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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Battle of the Bands: This Is My Beloved



         I'm posting on a Sunday since that's the day of the week June 1st falls on and if it's the first of the month then it's time for another Battle of the Bands.  If you're new to the BOTB concept, this is the twice monthly event put together by the friendly bloggers at Far Away Series and Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends.  Be sure to visit their blogs after you've finished with mine and also check out some of the other bloggers who might be participating listed at the bottom of this post.

            For those who are new to BOTB, here's how it works:   I offer you some clips of what is essentially the same song done in different versions.  You listen for as long as you can stand it and then vote on the version you like the best.  Though the three versions I'm presenting here are very different, they are all very worthy competitors that some may find difficult to choose between.  Be sure to tell us in the comments why you picked the one you did.   After the clips I'm also going to be asking you some questions that will help me with some research for an upcoming blog series.

           So, let's start with the clips:


Alexander Borodin "String Quartet #2 in D, 3rd Movement" (composed 1881)

          Today's song starts with a movement from a string quartet.   This is where the song begins, so I'm putting this source material in the competition.  This is also an integral part of my research so I hope you'll give this at least a few minutes listen.  To me this is some of the most beautiful music ever composed.  In fact I challenge you to come up with a piece of music written in the last 75 years that is more beautiful than this.  There is no rock, jazz, or any other modern genre of music that is as exquisite as this 3rd movement of the Borodin Second String Quartet.   Listen and see if you agree.

Video No Longer Available


Julie Andrews  "And This Is My Beloved"  (1977)

           The award-winning musical Kismet first appeared on Broadway in 1953.  The story was based on a 1911 play and the music was adapted from the works of Alexander Borodin.   The song "And This Is My Beloved" comes from the melody line of the 3rd movement of the Second String Quartet with lyrics added by Robert Wright and George Forrest.   This song has been recorded by many artists over the years.  I think this sweeping lush version by Julie Andrews is incredibly moving--it gives me chills when I listen to it.   How do you respond to this piece of music?





Gloria Lynne "And This Is My Beloved"  (1962)

         I can imagine that at least a few of you will not get into the previous versions so I've included a more upbeat take on this tune.  Jazz artist Gloria Lynne puts some swing into this classic song.  If you don't like this jazzy take, well, I've got to know why.



  Please Vote and Answer a Few Questions

              1)  Tell us your favorite version and why.

              2)   If you couldn't finish because of the music, what didn't you like about the music?

              3)   Do you enjoy listening to classical music?  Why or why not?

              4)  What is your favorite style of music?   Why?

        I've got an upcoming series about why people have certain preferences.   I hope you'll help me by answering these questions.



         Here are some other bloggers who may or may not be participating in the Battle of the Bands.  Please visit their sites to vote on their battles (I don't think any of them are doing any research):

         Faraway Series
         Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends
         Your Daily Dose
         
         DiscConnected   





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45 comments:

  1. I love classical music. I had to take a music appreciation class in college which I dreaded b/c I only liked rock but was pleasantly surprised. I aced the class, then I asked the teacher if I could borrow the records he played in class so that I could make a mix tape. I mean who knew there were 3 other movements of Beethoven's 5th that were better than the popular one that always gets played? And Copland's Appalachian Spring is one of the most beautiful pieces ever written.

    But my fave style will always be the Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia. Then I love 60s-80s with a few songs from the past 20 or so years thrown in. I love swing, punk rock, new wave, depression era and bluegrass too. Just not country or rap.

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  2. I selected the classical version prior to hearing the others. I saw the show on the London stage many years ago and fell in love with the music, I then bought a recording of the Polovtzian Dances which a lot the music was borrowed from. Then I listened to Julie Andrew's version. How absolutely beautiful, I ended up in tears and will definitely save this for future listening.

    I listened to a few minutes of the jazz version but her pronounciations got to me and when she sang on an 'ing' I stopped listening.

    I love classical music but at the same time I really enjoy show tunes, in fact many genres of music have something which appeals to me. I am not into rap or heavy metal although I once heard a heavy metal song which I enjoyed.

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  3. Gloria Lynne gets my vote. I couldn't hear the first one, got Error message, when I tried to play it. I don't like the singing or acting of Julie Andrews so Gloria got the vote.

    Gloria has a strong voice. I do like some classical music, but there are some voices which just don't suit my ears.

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  4. Part 1 Of 2:

    Well, I don't like the first version because it's by some fat, White, European pig.

    The second version is out because it's by a lesbian.

    And the third take doesn't get my vote because it's just some uppity servant girl thinkin' she be all entertainin' an' shi-- stuffs.

    OH, WAIT! You mean you wanted my "REAL" opinions? Well, why din't ya say so?!

    >>... 1) Tell us your favorite version and why.

    I vote for Gloria Lynne because she sings it with heart and soul - two things missing from BOTH of the other versions.

    >>... 2) If you couldn't finish because of the music, what didn't you like about the music?

    I listened to the first version in its entirety, only so that I could honestly say to you, "I listened to the first version in its entirety".

    I listened to EXACTLY 3 minutes and Zero seconds of the Julie Andrews version ONLY because you asked us to listen to “at least a few minutes" of each.

    I do not at all like the singing of Julie Andrews! (Well, I'm able to tolerate her as Mary Poppins, but that's about all.) If 'White Bread' could warble, it would sound like Julie Andrews.

    >>... 3) Do you enjoy listening to classical music? Why or why not?

    A little of it, but not much. Why? Because, often, it has too many sudden tempo and volume changes that seem unnatural to me. (It's the same reason I dislike ProgRock, which was modeled on Classical music but given the Electric Rock treatment.)

    >>... 4) What is your favorite style of music? Why?

    Well, you already know that, and you already know why.

    >>… In fact I challenge you to come up with a piece of music written in the last 75 years that is more beautiful than this. There is no rock, jazz, or any other modern genre of music that is as exquisite as this 3rd movement of the Borodin Second String Quartet.

    Ha!-Ha! I LOVE IT! Anything to elicit a strong reaction, eh, Lee? Make a bold pronouncement just to get some strong, differing viewpoints!
    [;-)}

    You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to pull off a psychological trick like that on me, Boidlee!

    Nevertheless, I’ll play along:

    Continued Below...

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  5. Part 2 Of 2:

    Most of the time, a musical piece that I love will grab me and pull me in the very first time I hear it. (There are exceptions to that rule of thumb but, regardless, that is the rule of thumb.)

    As far as I know, this is the first time I’ve heard this Borodin piece, and it did little for me. It was OK, I mean, it wasn’t offensive in any way, but it was a bit boring; it did NOT pull my heartstrings in any way. I had no trouble listening to it in its entirety, but I don’t have any strong desire to hear it again.

    Could I come up with any music written in the last 75 years that I think is more beautiful and exquisite than that? Sure... plenty. But music is purely subjective, isn’t it?

