Online Class Discussion #7 is open for comments March 20-26. The rubric I’ll be using to grade your participation and a description of these assignments is available here.


 

In Online Discussion #5 many of you said that gender didn’t matter, that music was just music. However, music is made by people, and people are complicated.

A person is made up of all their experiences, their desires, their memories, their bodies, and the vast array of their interactions with other people in their world: talking to people, of course, but also observing people, reading their books and articles, listening to their music, watching their dancing, studying their paintings and sculptures, and living and working in the buildings they created. Each person is a multi-faceted, multi-layered, ever-changing array of all these factors.

Because each musician is a different person, that means that he or she makes different musical choices, and their unique, individual perspective on the world affects our listening experience. At the same time, we also—as oversimplified as it sounds—think about different people in different ways. A 40-year-old, healthy, white man doesn’t live the same life as a 90-year-old, ill Asian woman, and we don’t treat them the same (you’re less likely to help the man walk across the street or carry his groceries than the woman, for example). And so, if you heard a piece of music sung by the man—knowing everything that you do about 40-year-old white men from your life experiences, movies, books, TV, etc.—and that same piece of music sung by the woman—which would also tap into every experience you’ve had with old ladies—your experience as a listener would be different.

Examples of musicians’ identities affecting our listening experience

Does the singer’s gender affect the way you react to words that are sung (female vs. male)? Here, the song “Say My Name” is performed by women (Destiny’s Child, 1999) and again by a man (Sick Puppies, 2001):

 

What about an artist’s age (young vs. old)? Here’s the song “Hurt,” recorded by Nine Inch Nails (1994; the singer Trent Reznor was 29 years old at the time) and later by Johnny Cash (2002; he was 70 and died the next year):

 

Or their race (white vs. black)? Here’s Chuck Berry’s song “Roll Over, Beethoven”, which was a big hit for The Beatles. (Berry just died on Saturday, March 18, at the age of 90)

 

triangleOk, so musicians are people. Thinking back to Online Discussion #3, we experience a whole orbit of ideas set in motion by the music we hear, and that goes beyond the sounds—our own past experiences as people, our ideas and beliefs, and what we think about the people making music (whether consciously or not).

 

The morals of how we listen

What would it take for you to stop listening to a musician’s work, boycott their concerts, or encourage others not to listen to them? How does your moral philosophy affect what you decide to listen to (or do you compromise your ethics for music that just sounds really good)? Are certain actions forgivable if the musician is good enough? Let’s run through a few scenarios…

Do a musician’s public or professional choices matter? Say, if Beyoncé, Kanye West, Sting, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Seal, Lionel Richie, 50 Cent, Erykah Badu, Michael Jackson, James Brown, or every major act in the 1980s performed private concerts for dictators or governments who starve and oppress their citizens, should we think twice about supporting their work? Just as we saw under the patronage system (Online Discussion #1), concerts help show how powerful these rulers are, and by performing for them, these artists are helping to cement and proclaim that power. (All of these stars have performed exclusive concerts for oppressive dictators, by the way).

Does a musician’s private life matter? Does it matter if they sing about their sexual prowess in their songs, turning their sexual identity into a public issue (say, R. Kelly)? Does their private life matter if it strongly contradicts their public persona (e.g., Michael Jackson was a champion of children’s rights but dogged by accusations of pedophila throughout his adult life)? What about if their music has nothing to do with their sexual identity, but the sex acts they engage in are considered immoral or illegal (e.g., Henry Cowell, an American classical composer who was arrested for having oral sex with a man in 1936)?

Or, what if a musician does things that are admirable? Does this make their music more worthy of our attention (e.g., U2, the Irish band which has been heavily engaged in humanitarian work for a few decades)? Is Beethoven more remarkable and his music more important because of his physical handicap? Or is Clara Schumann’s, since she was a woman who challenged the patriarchy and simultaneously was a devoted wife and mother?

