Online class discussion #2 is open for comments September 4-10. Have you sent me your WordPress username yet? Refer to the grading rubric for requirements on commenting:

 


Who makes music? This seems like a pretty simple question, one with an obvious answer, along the lines of:

Music is made by musicians. They come up with the sounds that we call music, write it down (or not), perform it, and (maybe) record it. In the classical music world, making music requires both a composer and a performer: someone to conceive of the whole musical work, and a performer or multiple performers to execute it so that it can be heard.

But, a question like “Who makes music?” puts us into an intellectual corner: it forces us to say that music is a thing that is made, like a chair, a bookshelf, or a cup–that it’s an object. When it’s done, it’s done and we, the listener/consumer, had nothing to do with its coming into being.

This is a limiting way to think about music, because it doesn’t really capture all the nuances of how music functions in our lives. An object doesn’t bring people together. An object doesn’t evolve over time and isn’t shaped by the person who looks at it or uses it. An object doesn’t create a rich emotional experience. But music does do all these things (and more, as you discussed in class this week!), and this suggests that music can be thought of as more than an object.

Christopher Small (1927-2011) was a musicologist (a person who studies music and its role in society) who put serious thought into the way that we think about music and instead came up with a new term: “musicking.” Musicking is a progressive-tense verb (like running, evolving, becoming, doing) that implies a kind of ongoing action. In his mind, music isn’t a thing at all:

Musicking: To music is to take part, in any capacity, in a musical performance, whether by performing, by listening, by rehearsing or practicing, by providing material for performance (what is called composing), or by dancing. We might at times even extend its meaning to what the person is doing who takes the tickets at the door or the hefty men who shift the piano and the drums or the roadies who set up the instruments and carry out the sound checks or the cleaners who clean up after everyone else has gone. They, too, are all contributing to the nature of the event that is a musical performance… [To] pay attention in any way to a musical performance, including a recorded performance, even to Muzak in an elevator, is to music… [The] verb to music… covers all participation in a musical performance, whether it takes place actively or passively, whether we like the way it happens or whether we do not, whether we consider it interesting or boring, constructive or destructive, sympathetic or antipathetic… Value judgments come later, if they come at all. (Christopher Small, Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening, 1998; p. 9)

Part of the reason Small coined this term (coming up with a new word is called a neologism), is that he’s reacting against the way that he sees the average Western listener/consumer absorbing music in a passive way. We tend to think of music as something we “just don’t understand” or as foreign to us, an object with a fixed meaning that is above our heads (and this is something that happens with other art in our society, too):

The presumed autonomous “thingness” of works of music is, of course, only part of the prevailing modern philosophy of art in general. What is valued is not the action of art, not the act of creating, and even less that of perceiving and responding, but the created art object itself. Whatever meaning art may have is thought to reside in the object, persisting independently of what the perceiver may bring to it. It is simply there, floating through history untouched by time and change, waiting for the ideal perceiver to draw it out. (Ibid, pp. 4-5)

This is part of why classical music (or any music or art that’s unfamiliar to us) can feel uncomfortable: it doesn’t seem to jibe with our preconceived sense of what music is, how we’re supposed to react to it, or what it means. This is because, according to Small, “Everyone, whether aware of it or not, has what we can loosely call a theory of musicking, which is to say, an idea of what musicking is, of what it is not, and of the part it plays in our lives” (Ibid, p. 13). You already know what music is even if you haven’t specifically said so to yourself, but music from another culture or set of assumptions disrupts your already-formed “theory of musicking,” forcing you to either reject this unfamiliar music as being music at all or forcing you to change your sense of what music is.

Thinking of music as a “thing” or an “object” doesn’t let us appreciate music as it’s being made, only as a thing which has been made. However, music is just a means to create an opportunity to do something and to do something with other people. In other words, musicking creates relationships between people:

The act of musicking establishes in the place where it is happening a set of relationships, and it is in those relationships that the meaning of the act lies. They are to be found not only between those organized sounds which are conventionally thought of as being the stuff of musical meaning but also between the people who are taking part, in whatever capacity, in the performance. (Ibid, p. 13)

Our job as listeners is to forge those relationships: to engage, whether physically, socially, or intellectually, with the sounds we hear, the people making them, and the people around us who are also listening/participating. So, Small says that music is an action, one in which we should all take part:

The fundamental nature and meaning of music lie not in objects, not in musical works at all, but in action, in what people do. It is only by understanding what people do as they take part in a musical act that we can hope to understand its nature and the function it fulfills in human life. Whatever that function may be, I am certain, first, that to take part in a music act is of central importance to our very humanness, as important as taking part in the act of speech… If that is so, then our present-day concert life, whether “classical” or “popular,” in which the “talented” few are empowered to produce music for the “untalented” majority, is based on a falsehood. It means that our powers of making music for ourselves have been hijacked and the majority of people robbed of the musicality that is theirs by right of birth, while a few stars, and their handlers, grow rich and famous through selling us what we have been led to believe we lack. (Ibid, pp. 8-9)

In light of Small’s argument, we, the listeners, have an important role to play when it comes to “making music.” He says that “musicking… is an activity in which all those present are involved and for whose nature and quality, success or failure, everyone present bears some responsibility” (Ibid, p. 10)

On the topic of audience responsibility, I am asking you to read an article from the New York Times by classical music journalist Allan Kozinn (December 28, 2010). It is on the subject of “new music” (meaning classical music composed within the last 30 years or so and that is often on the edge of being difficult for listeners precisely because of its newness and lack of familiarity). In the article, Kozinn discusses the choices that musicians make when programming concerts (deciding what works to perform) and how the listeners determine what music continues to be played in the future: 2010.12.28 Kozinn – Searching New Music For Keepers

These are a lot of new ideas to juggle and that will hopefully change the way you listen to music forever!

-Dr. J.

 

Some conversation jump-starters:

  • What’s your personal definition of “musicking”? What is and what is not musicking, and why? What kinds of things could you add to your personal theory of musicking?
  • Do you agree with Small and the musicians quoted in Kozinn’s article when they say that the listener has an equally-important role in music making as do musicians?
  • What obligations (if any) do you have as a (responsible) listener? How does thinking of yourself as a responsible listener affect how you listen to or consume music?
  • Even though Small and Kozinn are mostly discussing classical music, do their ideas resonate for your experience as listeners (or consumers) of popular music?