    The first piece of music that entered my mind, to challenge your “Borodin bit”, is something I will decline mentioning, ONLY because I fully intend to use it in a future ‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ blog bit, and I don’t wish to tip my hand. (Suffice to say it is Jazz with a very Classical music foundation.)

    But I could name numerous Jazz and Pop musical pieces that I personally feel are more beautiful and exquisite than your Borodin bit.

    However, just to keep it in the same ‘Musical Arena’, I will mention only ONE composition, and that also is in the ‘Classical’ genre...

    I was near a music shop a few decades ago when I heard a version of Schubert’s ‘SERENADE’ emanating from it. Although I was (and remain) decidedly NOT a ‘Classical music’ fan, the melody grabbed me immediately and affected me in a profound, spiritual way. I immediately walked into the music shop and purchased what they were playing, even though the ONLY track I’d heard was the adaptation of Schubert’s ‘SERENADE’. I still own that album, and I still LOVE that track.

    Below is a slightly different but close-enough-version of that interpretation:

    Dan Gibson’s Treatment of SCHUBERT’s ‘SERENADE’

    So, there ya go. Any more questions, Captain Lee?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

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  6. I listened to as much of the three vieos as I could, because I'm at Starbucks and the conne tion isn't that good.

    I liked all three versions, but the Gloria Lynne version was my favorite, primarily because of the big band sound. I love big band music; I got my first real taste of it when I bought my first stereo when I graduated from grammar school. My mother and stepfather liked the sound, and played a lot of big band music on it until they got their own stereo. As for the others, what can you say about Julie Andrews? Everything about her is beautiful, and her voice is exquisite. I confess that I don't generally listen to classical music, at least not since moving away from Chicago and WNIB, but the Borodin original was pleasant to listen to.

    Jazz is my favorite form of music, although I go through phases (I'm currently in a sophisti-pop phase). Besides Big Band, I like swing, bebop, post-bop, cool, bossa nova, and smooth jazz, particularly the guitar players, from Eddie Lang and Django Reinhardt through Charlie Christian, through the players of the Fifties and Sixties (Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow, Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery), through the current players (Lee Ritenour and Larry Carlton). Jazz has just always appealed to me the most. Maybe it was hearing "Take Five" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet (it was the theme music for WGN's late movie in the Sixties) that did it for me. Growing up in Chicago, I like blues as well, but it was British groups like the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac (an incredible blues band when Peter Green was with them and the girls stayed out of it) that got me interested in Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, and Junior Wells. Blues was a grandaddy to jazz, so I guess it's natural.

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  7. I can take classical music in small doses, but I do enjoy when popular tunes sample classical (Eric Carmen did it on "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" when he lifted the melody line from Rachmaninoff).

    I could not get the jazz version to play, and had the same problem on You Tube...so of the two choices I will go with Ms. Andrews because I prefer vocals.

    It was a little slow, so I wonder if the jazzier version may have won me over...not sure if the problem is on my end on if the You Tube police or at work...

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  8. JoJo-- I think getting educated to appreciate the music makes a huge difference. I always liked classical, but my liking it skyrocketed after taking some music appreciation courses in college that helped me learn to identify styles, eras, and what to look for in the music. When you know more about something you will often start exploring more deeply and learn to appreciate it.

    Jo -- So I'm guessing that this is a vote for Julie Andrews? Like you I appreciate many styles of music.

    DG -- Nothing wrong with Lynne's version. I used to be the same way about certain voices--still am I guess--but I do appreciate Andrews' style much more now than I used to.

    Lee

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  9. I am working under limited time, so I didn't listen to the 8 minute instrumental piece that was the basis for the next two. Just so you know...

    I didn't like the Julie Andrews song at all. I couldn't understand what she was saying and it just sounded like she was trying awfully hard.

    I much preferred the Gloria Lynne version (so she gets my vote).

    All of that said, I didn't care for this song overly much. I will try and come back and answer the rest of your questions later.

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  10. Part 1 of 2:

    StMc -- As JoJo mentioned above and I continued in my reply to her, I think classical music is something where appreciation increases with greater education.

    it has too many sudden tempo and volume changes that seem unnatural to me

    The aspects of tempo and volume changes as well as other nuances and fluctuations of the music are probably mostly due to the length of the pieces. Long jazz pieces are often similar--8 minutes of the same riff with no volume changes or rhythmic variation or any other differences in sound could get boring.

    I think of jazz pieces like Autumn by Don Ellis which is almost like a work of classical music on acid. Full of changes, nuances, and surprises--it's a jazz big band masterpiece. Ellington probably was the same way though I can't cite anything since I don't know his music that well. I'm sure there are plenty of jazz examples that would parallel the structure of lengthy classical pieces only they would sound jazzy.

    The nature of classical music to me recreates a mode of extended thought where while thinking a normal person will typically dwell on themes, have sparks of enlightenment, experience periods of brain excitement, times of contemplation and reflection and so on. Classical music is thinking music.

    Much jazz and most pop, rock, and other genres is a thought flashing by unconnected to other thoughts. Modern popular forms of music are intended to fulfill a need like candy or snack food does. We crave it but it does not necessarily fill us. I love that music (just like I enjoy junk food), but I strongly believe that classical music is like a workout for the brain. Or to use a reading analogy, classical vs other music is like reading the Bible vs reading popular literature like novels and comic books.

    (cont:)

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  11. StMc Part 2 of 2:

    Bottom line is that any music whether it be classical, jazz, folk, rock, prog rock, and so on is better appreciated when we know something about the music, the composers, the artists, and all the other details that help us to understand the music.

    Most people don't want to take the time to learn about the classical music because it does take a little more time and it often seems unnatural to the ears of those who have not consumed a healthy diet of it. In my case my parents had a lot of classical records that I began listening to since I can remember. They were always bringing new ones into the house as well. I didn't understand a lot of what I was listening to but I enjoyed it.

    Later in college I took some music appreciation courses and started attending concerts. After I was able to distinguish the eras such as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, and so on and I could identify specific composers and what music came from where, the music was no longer unnatural, but appreciated and enjoyed.

    Jazz is very similar in that a lot of people will say they don't like it because it's too difficult to listen to or whatever the reasoning. I was like that about a lot of jazz and actually still am, but now owning many jazz albums and listening to a lot of jazz I am highly appreciative of most of it.

    I do not at all like the singing of Julie Andrews!

    She's not my favorite, but I think she does a credible job at what she does. I don't own any of her albums--never have and probably never will--but I admire her talent. I think her version of "And This Is My Beloved" is mostly beautiful and incredible because of the arrangement--the real kudos go to that person. The orchestral rendering is magnificent and Andrews' voice is a decent vehicle for delivering the song. Others could have done as well or better with this arrangement, but I didn't find any that were as comparable in my brief search on YouTube. I do think you are being harsh on Andrews, but since my post is about preference you are complying with what I was looking for.

    ONLY track I’d heard was the adaptation of Schubert’s ‘SERENADE’.