What if a musician’s work or their public persona completely contradicts who they actually are—or the heartfelt “self-expression” they exhibit is really someone else’s creation? So much happens behind the scenes in pop music that comprises an artist’s public identity or image: making them sound the way they do by writing lyrics and producing tracks, making them look the way they do through fashion and styling, making them have a particular persona through interview coaching, scheduling appearances at certain events, creating beefs with other artists, or selling photographs to tabloids. An “artist” is oftentimes actually an army of several dozen people working together to create a coherent marketing product (that happens to include music). For example, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Pink, Nicki Minaj, David Guetta, The Weeknd, Fifth Harmony, Maroon 5, Ace of Base, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears are all pop artists who present distinctly different personas and musical identities to the public, but much of their music is all written by the same handful of song writers: Max Martin and Dr. Luke, often working together, or Karl Martin Sandberg. Max Martin’s writing credit discography ranges from Bon Jovi to Ariana Grande; Dr. Luke’s is similarly prolific, including Three 6 Mafia and Weezer. Other ubiquitous songwriters who have created the musical identities of headlining artists over the last 30 years include Babyface, Pharrell Williams, RedOne, Rick Rubin, and Sia.

milli-vanilliSince the 1960s, the use of pre-recorded backing tracks for all or some of the sounds that comprise a “live” performance has become nearly ubiquitous (including vocals, backing vocals, instrumental tracks). There are many possible permutations of this, described here and here. To some degree this makes sense, since performers can’t dance and sing well simultaneously (think about what happens to your voice when you try to talk while jogging or doing jumping jacks). Sometimes “live” performances are completely fake, as with this list of examples from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beyonce, Eminem, Nirvana, Milli Vanilli, Ashlee Simpson, and Jay-Z. And “Lip Sync Battle” was so popular on Jimmy Fallon that it’s now its own spin-off show hosted by LL Cool J–it’s as if we love the energy and illusion of performance but not necessarily the music making.

Final thoughts

This is a poorly titled blog post—it’s a yes/no question (rather than something open-ended), and it’s a leading question. The answer is “yes”; of course it matters who musicians are as people. Their identities determine what their music sounds like, how it is perceived, and their role in society. The title question necessitates some follow-up questions: When does it matter who a musician is as a person? To what degree, in what circumstances?

A better title for this online discussion might be “The Moral Ethics of Listening.”

-Dr. J.

 

Questions to get the conversation started:

  • What responsibilities do you have as a listener/consumer?
  • What would stop you from listening to a musician’s work? Where does your sense of morals in this regard come from?
  • Who has the right to say what music is acceptable to be heard?
  • What advantages are there to having a more complete understanding of who a musician is a s a person?

106 thoughts on “Does it matter who musicians are as people? (Online Discussion #7)

  1. (this is a response for question #1 ) a good listener has many responsibilities but however i don’t consider myself as a good listener but i still try to be effective listener. i believe the responsibilities i have as listener is listed below
    (i) no talking : i believe when listening to something a i must not talk when im going to listen otherwise ,i might not receive the idea .
    (ii)avoiding distraction : i should not distract my attention from the speaker
    (iii) concentrate on message : as a listener i concentrate on verbal and non-verbal message .
    (iv) thinking : i try to think deeply about the ideas that speaker states and focus on ideas or key points.
    as a listener these are some of the things that mostly focus on

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    1. I honestly don’t think theres a limit to who can be a great musician anyone who has that passion and determination would be able to accomplish it. So taking your answer to question one I’m gonna quickly relate it to question 3 and say that it’s the public who should decide if music is acceptable to be heard. I mean whats wonderful to one person can be horrid and insulting to another but it’s us the listeners who based on everything you have stated we have to do as listeners that allow us to decide what music we would like to hear. What music is acceptable to our liking. None can speak for everyone because nobody has the same likes so theres no specific individual to say what must is allowed to be heard. If anything we decide what music we want to hear. Don’t you think?

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    2. I agree, if we truly want to understand the meaning behind music we have to engage all those practices you list. I guess we can summarize it by saying that we must be more than active listeners, we must be proactive. We should go beyond just sound and try to understand the people behind it, the environment surrounding its production and the culture it comes from. Basically, he have to start using all the tools given to us in this course.

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    3. Me too. I don’t think I am a good listener. Just like a majority of people. I just look at the big picture, not the little things. Those little things are important too, even more important sometimes. Distractions do get in the way of pay attention to things, to get the over all message. The message is important in a song to me. Pointless to make something if it does matter, or contribute in some way.

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  2. In response to the second question:

    This particular article is such a broader eye opener for me.
    Yes, many things can actually make me stop listening to a musician’s work: including the lyrics, his/her life and his/her associations.

    Do you know how many songs are in my phone? Over a thousand. If most of us have at hand some of these horrible informations about musicians before purchasing or downloading their music, I think we’d have a rethought. I think we’d be wisely selective. It’d be great if there’s a way to makes informations public as it is happening not afterwards- maybe after their life, or after they might have won enough staunch fans. Unfortunately, in most cases, these informations about them come out later- when it might be helpful not anymore.