142 thoughts on “The (responsible) listener in classical music (Online class discussion #2)

  1. An obligation I have as a “responsible” listener is making sure that after I listen to the music. I give my feedback on how I feel about the music, what I liked about the music, what I didnt like about it, what the artist should do next, etc. Pretty much reviewing his or her music. I feel like thinking of yourself as a “responsible” listener can be really helpful because you can bring more attention to the artist music and listen to hear all the hardwork and complexity of their music.

    Like

        1. I believe as an artist or producer individuals should have faith in their work, of course people are going to give their opinion. However is the artist or producer reasonability to prefect their work. The most important aspect at disposal as a listener is not speaking but listening, however to be considered a responsible listener you will have to give feedback. Therefore while revealing feedbacks it allows individuals to empathize and come to a conclusion, agreement and explores individual perspectives more deeply.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. I would not see it as an obligation to give a feedback but rather as a natural reflex. You can hear/listen to music and automatically react by liking or not liking the song.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What if people can’t hear the music because of auditory complications but still enjoy the songs perceived through vibrations? Do they still count as listeners that can give feedback on the songs or are separate entities entirely?

          Liked by 2 people

      2. i think that a responsible listener should have a feedback,because being a responsible person sometimes you have to prove your point to achieve credibility.with an attribute of being able to give a feedback this proves that you take up responsibility of your position and can be able to know how you react to a piece,and what connection you or others make from it , also when you give a feedback you get a better understanding of how others see it and in what perspective they see a piece in comparison to your views to even take ideas from them or combine ideas to get a better understanding before you can present it the world.It also gives you an understanding that your opinions and others aren’t going to always be the same

        Like

    1. I agree with you the listeners are the most important part about music besides the producer if you really think about it. Without listeners records wouldn’t be sold and the fans are the ones who generate money for the artist and cause the buzz around this music. Most songs are made to really connect to the listener and have to be open and willing to take the part to take part in the music. If there was no listener to enjoy the music would the song or beat really be a work out art? The listener is almost the finally touch to the master piece like icing on a cake, the cake is the main part but without the icing is it really complete?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I agree being a responsible listener you do give feedback but as well as give the artist any suggestions on how to make the piece

      Like

    1. I believe that being a responsible does help contribute you in being a critical thinker because as a responsible listener of classical or any music you don’t just have the duty of engaging in the activities of music but also analyzing and paying attention the soundtrack and the performance which require the evaluation of the positive or negative aspect and form a judgement.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. i believe that musiking is the pieces coming together when making music. its like a paint brush and a canvas, you cant see the bigger picture until you have put a lot of thought and time into an image that starts in your mind. you start with an empty canvas, and the composers, instruments, band, recordings and audio all come together you are left with the end result, that make the bigger pictureor song. the music is made similar to visual art. musiking is adding details and thoughts to the art when making music itself.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. i’m not sure but i think that if you are a responsible listener then you are a critical thinker beause you want to figure out what the singer is singing or what does he/she mean by saying those lyrics.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Christopher Small’s argument that the listener or audience have an important role in the making of music which I believe shares the same responsibility and duties as the musician that produce the sound of music. Small thought of this and came with the term “Musicking” with applies to everything music from the making of the sound, listening, setting up equipment, they all are contributing to all things music such as the listener who have the responsibility of sharing of the classical music for everyone not just ourselves or the select few. Kozinn article also states that the “New Music” of classical shouldn’t be an imitation of past great musician such as Mozart and Handel but that the listener prefer music that is resonated from the musician’s heart and what they intended to write. This shows that the listener has an equal standing of importance to the musician and they should be taken into consideration.

    Like

  3. How does our emotional experience change the way we listen to a specific musics and is it influence by the distinction between the emotion felt by the listener or the emotion that the music is expressing? How does our gender, age and ethnicity influence how we react to music?

    Like

    1. Our emotional experience changes the way we listen to specific music because as you know whenever we listen to a piece of music this piece of music will always have an affect on us. So if you’re coming back from a long day at work or school we could turn on a piece of music we like and this would change the degree in which our emotions vary or change overtime. I believe the distinction between the emotion felt by the listener or the emotion that the music is expressing is influenced by both. Gender, age and ethnicity influence how we react to music because these are all key roles that determine what music we will like. Ethnicity determines what music we like because it plays a part of what culture we are raised in so say if you are Hispanic for example, you may grow up around Hispanic music and tend to prefer that more over other types of music. But, music can go beyond the range of cultural boundaries. Age influences how we react to music for example, later generations may not all have grown up in the generation time as Michael Jackson and might not know who he is. We all might not know the same artists or musicians.

      Like

    2. I believe that emotion is an incredibly significant factor when both listening and creating music. Like stated in the text above, both the listener and the musician decide what emotions are meant to be felt. Because music has such an emotional draw, it is very personal for both parties (the listener, and the musician). Therefore the emotions felt, either while creating or listening to music, may not be the same. If this is in fact the case, neither are wrong. All feelings are relevant and although not intentional, something evoked the listener to feel a certain way. In terms of the different factors listed in your concluding question, I think that they all play a part in what we gravitate towards. We are comfortable with what we were surrounded with growing up and what other kids our age listen too. Although they can influence what we like: gender, age, and ethnicity do not determine it. I think many have found music they are not familiar with enjoyable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. A teenager may be surrounded with pop music played at school dances or on the bus radio. Though they may be more likely to enjoy pop music because of this, it does not mean that the teenager is required to enjoy it, or that their taste is determined by what is most prevalent in their life. It is most heavily how different music makes one feel, the emotions it brings about, what is most attractive to the ear. Personally, I lived in rural community for some time, where the music most listened to was country. Country was played everyday on the school bus, in a lot of my friends cars, and basically at any chance there was to play music. While being surrounded by it, it did not change my taste in music to encompass the sounds of country musicians. While it was most prevalent, that does not mean I was required to like it.

        Like

    3. We are not reacting to the music specifically the influence is through the words of a music piece. In classical music people react differently because there is no specific message everyone can interpret. Music to this day has lyrics so there are different genres that many people of age and race have their own music preference. During the classical age their was no difference everyone listen to the same thing.