    You may have heard me mention on my blog that Schubert is perhaps my favorite of all classical composers. "Serenade" is a beautiful piece although the clip you linked to left me a bit seasick. Those natural noise in the background CD's are pretty gimmicky but I have some of them too.

    I have orchestral versions of "Serenade" that I much prefer to this and it's nicely done on piano as well. I like a good melody such as this or many others such as the Borodin piece and so on. This is one thing that a lot of modern music lacks.

    Keep checking out the classics and I don't see why you wouldn't be sold on them after some education about what you're listening to. I know that some people just don't have the patience for the genre or what to take the time, but I think it's well worth it.

    Appreciate you having taken the time to address my questions.

    Lee

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  12. John-- You can refer to my above reply to StMc for some of my thoughts on jazz. You mention some good ones in your list and I like all of those. I still like Fleetwood Mac but like you say they were a whole different kind of band back in the Peter Green and even the Bob Welch days. Good comment!

    Larry--I don't know what's with the internet sometimes, but Gloria's version played fine for me everytime I listened to it (several). I think you might have preferred it. You can change your vote later if you happen to be able to hear it.

    Robin -- I don't get how anyone could not like this song, but that's why I'm asking. Why do people like what they like and why do they not like certain things. When I listen to the Julie Andrews version on my computer it sounds clear, crystalline, and incredibly beautiful. I will say that there are times in the past where I would not have appreciated the Andrews version as much as I do now. Hope you'll come back to answer more questions and I really hope that you might play the original Borodin piece and just let play while you do something else. I listen to it and am totally baffled why others do not feel the way I do about it.

    Lee

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  13. 1- Jeez, neither of the vocals really grabbed me. My take on classical is I do enjoy it as relaxation when I lay in bed and think good thoughts. However... I prefer my classical performed by ELO or the Moody Blues. I will go with the instrumental, though, because the musicianship was just so much better.

    2- the only one I didn't finish, ironically, was the classical, merely because of time constraints.

    3. The only types of music I will go out of my way to avoid are rap and opera. I prefer, as I said, classical in a more pop manner, such as Percy Faith.

    4- Sixties and Seventies. The songs that played as I lived my life.

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  14. CW-- Thanks for answering!

    1. Rock influenced by classical is a step in the direction of appreciating classical. Learn more about it and you might become a bigger fan!

    2. I understand it was long and fortunately the earlier themes are repeated so you can get a good idea about the music in the first few minutes.

    3. No fan of rap here, though there is some that I do enjoy in small doses. Opera I have learned to appreciate more and actually listen to complete operas on occasion. Percy Faith and similar artists are certainly orchestral and I guess kind of like classical, but they're usually doing orchestral versions of pop songs. I like to listen to those recordings sometimes too.

    4. I'm mostly stuck in the 60's and 70's when I'm listening to modern music for the same reasons as you.

    One vote for Borodin's original version.

    Lee

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  15. I listened to all three.

    The classical piece was OK, but it did not move me. I personally thought the violins a little too 'whiny', for my taste.

    Julie Andrews, UGH! I don't particularly like her. She has done a few things that I think are OK, but I am not a fan.

    Gloria Lynne gets my vote, but more by default than my really being excited about this version. I think my problem is with the song itself, but as far as it does go, I'll take the jazzed up version.

    I do enjoy classical music, as much as other genres, but like other styles I don't necessarily like ALL classical music. This piece was kind of boring to me. I really enjoy the dueling violas of the Mozart Brandenburg Concertos, or some relaxing DeBussy, Rachmanioff, Beethoven, Barber, and my most favorite piece is probably the Albinoni piece I used in a BOTB a few months back "Adagio in G minor.

    What is my favorite type of music. It depends on the moment and my mood. I'm pretty much a music fan, of any and all good music. What is 'good music', (I can hear you thinking); well, now, that's pretty much in the ear of the beholder; isn't it?

    There is a jazz piece by David Sanborn 'The Dream' that is a spiritual experience for me,(there ya go; a spiritual experience to a sax piece) as well as that Adagio I mentioned earlier.

    I have a somewhat extensive musical education, but I don't really think that weighs in on my choices of music. It does help me to understand some musical composition better, but that doesn't mean I necessarily like those pieces any better. Education and exposure can certainly help, but in the end it's like choosing your favorite color - it strikes some emotional chord deep in your soul, and YOU JUST LIKE IT!

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  16. FAE-- Since string quartets and quintets are my favorite instrumental combinations I don't find anything "whiny" about the violins. To me this music is amazing. And the melody of the song is so lovely to my ears that I'm curious as to why others don't hear it the same way.

    How does taste develop and why do we end up with a special "emotional chord"? Why do we like certain things and others don't?

    I read not long ago that some of us have a genetic disposition to either like or not like certain foods. I wonder if there is something similar regarding other things where preference is a factor? I don't think so really, but could it be?

    I recall hearing and liking the melody of "And This Is My Beloved" since I was a small child. Maybe there are connections for me that you and others don't share and the melody doesn't resonate with you since you don't relate it with any memories or emotions.

    Interesting to think about, but I'm not sure that we've really gotten near to reaching any specific conclusions about the whys.

    Thanks for adding your thoughts into the data pool.

    Lee

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  17. I think I like the third version best. It's a little more upbeat and fun, I think.

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  18. 1) My favorite version was the Julie Andrews one. For one I adore her voice and for two I really like the way it made me feel connected to her and the music.

    2) I didn't finish the first one because I really do not enjoy classical music unless I am trying to get work done. Its more of a zoning out music for me.

    3) As I stated in the above- I really only listen to it when I am trying to get work done. Its good for concentration but not for active listening.

    4) My favorite style of music is Country. I love how the upbeat songs put me in a feel good mood and how the emotional songs are something I can connect and relate to.

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  19. Stephanie -- Thanks for your vote.

    Cestlavie-- So good to see you stop by and thank you for the info.
    1) Vote cast for Andrews and I agree with your assessment.
    2) Studies have shown that classical music can help in getting work done and is good for mental activity. I don't think of it as zoning out music overall, but a lot of it can be very relaxing.
    3) I do like it for active listening since in many classical works there is so much going on.
    4)Country is a genre that took me a while to get used to when I was you, but I've come to appreciate it. Though I do think much modern country is really more like 70's rock.

    Lee

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  20. I'm a sucker for violins, so that and Borodin's deeply moving composition has my vote as my first choice. I listened through to the end, took a break from all thinking and just felt for a while.

    I listen to classical music more than other kinds when I'm alone. To me it's relaxing or stirring--much more so than most modern songs with lyrics. But I do love some new music, too, and so I switch to that when the mood strikes.

    The other two selections are so far apart in tone that I almost heard them as different songs. They both features stunning voices, so I'd have to say I felt they should be in different categories.

    Thanks for the musical interlude in my crazy day.

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  21. Never been into classical music. I am a devoted fan of Motown, classic country, AM Gold, Swamp, Tonk, Southern Rock...I'm all over the place actually...just not classical.
    Barbara
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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  22. (Sheboyganboy VI, here)

    Lee -

    (my apologies in advance that this is so long... you asked for opinions for a future blog article, so I let me fingers blather on and on.)