    Coming to where the sense of moral…comes from, as a Christian, I believe we all are created in “imago Dei” (image and likeness of God) who is holy and cannot deceive. We all have working consciences naturally- something that tells you when something is bad, good and when there’s danger or it’s safe. Whether you believe in God or not, you still have that. Even though our consciences work depending on how we were raised/formed, the culture and environment, I still staunchly believe that you still know that killing someone is bad, etc. We only pretend not to hear and subdue our consciences- in most cases, a corrupt conscience or mind.
    So, having the knowledge of a musician’s life, his associations and contents of music at hand, I strongly think your conscience is able to distinguish, to choose, to decide just as your eyes is able to different white from black at least to to an acceptable average.

    Thank you.

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    1. Do you download all the music on your phone or use an app to listen to it? What are some music that you always have to have it on your music?

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  3. Since some of these musicians have multiple persona and ugly backgrounds, how is it possible to expose them in realtime (not in a negative sense, but for the fact that they sell their products to the consumers)?

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    1. I believe they prefer to express the way to have “multiple persona and ugly backgrounds” on their music even though we personally may not like or not.

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  4. Good listener consist of following the lyrics, beats, and sometimes I use my inner voice to word out the lyrics depends on the artist style. Also it depends on the tempo of the music. Question to all: what do you think?

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    1. I agree, I like to decipher the meaning of the song which means I have to listen closely to what the artist is saying. I like to have a better understanding of the song.

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  5. As a listener, I believe that I should give musicians the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their music. I believe that artists have certain meanings to their music that are missed by many listeners. Also, I believe that other listeners will have a different understanding of these songs than I do. Some people will listen to a song just because it is entertaining. Other people may listen to a song because it has a meaning to them that others may not understand in the same way.

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      1. I have actually. It isn’t something that should be done because of everyone’s differing viewpoints, but sometimes you have to try and help people understand what you see.

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  6. As a listener we gravitate towards a song, or artist because that is just our personal preference. Maybe their work speaks to us in some sort of way, or maybe we can relate to the piece. We are free to listen to anything we choose, and as an artist anything we choose to write. We do it for our personal enjoyment and pleasure. As listeners we have the right to determine for ourselves what we hear as “acceptable.” This varies from person to person.

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    1. As a listener we are commonly drawn to a song due to a deeper message or a sense of connection with the song. We intend to find our own meanings or relate to it with a memory, or a person, and certain emotions.

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    2. I agree with you 100%, it all depends on the person and what style of music they personally favor. So what everyone considers “acceptable” is different for every individual.

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  7. A large percentage of time I don’t listen to certain artists because I simply just don’t
    Ike their music. Sometimes more goes into that. For example there have been many cases where an artist said something considered wrong in today’s society that may have offended people so they stoped listening to them. Just like in the case with Chris Brown and Rihanna. After the alleged abuse many radio stations at the time had stopped playing his music for a while. Many reasons come into play as to why people may not like, and even stop listening to certain artists who maybe at one point they liked.

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  8. Sometimes there is an advantage to knowing a little about an artist in order to understand their work. You may realize that a certain artist is constantly writing emotional songs, and later read up on them and see possibly a troubled past. Even things we hear on social media can affect how we listen to an artist. Like hearing that Taylor Swift just separated from her boyfriend, we automatically assume and expect to give it a few weeks before she writes another song about it.

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  9. If an artist I was listening to and really enjoyed his/her lyrics and what that person puts of there. But to find out that their views on certain things is very racist or sexist or morally wrong. I really dont know how I would feel. For the fact their music speaks one way and the artist speaks another. For example if my favorite artist like Imagine dragons was actually a huge sexist and didnt care about others people views. I would probably stop listening to their music just because I thought I knew the artist when I was listening to their music. But in reality they are a totally different person, and it would hurt me inside because I really love their music. I didnt really listen to chris browns music, but many people did and when they found out what he did to Rihanna, many of his fans and others stopped listening to his music and took a step back. Not realizing a person they admire or like their music, turned how to be abusive to a person his was suppose to “love”. Also in a way it could be the other way around, fans can have an affect on the artists. For example kurt cobain was loved by so many people, but the fact that he was loved was a problem for him. He had to keep a standard for his fans, and it was hurting him mentally. Trying to keep to who he was and not going into the mainstream. In the end he took his one life because of it, may the masterpiece rest in piece. But it I feel like as a fan of music, it would be heartbreaking to find this stuff about a musician or a celebrity in general that I look up to.