      Like

    4. I think these are really great questions with really complicated answers. I believe a listener can be influenced by the experience of the music, and also the experience of the music can be influenced by the listener. For example, a sad song can temporarily evoke sad emotions in a listener who is generally happy. On the other hand, a song that isn’t necessarily sad may be interpreted or experienced as sad by a person who is already unhappy. As for gender, age and ethnicity, I think it is always easier to relate and react more strongly to things that are already most familiar to us. So, for example, an African-American who raps about his struggles with racism or socioeconomic inequality will probably be most attractive to other male African-Americans in similar circumstances who can relate to those hardships.

      Like

  4. Obligations I have as a responsible listener is actually listening to the music and hearing every word, and if there are no words pay close attention to the beats/sounds that are being made. Doing this will help me critique the music afterwards giving the artists helpful advice on how to improve and it will help me give an honest response on if I like the music or not. I can form better opinions and judgement and give a better reaction on the music piece being played. Thinking of myself as a responsible listener affects how I listen to the music because I will pay attention to every detail of the piece of art being played and appreciate the work the artist put into the specific piece they made.

    Like

    1. I’m not sure if we can relate music to really anything in real life because music is neither a physical, tangible object, nor does it have the simplicity of a physical object. Even just defining music is a difficult process, and I think that says something about the nature of music

      Liked by 1 person

    2. As a responsible listener,i am obligated to actually listen to the lyrics of the music and knowing what the song is actually saying.Every song has a meaning,so listening keenly to the lyrics helps you to understand what the artist is actually trying to say.It also helps to determine whether you like the artist or how you can connect to the message.
      Thinking as a responsible listener affect the way you listen to and consume music in many ways such as;
      Listen
      .whether you want to hear loud and soft music
      .Helps in the popularity of the artist/musician that produces the music
      .Decision amongst different emotions e.g cry,happy,sad
      Consume
      .Influence(positivity or negativity)
      .Help to determine what to take an information and do with it to impact others
      .Make connection to pass experiences

      Like

    3. i belive that trying to see music as an object is just as confusing as trying to differentiate the brain from the mind. the brain is the instruments used to play and record the music. the actual concept of making the music, thinking critically the of emotions, moods and stories and message you might want the listener to receive. you may not be able to pick it up and grab the music physically but your body and mind interprets it as an something that does effect you metally or emotionally. which in turn is actually effecting you physically in your brain whether or not we can actually see it happening.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. If musics isn’t a “thing” or ” object”, it can be a way of entertainment that bring people together, that creates a different way of communication between people, music also can help people express their self and also help people to become successful in life.

      Like

    5. I personally believe that music is a quality that humans, animals and other elements have. It’s so beautiful the sound of the rain hitting the tree leaves, or how some animal can create unique sounds just to call each other’s. This is the quality that makes music and important part in our daily lives. For me, Music is every single sound that we can hear and understand. Music is natural quality that we born with.

      Like

  5. The Kozinn article has me wondering if the great composers of classical music such as Mozart and Beethoven had longevity and popularity in mind when they were creating their music, or conversely, was their music simply a product of the times?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why do u think Mozart and Beethoven music last so long over time ? I think when they was making their music is was for their time period because they make music for their boss and concerts to show off their music.

      Like

  6. I agree with the theory of musicking that is defined by Christopher Smalls. I think that music is meant to be a group activity and everyone involved helps to make it. As Smalls says, no one person “makes” music and I think that he is right.

    Like

    1. what is the reason you agree with Christopher smalls? I think a lot of music “make” by one person. Can you prove it why you agree it?

      Like

  7. I don’t think music is just a “thing” or “object”. I think about the origins of human society can be traced back to very ancient music of the prehistoric era. When humans have not produced the language, you already know that using sound level, strength, etc. to express themselves and feelings. With the development of human labor, gradually produced a unified labor rhythmic chant and shout to each other to transmit information, which is the most original musical prototype; when people celebrate the harvest and share the fruits of labor, often beat stone, wood to express joy, joy of love, this is the original prototype of the instrument. i think the music is a gift form god.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Is there no a single person will “makes” music? Do they have to be a group activity? This is what Christopher Small say in this article.

    Like

    1. I don’t think one person makes a song because it’s take a group to make the song good and the production of the music. One example is on the back of a album u see the production group that help makes that album good.

      Like

  9. My personal definition of musicking would promote a concept of imaginary process of creating, performing, acting or reacting and displaying effects on sounds or silences for individual aspects. The method of creating musical excellences will correspond with your taste, culture and emotion, the engagement with musicking will influence individuals thoughts, goals and activities. Generally speaking music is everything, it can be created from a simple heart beat to a complex collaboration of a mixture of different sounds. What is not Musicking? My response to that question would simple be, everything is musicking. I don’t believe there are bad or good music or musicking, everyone can stated their opinion on which type of music they prefer, which artiest deliver the message clearer. However judging musicking in general I believe it would promote a bias opinion. For example, Old school hip hop and new school hip hop. Some individuals say old school hip hop is good or better because of their age and culture, other will argue new school hip hop have a more entertainment feature to it while still having the aspect of being good. Music and musicking in general carries a concept of contemporary life, what might be consider great in 2016 will probably be label as trash in 2050, therefore musicking basically marks the significant moments or events of individuals personal lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Listeners are only important to the musicking process when talking about popularity. Clearly to make music is different than musicking. Musicking involves more than just the person making the music, it involves the listeners and the prep workers and all sorts of people collectively pushing the music into society. Listeners are important to the musicking process because they decide what stays and what goes. I bet there were a lotta composers in Mozart’s time, perhaps ones better than Mozart, but it was the audience and the publicity that had Mozart’s work age well in history. There was probably a few more musicians in Liverpool than The Beatles, but they were the ones who were musicking (or musickers?). I agree with the idea that musicking involves everyone who comes into contact with the music.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. There are some artists who only draw for themselves, they don’t want to make art to sell or show other people. Are there people who create music and record it just for themselves? I feel like music is an extroverted activity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People aren’t require to make music to please others but instead they should make it to please themselves as a personal hobby. There are those that make music for the consumption of others who prefers to create a type of music that is the trend or popular and there are those who instead will create that they love which will divide the artists or individuals activities into a hobby musician and a career musician.