    I don't know who has expressed annoyance with any of your BOTB selections, but whoever they are annoy me. Your choices are quite diverse and interesting.

    The first time I participated in any comment exchange online was on Amazon five or six years ago. This subject of "what music we like and why" was the very thing that caused my meeting Stephen McCarthy online, creating a fine friendship, and ultimately resulting in my commenting here. I've never again commented on blogs or at Amazon, other than to excoriate Amazon for their treatment of him. I visit NO other blogs than those he links to and I don't comment anywhere else. Had I not met him discussing this very subject on Amazon, I would not be here.

    This subject was one that was of interest to me while in college. As a teen I had read a science fiction story called "The Ultimate Melody" by Arthur C. Clarke.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ultimate_Melody
    In it, a scientist studies what all catchy melodies have in common and creates "the ultimate melody." I won't spoil the ending... but believe me, you don't want to hear that tune. Great story, interesting concept. So, at college I asked professors and researched what science actually had been done on why we chose what we chose. At that time: none.

    I also was a big fan of Ayn Rand and had her book "The Romantic Manifesto."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Romantic_Manifesto
    From Wiki: "Rand asserts that one cannot create art without infusing a given work with one's own value judgments and personal philosophy. Even if the artist attempts to withhold moral overtones, the work becomes tinged with a deterministic or naturalistic message. The next logical step of Rand's argument is that the audience of any particular work cannot help but come away with some sense of a philosophical message, colored by his or her own personal values, ingrained into their psyche by whatever degree of emotional impact the work holds for them." I would like to think there is truth in this concept, though I am not sure.

    I have found some more recent scientific work on the subject of why we like art and music, and had planned a long email to McCarthy about it. When I do so, I may suggest he forward it or cut and paste the pertinent parts to you since you are writing a blog bit about it.

    My tastes are wide. I grew up with my dad singing opera and playing jazz drums and piano. In college, I attended plenty of rock concerts (though not as many as StMcC or LC, I'm sure.) I've purchased several decades of season tickets to musical theater. These days we purchase season tickets to the opera, and other recent concerts I've attended were Karla Bonoff, a jazz club, John Waite, and The Killers.

    CONTINUED...

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  23. CONTINUED...

    Your questions:
    1) I like all three of these pieces. I love Borodin, and in fact just this week I was listening to "In The Steppes of Central Asia," one of my favs of his. Also, unlike many others here, I like Julie Andrews. I also love jazz, so I enjoyed the Lynne version.

    However, I am voting for the original classical version you presented. It is beautiful. I find great emotion and nuance in classical music. With the great composers, it is always there if you look. Often when you DON'T find the emotion in it, it is the fault of the conductor rather than the composer.

    2) No trouble getting through the versions.

    3) Yes I do. You stated it beautifully in your reply to StMcC: "The nature of classical music to me recreates a mode of extended thought where while thinking a normal person will typically dwell on themes, have sparks of enlightenment, experience periods of brain excitement, times of contemplation and reflection and so on. Classical music is thinking music."

    4) I select my music to suit my mood, or sometimes to try to change it. I find that if I am feeling wimpy, I can pull myself out of it with The Who (and then I feel like kicking someone's ass.) If I need to think, I choose J.S. Bach. If I need to calm down, I might play some jazz or Mozart. Hence I hate to say: "this is my favorite."

    But if I could only choose one style of music to keep, I'd choose classical. It has the broadest array of emotion and variety, and it can produce one feeling in me that no other musical style can: nobility. I am still biased by my Ayn Randian influences from "The Romantic Manifesto." I WANT to like the music of those I admire, more than those who are bankrupt philosophically.

    What do you think, Arlee? Is there a musical style that you can think of that makes you feel noble?

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  24. C.Lee-- The reason why I presented these three particular selections was due to the fact that they were so strikingly different and yet the same "song". This is one aspect of these BOTB posts is to present same songs done in different ways and my approach here epitomizes that concept. I too like to have a variety of music in my life. To get stuck in a rut with the same style of music all the time can be limiting to the mind.

    Barbara -- At least you listen to a range of styles. You should gradually ease in some classical now.

    Lee

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  25. You chose such an interesting piece with completely different interpretations. Though Gloria Lynne's version is the most upbeat, I don't think that anyone can hold a candle to Julie Andrews. She hits each note beautifully, and has the ability to move me to tears.

    Julie

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  26. Sheboyganboy-- If I were giving an award for comments on this post, yours would certainly win the best so far. You not only voted and answered my questions in depth, you also added value to the conversation and stimulated me to think more.

    I read the Clarke story. Very interesting. He was exploring essentially what I'm researching in this post and have discussed on some previous posts. From what I read about the Rand piece I think I would tend to agree with her thoughts on this as well.

    Taste is so variable and personal that it is really difficult to say why we do like what we like, but you've offered some interested additions to the discussion.

    I don't know who has expressed annoyance with any of your BOTB selections, but whoever they are annoy me. Your choices are quite diverse and interesting.

    Diversity with some historical context is what I attempt to present in my BOTB posts. That can include some metal like "I Wanna Get Close To You" by Dalbello, which was highly unpopular with my readers to "High "Flyin' Bird", which did not go over particularly well. I knew presenting a classical piece such as I did in this post would be a challenge to readers and this post has been avoided by most of those who viewed it. Classical music is something most people don't have the patience for and I'm curious to know why. I'm afraid that I go for the overly obscure in my song picks, but as I've said before I think familiarity with a tune can skew the opinion and I'd rather try songs that are unknown to most. I'm finding that many people don't have the patience to deal with the unknown either.

    Stephen McCarthy

    I too first encountered our friend at Amazon when he started the discussion "What song does every American like?" I enjoyed his style and thought process. I give Stephen credit for providing the inspiration to start my blog and have continued to enjoy the banter between us. So glad that you visit my place now and then to add your special insight. I hope StMc will forward me what you send to him or you can send it yourself to jacksonlee51 @ Aol (dot) com.

    My tastes are wide

    You may have noticed that I too pursue eclecticism not just in music but in many things. My parents listened to so many different styles when I was growing up that I was always interested in finding new music. I was an avid concert-goer and besides the popular shows my friends would attend, it was not unusual to go by myself to jazz, classical, and other concerts I could not get anyone else to attend with me. I rarely attend live events now because of the cost and the hassle, but I do enjoy a good concert or show.

    (cont)

    ReplyDelete
  27. (Continued from above)

    Your questions:

    1) Not sure where all the Julie Andrews hate came from in the previous comments, but I was so moved by her rendition of this piece. Glad you voted for the original though and agreed about the beauty of it. I'll slightly disagree about the problem with emotion. I have found that if the composer's work holds up for me even a relatively poor rendering of the piece still can retain the emotion the composer put into it. But I see what you're saying in that regard.