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    1. I was different when I heard Chris Brown had abused Rihanna, I felt sorry for her but I still listened to his music. I couldn’t help it though his music is really catchy.

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      1. I also, reacted to negatively to Chris Brown behavior towards to Rihanna because what he used to sing was totally the opposite of his behavior.

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        1. Yes, in the song, he is a good man, but in real life, he is not. He is lying to the public.
          Before he is a good singer, he should be a good person first.

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          1. Where did you get that information on “He is lying to the public,” because we may not the information that was not given to us; so we may not know if that is true or not until we meet him in person and talk to him.

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      1. He did love his fan, its just the overall effect of trying to keep being himself and not go mainstream, but also his fan bases grew so fast and much, that the man had lastly effects because of it

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    2. You used a perfect example of how Chris Brown’s actions of abuse affected the way his fan base looked at him, especially his female fan base. But I really don’t believe that had an affect on the quality of the music he released after the incident occurred. He was and still is considered a relevant artist who releases good music, but he will forever be negatively branded as an women beater in the public eye.

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  10. A song from the singer will let us decide to know more about her, and her personal life will let us decide are we going to love her or be her fans.

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  11. For me if the musician uses the same melody for his next song and keeps repeating it or copies other composers work, then I will not want to listen to them again. I feel this way because the artist needs to be more unique and make something he thought about rather then having ideas from others. This sense of moral comes from how I judged music in middle school, I use to like dance moves that where popular for that a song for only that month,but then it played out and a new one came out. It’s like a piece music, if it’s different, people will listen to it.

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    1. Yes, I agree with you. Also, it the musicians keeps making the song have the same style, I will be bored, we do need to change, we can’t do the same thing again, and we can’t keep listen to the same style for all the time.

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    2. This is def a point I agree with. If one my of my fav artist didnt change up their music here and there, I would get bored pretty fast. I love when my fav musicians change up their music and really try new things and experiment.

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      1. I can agree 100% on this, I wouldnt enjoy my favorite artists if their style of music was never switched up.

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    3. if there is repeated music or have the same style of music then we do not have to listen to that particular music, that’s simple as that

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  12. The only way to stop me from listening to an artist work is if I get bored of them. That’s how i feel most people are. When people found out R. Kelly was accused of pedophilia a lot of people still enjoyed listening to his music. Also, the same thing goes with Chris Brown. When he went to jail for Domestic Violence people still listened to his music and still had a lot of fans who supported him.

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    1. True, they’re people who listened to their even though they committed offenses, but were their careers ever the same again? I haven’t heard any new materials from both of them.

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      1. Do you think even if they wouldve never commited those offenses, would they have came out with some new material? I personally feel their offenses didnt affect their career or their fans. If anything, it brought them more attention.

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    2. Many people will still listen to them but I think that majority will stop (even if it’s for just a while) because artist also have some social responsibility because they have a lot of influence on people

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  13. And if a person wants to be a singer, they do need to manage their personal life. Because if they are the star, they will have fans. The fans maybe will follow the behavior of their idol. Therefore I think it’s very important for idol to manage behavior.

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  14. I do think we certain responsibility as a listener because we are trying to understand what the singer has gone through. Maybe the singer is telling us not to do the things he/she did. What would stop me from listening to a song is probably there’s no connection between the lyrics and the listener, and if the singer is promoting some negative such as drugs, or violence or mistreatment of people or animals. To me, someone like Marilyn Manson, I wouldn’t listen. We don’t have the power to decide what music should heard, we can just can teach what music is good or not.

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  15. I believe nobody has the right to say what music should be acceptable to be heard. That is the reason for a free society and it is up to us as a whole figure out what we morally should be listening to. For example, a lot of songs today are mostly about sex, drugs, and violence. A lot of us know this and yet we continue to consume it so it continues to be produced. This is freedom at work because ultimately it’s down to what we choose to listen to and that’s ok because there will always be music for a multitude of people. I strongly believe to want music with more meaning or a message but even I am powerless to withstand pops grasp. What can I say some song are just so catchy.

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    1. It’s not mostly about sex. drugs, and violence anymore, but it use to be because that’s what that generation caused it to be. If I had to choose what songs are being sung today, I would say money and living a good life from where they started. That’s what people nowadays want to listen to because that’s almost like the American Dream yet, making music to get there.