      Like

  12. Music is not a tangible object that we can touch or see. The only way we can absorb it is through listening. I find that auditory perception is one that many underestimate. Music, however, is something that has a strong emotional impact on many who listen to it. Do you think that the fact it is not tangible correlates with this strong emotional impact?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely, I believe that it has more of an emotional impact on everyone because it isn’t something that is tangible and therfore forces you to use emotions to analyze it.

      Like

  13. It is hard to pinpoint what exactly one should do when listening to a particular piece of music because everyone listens to things with a different ear. For example some choose to focus on the instrumentals, while others choose vocals. Some are listening for the over all tone of the music while others focus on the written lyrics. In order to be a responsible listener I think that you not only have to listen for the specifics in the work but also link it to a meaning of some sort. Whether it be a personal meaning or a general one, as a responsible listener, one should draw some sort of meaning while also being able to pick up specific sounds, lyrics, and rhythms that allude to the overall meaning.

    Like

  14. In light of Small & Kozinn arguments about music, its meaning and the way it impacts my experience as a listener, producer or consumer of popular music, is that music has the power to culturally, morally, and emotionally influence our society as it has for me. Just like Christopher Small stated “Our jobs as listeners is to forge those relationships: to engage, whether physically, socially, or intellectually, with the sounds we hear, the people making them, and the people around us who are also listening/participating.” Thus, the more intentional we become with the sounds, messages, and moods we create and release through our music, the more powerful we will become in making deep positive impacts. I believe that those who really love and care about music are the ones who grew up listening to songs that touched them and spoke to them in a profound way. The popular music of our day reflects the culture of our day. We can see the fingerprints of a certain generation in the lyrics and sound of that time. In other words, culture and music flow together. What our parents used to dig, kids of today would deem as lame. And in a few years, the music we think is cool now will probably be outdated. It’s nothing against the music. It’s just a representation, a manifestation of what’s constantly changing around us.

    Like

  15. Small states that music is an action, one in which we should all take part? What are some ways in which we can (or have been) take part in this action?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would say that taking part in music could be anything from actually composing music, or just something as simple as listening to music. I think taking part in music is really just doing anything that involves music.

      Like

    2. Taking part in music, in my opinion, means basically means everything you do basically. Everything you basically do has a form of music or part of music. Some people, in these cases, just put these actions together and create music/art. For example: You can hit the wall, and later just start creating a beat which is forming a part of music.

      Like

  16. since people generally listen to music they like, should a musician compromise his work to please the listener ? perhaps to be more popular or sell more records or should musicians make music that speaks for them, regardless of popularity? if someone is not very good at singing or playing instruments should they stop making music accessible to the public ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that some artists do make music to please their listeners because otherwise, they wont buy their music. I feel like this is what happens nowadays. You can’t really find a singer with their own meaning of “music”. Like the beatles or M.J, they were legends because they let us, the listeners, know who they really are and exactly what kind of music they make. But nowadays, all hiphop, pop sounds about the same. It’s like there’s someone behind them just giving them orders to sing a certain way for a certain song. At least to me it does. This is why we still love hiphop, R&B music from the 90 because everyone had their own style of rapping and voice/tone. We still hear them on the radio even though its an old song. They never get played out. But songs now get played out so fast!
      YES, if someone is not very good at singing or playing instruments, they shoud dfinately look for something better to do other then music. Music is like a story you tell to the other person, if you tell it horribly, the listener isn’t going to understand you and also probably would want to not hear it anymore.

      Like

    2. I personally feel like and a lot of people would agree with me but the artist has to make what they feel and what they like. There will always be people that either like or dont like what they’re producing but its the people that do support what the artist is doing and have constructive criticism so they can make their art even better. Simply if a artist starts only making what people want to hear all the time they will be considered a “sell out” which is why they should just stick to their craft.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. added :

    in this audition this little girl should amature performed an original piece, which was well received by the audience. should someone who may not recieved such well feed back stop performing or playing their music to other listeners or audiences.

    Like

  18. I think “musicking” can be defined in many ways. The definition of musicking is depending on how people think about musicking on their point of view. Mostly it’s like a opinion. But my way of interpreting “musicking” is that it can be anything action that involves music in it. For example performing a song can be “musicking” or playing a guitar can be “musicking”. But I don’t think a man who moves the piano can be known as “musicking” because I personally think I should only represent the people who perform or listen or publish music etc… like people who’s makes music. One theory of musicking can be asking people’s opinion and remarks on music that been played.

    Like

    1. My definitin of “musicking” is concept in music. Like small tells us, music is not an object or a thing but is an idea.. Concept is defined as an idea or an invention.

      Like

    2. Musicking, for me, is a simple action of hearing and listening to the nature of music of all types, incomplete or complete. Weird, strange, or scary sounds is music and it just takes patience to hear and listen of what those sounds have in meaning.

      Like

    3. Good question! I wouldn’t think that everyone would have the same exact definition of Musicking mostly because there’s different forms of Musicking. One may have the around the same idea but I don’t think everyone would agree with that one person. For example, most would consider spoken word Musicking because it’s not a traditionally musically performance, Just rhythm and words.

      Like

  19. I think responsible listener will not listen to a songs first line and few beats and judge a song. In order to enjoy a music or to judge a song you need listen a song over and over and get to know the full lyrics of that song and get to know the beat of that song. And all the others etc. me personally when I listen to music by knowing the lyric it bring you close to that song and make you feels like that song is for you or for your love ones. It’s makes you’re familiarize and feel a complete different vibe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not the type of person who pays attention to the meaning of a song. Some songs have no meanings, and if there are lyrics, sometimes they’re just there for the vocals. I’ve listened to quite a few where the lyrics make absolutely no sense. But the way you listen to music is different than mine. What do you do in these cases where the lyrics don’t make sense?
      On another note (pun intended), I agree with listening to a song over and over again. Sure, we don’t really have to, but we humans tend to like things that we’re familiar with. There are a few songs that I didn’t really care for when I listened to it the first time, but on repeating it, I found that it was slowly growing on me. Sometimes getting familiar with a song is what it takes to truly appreciate it, so I agree when you say that a responsible listener shouldn’t judge a song the first time they listen to it.