    4) I select my music to suit my mood, or sometimes to try to change it.

    Absolutely! To everything there is a season. I have my times for metal, country, Sinatra, or whatever and sometimes putting on the right music can totally alter how I feel. Music is an amazing elixir when the magic is right. And there are times when I just don't want the music at all. But when the right music is playing at the right moment all the world is in harmony for me.

    Is there a musical style that you can think of that makes you feel noble?

    I'm certainly in agreement with you about classical music. There are some recordings that I have that will stay in my CD player for days with repeated listenings. The majority are classical with a few others being mellow jazz. As far as making me feel noble? Interesting way to phrase this. I might be more inclined to say that the music makes me feel more spiritually lifted or intellectually enlightened. Beethoven through Bruckner and much music in between would come closest to providing me with what I would call a noble feeling. So many classical pieces touch me in different ways and stimulate my thinking that the genres encompassed by that spectrum we think of as "classical" have a power to do just about anything from a mental and emotional perspective. Not to downgrade other musical styles, but classical music provides more potential to make me a better person mentally and otherwise. If I ever become an old, old man I might listen to Led Zeppelin or Neil Young or other music on occasion just for the sake of nostalgia, but I think it will be classical that will carry me to the eternity beyond this life.

    Thanks for the great comment and for giving me some solid food to chew on.

    Lee

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  28. Julie -- Those sentiments that you expressed are the way I feel as well. The Julie Andrews version was so stirring that I was amazed that others did not hear what I had heard in her rendition.

    Lee

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  29. I have to admit I liked all of these versions! I guess the classic best because I know it best. But Julie Andrews gave me goosebumps and Gloria Lynne's voice is sooo incredibly smooth and classy that even though not a great fan of jazz, her kind of jazz is the kind I like. I love classical depending on what it is. I don't like the heavy stuff or if it's too jangly. Same with jazz. I guess classic rock, soft rock is my favorite style...

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  30. Lisa -- Thank you for listening to all of them and for your generous appreciation of all three. I was starting to lose faith in the readers out there, but a few of you have been coming through for me. I'll put you down for the string quartet version. Good choice!

    Lee

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  31. This is probably Borodin greatest soulful recording, a close second to Beethovens Moonlight sonata which being a piano movement is a sweet favorite of mine. I can state this with impunity because there is a fourth version of Bordins string quartet played by R. Aldridge in piano.

    Piano notes give me an exhilarating experience really probably because I was used to hearing my ol man banging this stuff out on his steinway, God bless his soul. Its sad to see his piano gathering dust these days but I digress so please forgive my nostalgic favouritism.

    It takes some musicians years learning to play piano, while others are gifted with natural ability and can play by ear. I suppose my mindset is somewhat biased.

    All three performances are really quite unique and exceptional with emotionally evocative notes. It really took dedicated zeal to create these awesome pieces with Julie Andrews winning the contempo prize.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Part 1 Of 3:

    ARLEE BOIDMAN ~

    First off I want to say that I need to check out John Holton’s blog (never seen him here before) because so much of what he said seemed like it could have emanated from my own keyboard; he and I seem to share similar tastes in music.

    >>... As JoJo mentioned above and I continued in my reply to her, I think classical music is something where appreciation increases with greater education.

    That’s probably true. But, the reason I know as much as I do about Jazz, Blues, and 1950s through 1970s Rock is because it naturally appealed to me at some level. I learned more about it because I realized I ALREADY liked it. I was inspired to study it because I had an innate affection for it.

    While I might learn to appreciate Classical more if I began studying it even though I’m not currently fond of it, will I ever really love it the way I do some Blues, Jazz, and Rock? Not likely.

    >>... The aspects of tempo and volume changes as well as other nuances and fluctuations of the music are probably mostly due to the length of the pieces. Long jazz pieces are often similar--8 minutes of the same riff with no volume changes or rhythmic variation or any other differences in sound could get boring.

    Yes, of course. However, the instruments used to convey a Jazz piece and those used to convey a Classical piece are usually very different. I prefer horns, organ, guitar and piano to piano, cellos, violins, and violas.

    And as for the tempo and volume changes – while this is not a blanket statement – too often I have found the changes in Classical music (and especially in its bastard son ProgRock) to be abrupt and jarring. In most of the long Jazz compositions the changes seem to occur in a more natural, organic way, not jarring me into a severe case of “musical whiplash”.

    I know that what I just wrote does not apply to ALL Classical pieces nor to ALL Jazz pieces, but it seems to be generally true according to my experience.

    >>... I think of jazz pieces like Autumn by Don Ellis which is almost like a work of classical music on acid. Full of changes, nuances, and surprises--it's a jazz big band masterpiece. Ellington probably was the same way though I can't cite anything since I don't know his music that well. I'm sure there are plenty of jazz examples that would parallel the structure of lengthy classical pieces only they would sound jazzy.

    I agree absolutely.

    I do respect the talents of the Classical composers, but I think they had nothing on the greatest Jazz composers when it comes to musical genius, complexity, subtle shadings, variations on musical themes, etc.

    Many years ago, there was some woman (can’t recall her name) who supposedly had the highest recorded I.Q. in the world. I don’t put any real stock in I.Q.s to begin with, and I recognized this woman as being a paid propagandist (either a liar or not nearly as smart as she was supposed to be). But she had a regular weekly column in some throwaway paper. One time a reader wrote in and asked why there were no great Classical music composers anymore.

    She replied that the great Classical composers were probably reincarnated and now living amongst us as the great Jazz composers.

    I wouldn’t know about that, but it wouldn’t surprise me because I think the great Jazz composers are every bit as brilliant as the great Classical composers were.

    Continued Below...

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  33. Part 2 Of 3:

    For example, when you have 12 free minutes, please listen to the video below. I don’t believe Mozart and Schubert were doing anything beyond what we find Pat Metheny and his band doing here. It’s musically complex, it has nuance, tempo changes, and it is (to my ears) both beautiful and exciting. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Metheny had been a great composer from the Classical era.

    Pat Metheny’s ‘TO THE END OF THE WORLD’

    >>... The nature of classical music to me recreates a mode of extended thought where while thinking a normal person will typically dwell on themes, have sparks of enlightenment, experience periods of brain excitement, times of contemplation and reflection and so on. Classical music is thinking music.

    I would say that EVERYTHING you wrote in the above paragraph applies equally to Metheny’s ‘To The End Of The World’.

    >>... Much jazz ... is a thought flashing by unconnected to other thoughts.

    That’s certainly NOT true with the example I provided above. And I could present a ton of other Jazz examples for which it would be equally untrue. Jazz, like Rock, encompasses a lot of styles under that broad banner so, yes, that’s true of some Jazz – like Jazz vocals, some Big Band hits, etc. – but there’s a lot of Jazz for which it’s no truer than it is of Classical music. Wes Montgomery, Ben Webster, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington – those guys were doing everything we find in Classical music but with different instrumentation and styles.