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      1. It’s mostly just rap and some rock songs that focus on sex and drugs, but some songs have a positive messages, like the rapper Hopsin you have albums over albums stirring away his listeners to stay off the abuse

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  16. The people that determine what music is to be heard are usually the people. The higher classes are slowly influencing this music as well. I think the future of music relies on both these groups

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  17. it doesn’t bother me who musicians are as people i would still listen to their music only if they have good songs . what i mean by good songs? to me a good songs is songs that is touching and moving, music that influences my emotions, and have a good beat, also the lyrics are deep and meaningful, in my opinion we are human we are not perfect and musicians are human too. if they make a mistake it goes viral and everyone talks about it. its because the people worship the famous celebrities,expect them to be perfect and they forget that musicians are people too just like us but i understand that the fans love them and look up to them. when a musician does something bad they let down their fans but i believe it should not be a reason to stop listening to their musics. because musicians makes musics for us that we enjoy listening to i think we should focus on the music more than focusing on their personal life but however if a musician is good as a person would definitely earn my respect

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    1. I don’t disagree with what you’re saying regards to an artists’ personal life, but, there isn’t anything that an artist can do that will influence you to stop supporting their music? Some people do certain things that may go too far and that loses them fans.

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  18. Something that would stop me to listen to certain musician is knowing that they are doing something illegal that’s harming other people. For instance, exploiting workers, abusing, raping, or something like that. To answer the other question of who has the right to tell us what to listen to? No one but ourselves have the right to say what do we listen or what we don’t listen, it is a personal matter because we all have different tastes in music and personalities we may like some musics better than others and some artists better than others.

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    1. Of course they do, theyre legends and inspirations for many therefore people will follow in their footsteps. They set an example.

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  19. In my opinion knowing who the musician is as a person has a effective impact on the listeners opinion because it develops new feelings. When you listen to a song for example without knowing the artists or composers background you merely judge him by the music he writes or performs. But when you know the reason or purpose for his music or even his opinions, it will change the first impact or least rearrange it. As humans we judge and develop feelings even if we don’t want to or plan to. For example if the musician is/was a good person with a huge passion for music and sympathy and care for the public while being famous and talented as well thats someone we would look up to. Someone we would admire not just as a musician but as a person as well. s/he would be a great inspiration just like their music. In other matters if the person who wrote the song was selfish or only looking for fame or to prove that he/she is better than any body else yet has great talent it wouldn’t be the same.When you listen to their music your feelings will have changed. You would think its the music that matters but still can help having that pit feeling of ‘how could this have been written by a person like that’. Or ‘I love his music but i don’t like him at all’. I mean we’re humans we can’t help it and its normal personally i would probably think that the person was showing of. Either that or i would acquire to another song by another artist and say that it’s so much better than the other one even though deep down i know its not true. To some it might sound silly or dumb but its my opinion and i’ve experienced it personally not just with music but with many other things i has come across in life and i think thats what makes us humans. As a listener we have many responsibilities and opinions and i think one of them is to learn not to blame the song for the artists mistakes.

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  20. maybe it’s just me but when i heard the pieces being sung by different artists i got the message but a different mood especially in the song destiny’s child. In my opinion the song hurt and roll over beethoven had similarities with the other singer’s style and form. So what that made me wonder was why was it mostly Destiny’s child that changed my mood from the feminine version to the male version?, what is it about their different gender rolls that affect their style and form of music so explicitly make it seem completely opposites when the song is the same? this question is for everybody and please feel free to comment if you felt the same or differently.

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  21. Back in discussion number three, Dr. J referred to a listener of music as an auditor of music. That’s how I view myself and responsibilities as a listener, an auditor of music who dissects lyrics and beats, thus deciding if the song was impactful on me or not. From there my responsibility would be to share the music with friends and family to get their opinion as well creating a conversation about the music/song. Does anyone do this as well? An artist’s actions or persona wouldn’t stop me from listening to their music, if I enjoy the music I would continue listening to it. My opinion towards the artist’s actions and decisions of the artist would change if his actions are negative actions, but my opinion towards his/her music would not. Does anyone share these same thoughts? For example, when allegations were made towards Michael Jackson the public was outraged and his reputation was damaged, but to this day his music is played and celebrated by many including myself. No one should have the right to decide what music is “acceptable”, but songs played on radio stations that have lyrics with a lot of curse words are usually censored which is the right thing to do ethically but also to avoid and issues with laws set forth by the Federal Communications Commission. Does any one know what the (FCC) was previously called?