      Like

      1. If the lyric didn’t make sense and if that song had a good tunes and make you happy I would listen to it. But if lyrics don’t make sense and if the tunes wasn’t good I won’t listen to it.

        Like

  20. “Musicking” i feel like reminds me of the term “concept”. Concept is defined as an idea and an invention. Someone is probably sitting in their chair “making” music. But so is the person in the shower “making” music. Both of these people “make” music either in writing or with their own beats. Its all an idea that comes out of the brain that has no rules to it. when you make music, there are no instructions like what small says. what makes music different is how people listen to it. If they think this music is sad, the music becomes a sad music. If they think it’s a happy music, then it becomes a happy music. Like that M.J

    Like

  21. “Musicking” i feel like reminds me of the term “concept”. Concept is defined as an idea and an invention. Someone is probably sitting in their chair “making” music. But so is the person in the shower “making” music. Both of these people “make” music either in writing or with their own beats. Its all an idea that comes out of the brain that has no rules to it. when you make music, there are no instructions like what small says. what makes music different is how people listen to it. If they think this music is sad, the music becomes a sad music. If they think it’s a happy music, then it becomes a happy music. Like that M.J song we listened to on the first day of our class. His music was a sad song which sounded like a happy song. Some people heard it as just a happy upbeat song and others heard it as a sad lyrical song. This is where we have to be “responsible” and pay close attention in what the music is trying to tell the listener. I feel like that’s the whole “concept” of what music is. Us being the “responsible” listeners and hear the rhythm, beat, lyrics and understand the concept behind it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. why does the theory of musicking have to do with group activity? why can’t it be a one person activity? This part i totally disagree.

    Like

    1. I think it is because musicking is a separate activity from just making music. Musicking involves the business and distribution of music. I think it’s just a case of semantics. You can make music alone, but musicking is a communal thing.

      Like

    2. Are you sure it’s a one person activity though? You might listen to songs on your own, but maybe if you really like a band, or certain types of music, you’ll end up finding groups of people who share your interests. Communities are built around different genres or bands. You’ll meet people and discuss and share music. If you don’t do these though, it’s totally understandable.
      What about when you find a song you really like, and you share it with your friends? I think that counts. You’re taking something that gave you a good experience, and sharing it with others in hopes that they’ll have a good time too. I do this a lot. My friends don’t always like the same songs I do, but it’s really fun to share songs and hopefully find new genres and artists. Again its totally cool if you don’t, and music is just a one person thing for you. Everyone enjoys “musicking” in their own ways, I’m sure it’s not restricted to being a group activity.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. While yes you can make or produce your own music, there is always some sort of inspiration that you can draw from to make your craft or some work of art that you allude in your piece.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. ” An object doesn’t evolve over time and isn’t shaped by the person who looks at it or uses it. An object doesn’t create a rich emotional experience. But music does do all these things (and more, as you discussed in class this week!), and this suggests that music can be thought of as more than an object.” I totally agree with this statement because music does evolve just like the kyrie eleision clip(s). Music is more of a skill rather than an object because it’s the ability to listen and create and when we listen and create not only is music being created but the experiences that it brings like a wedding song as an example.

    Like

  24. I have listened to a lot of what is generally classified as noise music over the years. The interesting thing about this musaking idea is how it displaces the role of comprehension onto the listener especially on some of the denser composition that some noise musicians have created. What I mean by this is that is up to the listener to comprehend then approve or disaprove of the music it is not up to the composer to explain it to them. For example this song by the Noise artist (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKygyqZNTrc) Vatican Shadow might be hard to comprehend if you are not familiar with the static nature of conventional techno songs. He plays on the drone-esque tropes of dance music to create a sense of doom that would never be encountered at your standard night club. The important part of this being though that it is up to the listener to divine this fact not Vatican Shadow to explain this to you. The piece stands on its on and it is up to the listener to figure out what it means any composers comments on the work are commentary on the work not explication.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. How is the performance and creation of music a conversation between the listener and the performer? How is music composition a conversation between the created piece and what has been composed before it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Music is a way for the musician or artist to connect with their listener and help spread what message they incorporated into the music to the wider world. Music itself can be consider a conversation since there are variety of meaning or type of message within the music that allows the artist to influence the listener with. The result in music acting as a connecting tools between the listener and the artist which parallel a conversation with the performance being the type of conversation being send out.

      Like

  26. My definition of musicking is any action involving music like performing or listening to a new song. Small’s wanted to show that music is not a object but a process. I also agree with his statement that music takes time to produce and its not by just one person it takes a group of people to make.

    Like

  27. Music is made by musicians. Also i wanted to add that making music requires someone with skill,talents, someone that is well educated. Anyone can make music but it have to take someone who’s smart enough to do so, because they have to know what is behind the song they are making, why they are making it and how it will benefit the society . For ex: i’m from the caribbean and the music out there are made by what the musicians had saw in the community from the young generation and how they are living with each other, and so the musicians will take those idea and make a song from it so the people will listen to it and gain some cert on informaton from it and start to change their ways of living and live a better life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you on that, that it takes intelligent people to compose music. In last week assigned reading “ Music A social Experience” by Cornelius, it states that music helps to structure the analytical mind and that musical training improves one organizational skills and can even have a positive effect on ones IQ.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Music is made by musicians. Also i wanted to add that making music requires someone with skill,talents, and someone that is well educated etc… Anyone can make music but it have to take someone who’s smart enough to do so, because they have to know what is behind the song they are making, why they are making it and how it will benefit the society . For ex: i’m from the caribbean and the music out there are made by what the musicians had saw in the community from the young generation and how they are living with each other, and so the musicians will take those idea and make a song from it so the people will listen to it and gain some cert of information from it and start to change their ways of living and live a better life.

    Like

  29. Why christopher Small think that music isn’t a thing at all? I think music is a big part of life because it can change somone lifestyle or bring back people together as one.

    Like

  30. I believe we have the obligation to say what we think of the music we listen too, whether we think it’s good or not. It’s all a way to help music change over time but without leaving its origins behind. Even today people still play classical music but it’s come a long way since then and has developed new beats and rhythms for us to listen and follow. That’s a result of our feedback for all kinds of music it helps music improve.