    >>... Jazz is very similar in that a lot of people will say they don't like it because it's too difficult to listen to or whatever the reasoning.

    Yes, that’s true, and I think it’s because so much Jazz is so similar to Classical music, in that it develops slowly, explores various melodic and tonal themes, etc. Jazz too is “thinking music” and most people don’t like to think a great deal. If they did, Reality TV wouldn’t be so popular.

    >>... "Serenade" is a beautiful piece although the clip you linked to left me a bit seasick. Those natural noise in the background CD's are pretty gimmicky but I have some of them too.

    Well, I was linking to it for the melody and the instrumentation, not for the seaside sounds.

    YOU WROTE TO FAE: >>...How does taste develop and why do we end up with a special "emotional chord"? Why do we like certain things and others don't?

    You are trying to figure out the same thing I was when I first met you and Sheboyganboy Six at that Amazon music thread. I was intending to come back here and mention it but I see SBB-6 beat me to it, and you blokes have already had an exchange about it.

    But, YES, that’s what I was attempting to discern as well: What is it that makes us TOTALLY LOVE some songs, some melodies, while others love them just as much and yet others just shrug and walk away, or even actively DISLIKE those same melodies?

    You’ll never figure it out. I know I couldn’t and I finally gave up on it. I think music is a spiritual thing, and we all resonate to different spiritual and musical vibrations. It’s impossible to map out and understand.

    On that same old Amazon music thread, I started to experiment a little bit. I got to thinking: Well, what if we discard the terms “like”, “dislike”, “good”, “bad”, and substitute some other descriptive term, like “tough”, could that help us find some common ground?

    So I made a list of songs, some that I would describe as “tough-sounding” and others I would NOT describe that way. I submitted my list to Sheboyganboy and asked him to label them according to how he heard them. Below is his response from back then:

    Continued Below...

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  34. Part 3 Of 3:

    In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2008 10:25:45 AM PDT
    P. Griffin says:
    Stephen -

    It is interesting to me to delve into this "tough/not tough" issue, although it a diversion from the main thrust of the question we're considering. My apologies to all for ducking into this dark alleyway of musical discussion.

    I'll put my choice after the song, but I want to add that my original comment that sparked your question called a song "raw and tough", not just tough, which is big step below in my mind. Some songs elicit an almost mindless violent emotion with me. If you have ever watched the bio-documentary "The Kids Are Alright" of The Who, you'll hear Pete Townsend say that people need to stay far away from him while he's onstage, or he literally might just kill them. He is essentially in a focused, intense, violent trance. And then at the end of each show, he smashes his equipment, which must be a tremendous release for him. Most of the songs you listed are tough, few are raw too.

    Here goes:
    "Born To Run" by Bruce Springsteen - tough
    "Stayin' Alive" by The Bee Gees - tough
    "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain - tough
    "We're An American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad - tough
    "Light My Fire" by The Doors - not tough
    "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce - not tough
    "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder - semi-tough
    "It Keeps You Runnin'" by The Doobie Brothers - semi
    "Like A Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan - tough
    "Beat On The Brat" by The Ramones - shamefully... I don't know this one
    "Get Off Of My Cloud" by The Rolling Stones - tough
    "I Love Rock And Roll" by Joan Jett - very tough
    "Fight For Your Right (To Party)" by The Beastie Boys - very tough
    "Nights On Broadway" by The Bee Gees - not tough
    "Refugee" by Tom Petty - tough (lots of his stuff is tough to me)
    "A Hard Day's Night" by The Beatles - tough
    "London Calling" by The Clash - tough
    "Hound Dog" by Elvis - semi-tough
    "Back On The Chain Gang" by The Pretenders - tough
    "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash - not tough

    So... how does that coincide with your list?

    As an aside, I think that there is classical music that is tough, also. Beethoven's 5th, Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common Man", "Danse Macabre" by Saint-Saëns, and "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Grieg are all tough, plus many many others. ELO's rock version of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" was raw and tough!
    Reply to this post
    Permalink |

    Unfortunately, Lee, Amazon unfairly and without valid cause deleted every single comment I’d ever left on their website (as you know), so today we can’t see how SBB-6’s list compared to my own. But as I recall, we agreed maybe 60% of the time on which songs sounded “tough”.

    So, if we couldn’t find a large amount of common ground on something like “tough”, there is no way to determine what makes a song good or annoying to various people. It’s a mystery we’ll not have solved until we meet in Heaven, I suspect.

    Good discussion here!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    ReplyDelete
  35. Spacerguy -- Borodin's piece along with "Moonlight Sonata" are among classical's greatest hits and for good reason--melodically they stick with the listener. They come from a line of great music tradition. I love piano music, but since I play violin I have a special place for string ensemble music. I'll put your vote for Julie Andrews.

    Lee

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  36. StMc-- That's a lot to address, but since I've probably addressed much of this already I'll skim through. I do think we have some marked differences in perception regarding the music though I appear to be far more receptive to more styles and more artists than you are. Not that that's a bad thing--it's just another aspect of taste and preference I guess.

    I need to check out John Holton’s blog

    You'd probably enjoy John's Tuesday posts about music as well as some of his other stuff. He's commented on my site occasionally and I've followed his blog for quite some time.

    While I might learn to appreciate Classical more if I began studying it even though I’m not currently fond of it, will I ever really love it the way I do some Blues, Jazz, and Rock? Not likely.

    Hard to say. I guess a lot rests on the taste ingrained within you. Yet you say that you enjoyed rock earlier on and learned to appreciate jazz and now prefer that. With enough listening and acclimation classical could one day supercede jazz for you. You may never know of course without making the serious effort to study it and let it sink into your musical soul.

    the instruments used to convey a Jazz piece and those used to convey a Classical piece are usually very different

    Actually the range is the same only there is a preponderance of certain kinds related to each. Jazz pianist Don Shirley has a cello and mostly bowed string bass in his trio and at times you might swear you were listening to pieces by composers like Rachmaninoff. There are classical pieces written for saxaphone quartets and horn ensembles. There is a wide range of combinations and styles under the classical umbrella just as there is in jazz.

    She replied that the great Classical composers were probably reincarnated and now living amongst us as the great Jazz composers.

    I think you're referring to Marilyn Vos Savant or whatever her name was in Parade magazine. Her supposition might be so just as they might be composing prog rock or film soundtracks. I think it's a matter of eras of music passing. I would hate to live in a world that did not have those classical masterworks to refer back to.


    (continued)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Part 2

    please listen to the video below. I don’t believe Mozart and Schubert were doing anything beyond what we find Pat Metheny and his band doing here.

    I'm a big Metheny fan as I've mentioned in the past. He does outstanding work and the piece you've linked to is an outstanding example. Nothing wrong with it for what it is, but I've got to disagree with putting this in the same league with Mozart or Schubert. You've really got to listen extensively to a few works by those composers and you should start sensing the difference.

    Jazz too is “thinking music” and most people don’t like to think a great deal.