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  22. Dr. J mentions Miley Cyrus in this discussion, an artist who made a major change in how she wanted to be perceived as an artist in both her image and the music she made. What do you guys think, did her change’s effect her fan base in a positive or negative way?

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  23. In several occasions during the course of these discussions I have tried to enunciate how important our decisions as artists and consumers are for the music market, and here we are with a whole week to go deeper on it. It is irrefutable that music carries emotions, messages and even experiences from the people who compose it (even with seasoned songwriters like Max Martin there’s a clear intention behind each song; he might not be suffering the pain of a one-sided love while writing certain pop song but he has experienced it before and knows his trade well enough to evoke such emotions at any time) but what about the people who perform it? I get the feeling that human kind in general tend to be a kind of visual creature, we like things more because of the looks of it than for its true value–a good example would be jewelry, that other than being shiny it doesn’t have any real practical use but Lord it’s expensive–,and the music industry is well aware of that. I go back to a comment that I made before reflecting about how free we really are, how individual are our decisions if the media barely stops selling you things while you sleep? (and I say barely because there are some who sleep with a T.V. on or maybe listening to streamed music, which includes ads) I guess the answer is that we are as free as we are slaves of the things we consume. Trends tend to shape people but people create trends, media can tells us that something is hot now but only we decide if it truly is. The main problem with this system is that we tend to receive just a fraction of the whole picture in order to make such decisions–or were you aware that almost every artist around have performed privately for tyrants, drug lords and all sort of crime-related millionaires? and also, that this phenomenon it’s not limited to pop artists, but extends to the whole industry?–, that almost nobody would go beyond and investigate what’s behind the production of the things they are consuming or even question its origin. What I’m trying to say is that we are not consuming wisely, we go to theaters just to see a hot guy/chick in a movie or support artists just because they are cute or look tough and that shouldn’t be enough. We have a responsibility to make informed choices, to have a conscious approach to the kind of art we produce and demand from others, but the lack of interest and the comfort of having the media telling you what to do are the biggest challenges we face in this quest. So, if you have a minute today, please take it to think if there are well supported ideas behind your choices or if maybe you are just being carried away by the current of the market, of the for-profit sea that lies out there.

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  24. In music I believe everyone should be able to have the freedom to express themselves. However sometimes some songs do go above and beyond leaving a lot of controversy and sometimes very uncomfortable for an audience to hear. In Blurred Lines from Robin Thicke it sounds like a “grey area between consensual sex and assault” some lyrics such as ‘I know you want it’ and ‘let me liberate ya’. Which is very inappropriate. Many rape victims feel uncomfortable with the lyrics to this song. Just the title alone “blurred lines,” “okay now he was close,Tried to domesticate you, But you’re an animal songs like this is what crosses the line between self expression and lack of morals. An artist should know when they step boundaries, some topics are very sensitive and shouldn’t be thrown out as a song for clubs to put on as something to be enjoyed and laughed at in my opinion.

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  25. How would you react if your favorite artist wrote a song bashing another race, gender, religion? Would you listen to an artist whose music characterize them to sexist human beings?

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    1. I would say that almost all mainstream artists correspond to that description in some way. What I mean is that none of them is innocent, female artists tend to let themselves to be portrayed in erotic ways, black rappers like to look like tugs, and white males in the industry are always presented as somehow more interesting. All these depictions only enforce the already existing social stereotypes and divisions, and sadly we are the ones who consume and demand such artists. I will returning your question with a new one, do you know any mainstream artist that has never appeal to such marketing strategies?

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  26. In response to (question number 2), What would stop me from listening to a musician’s work? For a musician to catch my interest, their music lyrics and beats or instruments has to be good or decent. Their personal life or negative things said about them does not matter to me as long as it’s not anything major that would make me not listen to their music anymore.

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      1. i personally believe that, that is something that should always be something that a cautious person is into. personality is everything like i couldn’t support someone, no matter how great of a composer the person is, if it goes against my standards and or beliefs. “if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything”

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  27. The responsibility as a listener is a simple as it can be, respect the composer and separate their personality and fiber being to the music talents they distribute to us. But some artist can go as far to be the worst people on earth and have the worst ideals, similar to Richard Wagner that you can’t help but hate and discredit they’re music.

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  28. Being that this question is very broad i believe it takes you as consumer to say what should be heard. I honestly believe that we all have the control over what we hear and actually take in and what is actually gibberish.