    Like

  31. Music triggers our emotion and the same music may affect us differently at different times. I believe as a responsible listener our obligation is to simply be affected by the music, because it awakens our feelings and activate our memories. I don’t think it’s only necessary that we understand the lyrics and the message behind it to enjoy a certain music but it could be the melody or rhythm that makes us feel a certain way.

    Like

    1. If we’re not open to the music the beats and lyrics would never reach us deep into our minds and body. We have to be willing to feel it.

      Like

    1. I’d like to believe so. I think it all bottles down to your personal definition of musicking. For example, to me being able to dance to a certain song is part of musicking and even though you can’t dance to all songs the same way because each genre is unique, you can interpret all of them through dance.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I think a responsible listener is someone who listens to music and, like I mentioned earlier in a reply, shares the music in hopes of sharing their experience with it. Participating in these communities formed around genres or popular bands is a bonus. I think it’s all about sharing the positive experiences we’ve had with music. I’ll often share songs I really like with my friends, and I really appreciate it when they do the same, because it’s more chances of finding new genres and artists that I’ll like. While I’ve never personally been to one, I think concerts are the best form of “musicking,” because it’s a community that’s been brought together by a band, and they’re all having a shared experience when they listen to the music. While everyone may listen to the music differently, they’re all listening to it together and having a good time. I think it’s beautiful, the way music brings people together and forms relationships. You can make friends and talk about music you like and share these experiences. You can bring people closer, and just have fun listening together.

    Like

  33. Being a responsible listener is being a good a communicator by listening to the beauty of that music. Communicating in this case means feeling the music and picturing art in your mind. A responsible listener (in music) basically means listening to sounds of nature that is being made or played by someone else because in reality it could affect you in your listening and could later fill you up with ideas.

    Like

  34. There is an obligation for the listener to fill out the ending to the music in other words search for the meaning and live it out or even try and make the music a trend. If it’s a dance song

    Like

  35. There is an obligation for the listener to fill out the ending to the music in other words search for the meaning and live it out or even try and make the music a trend. If it’s a dance song as an affective listener we should be out there dancing to it and make the song popular because with you us the song wouldn’t travel much besides social media. If we can learn how to listen Instead of just hearing the music then the song can be complete. If a chef puts all his or her passion into a dish and then serve it and the consumer doesn’t appreciate the way it’s suppose to taste and doesn’t like it then the dish was a waster because of the sole purpose at the end of the day is to satisfy the consumer or listener. It’s easy to see trends in society and make a song that people relate to at the time therefore causing buzz around the music.

    Like

  36. As I read this blog post and Kozinn’s article, it was really challenging at first to grasp the idea that the listener could have an important role in music making. However, once the concept clicked, it made a lot of sense to me and was actually almost exciting as a consumer of music myself. When I stopped playing the flute as an eighth grader, I felt like I had to give up on the “hobby” of music because I didn’t have the skills to actually compose or play an instrument professionally. However, Christopher Small’s definition of “musicking” makes me see the world of music in a whole new light, one where everyone is welcome and being a listener and a consumer is actually a huge way to participate. The reactions and opinions of listeners can majorly influence which pieces go down in history and which are forgotten forever. As Small says, “musicking” isn’t just about the writing of the composition or the performance of the piece, but can also include the people in the audience, the ticket collectors at the door, the maintenance workers who clean up after everyone else is gone, and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, I had never taken into account anyone else’s place in the process of “musicking” other than that of the musicians. However, after reading the article, I feel I have a better understanding of everyone’s place in the world of music, including my own. Without the role of listeners, music would not have the same opportunities to grow and change. Without those willing to host concerts and musical events, music would have less of an impact than it does today. In this, every party involved is responsible and helps in the process of “musicking”. This was a standpoint I had not seen before today, and I am glad that this article helped me to see so.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Have certain genres of music (such as classical) always been sort of exclusive or difficult for the average listener to engage with or is that a more recent development?

    Like

    1. It probably has always existed since the music that the bourgeois listened to opposed to the poor was always different because of financial reasons or cultural reasons. Sailors would listen to different music than a priest working in a very religious city and the priest would probably find it hard to listen to the untrained voices and interrupting shouts in shanties as the sailor would not probably find the Latin Songs that we listened to in class to be too “refined” for their taste.

      Like

  38. To me, “musicking” can best be described as a conversation between the musician and the listener. To be a “responsible” listener means to clearly understand and analyze the intention behind the music being played. A “responsible” listener should also look to critique the music, find good aspects as well as flaws to help the musician improve and continue the ever expanding conversation. Listeners play just as important a role in music making as the musicians do, for without listeners, music is a one-sided experience. In the article, Small states that a musician must put himself into a state of mind that their music is perfect and without flaws while they are performing, before they can then look back on their performance and critique it. However, even in doing this, the piece is still being analyzed by its creator. Without the views from an outside perspective; from the listeners, the music will never truly have an opportunity to grow and change. The listeners have played an important role in the growth and development of music as a whole.

    Like

  39. Can a listener’s relationship to the musician effect the way that “musicking” occurs? Can the “conversation” between listener and performer be skewed if the relationship is close or resentful?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also wonder if music is mostly based on personal bias because music is not always only auditory but also visual in some cases because a lot of bands have big fancy consumes or effects or give away a lot of free concerts. This can sway people into enjoying certain music or instead of focusing on the music focus on the visual aspect and just say the music is great

      Like

  40. I think it’s really hard to actually get the pure definition to what music is exactly. Which is why I would get why most people would compare Music to an object/objects merely because we all have different perspectives of what that object/objects mean to us. In the first quote, when Christopher Small was describing music as a Musicking meaning it isn’t just a thing but something that continues to move, he states, “[The] verb to music… covers all participation in a musical performance, whether it takes place actively or passively, whether we like the way it happens or whether we do not, whether we consider it interesting or boring, constructive or destructive, sympathetic or antipathetic… Value judgments come later, if they come at all.” And I find this very interesting because it’s so true one could find a piece that they believe is very constructive while someone else could find it really boring. It’s like music is based mostly on judgements of what the audience received from the piece.