    This would be an interesting realm of study. Don't know if anything has been done extensively with this or not. Pieces like Metheny's are what I would consider more like reflective or passive thinking. Faster, harsher jazz would be more active aggressive though. Whereas much classical music such as a complex string quartet or symphony might be considered active though similar to reading something of depth or figuring out a math problem. All music sparks thought, but the less complex the music, the more mundane and simple the thoughts. That's my theory at least.

    You’ll never figure it out. I know I couldn’t and I finally gave up on it. I think music is a spiritual thing,

    In one sense I think you're right. I do agree that music is akin to something of a spiritual nature, something that reaches into our emotions and stimulates us in many ways. I do think a lot of it can be explained and I will offer my theories in an upcoming post either on Friday or Monday.

    Lee

    (Cont)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for posting this. I have been intrigued by your BOTB for some time but this time I want to join in!
    1. I like the original by Borodin the best. While all musical performances are merely interpretations, this was written for string quartet. Therefore, I believe that this interpretation best preserves the original context, depth, emotion, and color that was intended by the composer. It's beautiful music, and the accompanying parts deserve just as much respect as the melody line.
    2. I listened to all three versions, but sort of lost focus during the last "jazz" rendition and started multi-tasking. I ADORE Julie Andrews, and would have voted for her if you hadn't included the original. The jazz version is good, but not enough to hold my full attention.
    3. I love "classical" music. I have a degree in this stuff. I love it so much that I studied it for 4-ish years :-) Seriously, though, while I find a lot of passion and cleverness in many genres of music, I enjoy listening to "classical" perhaps the best of all because of the complexity of some (not all!) of it.
    4. My "favorite" style of music has a lot to do with my current passions. At the moment, I am enjoying listening to French music: "popular" songs, classic "chansons", French "classical" composers, etc... But I just finished a week of listening to a lot of Sarah McLachlan's music. So there you go. My favorite depends on my mood :-)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Part 3 of 3

    what if we discard the terms “like”, “dislike”, “good”, “bad”, and substitute some other descriptive term, like “tough”, could that help us find some common ground?

    This would be the basis of a good survey to present to a pool of test subjects.

    The terminology would have to be clearly define since words like music can have different meanings to different people. Simple words like "good" or "bad" can have nuanced implications from one person to the next. When you say "tough" is it leather jacket tough, difficult calculus problem tough, unpleasant life tough? Or is it some other kind of tough altogether. From the answers given above I'm getting mixed messages on what Sheboygan labeled as "tough" and I would probably go differently on some of these.

    But your labeling exercise is probably on the right track though it would probably require a hundred or more multiple choice questions from a sampling of a few hundred participants. Interesting study!

    I'm sure studies about music preference have been done and books have undoubtedly been written. I think there are answers, but they are so interwoven with cultural, sociological, and psychological issues that the study would have to be huge. I don't know if anyone's gone that far with it, but I'm sure there's plenty of opinionating, theorizing, and philosophizing to keep the discussion going for a long time.

    Thanks for adding to this discussion. Go listen to Beethoven's 7th Symphony at least 7 times, Schubert's "Trout Quintet" about 15 or more, and check out Saint-Saen's 3rd Symphony for several listenings until the music is seared into your musical memory and see if any of it starts growing on you.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  40. Forty& -- I am so glad you stopped by to add to our discussion. The Andrews rendition is almost classical sounding by it's very nature of performance style and orchestration. I think it's a pretty incredible arrangement of the song. I'm a big fan of the French composers of the Impressionism Era. But you can't go too wrong with Sarah MacLachlan. I love her style and her song choices.

    I think musical diversity makes us better humans. I could never imagine myself getting stuck in just one genre.

    Lee

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  41. Part 1 Of 2:

    BOIDLEE ~

    >>... Yet you say that you enjoyed rock earlier on and learned to appreciate jazz and now prefer that. With enough listening and acclimation classical could one day supercede jazz for you. You may never know of course without making the serious effort to study it and let it sink into your musical soul.

    No, Brother, you are inadvertently misrepresenting what I have said.

    I STILL DO like some of the Rock music I liked in my youth, but only a relatively small amount of it.

    I did NOT “learn to appreciate Jazz”. I simply discovered that I DID like Jazz. Again, I did not “learn” to like Jazz; I already DID like Jazz, but I didn’t know that until the second or third time I heard ‘Take Five’ by The Dave Brubeck Quartet.

    I realized quickly how great that musical piece was. Realizing it was Jazz, I began to listen to more Jazz and immediately liked a great deal of it. Yes, some tracks grew on me over time, but it was a fairly short period of time.

    If I genuinely like a certain musical piece, that becomes obvious to me within just a few listens (sometimes only ONE!)

    >>... There are classical pieces written for saxaphone quartets and horn ensembles.

    OK, that’s news to me. Can you provide a YouTube link to one?

    >>... I think you're referring to Marilyn Vos Savant or whatever her name was in Parade magazine.

    Yep, that’s right. I couldn’t remember her name but I know she had a regular column in ‘Parade’ magazine.

    If she truly had the highest I.Q. recorded, then that alone pretty much dismantles the idea that I.Q.s are meaningful in any intelligence measuring capacity.

    I read one column where she was promoting the concept of ‘Evolution’. So, if I could clean her clock in a debate about Evolution Vs. Creationism (which I surely could), then that means I’m smarter’n her? If so, where does that leave one’s confidence in I.Q. measurements?

    >>... Her supposition might be so just as they might be composing prog rock or film soundtracks.

    Well... I find ProgRock (the bastard son of Classical) to be pseudo-intellectual musical nonsense; and most film soundtracks are rather pedestrian pseudo-Classical snoozefests.

    So I disagree. The best ProgRock musicians and the best pseudo-Classical soundtrack composers do not measure up to the best Jazz artists, in my opinion.

    >>... I would hate to live in a world that did not have those classical masterworks to refer back to.

    I agree with you there, because so many Classic Christmas Songs are based on Classical music pieces, and I LOVE most of them.

    >>... Nothing wrong with it for what it is, but I've got to disagree with putting this in the same league with Mozart or Schubert.

    “For what it is”?

    OK, link me to a single Mozart or Schubert piece, no more than 13 minutes long, that incorporates MORE musical shadings and tempo shifts, and is MORE beautiful AND MORE exciting to listen to. I’m willing to listen if you think you can prove your assertion.

    >>... I do think a lot of it can be explained and I will offer my theories in an upcoming post either on Friday or Monday.

    I look forward to reading that post, Brother Boid.

    >>... When you say "tough" is it leather jacket tough, difficult calculus problem tough, unpleasant life tough? Or is it some other kind of tough altogether.

    No, you’re overthinking it. I asked Sheboyganboy Six to tell me which of those songs “sounded tough” to him.

    “Calculus problem tough” isn’t tough, it’s complicated. “Unpleasant life tough” isn’t tough, it’s unfortunate or disadvantaged. “Tough” just meant tough. Yeah, like “leather jacket tough” but not necessarily with that sort of literal imagery.

