good taste to say that of course you were the one to confirm the talents involved.

Does this all say anything about taste? Why the applause all of a sudden?
What does it say of my taste, that I never bought Pink Floyd after Syd Barret was asked to leave?
I love the Ramones and the MC5..., what about that? And the Pentangle. And @Leonard Scaper and @Zedd and ahhhhh: Don’t get me started.

A bit long winded maybe, but my idea is to stop worrying about good music and bask in the glory and love of the music we love. Be it life long or just a certain period when it fits our needs.
Good idea, this on @Bill from November Sound !!!
Kind regards, Gus


Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #31 on: July 10, 2020, 13:58:39
@LePlongeur I think we're largely saying the same thing :)
Pleudoniem: composer; bass guitarist; guitarist; singer; drummer; tap-guitarist - o, and yes... erm- a bit of keys. Open for collabs.
SoundCloud Page: https://soundcloud.com/pleudoniem


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Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #32 on: July 11, 2020, 04:19:46
Well if this is the case, I am really sorry I bothered you with my long winded post.
Kind regards, Gus


Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #33 on: July 11, 2020, 08:44:56
@LePlongeur Haha! You're not boring at all :) It's interesting to see how we basically agree and how we can use very different words to express this. There are often different stories to people's choices and tastes, even if what they may rest on may not be very different.

I am just wondering. When you picked the Pink Floyd LPs, you must have done that for a reason. I don't think you chose them at random, did you?


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Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #34 on: July 11, 2020, 09:01:06
Sorry, no. I only bought Piper at the gates of Dawn. Plus the three singles.
The Banana LP is the first by The Velvet Underground.
What still puzzles me is that other people define what's good music or not. And that that definition alters for no concrete reasons.
75 people in a small Paradiso room for Jeff Buckley.
200 (max) for Pink Floyd in Fantasio Amsterdam.

And then, with the wave of a magic wand, they are saints. And downright boring amounts of covers of Comfortably Numb on guitar fora.

So others define for me what's good music or not. And are not ashamed to make a u turn. And they can't even tell you why the same music is judged differently. @Pleudoniem
Kind regards, Gus


Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #35 on: July 11, 2020, 10:01:36
@LePlongeur I read a very interesting book on the phenomenon, called Pop Music and the Press, by Steve Jones e.a. They investigate a set of criteria they have found to be descriptive of what is said to make good (or appreciated) music. They'd agree with you that taste may look volatile, but the way they describe it is very interesting and it makes sense.

I know the Warhol LP by the Velvet Underground. It's a classic.

I am not so very bothered by the idea that other people might possibly define for me what good music is. If they do, I've never been hurt by it, they could have a point, and good ideas. I do know that I use my own set of conscious and unconscious filters, which may agree or disagree with what is offered. These filters may even mutually disagree. One of them may think a particular song was good, and another that it was not so very good, for different reasons. Some filters are also more dominant than others. In the end, you get a matrix of filter values that add up, also depending on the mood of the moment.





Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #36 on: July 12, 2020, 00:19:06
Inquiring minds want to know🤷‍♂️


Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #37 on: July 12, 2020, 02:04:05
The other thing you know @Pleudoniem  is we technically.... well most of us know .... that the music we like is often technically candy or junk food ....meaning empty calories .... junk food if you will .... that is compared to the sustenance that is the art of Bach, Beethoven or Brahms. Jazz and other modern art music can often fit into the realm of music with nutritional value.

True there are some who say Neil Diamond or Lady Gaga changed their life and that is good. Saltwater taffy and gourmet jelly beans have changed mine.  :yes:

Like you say people who study music are essentially "told" what good music is. (Yet some of it sounds pretty awful!) .... meanwhile
Music that we know is bad for us ... like @Dutchbeat  ... put in the thread of "guilty pleasures" ... we just love the way it sounds or makes us feel.

But music doesn't have to be "good"* for us to support it.  :) I mean I will subscribe to people I know, follow people who I appreciate their effort, like tracks when a person is friendly and helpful, comment on a video to let them know I'm listening .... sometimes even write a review or two if it's a fellow kitchen member.  :)

 :yes:


* "Good" ... in quotes ... defined good based upon university or conservatory music history and theory classes. 
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #38 on: July 12, 2020, 03:17:11
@Bill from November Sound Not always true here. People who are told what the conventions are and what playing 'safe' is are often the ones taking music lessons. I think it is safe to say that there are conventions, you can actually measure them, and albeit flexible, they are hardwired in our systems. The rules of music are like what grammar is to language. If you dispute the necessity of grammar, then I you read to invite you understand see sentence this and if  ;D.

You can learn a language without being taught its grammar explicitly, in fact most people do. Same for music, but for both it's handy to have a way to describe your study object, and to know what the agreements are to make it easier to communicate it.

The rules can be toyed with though, and in a very artistic way. Music that does this is not necessarily good, but it could be interesting if it creates an effect, because of it. No different from language, really.