    Like

    1. I would have to say that spoken actually does contribute in its own way when it comes to applying itself to music. Musicking means to take part in a musical performance which can be done in various ways. Which goes back to your question on whether spoken word is a part of music or not. Spoken word would have to be, as listeners for us to form a relationship through the concept of musicking we could engage socially. Even though spoken word is not the only way to forge relationships throughout this process, it still applies as one of various ways.

      Like

    2. Spoken word can be considered music. When I went to the visual arts museum they had an exhibit with mouths saying “hello” at different intervals in such a way that it seemed to be a song and not words.

      Like

        1. It was very fascinating and interesting to listen to. The fact that they weren’t singing and only repeating one word was very interesting and at the time was a very busy exhibit. The curators had to cycle people in the room because so many people wanted to hear the exhibit.

          Liked by 1 person

    3. i think spoken word would be considered musicking the same way poetry can be considered musicking. some spoken word can have a rhythmic pattern to it based on how it is performed.

      Like

  41. I do agree that listeners are responsible for the important role in how music is make because consumers are the ones that buy the music’s that musicians make and support the artists work. People can give their feedback on songs that is maded so the artists can see what the people wants to listening to. That can be beneficial to both consumers and musicians.

    Like

    1. I agree ! Because many artist fall off because the audience doesn’t agree with their music. Although their are way more audience that artist so there for someone is going to actually enjoy it of course. Or a good amount of people. But an audience knows what they like and what they don’t & an audience brings the musician to the top.

      Like

  42. It states that our job as a listener is to forge relationships, which would then lead to engaging with one another in a certain manner. What I don’t understand about this sentence in particular is that as a listener music doesn’t always forge relationships. Music can break down a relationship at the same rate that one can be established. For example, a certain person really likes the way the beat contributes to the lyrics of a song. The opposing listener thinks that the beat is all over the place and the lyrics don’t give a clear understanding to what the song really represents. Whether they engage one another physically, socially, or intellectually they still are at a disagreement which leaves them at separate ends of the court

    Like

  43. Musicking means to me a process of creation of music which is able to increase the creativity in people who are able to perform music. Musicking is every sound that we listen, and its performance from people to people. Musicking is not only performing music from people it’s also performing from nature which produces beautiful sounds. I believe that we are responsible for creating need sounds and at the same time we are responsible for understand the meaning of them. Being a responsible listener helps you to understand the messenger inside any sound. This is the reason why musicians are able to touch our hearts when they perform a song. They know how to listen to the sounds of their own instruments, so they can create sweet melodies for us. On the other hand, the audience has the power to absorb the melodies which are transmitted from the musician. Be a good musician or a musicking requires a lot of responsibilities and qualities that only a few people have. I personal believe that I am a good listener because every time I listen to any song I can immediacy understand the meaning of the melody. Unfortunately, I know friends that they can’t understand classical music or any other type of music because they rather listen to hip hop than anything else.Sometimes they don’t even understand the meaning of the hip hop songs because it’s a little bit confusing. They just listen to that type of music just to look cool. Being able to understand and create music are few of the qualities of some musicians.

    Like

    1. i total agree, i see it as people only listen to what ever is the trend if the song is not getting played 1 million times and a lot of other people are not listing to it the chances of our friends listing to it is 0 which i find bad. you should be able to explore a variety of music because your ears like it do not be a person that adjust their ear settings to listen to what everybody else likes

      Liked by 1 person

  44. Thinking of yourself as a responsible listener affects how you listen to music and or consume music because, you have to be prepared to give feed back to the artist in a pose to listening to music at your own leisure you don’t have any obligation to. When being a responsible listener I think you appreciate and analyze the song more. Does anyone agree?

    Like

  45. Musicing is a very hard term to define. although some people may feel that music is in anything and comes from anywhere, some people feel music does not happen unless someone performs it and even then some people would consider some genres of music as only “sound”. The term can probably best be defined along the lines of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” in that what each person considers music is music. My reason for saying this is because not only that the deaf can perceive music in their own way but also that there is new music being produced in new ways some that people do not identify as music. Another reason is that the definition of musicing always falls to a person’s opinion and can never be measured by fact. Even looking at it as a broad topic is still taking it as an opinion.

    Like

  46. A lot of people would say it is a obligation to give feedback as a good listener in which i total agree. there are more things that can also be done to such as telling other people who are not the artist or composers why they should listen to a song and what they can listen for. in other words basically spreading a wild fire and seeing if a certain type of music sound only good to you or to other people as well. which also leads me to this question is any type of feedback good feed back or is some just made to hurt peoples feelings on purpose due to outside preferences of a persons lifestyle or personality ?

    Like

  47. What is music without listeners? And what do the listeners have to listen to without the producers, song writers, and actual artist ?

    Like

  48. In my opinion the listeners play the biggest role in music. That’s the only way you actually know if what your doing is capturing others. The amount of people you are keeping entertained, what the audience like or doesn’t like. Where the artist went wrong or didn’t go wrong. A lot of artist have fallen off because not ENOUGH people enjoy their music . So I say the audience / listeners are the biggest role when it comes to music. Just like the wealthy kings that would get the best musicians back in the day .. The audience would have to like it to know it .. The audience knew what it was because they enjoyed it and already most times knew the type of music they were all interested in. In this day and age music is nothing without the people.

    Like

    1. I agree with you on how the listeners play a big role in music. i believe when the listener’s comments on artist’s music it shows what the they needs to work on creating their music better in order to capture more attention and audiences

      Liked by 1 person

  49. Also depending on the kind of music .. Performance plays a huge role as well. I actually think performance ENHANCES Music. It can be an enjoyment without a performance. But it definitely does make it more enjoyable.

    Like

    1. i agree with this. many times we connect more with the performer than with the actual lyrics or instrumentation. for example when one of your favorite artists does a cover of another artists songs/music, you may like it more than you thought because the performer was different.