    The “tough” sound I’m referring to must (to me) have something to do with the beat or rhythm of the song, or maybe the cadence that the singer uses. It’s really NOT about the lyrics and subject matter.

    Continued Below..

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  42. Part 2 Of 2:

    I very carefully selected that list of songs. Some of them “talk tough” and relate to “tough things”, but they don’t all “SOUND TOUGH”, which is how I axed Sheboyganboy to evaluate them.

    Part 2 Of 2:

    Below, I will go through the list and apply my own rating to them, which I will put in [*brackets*]:

    "Born To Run" by Bruce Springsteen – tough
    [*Does NOT sound Tough, even though the subject matter seems tough*]

    "Stayin' Alive" by The Bee Gees – tough
    [*Semi-Tough even though the high-pitched vocals seem wimpy*]

    "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain – tough
    [*VERY tough*]

    "We're An American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad – tough
    [*VERY Tough*]

    "Light My Fire" by The Doors - not tough
    [*Not Tough*]

    "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce - not tough
    [*Not Tough*]

    "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder - semi-tough
    [*VERY Tough*]

    "It Keeps You Runnin'" by The Doobie Brothers – semi
    [*Tough*]

    "Like A Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan – tough
    [*Not Tough*]

    "Beat On The Brat" by The Ramones - shamefully... I don't know this one
    [*Not Tough*]

    "Get Off Of My Cloud" by The Rolling Stones – tough
    [*Not Tough*]

    "I Love Rock And Roll" by Joan Jett - very tough
    [*VERY Tough*]

    "Fight For Your Right (To Party)" by The Beastie Boys - very tough
    [*Not Tough*]

    "Nights On Broadway" by The Bee Gees - not tough
    [*Semi-Tough*]

    "Refugee" by Tom Petty - tough (lots of his stuff is tough to me)
    [*Tough*]

    "A Hard Day's Night" by The Beatles – tough
    [*Not Tough*]

    "London Calling" by The Clash – tough
    [*Very Mildly Tough*]

    "Hound Dog" by Elvis - semi-tough
    [*Not Tough*]

    "Back On The Chain Gang" by The Pretenders – tough
    [*Not Tough*]

    "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash - not tough
    [*Not Tough*]

    >>... Go listen to Beethoven's 7th Symphony at least 7 times, Schubert's "Trout Quintet" about 15 or more

    See, I object to that. If I truly, genuinely, honestly like a piece of music, it shouldn’t take me 7 to 15 listens to come to that simple conclusion. It’s like you’re asking me to “brainwash” myself.

    I know I’ve told this story more than once on my blogs but... the very first time I heard Brenda Lee’s song ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ I thought it was the worst Christmas song I’d ever heard. The second time I heard it, I thought: Oh, there’s that song I hate again. The third time I heard it, I thought: Actually, that’s not so bad. And the fourth time I heard it, I thought: I gotta find out who sings that song because I need to buy a copy of it!

    So, I acknowledge that sometimes we need to hear a particular song more than once before we can really wrap our mind around it. But if I NEED to hear a musical piece 7 to 15 times before I can accept it, then I’ve reached a point where I believe I am brainwashing myself into acceptance as opposed to a genuine, natural affinity for the piece.

    Anyway... I look forward to your upcoming post exploring this topic in more detail.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground

    ReplyDelete
  43. StMc-- Sorry it's taken a while to reply to your comment of last night. A combination of ongoing computer problems and responding to my post of today have hindered me. Now I'm ready to respond in limited fashion.

    you are inadvertently misrepresenting what I have said.

    I have misremembered or misunderstood what you have said over the years and I actually stated it poorly. Sorry, I agree that you are correct to make your own interpretation about your perceptions.

    saxaphone quartets and horn ensembles...that’s news to me. Can you provide a YouTube link to one?

    I've heard very interesting pieces on the radio, but don't recall what they were. Since horns are not as interesting to me I don't keep track of the music. There are many examples on YouTube so I'm grabbing the first I come to. I'm sure you could find much more interesting examples:

    Saxophone Quartet



    Candian Brass--Carnival in Venice

    Metheny's clip “For what it is”?

    OK, link me to a single Mozart or Schubert piece, no more than 13 minutes long, that incorporates MORE musical shadings and tempo shifts, and is MORE beautiful AND MORE exciting to listen to. I’m willing to listen if you think you can prove your assertion.


    Metheny's piece is nice--typical in the vein of his typical work and not unlike many other artists in this style. To me it is a performance art--event pieces that occur at the moment and perhaps recreated in subsequent performances by the same artist. I have a feeling that you would resist any examples I would offer since I could provide examples with far more nuance, tempo changes, and so on to my ears without the steady drumbeat and almost programmed bass behind it. I'll give you one of my favorites, but I have a feeling that you will not agree to its superiority. Here goes:

    live performance Schubert String Quintet 2nd movement

    No rhythmic background needed since it is in the heart and soul of the music.

    And I'll stop there. Since the rest of your comment is essentially difficult to dispute since it is so rooted in personal opinion and preference. And I'm into listening to the Schubert piece. If you aren't somewhat moved by that music then I don't know what to say. This was music like you describe as something that I knew I liked from the first hearing and after 40 years of listening I have never grown tired of hearing it. Amazing music!

    Thanks for the lengthy thoughtful comments.

    Lee



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  44. StMc-- Sorry I wanted to provide you with an example of something very different from the other examples.

    Movement 5 from Bela Bartok's String Quartet #4

    Just to add some variety.

    Lee


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  45. ARLEE BOID BUDDY! ~
    Hey, never any need to apologize about a slow response time. Believe me, I KNOW how it is and sometimes I too am unable to respond as quickly as I'd like.

    Thanks so much for replying to my last long comment(s).

    I gotta tell ya, I REALLY ENJOYED that 'Saxophone Quartet'. Great stuffs! So maybe there's hope for me yet, eh?

    The 'Canadian Brass' was alright. Nothing I'd go out of my way to hear but it was enjoyable enough that I didn't mind at all hearing the entire piece.

    The Schubert and Bartok pieces were... OK. Sure, there was lots of nuance and complexity and time changes but by no stretch of the imagination do I think they were more nuanced, complex and more exciting to hear than Metheny's 'To The End Of The World'. (Maybe there's no hope for me after all, eh?)

    They were fine (sounded just like Classical music to my ears), but they didn't build and soar to the heights that Metheny's composition does... at least not to my ears.

    Regardless, I sincerely appreciated you taking the time to search out and post those links for me. All of it was good music and worth listening to (the Saxophone Quartet was a surprise and I definitely dug it, and could happily listen to more of THAT).

    Anyway... good luck with your research, my friend! You're a good man and I'm glad I met ya!

    Yak Later...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT:
    I better crawl back into bed for a few hours because that next "graveyard" shi(f)t starts at 9 PM.

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

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Lee