At universities here, they are actually quite open. They like to study what works and why, and how our heads perceive this. They don't like to prescribe, but to investigate rather. If you study a classical music style, you may be much more likely to obey the conventions, as these were prevalent for the period that you study. When you study pop or jazz however, you like to know how these forms work, and why particular styles are what they are, and if there are any rules.

A splendid example of this is my wife, who is a musicologist. She is very much into Romantic and Victorian styles, and she likes to play by the rules, but she is intrigued by composers who do it in a different way. It needs to be musically justifiable though, and I agree with her there.

And I'd like to emphasise the social environment that we are vulnerable to again, because humans are group animals. We say we like to be independent, but seeking for individuality is also a form of social pressure. I see this in my classes day in, day out.

Good does not exist.
Skilful, as in not easy to play, does.
Skilful, as in being able to get across an expression, does.
Interesting, because you can learn from it, does.
Interesting, because it is telling of the composer, does.
If good taste was a criterion, I'm not so sure we'd ever heard of The Cure or The Sex Pistols.
There is also authenticity, but the more music you know, the less you may consider authentic. It's the vulnerability of a music critic.

I think what Bach did was skilful and very interesting, but I am quite allergic to his notey style (which may sound odd, considering that my work is also quite busy)



Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #39 on: July 12, 2020, 04:57:13
good stuff!

I studied music at the university/conservatory ... but it was 20 years ago at this point @Pleudoniem  .... dang how did I get so old?  :o .... I was just saying you learn what is conventional. What is art. What is "good" ( in quotes again.)
Much of my recital work was modern avant-guarde. (didn't really sound good to me ... but fun use of extended techniques) My bread and butter was jazz, blues and latin. (still sounds good to me )
You all might do it differently at the universities or conservatories today.  ;)

I know the stuff I write today is merely pop music. I have no delusions about the quality of any of it.
That's okay, though.   :)   

I learned that Bach would never use the ear candy of a chord progression of A C#m F#m D  but it just sounds SO good to me.  ::)  And then the guys sing "Don't let me go. Don't let me go. Don't let me go ....oh ... oh ... oh "  :)  and it just brings tears to my eyes. 

Then again when I listen to Bach I hear God's music.  :)  :praise:

Speaking of Bach ... have you ever read "Dirk Gently's Hollistic Detective Agency" by Douglas Adams?  :)


 


Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #40 on: July 12, 2020, 12:06:00
@Bill from November Sound Universities and Conservatories offer different types of education here. Universities are research institutes, whereas conservatories are praticed theory/skill institutes, close to what used to be polytechnics or higher vocational trainings in Britain and the US.

I think we agree that you learn what is conventional. You need to learn the conventions to be able to converse with others who use them. Same for poetics in literature, but music has poetics as well. For instance, Alan Ginsberg usually breaks all the rules, but it is still called poetry. The artistic effect is much more appreciated when you know what rules are usually agreed on.

Musically, I am completely autodidactic, because I like to experiment and discover, and discover that I can learn this way. I try to learn from what others do, because other people learn too, and I can borrow from what they discover. If I don't learn any conventions, then that is a difficult thing to do, but you can also test and falsify ideas of what you discover to be conventions.

Nope, I know Douglas Adams, but I don't know that particular book. Is Bach represented in a similar way as Beethoven is in A Clockwork Orange?  :bonk:


Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #41 on: July 12, 2020, 20:36:32
What a great thread! It has two sub threads that intertwine. The first is about “Followers and Following.” The second is about “Good Music” or “Taste”


The following four quotes really sum up the “Organic” approach to “Followers and Following.”

From @Bill from November Sound
“See I get the "grow organically" idea ..... but if no one knows who you are or where to find you ... “

From @Mo
“You rather like more to play in front of 12 people  who relally there for you or playing in fromt of 200 who are there for free beer?”

From @Bill from November Sound
“How will 10 people know to listen to your song? I wonder @Mo  .....  “

 
From @Leonard Scaper
“I think that the real organic approach is to write good songs and get seriously good at performing and producing them.”

These four quotes also beg the question “Why are you writing and producing Music?” At the very least you want to Share and most likely you also want Feedback. Beyond that you may want Recognition, perhaps even Fame and Fortune.

There is only so much time. So... if all you want is to Share, you focus your time on writing and producing and put it out there. If you want more than limited Feedback then you also need to take time to listen to others and give Feedback in return.

If you want Recognition then you need to put a lot of time into practicing, honing your craft so that your music is “Good.”

If you want Fame and Fortune (and it’s happening too slowly with the Organic approach) then you need to spend time on Marketing  and maybe even Spam.

You can also get some Recognition from Marketing  and Spam, so it seems the Recognition stage is the pivot point where one chooses between the Organic approach and the Marketing  and Spam approach.

In summary: what do you want? How much time do you have? How best to allocate your time?

Personally, I often feel conflicted about not listening enough, or not giving enough feedback. The feedback is so valuable that it’s tempting to overdo it, even indulge in it.
I never feel conflicted when I’m spending time practicing, writing or producing, but I’m well aware that the “hermit approach” has its limitations. it’s hard to make “Good” music all alone in your cave.