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  29. When I listen to music I don’t think about who is singing it or how old they are or where they are from. What matters to me is how I feel about the piece. Do I like it, does it sound good, does it satisfy my ear? Michael Jackson was in the media a lot for his transformation and pedophilia allegations, Chris Brown may have beat Rihanna up and Beethoven may have been rude to everyone but people still enjoy their music not the gossip that surrounds them!

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    1. Sounds like you don’t care anything about the artists personal life, which is good but what if the artist was openly racist? Then how would you feel? Would you think about who was signing on the track then and still support them? Or would you still not care just because it sounds good?

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      1. I would definitely stop listening to their music. If we keep supporting them , not only we are rewarding bad behavior but accepting hatred and making it okay for other people to be openly racist because they see people are okay with it.

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  30. How much should we know about our favorite artist? Sometimes learning to much about someone’s background can often make us feel that we should never listen to them again. For example as a kid I used to listen to DMX and I never realized he often ridiculed the gay community. And just learning that about an artist Heavily changed my opinion on his character and his songs

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  31. As a listener I think it’s our job to listen, decipher and critique an artist’s music. I think it’s our job to say what we like and what we don’t like about the song after we listen to it and why we feel that way. As a listener I think it’s our job to tell our friends about the artist music if we like what they put out. As a consumer it is our job to buy the artists music and not download it illegally so that we can support the artist. It is our job to promote the artists music and encourage our friends to also buy the music instead of illegally downloading it. Finally as a listener/composer it is our responsibility to provide a strong and loyal fan base for artist we like.

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  32. I believe my responsibility as a listener of music is to actually listen to the music. I listen for the beat, I listen to the words and what it means to me. I believe the song should make me feel something, anything whether it be good or bad I need the song to make me feel.

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  33. What would cause you guys to stop listening to an artist or stop supporting them? For example things like racism, insensitive comments about the disabled or actions such as drunk driving. What would be your reason to stop supporting an artist and why?

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  34. I consider myself to be a very open minded individual, regarding to life in general, that of which includes music and the arts. While I may have my own strong personal opinions on topics such as politics, religion, feminism, etc., I try to separate my perspective from others in order to understand the many different points of views that are displayed in music and in art. When we put our opinions aside, we are open to learn and be influenced of others cultures and life experiences. That being said, I think that our morals come in to play when an artist crosses the line and incorporates themes that affect and attacks others and their personal beliefs, culture’s and backgrounds. A good example includes Richard Wagner,the German musician and composer. When first listening to his music one may see nothing wrong with it, and may enjoy it with out having any prior knowledge of the composers life and beliefs, . But when digging a little deeper to find out that his works actually express antisemitic sentiments, my perspective of the artist changed completely.This also happened with rapist Bill Cosby. This is what I feel, would stop me from listening to a musicians work. It is one thing to be open minded, and another to support someones work when it excludes and degrades others.

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  35. Since we are talking about the separation of an artist’s work and their persona, do you care about an artist’s religion or lack of ? for example ( John travolta, follower of scientology)

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  36. Does anyone specifically have any artists they used to listen to and no longer like? & Why so? What caused you to stop listening to their music

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    1. I used to listen to a rapper named future, and what stopped me from listening to him is his repetitiveness. Most of his songs have lost their touch, for example, I tried listening to his newest song called “Mask Off” and the vibe from that song just makes it unlistenable. I liked his old music because of the tempo and most of it you could have fun to, and now it feels like it’s depressing listening to him.

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  37. To answer this question, “who has the right to say what music is acceptable to be heard?” There isn’t anyone to say who has the right to say what music is acceptable. Anything can be acceptable as long as it is being interpretive, explaining, what the music is means to them.

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  38. As a listener your responsibilities is to actually listen to the song and analyze it, the rhythm, melody, word, etc. You’re supposed to also see what message the artist/composer is trying to send across. As the listener, you also decide whether you like, dislike the song, if you’re going to go tell others about it, keep to yourself, skip the track. I would stop listening to a musician’s work probably based upon something he/she did in their personal life that may have affected their look to the public eye. For example, as a young girl I always loved Chris Brown. When he came out with the song “Yo Excuse Me Miss” it was one of my favorite songs, as time passed by he was than charged with domestic violence towards Rihanna. After all of this happened, my perspective on Chris Brown and as well as his music did a whole 360. Just like someone above in the conversation stated, “before being a good artist, you need to be a good person.” Chris Brown set the wrong example putting his hand on a women and also a women who he was having a relationship with, it just made me think instantly why would he do something like that? It was that serious that he literally had to beat her face in? When vise versa, in his songs he’s a sweetheart. Therefore, after that I looked at him as a hypocrite. Actions speak louder than words.

