Some reminders before we dive in: There are three different kinds of comments you need to make in these online discussions in order to earn full credit. Refer to the assignment description you received in class (also available here). The most effective comments in this kind of forum are concise, clear, and supported. Instead of responding to every conversation question in one comment, try to make shorter, separate comments that allow other people to digest and respond to your ideas.

Online discussion #4 is open for comments February 19-25.


 

Listen:

Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.

Billy has gone to sleep a senile widower and awakened on his wedding day. He has walked through a door in 1955 and come out another one in 1941. He has gone back through that door to find himself in 1963. He has seen his birth and death many times, he says, and pays random visits to all the events in between.

He says.

Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next, and the trips aren’t necessarily fun. He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next.

—Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter-House Five (1972)

 

When are we now?

If I asked you when you are as you listen to this piece of music, you’d likely say (after looking at me quizzically) that, of course, you’re listening to it right now (approximately sometime in the third week of February 2018).

There’s the experience right now of listening to the music, but is that the only place you are? In class, we talked about how listening to a piece of music can remind you of past experiences: places you’ve been, people you’ve been with when you heorbitard that piece previously, or other pieces of music you’ve heard. Part of your brain is somewhere else—perhaps it’s more accurate to say that your brain is somewhen else. As you exist in the present, you’re also mentally in another time.

These additional sensations, memories, and times that a piece of music conjures up for you define your personal listening experience—the piece of music is a nucleus around which all these other ideas come into orbit. How varied, rich, deep, or extensive that orbit is for you is a big factor in how meaningful a piece of music seems to be.

Multiple simultaneous orbits

A piece of music needs three kinds of people in order to exist: a creator, an executor, and an auditor—in more common terms, a composer, a performer, and a listener (or in even more pop-friendly terms, a songwriter/producer, a singer, and an audience). Notice that I said three kinds of people, not three different people: they could all be the same person! You as an individual could come up with a musical idea right now (create), sing or hum or tap it (execute), with no one around to hear it but you (audit). (We also saw an example of this with the shakuhachi in Online Discussion #3.)
triangle

It’s also possible for the three people in this triangle to exist in different points in time: a piece of music might be created by a composer in 1725, played by a performer in 1985, and listened to by you in 2018—time travel! And each person involved, because they’re existing at different points in time, brings different ideas, different purposes, different intentions, and different concerns to the piece—they’re experiencing a completely different orbit or constellation set in motion by the piece of music.

Here’s the flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Flute Sonata in E minor, BWV 1034, III. Andante. The work was recorded in 1985 but composed ca. 1725:

 

The composer—Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)— might have been thinking about his contractual obligations and pleasing his employer, or an aspect of his compositional technique, or his devotion to God.

rampal
Jean-Pierre Rampal

The flutist in this recording, Jean-Pierre Rampal (1922-2000), had a different set of purposes: creating superlatively beautiful sound at all times, playing in a style that people wanted to hear in 1985, and continuing his ongoing project of recording every single piece of music written for the flute in an effort to raise the profile of the instrument (which had been largely ignored since the 19th century in favor of the piano and violin).

And neither of their concerns would be same as those, say, of a parent at their child’s recital playing this piece for the first time: “I can’t believe I’m paying all this money for lessons and Junior can barely hold his flute up,” or “Wow, I’ve got a great shot here for the video,” or “Ugh, classical music is boring but they say it’s good for my kid’s brain or something.”

As your knowledge of music and music history broadens over the course of this semester, you’ll be bringing a greater range of understanding, depth, and nuance to your listening experience—the orbit set in motion by a piece of music. Your listening experience will entail the sounds you hear, your personal or emotional reactions, as well as some time travel: to the time when the piece was written and to the time when the piece was performed. The more you know about the thoughts, life, concerns, or intentions of the composer (and the performer!) and his/her time period, the more layers in your understanding of the piece.

Historical performance practice

Not only do compositional styles change (e.g., Baroque to Classical), but so do performance styles. The way in which people produce musical sounds, behave on stage, or program concerts has changed significantly over time as tastes change, new ideas come to light, and the technology of music (instrument production, amplification, distribution media) evolve.