      Liked by 1 person

  50. I agree with Small and the musicians quoted in Kozinn’s article, as I too believe that the listener plays a crucial role in the act of musicking. Music wouldn’t be what it is without an active listener, putting themselves into the art, embracing the medium in its various forms. The act of acknowledging sound as music, paying attention to it and being an active participant is part of what makes it what it is. Music can not truly hold as much importance as it does, or even be made, without the assistance of other “creators”. It’s all encompassing. Not only is it the one playing the guitar or singing the song, it the person who built the instrument, who set up the stage, the tuner, the writer, the crowd/listener, the venue owner, the producer, etc. We all make music, not even just as a product but as an ongoing piece. As you press play on a song, go to a show, hum a tune, jam out to a song, tell a friend to go listen to a new album, and so on, you are participating in musicking. We are all apart of the wonder that is music, no matter what role you are playing– and that is a beautiful thing.

    Like

  51. Musicking according to Christopher Small is evolving and ongoing. I agree with this because as time has shown us, music changes to fit the happenings of the people. That’s why we have so many types/genres of music. To me, musicking is any emotional or physical connection to the combination of sounds and melody a listener or performer has. I think what makes us responsible listeners i our ability to understand where performers or composers are coming from when they produce music whether we like it or dislike it. That’s why a major key in being a responsible listener is having an open mind.

    Like

  52. Do you think there are forms of listening that are more responsible than others? Can a listener be just as responsible by simply enjoying the music and the emotions it brings about? Or must one critically think about the music and participate in a certain way to be a responsible listener?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i think there are different forms of listeners, sometimes people like the beat and others really listen to the song to find our everything about it and others who really dont listen to music at all. Everyones different so i would think every listener is different.

      Like

  53. My obligation as a listener is not to interrupt or judge a piece before I’ve fully sat down and listened to it. I’ve caught myself a lot of times judging a song by the first couple of seconds listening to it, and I have to stop myself and continue. Being a responsible listener gives you a nudge and helps you appreciate a piece of music and the effort that has gone into it.

    Like

  54. I believe what Christopher Smalls has said that musicking could be an act of singing, making music or listening to music. The act of muscking has to involve the act of doing something with sounds, even tapping a beat with your pencil in my opinion could be musicking. What is not musicking in my opinion would be anything that doesnt involve making sounds or listening to music, anything irrelevant out of the music and sound topic. One thing to keep in mind would be that is writing lyrics actually music? i think that its more of a poetry, free writing, thats one thing that i dont think fits the music topic. I do agree with the articles above that the listener of music has the same equally important role as the musicians for the most reasonable thing, that we both want to listen and want to embrace the quality of sound. As musicians like music, me as a listener also like music. I do believe we are the equally same important role we are in this case. I do not believe we have an obligation as responsible listener since music is a freedom of expression, we listen to what we want. Thinking of myself as a responsible listener will not change how i listen of consume music for the reason i mentioned above, we are free to listen to music however we like to.Although small and kozinn are mostly talking about classical music their ideas does resonate for my experience as a listener because im listening to what i want that musicians in the world have made, as the musicians back then are doing with appreciating the quality of music i am as well, in a different era, in a different time.

    Like

    1. Writing lyrics can be considered as music because songwriters tend to recite their words in a cadence that best suits the composition. Poetry can be said in an unorthodox way such as haiku’s or spoken word, lyrics however can enhance the flow of a song, you sing lyrics you don’t necessarily do that for poetry and even though genre’s like rap can be perceived as poetry, once it is broken into flow and bars it turns into a song.

      Like

  55. is the lyrics of the song considered as a form of musicking? The article above is talking about writing music in a classical music way, but what about pop songs and rap, do the lyrics actually go into the musicking topic?

    Liked by 1 person

  56. I agree with Smalls pertaining to his argument that the listener is just as important as the composer in music. When a piece of music is made that is universally received, it is most likely because it gels together everyones opinions and ideas. The musician originally has an idea of what they want the piece to sound like but the proper musician makes the sound and plays it to test listeners to see how the general audience might react to it. If the listeners have not invested into the music, then ultimately, the music has little to no impact and fades into oblivion because it couldn’t stand the test of time.

    Like

  57. Who says music tends to be something we “just don’t understand” ? why can’t it be certain parts of music doesn’t reflect our culture the way it does others? Its not all of us refuting its difference its just certain elements of music through the years are not involved with our way of life the way it once was. Do you think that hip hop music would be acceptable to culture in the 1700’s ? do you think classical music is a huge part of culture in the 2010s?

    Like

  58. I do agree with small when he said that listeners have an equally important in music as musicians do. one of the reasons why musicians make music is for the enjoyment if the listeners. so its ur job as the listener to digest the music we are listening to and give our feedback on weather or not we find it pleasing to the ear or not and based on musicians make the decision on how the will produce music in the future.

    Like

  59. @mainez04 I think our generation knows the meaning of musicking with our generation of music. we grasp and have a better knowledge f music know because we could relate to it more.

    Like

  60. I agree with small and Kozzin’s article when they say that listeners have an equal-important role in music making as musicians do because our reaction and our opinion on music can prove weather a music is good or bad. Listeners reaction is important. Some time good music gets bad reaction it all depends on us listeners. Another reason listeners are important because musicians express their self and make these music just for us. For us to listening to their shared stories if we don’t listen to their stories when won’t make music anymore. Another major reason why listeners are important is because if listeners stop listening the artist won’t make any money.

    Like

  61. I believe that listeners bring the money and inspiration to the music. The amount of feedback an artist receives determines his attitude when it comes to another music piece.

    Like

  62. Is musicology (the study of music and its role in society) really necessary for us listeners?
    Are we over thinking how we should interpret/ listen to music?

    Liked by 1 person

  63. I think to make music is to put all of your either analytical and creativity into piece of music. It could be bad or could be good but it all depends on what was put into the song. To not music is to make sounds that represent no actual significance in an artistic background. But i’m a firm believer that anything could be turned into music somehow, it just takes dedication and effort.

    Like

  64. From my point of view being a responsible listener one needs to understand what the music is being played about. As you actually listen to the lyrics some people may relate to it and could actually feel the artist’s emotions and thoughts when he or she was composing their music. Understanding the meaning behind any music, be it classical or popular western and foreign songs, helps one to hear the message going on through the music being played. I agree with Small and the other musicians, on how being a listener has a equally important role in music making as do musicians. Musicians play music for their own liking and for the listeners too. They want the listeners to feel the music along with them. The music is a part of theirs but also a part of ours as the listeners.

    Like

Comments are closed.