@Pleudoniem made two excellent points about what makes music “Good.”

“People who are told what the conventions are and what playing ‘safe’ is are often the ones taking music lessons. I think it is safe to say that there are conventions, you can actually measure them, and albeit flexible, they are hardwired in our systems. The rules of music are like what grammar is to language. If you dispute the necessity of grammar, then I you read to invite you understand see sentence this and if “

AND
“Good does not exist. [not objectively]
Skilful, as in not easy to play, does.
Skilful, as in being able to get across an expression, does.
Interesting, because you can learn from it, does.
Interesting, because it is telling of the composer, does.
If good taste was a criterion, I'm not so sure we'd ever heard of The Cure or The Sex Pistols.
There is also authenticity, but the more music you know, the less you may consider authentic. It's the vulnerability of a music critic.”


There are two aspects of “Good” music. How good is the music you’re listening to (your taste) and how good is your music.

If you like a certain style of music and you want to be good at it, it’s good to learn the rules. But here’s the rub, it’s possible to write bad or at least bland music by following the rules. Good music comes from someplace else it, comes from inspiration and from following your muse.

If you’ve analyzed enough Bach and Beethoven you begin to realize that they are not following or breaking rules, they are just writing music; of course they the have internalized the rules but they’re not thinking about the rules when they’re writing.

So the real trick to writing good music is to look for inspiration. Skill is important, in fact improving skills is a great source of inspiration, but there is no greater buzz-kill than focusing on the rules.

So... if you get inspired... and you have the skill to nail it... and you put it out there... someone might listen, and maybe even follow.


Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #42 on: July 12, 2020, 21:04:31
what do you want?

I have always just wanted a place for my music to exist that was accessible to anyone who happened to find it. I always thought of music as being a bit like lightning.....it needs a place to ground out in order to be complete. That takes at least....one listener.  ;)

My original reason for posting songs was the hope that someone would be able to school me on my production skills.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

Lenny's Tunes: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=540680

https://soundcloud.com/vincentgleason


Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #43 on: July 13, 2020, 00:04:49
what do you want?

I have always just wanted a place for my music to exist that was accessible to anyone who happened to find it. I always thought of music as being a bit like lightning.....it needs a place to ground out in order to be complete. That takes at least....one listener.  ;)

My original reason for posting songs was the hope that someone would be able to school me on my production skills.
That is such a great analogy @Leonard Scaper  ... it speaks of power that is somehow distant from the fray. Truly poetic  :praise:

I also joined a forum (not this one) to seek help with my production skills. It paid off in ways I could not have imagined.... including providing a community for stimulating social interaction.

This forum found me (thank you @MrBouzouki !) I wasn’t looking for help in Songwriting... I had written so many over so many years, but it seemed like a nice group and It seemed I might have something to offer.

It was a little awkward at first because I was offering production tips (which is what I was used to on the other forum) when that wasn’t usually what the poster was lookin for... once I got more used to the vibe here I’ve found it to be a complimentary and refreshing alternate to the other forum.

The quality and consistency of the Songwriting and Production here is truly humbling... and a great gift.


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Re: Subscribe or Follow?
Reply #44 on: July 13, 2020, 09:38:36
(Interesting post @1roomstudio , but for me it boils down to:)

[quote @1roomstudio ]
It was a little awkward at first because I was offering production tips (which is what I was used to on the other forum) when that wasn’t usually what the poster was lookin for... once I got more used to the vibe here I’ve found it to be a complimentary and refreshing alternate to the other forum.

The quality and consistency of the Songwriting and Production here is truly humbling... and a great gift.
[/quote]

This forum's strength is that it's of very mixed people, roots, and most of all reasons to be here.
Some people are very much into electronics, into production (you name it) and some, like myself, consider themselves as songwriters. As in writers pur sang.  The strength is also its weakness.

Therefore I think we need to manage the expectations we have. I personally don't need advice on dolling up the song I posted. Of course the well meant advice will eventually seep through the music I make, but when I post it, the work is done. The song is written.
On any given day at 6PM there's nothing. And at 7.30PM there's a song. Great! I am happy. When given the choice for the next day, keep tinkering an existing song or write a new one, the answer will be the latter without exception.

At the same time people are leaving this forum because they want to feel more support on a professional level. Which is a pity, that they are leaving.
We need to be clear about what the reason is that we post a song. What do we expect and what are the plans for the song.
- Just to kick out the energy?
- Make a demo?
- (.... fill in what you think ...)

What you did was coining up a very interesting question and I've been thinking about this for some time. Not about my music though. I am simply happy doing what I like. I just bought 600 sheets of paper for my next 600 songs. And I like the prospect already.

@Dutchbeat :
Would splitting the 'Songs for review' into two sections do the trick?
- Songs for you to listen to - just for fun
- Songs for review - I would like some help with.....

Just a thought. I would hate to see people leave because they think it's all a bit too vanilla.
(As in Nice and Sweet and sticky...)
And I'm afraid that this is happening right now.
Kind regards, Gus





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