In the classical music world, it was common practice in the 20th century for a performer to use the same style for a Baroque piece (written ca. 1600-1750), a Romantic piece (from the 19th century), and a modern piece. But in the 1970s, classical musicians began to think more consciously about one particular aspect of this time travel: would it be possible to perform musical sounds in a manner closer to a composer’s intentions—to go back in time and come away with a more “authentic” performance style closer to that of the period when the music was written? Were there aspects of a musical experience that could be brought to life that an ahistorical style would gloss over?

The historical performance practice movement rests on research done by hundreds of musicians (musicologists and performer-scholars) and brought to life in performances: re-reading historical documents such as instructional treatises (such as those by Johann Joachim Quantz and Leopold Mozart), music criticism, and first-hand audience accounts; iconography (the study of images, which we’ve done in class!); and taking contemporary philosophy into account. The historical performance practice movement also tends to use period instruments or modern re-creations of period instruments. So, for a piece written in 1725, a flutist would play on a wooden, keyless instrument used that time, rather than the metal, multi-keyed flute developed in the mid-19th century.

flutes-comparison
A modern flute (top) and a modern replica of a keyless wooden Baroque flute (bottom)

 

kuijken
Barthold Kuijken

Here’s a recording of flutist Barthold Kuijken (b. 1949) performing the same Bach flute sonata and doing so on a period-appropriate instrument:

 

 

 

 

 

There are period keyboards, bows, horns, and vocal techniques, too, and playing on older instruments allows the musicians to time travel and immerse themselves in the techniques of the past, and the sounds they make create a more vivid historical experience for the listener.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At first, “serious” classical musicians scoffed at the early music movement, saying that only musicians who weren’t good enough to be successful were trying to play in a historically-informed manner. And then many started noticing how much more of the music came to life when played in a historically informed style. Now there are a significant number of professional ensembles (Anonymous 4The Hilliard Ensemble, New York PolyphonyPraetorius, The Tallis Scholars), concert series and festivals (GEMS, Amherst Early Music Festival), and degree programs in conservatories or music schools (Juilliard, Yale) devoted to historically informed music making.

Musicking

To bring this full circle, let’s return to the idea of where you go when you listen to a piece of music and why the listening experience is so important to the meaning of music.

Christopher Small (1927-2011) was a musicologist (a person who studies music and its role in society) whose work grew out of his discomfort with the way we typically talk about music: we talk in a way that suggests that music is an object, a thing that is already done (i.e., made by a musician), and we listeners just sit back and have no role in making it.

But wait!

Didn’t we just think about the idea that each of has a rich, varied listening experience, one set in motion by a musical experience but whose trajectory and scope is defined by us, the listener, and what we bring to the table?

To this end, Small coined 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 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)

Time travel: the future!

There’s also a composer-performer-listener triangle that’s oriented towards the future: what will happen next in the world of music, and how do we shape that future? Here’s a 2010 New York Times article from the newspaper’s music critic Allan Kozinn dealing with this very issue: 2010.12.28 Kozinn – Searching New Music For Keepers

Final thoughts

I think of the listening experience simultaneously as something that is social—listening to sounds made or conceived by another person, often with other people, and contemplating other people’s perspectives or ideas—but also solitary—no one can ever have the same listening experience as you, because they won’t have your exact knowledge, share youre past experiences, be in your body, or pay attention to the same things. Bridging the gap between the solitary and the social rests on our ability to articulate what it is that we think, experience, and why: sharing in words the richness of our listening experience with others.

-Dr. J.

 

No questions to get the conversation started this week—we’re taking the training wheels off because you’ve done enough of these to have a sense of how to get going on your own!

150 thoughts on “Musicking (Online discussion #4)

  1. I like this article there are many things i am noticing when i read the readings . This is true that a piece of music is created with three kind of people the composer , listener and performer . The person who has created the master piece could be from the past and the person or a group of persons from the present polish it or finish it in their own ways was remarkable. The second thing i like was that not only the listener or permormer are involved but also the person on door who was collecting tickets , the hefty man who shifts the piano and drums
    even the person who cleaned after people left is contributed in the event of the musical program. The writer did mention this aspect, i rarely have seen that someone has given these people the credit also .

