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what do you think music is?

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#1
i think music is a vital component of how mankind developed, cognitively at least, can’t say physiologically cause we seem to just be taking advantage of something the platform can do.

what music does is it breaks down modes of being into song, equipped with beat and melody so that the reptilian part of the brain can make a spectacle of it and undergo an “experience” and sometimes the music grants all listeners the exact same experience, you can see this at live shows when the beat drops and the crowd goes wild.

singing on the other hand is much more considered (i'm talking creatively). think of it like this. first you hear the beat, then you hear the melody, then you hear a voice. of course this order can be swapped around but each one establishes something.

beat - tempo of the song

melody - key of the song, which is the staging point of potential as far as music goes imo

vocals - taking what is and elevating it, maximising the hoped upon potential…hopefully at least, perhaps even surpassing it in which case we’ll applaud in awe.
or perhaps we'll cry involuntarily.
perhaps we'll dance as something other overtakes our bodies.

why does this matter? because each song is a staging ground for possibility, a universe of sound if you will, and some of the creators among us make some compelling and complex universes that i could spend days fully getting to grasp with, others make things that simply hit a primal note that is satisfying. some songs have linked universes and they don't necessarily have to be from the same album or artist.

heck some creations are too complex for unpacking to some people, at which point they’ll sound like noise, take dubstep to the untrained ear for instance, or death metal, or country music. the music suits the culture it is made in, made to the tempo of that culture and is an attempt to connect the collective to a single anthem, because if one song is good by all human standards then what exactly is that song? combine this with the infinite sound combinations that are possible and music will always have the potential to surprise you, do something new, break a boundary in some manner.

this then works in tandem with fiction, for instance the movies that get original soundtracks, music has to be made to the tempo of the universe of the movie. the film then aims the culture towards the future, and the music allows society to move to the tempo of that imagined future while also satiating a need for abstraction in the present, because there is nothing more abstract than the mind of an artist.

this is also why people can love OST’s so much despite them having no real world analogue. i can go to the club and listen to lil wayne rapping about going to the club for instance, i can’t pretend to train my pet dragon though but people still like movie ost’s and i'm pretty certain it's because they gear someone towards a desirable reality.
and yes some music can be regressive by simply taking advantage of the reptilian portion of the brain (low key brainwashing), i wont name names but it’s generally always a phase as the society corrects itself to the cultural problem, if it even is a problem, whatever it is.

i'm lifting this from an answer i made on quora cause i'm curious to hear other considered thoughts on what music is to humans other than "something good to have playing in the background while engaging in coitus." though most will agree it certainly is that.
 

Serac

A menacing post slithers
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#2
I would go with the brain-as-a-peacock's-tail theory.

check out what this bird does to get laid:

same as with ability to create art, to dance, to use language in intricate ways, do mathematics etc – these are ways to demonstrate that you can create order from chaos, which requires a complex and well-functioning brain. Music being a very intricately ordered set of sounds, the ability to recognize it and create it would serve the same purpose.

edit: uh.. so I guess my answer to the question would be: it's just sounds configured in an unusually orderly and complex fashion. Whether a particular instance of such a configuration sounds pleasing or not depends on your species and your personal taste

Darwin explained that some bird songs sound unmelodic and harsh to our ears, but may still seem attractive to females of the species. Male bitterns (relatives of herons) produce mating calls that sound like guttural gulping, belching, braying, and booming, giving rise to their vernacular names "thunder pumper" and "stake driver." Humans do not enjoy listening to bitterns, but Darwin understood that our tastes are irrelevant in the evolution of bittern mating calls; what matters is the tastes of female bitterns.
from The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller
 

higs

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#3
What a lovely question.

I haven't got a clue.
 
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#4
:musical-note: whatever you want it to be :musical-note:
 
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#5
Music is a story of sound conducting emotions in a volumetric space.

rising, falling and conjunct.
 

Hadoblado

think again losers
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#6
Music is a dynamic shared auditory environment comprising simple repetitive patterned duration and interval.

The value we gain from it is subjective and complex – to the extent I find it difficult to even begin to describe. Its value for me is mostly in the associated emotional response I’ve developed, such that I can use it to regulate my mood. It’s also a target towards which I can direct unused cognitive resources without committing to full distraction.

Sharing music aligns perceptions and fosters harmony, like a mutual narrative. Working together to create music is even better, creating a shared goal towards which you collaborate. Unfortunately for me, I don’t really know many people I can share the music I enjoy with. When I do find someone who enjoys the same things as me, it’s really nice and I feel very close to them. I haven’t produced music in collaboration in over a decade, but those are some of my fondest memories.
 

higs

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#7
@Serac Freud called, he wants his theory that reduces everything to sex back.

I think rhythm came first (dancing followed very shortly or perhaps simultaneously, maybe feet stamping the ground or hand claps)

Or maybe I'm wrong and melody was first, with singing.

