mercoledì 6 giugno 2018

In defence of modern music.

Last night after a long day and a few vini, I saw THIS POST and replied to it with five replies. Really I should have kept it to one, but that's how vino works.

How vino works

It seems that there was a study in 2012 by The Spanish National Research Council that found that music is getting worse.

...and they should know because look at the big building they work in!

If my memory serves me correctly, The Spanish
National Research Council is chaired by Cardinal Biggles.

So, researchers with fancy machines took around 500,000 recordings (all genres of music from 1955 to 2010) and measured Harmonic Complexity, Timbral Diversity and Loudness. They were shocked to find that timbre in songs has dropped dramatically. He compares timbre used (made?) by The Beach Boys, an orchestral Beatles track and presumably modern pop music. He then gets all excited about the orchestral instruments that The Beatles had backing their song. Then he mentions a modern guy I haven't heard of who just accompanies himself with a drum machine. He seems to forget about the much more limited timbres (vocal, guitars, bass and drums) of The Beach Boys.
I'm going to stop there.

* * *

The Music Curmudgeon and Robert (two bloggers) seemed to get excited about the timbre thing. TMC even made a timber joke. I remember timber jokes being quite popular back in the 1970s.
I think the video was attacking modern popular music but it didn't warn that a Classical piano sonata would have less timbre than a Britney Spears song. Yes, it's true.
Harmonic Complexity - now there's an impressive looking term. Doesn't look good for Blowin' in the Wind or Rock Around The Clock.
Back in the 1950s there was a whole genre called Rock n Roll that was made up of many songs that used the three chord 12 bar blues form and were not usually backed by an orchestra.
I'm assuming (as I said) that this wanker dickhead bloke in the video is talking about modern popular music because he's certainly not talking about Indian or Chinese music, both of which traditionally have NO Harmonic Complexity. Harmony (as we know it) is a totally Western Music thing that was made possible by a thing called tempering. No tempering = no harmony (chords) = NO HARMONIC COMPLEXITY. The Chinese evidently checked out tempering long before Western Europe had the idea, but they decided they liked their pentatonic system better.
Where they right? Yes, because they liked the sounds they were getting.

* * *

Wow! This looks scientific!

The day that machines can tell us what is good music and what is not will be a very sad day.
Whatever people like to listen to these days is fine. Remember what older people said about Rock n Roll in the 1950s? Remember what older people said about The Rolling Stones?
Don't get impressed by the big terms or complex looking machine shots in this bloke's video.
Instead spend more time in art galleries appreciating the diversity that is on display. Listen to Penderecki, Rap and Chinese music. Why not even give some modern music a go? Before you judge it remember that, for whatever reason, a lot of people like it. Yes, I know, that doesn't make it good but it doesn't make it bad either.

6 commenti:

THE CURMUDGEON ha detto...

Hey! Good to see the old posting style back.
Just don't leave that ginger up your arse too long though.

Richard (of RBB) ha detto...


Twisted Scottish Bastard ha detto...

I've never seen you more upset. The language you used in reply to TC's post was reminiscent of TSB at his worst.

Well done.

Robert ha detto...

Yee hah this is what blogging is all about.. keep it coming I say!

THE CURMUDGEON ha detto...

'keep it coming I say!'

No, you would say:

"Methinks Oh blessed Lord
That with such a great thing
Such Joy it coulds't bring
We beseech thee for continuity
Lest we waver and become bored."

Robert ha detto...

though I could be wrong.