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    1. I love that saying, “it’s to give credit where it’s due” and I feel like it pertains to this question. When someone creates or composed a piece of music they have created the foundation for others to bring alive and even perform it differently then how it was originally composed. I don’t think there is really someone who deserves more credit. I say this because we as listeners do hear music differently. If a performer, hears music a certain way and performs it a certain way and really brings the piece to life but they didn’t create that original but the original composer still deserves credit. I just find it hard to give someone more credit for something like music. It’s kind of like how people do remix’s of music and it’s hard to say one is better especially when both are great.

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    2. @imagineraining525@gmail.com The person who created the music in the past deserved more credit because it shows how timeless their art is that people are getting inspired by it that their bringing it alive in the present. They deserve the credit for creating music that will live on for generations to come. They deserve the respect.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I personally think both deserve credit. However, I also think that writing a piece takes more talent/inspiration/art than performing. Please note that I’m not saying performes shouldn’t get credit, I’m saying that writers deserve a little more. Without the composer weren’t be a performer neither a listener.

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    4. I feel that the creator of the music does deserve more respect in most cases. If in the case that the current performer puts on their own personal touch to distinguish it from other performers looking to replicate the experience.

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      1. I agree with you @dparisien, I too believe the creator of music does deserve respect for producing the original piece that started a movement. For example; Juicy J’s “Slob on my Knob” song has been timeless piece in the rap genre. Many artists have sampled and produced their own version using the exact same or slightly altered track. Juicy J is still very relevant in the rap community because so many artists pay respect to his track and bring him back. In links provided you can see Asap Ferg and Cardi B using his verse (just name a few artists). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByOeIkkgrIw
        https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8031447/asap-ferg-plain-jane-hot-100-interview

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    5. I would say they share the same value because if you think about it, the person who created it in the past was once in the present (at their time) and the person who brings it alive in the present, they’ll eventually turn into the past as time passes and someone else brings their own take.

      Liked by 1 person

    6. @imagineraining525@gmail.com I think the people in the past deserve the respect and definitely a little more credit then the people who bring it alive today . The work has already been done , it’s authentic, you would not be able to work off of it, if it wasn’t already created. Of course , one could always take an older piece and enhance it , use it as a sample or make it a more modern version to listeners today. But the real credibility all goes back to the original piece, I would say.

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    7. If I had to say it would the person from the past because that would be the composer of the song and the person who brought the song to life should be credited too, but it is always important that the person playing the song gives credit to the composer like the flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal using the song from composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

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    8. The person who created it kinda deserve more credit but it would not mean anything if nobody else got to listen to it. So I wouldn’t say one matters more than the other.

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    9. the original always deserve more credit because he made it from nothing. when someone else is performing it even if its a little different its still inspired the original should get credit. kind of like Kobe and MJ even though I like kobe more MJ did it first.

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    10. I would honestly say the person who created the original piece of music, they are the backbone of someone else’s re-creation and without that starting musical piece then there wouldn’t be any further upbringings.

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  2. This article was very detailed from how Christopher Small coined this new term to define many different things with the aspect of music. I also read this blog post where it says Smalls intention was to critique the idea of music as a one directional process from performer to passive audience. This means he wanted everyone to everything together which was a very great way to connevt with his audience.
    http://history-is-made-at-night.blogspot.com/2007/01/musicking.html

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  3. Something I got from this is how our past experiences and how they relate to how we listen to music. Since we all come from different backgrounds, we all bring something different to the table and it brings about lively discussions where we can see someone else’s point of view, just like this online discussion. It’s amazinng how we can all listen to the same piece of music and all have different views and hear things differently. It really shows how music is universal. In my past, I used to be in a school choir for about 6 years. It was a requirement for everyone to be in for at least 1 year but I ended up staying in and even did it on weekends because I enjoyed it. From this experience, I’ve learned how to sing pieces in French, Spanish, and Latin. I believe this is why when I listen to certain pieces it brings flashbacks (time travel) to my choir days and when I would sing at special masses or even funerals.

    What part of your past do you think affects how you listen and view music?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My past experiences and thoughts interpret how I listen to lyrical music. It also depends on what I’m thinking about during the time I listen to the music. For example, if I’m thinking about a movie or a book while listening to the song, I start associating that song with the piece of fiction I’m thinking about.