I would have loved to have been there
 

Polaris

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#8
I think it's just another form of human expression that happens to resonate with other humans. It's emotional without having to think about emotion. A sort of direct channel, like poetry or abstract art. Information and communication that has powerful bonding and inspirational properties. A language that anyone can understand.
 
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#10
I would go with the brain-as-a-peacock's-tail theory.

check out what this bird does to get laid:

same as with ability to create art, to dance, to use language in intricate ways, do mathematics etc – these are ways to demonstrate that you can create order from chaos, which requires a complex and well-functioning brain. Music being a very intricately ordered set of sounds, the ability to recognize it and create it would serve the same purpose.

edit: uh.. so I guess my answer to the question would be: it's just sounds configured in an unusually orderly and complex fashion. Whether a particular instance of such a configuration sounds pleasing or not depends on your species and your personal taste

Darwin explained that some bird songs sound unmelodic and harsh to our ears, but may still seem attractive to females of the species. Male bitterns (relatives of herons) produce mating calls that sound like guttural gulping, belching, braying, and booming, giving rise to their vernacular names "thunder pumper" and "stake driver." Humans do not enjoy listening to bitterns, but Darwin understood that our tastes are irrelevant in the evolution of bittern mating calls; what matters is the tastes of female bitterns.
from The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller
that's so sad.
he was doing everything right and then he literally got interrupted by a fuckman.
and then the bird flew away
i would likely kill someone lol

@Serac Freud called, he wants his theory that reduces everything to sex back.

I think rhythm came first (dancing followed very shortly or perhaps simultaneously, maybe feet stamping the ground or hand claps)

Or maybe I'm wrong and melody was first, with singing.

I would have loved to have been there
it must have been absolutely fascinating being there.
i'm imaging a caveman beating his club on a cave wall to the crackle of a fire, and suddenly MUSIC.
a very primitive music but enough to observe that something did indeed just happen and it was "special"
 
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#11
Music is a dynamic shared auditory environment comprising simple repetitive patterned duration and interval.

The value we gain from it is subjective and complex – to the extent I find it difficult to even begin to describe. Its value for me is mostly in the associated emotional response I’ve developed, such that I can use it to regulate my mood. It’s also a target towards which I can direct unused cognitive resources without committing to full distraction.

Sharing music aligns perceptions and fosters harmony, like a mutual narrative. Working together to create music is even better, creating a shared goal towards which you collaborate. Unfortunately for me, I don’t really know many people I can share the music I enjoy with. When I do find someone who enjoys the same things as me, it’s really nice and I feel very close to them. I haven’t produced music in collaboration in over a decade, but those are some of my fondest memories.
out of morbid curiosity, what do you listen to?
 
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#13
oh that's not so out there, here I was expecting dream pop nu-jazz disco rock.

fav bands, if any?
I've mostly lost my touch with metal but trivium remains a fixture, children of bodom on occasion too.
as will roadrunner if they do a RRU2 come 2025.
was mostly into metalcore and progressive death metal when I was still connected to the scene, some power metal too I guess cause I just like the chord structure they use on their riffs and they generally had the most ott solo's (ignoring dragonforce cause I found it to be an aberration when Herman li couldn't play his solo's live)
 

Hadoblado

think again losers
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#14
All those bizarro fusion genres I just put under prog/experimental. I don't see much value in getting overly specific about genres - I see it as facilitating music elitism. But yes I'm very into that area.

I'm listening to mostly gojira and leprous atm.


I think there's value in music that can't be played well live. It just means a musician has more vision than they have aptitude - and I think vision is more important. Sure I won't prioritise seeing them live, but I'll listen to their album a thousand times over.
 

higs

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#15
I'm listening to mostly gojira
Seriously ? I saw them live, only metal concert I ever saw. Was strange to me. Kind of awesome as well I guess though XD
 

higs

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#16
I reaaaaaaaaaaally love dancing. Omg. I love it so much.
 
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#17
All those bizarro fusion genres I just put under prog/experimental. I don't see much value in getting overly specific about genres - I see it as facilitating music elitism. But yes I'm very into that area.

I'm listening to mostly gojira and leprous atm.


I think there's value in music that can't be played well live. It just means a musician has more vision than they have aptitude - and I think vision is more important. Sure I won't prioritise seeing them live, but I'll listen to their album a thousand times over.
hahaha i find a real utility in those overly specific genre's. used to hate it some 8 years ago until i realised i needed a way to get more of the same sounding shit and that searching for "dubstep" didn't produce the intended results.

only gojira song i've found myself vibing to, that i can recall at least, is oroborus. there was something else that i can't remember though.
other shit ranges from

here's me wondering if all metalheads consider their genre's drummers to be fascinating creatures. cause i find metal drummers to be ridiculously fascinating, just look at baard keeping tempo with the double bass pedal
i would have to disagree with you on the studio vs live thing...but i'm coming from the pov of someone who has performed live before and i'm unsure if you have or haven't. if a song is studio juiced and it never gets played live then i can live with that though.

cattle decapitation reminds me of cannibal corpse xD
though perhaps they're more melodic than cannibal corpse last i encountered them.
 
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