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  39. As a listener and consumer of music in general we have the responsibility to support our favorite artists. Without our support they don’t have anything to make music for an it’ll be pointless. We would lose those musicians and it’ll be a loss in the culture. For me what would make me stop listening to a musicians music is the morals of them and what they speak about. I like to listen to music with sensible lyrics and that’s just me, if it’s nonsense they’ll quickly lose my support. Also and no one has the right to stop you from listening to anything, you should be able to listen to whatever you want to without limitation and to limit music is a violation of our liberties. I feel like when we know the background and who the musician is we can understand what was the reasoning for writing the song. We will be able to connect deeper to the song through the translation of their life to song.

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  40. Why do musicians become even more popular after something has gone wrong in their life has occurred? Like Britney Spears meltdown, we as people saw it and disliked it however her music became even more popular and was back in relevance. Why is that?

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  41. Who has the right to say what music is acceptable to be heard?
    Personally, I feel no one has this sort of right because I feel music is for all ears to be listened to.

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  42. What would stop you from listening to a musician’s work? Where does your sense of morals in this regard come from?

    When it comes to music, The only thing that will stop me from listening to a musicians work is the musician lacking in his work. Many artists have tendencies of running into trouble with the law and public and as far as that, those things will not change my attitude towards the musicians work.

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  43. How do artists do artists overcome these such tragedies and are still able to be favored by an even larger fan base, such as Chris Browns domestic violence case?

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  44. Nowadays,just like Internet violence is horrifying, as a celebrity, they can not avoid many concerns, it means that their every movement is exposed to the masses of the line of sight, many people seem very bright surface, but in their back ,their pressure we can not imagine.

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  45. My brother has a total different favorite music that he listen to than what I listen which I dislike on the music that he plays at home loudly. Almost every day he turns the music on with his phone with a high volume and I have to tell him to lower the volume or turn it off or else I do it not to listen from my ears.

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  46. I would like to know, why are artists would want to change their style since they are well know for their uniqueness?

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  47. I would like to know why other people like to give any comment or use language to attack others? Everyone does not want to just open his eyes, it has someone else to attack use the language or words. In my country, there are many stars because of can not withstand the pressure and suffering from depression, and finally to the path of death.

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  48. As for my responsibility as a listener/consumer, i feel that music is music. It constantly changes with or without warning and has always been like that. Opinions change also and when it comes to our opinions or someones else’s it can changes us and the people around us but sometimes they aren’t changed easily. Music is an expression, it can be used and made by anybody they see fit. Something that would stop me from listening to an artist would have to be something very vile and disgusting, i really haven’t disliked any artist as of so far but that could change. I feel that the listener should be the one to know what is acceptable to hear because the listeners are mostly the ones who actually listen to the song but also the artist should know what they put out is acceptable. The advantage of understand that the musicians that we listen to are people is that when we listen to the music, the lyrics in the song can resonate with someone that shares the same experience or viewpoint as the person they listen to.

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    1. If music is constantly changing does it bother you that when it changes it result in you changing your genre of music? For instant rap as we know it is changing as the newer generation is growing and they are calling it mumble rap(rapping with lyrics that makes no sense), a lot of people including me didn’t like it at first but is basically forced into listening to it everyday because of the fact that this genre of rap is the new big thing and is being played constantly over radio.

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  49. A listener and consumer of music has the responsibility of opening their ears to the artist work. I mean by this as in literally not just singing along with chorus but actuallyunderstanding the lyrics and why the artist wrote that song. Consumers should also listen out for the texture and melody of the song because it would give them a better understanding of why the engineer constructed the song like he or she did. Also listeners should listen out for certain instruments that is being played and this is what I believe the responsibility of a consumer

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  50. People like to connect musicians’ career and personal life, it should not be the case. People go to school and work. You go to school/work. You do want you need to do. You behave out in public. You greet and show manners to your colleagues and friends. In school you get go good grades, participates in clubs/teams. You get a promotion at work. To the public you seem as a good person. No one knows what you do when you go home. You could be cheating on your girlfriend/boyfriends. Kidnapping children on the street at night with a mask. A devil worshipper for all we know. But you do your work. Those celebrities are closely followed. I am not saying the things they do are jusifed. Like R Kelly he is a pedophile. I don’t like him. His music a lot of people like. Those are separate. If it was the same. It would categorize as one word. All together. Right?

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