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  4. My question is why did he want the audience involved so much in whatever he was doing, and why was music not a small matter to him?

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    1. We all need from each other, the composer, the performer as the listener. Yet, we create music, as music create us. How music creates you?

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  5. I did not notice that we all take part form a piece and not only the composer. The term “Musicking” is well expressed with the meaning of relationship. Now that I had notice this. This is completely right. From the inspiration from the composer, the talent from the performer and the reason why this two are working together is for the listener. The listener is the most important from this connection. After the inspiration and the performance, if we did not have a listener, then what’s the point?, who are this two joining inspiration and talent for?, that regardless in which way the listener takes it, the satisfaction of sharing their thoughts/feelings/emotions, no one is going to be there to appreciat or reject.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. whats interesting in this weeks reading was from one of the first paragraphs when he wrote that (billy) “He has gone back through that door to find himself in 1963. He has seen his birth and death many times, he says, and pays random visits to all the events in between.” which what I got out of it meant that its not literal time travel but that music is a past Present future kind of experience that the song can be create a century ago sung later in time and played even later that you can renew and improve fix it up and tweak it and do that over and over again. it was interesting to read about how we don’t just listen to past music but the way we preform it and how it differs from the original singer.

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  7. my question is its true that all three is important the composer performer and audience but I there a factual answer as to what is the most important the one who creates sings or the listeners that without them it would mean nothing the singer and song writer?

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  8. To give you answer Maybe the song writer is from the past and the others are bringing it to alive in the present .
    Its in the article every one take part to create a beautiful piece of music

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel as though it is very important to have all three separate kinds of people present throughout the creation of new music. Having the composer, performer, and listener in one place together can create a healthy environment where each party can add their own criticisms to improve the music. This is especially true when the composer is also the performer and may just have to perform the music by themselves or with close friends before releasing it to see if they feel comfortable playing the music that way.

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  10. I liked Christopher Smalls opinion on “Musicking”. He said “Value judgments come later, if they come at all”. Music is an outlet for people in many different ways. Most important music is for pleasure. That is whats first. Whether someone is a composer, player/singer, or listener… they will always seek the pleasure for the art first; not worry about others opinions. Those who judge music positively and negatively shouldn’t be so pressed or rushed in their delivery. If said person is good at their craft, they (the judger) should know that those who participate in music (composer, player, listener) do it for many reasons but do for the enjoyment, satisfaction and love they have for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. On this discussion, the most interesting thing for me is to know the composer, singer and listener can be the same person. I never thought about that before.
    Also this discussion made me realize more profoundly the differences and similarities between composers, singers, and listeners.
    Also when I read the definition of Musicking, it make me have some question.

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    1. Now that you’ve heard about the composer, singer, and listener can be the same person do you feel, that you to will be able to produce or even compose music in the future? If so, what kind of music would you like to create? Is there anything you would value over the other….

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  12. When I read the definition of Musicking, that reminds about another things (and video) below:

    John Cage’s —

    Luigi Russolo –《Die Kunst der Geräusche》

    If a person who take the tickets and the cleaners can be including in the “music”
    So how about a music with “no sound” or “noise”?
    How to distinguish a “music” is a music?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The first video you posted “John Cage” really had me question if I was suppose to listen to something else. But I feel like I learned to listen for a different element now. Music with no sound or noise would still be music because of how we the audience sat and waited for the pianist/singer to start. In Cage’s circumstance, the moving in the seat, the breathing, the coughing, the opening and closing of the lid, and the timer beeps, was all music.
      Great point and cool video !

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree with you because I was listening to sound as well but it taught me to listen for different elements other than sounds.

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  13. I enjoyed learning that musicking includes everyone even the crew, “all those present are involved”. “…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.”

    We learned about flow last week…
    Did anyone else know we were musicking too ? Also, what would be your new favorite way to musicking other than being the listener and player ?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. One thing that was important to me while reading this was when it said that a piece of music needs three kinds of people which is the performer, a composer, and a listener. I think this is important because without these 3 things we wouldn’t know what music really is and they bring different ideas and purposes form their experiences.

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    1. To me music is a means to express yourself, to convey your inner thoughts to the listener. I believe it takes creativity and artistic vision to compose a song, and that talent is required to compose a great song. Music helps me to relax when I have a long or rough day. Music also helps me to get focused or energized before a strenuous activity. How would you say music effects your daily life?

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  15. The video of John Cage caught my attention because as a listener I as waiting for him to play something from the piano. I’ve learned not to only listen for sounds but to listen for different elements as well.

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  16. When it comes to Musicking, the composer comes first, then the performer and soon the audience makes the circle complete. But, relating to a Broadway musical, the show’s songs’ journey begin at the rehearsal room for the cast and crew to study and hear the score from the piano. Then, it’s performed with a orchestra and production elements (sets, costumes) for the buying general public to see and listen. Soon, the songs gets recorded to be put on a cast recording album to be released through CD’s and digital music platforms (MP3, Apple Music, Spotify) for the whole world to hear.

    Musicking is also a part of history, which means a Broadway cast recording released in 1990 (example: “City of Angels”) can be discovered today thanks to digital music platforms, so that it can gain a new generation of fans to discover and enjoy the sounds of a classic 1990’s musical. Discovering a classic musical in the present can also lead up to a new revival production of that show to appear on Broadway or Off-Broadway. In the past, I’ve listened to both the 1992 London revival and 1994 Broadway revival cast recordings of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”. I’ve also seen the 1956 film adapted from the musical. A new revival of that show is coming this spring and I’ve already brought a ticket to see it. Musicking is a process that is useful for Broadway musicals as well as the music of the past and the present.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. That is a very interesting concept, I am intrigued by what Christopher Small said “by understanding what people do as they take part in music, is how we can understand its nature” there’s so many components that goes into music and they go unnoticed by the listener. Many people are involved when making music that do not get credit for their part in the process. For instance; at the end of a movie there are credits given to each participant involved in making the movie ( whether we read it or not) everyone is given credit and we are able to observe the large number of people it took to finish the project. Music is no exception except their are no credits to see how much thought, preparation or participants were involved. In most cases we liston to and critique music accordingly without much thought to the roles being played (behind the scenes). If we understand what it takes to compose a song then we will have a better appreciation for music as a whole, that is what I believe Small was conveying.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This was definetely an eye opener, I guess more of an enlightenment post because it made me see a different concept in music. It actually made me see how the creator, the executor and the auditor have a great amount of value shared within themselves which is pretty cool. Values are shared and through this creativity is something that flows from past to present allowing for there to be no limit. With music, this makes it 100x more open to endless ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a very interesting point you made! A lot of things including music have endless ideas, and there is so much that a person can do for music that it really is very interesting. There is really no limit to what people can do in music.

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    1. @danny715
      I would have to say listener. My experiences as a composer and performer were much less rewarding than that of a listener.

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  19. You have the composers, the performers and the listeners. The article is pretty neutral however, which one would YOU guys say plays the most significant role in the success of a musical piece? Why?

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    1. I would say all three are crucial with the composer there is no music without a performer nobody can hear it without a listener the music serves no purpose.

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    2. In a sense you are all three but i would have to say composer because without the body of music created what will you perform or listen to? so essentially i would go with the composer since it all starts with creating the music thats being performed and listened to.

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  20. I was intrigued by the idea of time travel that is presented. The article says that three kind of people are required a composer ,performer ,and a listener. The Idea of time travel present in this article is a composer can create ,and perform music in the past, and even if the musician has died, if his work is listened by someone in the future it is as though they are there spreading their ideals from the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi @rydalsingh so I would say for such a question there is no one right answer since its an opinion based question my opinion to this question is that I don’t think anyone does to the extent that as long as there legacy lives on so do they but not just in music in literature, science math etc we learn about Shakespeare or Einsteins theory of relativity it still lives on and keep it in practice every day the body might not physically be here but what was left behind is so much greater it never fades it lives on.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I think that because music is self expression and it creates emotion in the listener years after the physical body of the artist is gone, that it is safe to say musicians never die. They are forever.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. this was an intresting article before reading this I had no idea what Musicking was, it really brings a different type of meaning that is so simple. musicking is an action that is simple as running or eating. just because we can’t actually touch or see music we are actively listening to it. To answer your question I do not believe a musician can die out if their music is still relevant today. Reason being for the simple fact that if their music is still getting played obviously they are still liked and remember. people like Michael Jackson who is a global icon will always be apart of society because the impact he made on the world with his classical songs. my question is do artist who produce(not write or sing) the song get enough credit ?

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    4. That’s a real great question. I’d say that if a musician has amazing music and is well known and his music can connect with people then even though they aren’t physically here their music is. An example would be like Michael Jackson everyone loves his music and even though he isn’t here with us today we all believe he still lives because his music is still around after so many years. No matter if they’re physically here or not, they’re alive because of their amazing music.

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    5. Honestly, no. A musician technically never dies. You can listen to a deceased musician who died hundreds of years ago and you can still feel a connection to them even though they died way before you were born. They’re still remembered for a very long time after that.

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      1. I agree with this statement. I think music could live on for years and years and still be impactful to many people. And the music could be passed on from generations to generations

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  21. What really made me think and interested me a good amount was the general consensus that many people think that everyone “who isn’t” a musical producer is automatically untalented. Yes, some people are born with more talents than others, no question. But there are people out there who put int the work and effort to be successful as well as gain knowledge on music, can also do very well. Anyone should feel if they want to produce music, they should do it and have confidence in doing it, regardless what others may think.

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  22. My question of the day is: How is there a way more people can understand that music there is endless ideas, and not be so sheltered and limited to a few things?

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  23. I really liked this article. I was telling my Dad the other day that artists are immortal and especially in music. Anyone born from 1996 onward who listens to Tupac will tell you the same. Another example is Marvin Gaye who because my parents are oldies I grew up listening to. I was shocked to find out he had died years before I was born. Wolfgang Mozart; someone who we have never heard speak (because recording devices had yet to be invented) but his music still sells out concert halls, his art never dies. It’s amazing these artists cannot die. Till this day their words and works have a major influence on society. I personally would have a hard time remembering my childhood if music did not exist. I can listen to Whitney Houston and remember my mum singing at the top of her lungs while cleaning, or DMX when I first discovered him on my older brothers Walkman in 2003. Play some 50 Cent and it’s like I’m 10 again wondering about the candy shop metaphor. How is music linked to your memory and do you also think artists/musicians have reached immortality through their work or am I being dramatic?

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  24. Music does really put me time in a time that once mad me happy or sad. Music always have me thinking about things that happened or things that i know thats going to happen, I have a really big imagination when listening to music as well. I’d listen to music and think about things i know that wont ever happen. Basically what i am saying is that music always has my mind working i could never listen to music without thinking.

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    1. I agree with you that’s why I have a different playlist for different situations such as studying, cleaning or working out to set the mood.

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  25. another thing that was interesting to me was the three types of people when it comes to music which are the listener, composer and the performer, I have realized that i am all three most of the times.

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  26. This was a very interesting article. What I found to be the most fascinating concept was the fact that there is no music without the listener. All music needs a composer, performer and listener. and how it is possible to be a part of the triangle multiple times. The idea of time travel incorporated in existing multiple times during a piece of music. It is mind blowing to think each person is experiencing a completely different orbit or constellation set in motion by the piece of music because of their role the specific musical piece. Here is an interesting factor about how music affects our brains https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217963/

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  27. My question is do you guys think musical talent can be developed with hard work or something or you are born with?

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    1. Musical talent CAN be developed with hard work. In order to get better at something you must practice. There are people out there in the world with natural talent but even those people kept practicing to get better at their craft. It all depends on your discipline, dedication and hard work.

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    2. Musical talent is definitely something that can be developed with hard work. Some people are the first musicians in their family, so being born with the talent probably isn’t genetics. Its definitely something that may start when their young, like using music in education, then taking music classes in school, and hard work from them on.

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    3. Like everything that has the word talent, for the most part, these are concepts that can be learned and executed with some practice of course. For the cases of people that simply found themselves to be more naturally in-tune with whatever talent especially music, it’s not necessarily a case of being born with something but that they’re born into a position where their environment provides more musically-enriching influences and influences in general when it comes to different types of talent. I’m guessing that’s what it means when someone is born a musician, they’ve probably had great access to music teachers, musical influences, and the means to constantly train themselves and practice as musicians.

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    4. @lauraavanessa
      Innate musical talent definitely plays a role. Mozart was a child prodigy who started composing music at age 5, however I believe if he didn’t work hard and his father never pushed him to succeed then his talent would never be recognized so overall it is the hard work put in that caused his success.

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  28. In the beginning of this article they mentioned how when you’re listening to music you’re actually not just in one place, “As you exist in the present, you’re also mentally in another time”. Which I totally agree with and it’s crazy to think about it that way. In reality when you are listening to music yes you will be at the place you’re listening to it but since music can do so much such as in bring you back to specific time, remind you of something etc, then you are also in another time. You’re thinking about other things when listening to music and I loved how they mentioned that because it’s so true.

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  29. My question is since they mentioned that our past experiences is what makes us listen to music the way we do and that no one will ever listen to a piece the way we each do because of our experiences, which part of our experiences matters the most when it comes to music?

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    1. I believe that the answer to that question would be dependent on our upbringing and perhaps even genetics. How our parents raise us, what cultural background we’re from, what their personal likes are, and what we are exposed to. In this article, I was exposed to the ideas of how we choose we what we like based on words or feelings that seem favorable; https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-you-like-what-you-like-73470150/?page=2

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  30. This reminded me of all those times when we play a throwback at a party or get together with friends and everyone would say, “you remember the time when…?” or “this song reminds me about when..” I find it incredible how songs made before I was born are being played and listened to now as if it just released yesterday, and listened to by everybody, not just those that lived it. And its the oldies that bring us all together sometimes, building those relationships. I believe that music is what we make of it as listeners, and I agree when it states that we basically have our unique way of interpreting the music and building our own relationships from there.

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  31. As someone that has been in the position of being the listener, composer, and performer I can understand it’s essential role in order for music to exist. All three roles have an interdependent relationship in which they all need each other because a performer needs content from a composer, an audience needs to listen to the performer, and the composer needs the audience to verify the song piece’s existence. Without these roles, music would literally not exist. These roles in the world of music are what breeds a long-lasting discography because each role helps to push music and keep it’s essence alive over an extended period of time.

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  32. Who is the most important in the triangle? Sure, you can be all three, so who’s thought process brings out the most in the musicking experience?

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    1. I don’t think one is more important than the other. It’s like asking the same question but between water, air, and food. They all play a crucially important role in the big picture.

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  33. Musicking has allowed music to live for an extended period of time with all three roles that interact with music certify it’s existence, for example, like remakes of old musical pieces.
    Can you name any examples of music that has stood the test of time due to musicking?

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  34. Question: The article mentions how people reproduced the instruments of the past in order to create a historically informed style. This BBC article claims that the Stradivari violin has been impossible to recreate or improve upon since it’s creation in 1666. They even “employ everything from infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (to analyse the chemical properties of a Strad’s resonant components) to particle accelerators similar to the Large Hadron Collider to examine the secrets of a Strad’s atomic particles.” http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130725-can-anyone-outplay-stradivarius I was wondering if there is a limit to how much we can evolve an instrument and if we sacrifice some aspects when we do evolve it?

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  35. Dave Grohl said, “You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons.” As a composer and performer, he encourages the listeners of his version to perform their own and the fact that it comes from someone else makes it a totally unique experience, getting more people involved in musicking.

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    1. I think this is a very powerful quote since it shows exactly what Musicking should be. It shows how the inspiration from one song could branch out into so many different others with their own twists and remixes. Musicking should be seen as something that is used to influence a newer audience or a younger generation to music that they haven’t hear before. In a sense, it is able to keep alive that music that generations before ours would perform or listen to.

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  36. The most interesting concept I found in this week’s reading is the proposed idea of “Musicking”. It introduces to us how the idea of making music goes beyond that of just the performer. As I was reading this, I couldn’t help but to feel that is very closely related to one of my points that I’ve written about in my Introduction Essay. In my own writing I mentioned that the importance of music can’t be condensed into a single aspect, which I believe is similar to the definition of Musicking. The idea of Musicking tells us that music isn’t confined to just the musical performance. It ranges from the process of practicing for the performance, the listeners, by dancing, and even down to the feelings that are invoked after the performance. Essentially everything that influences music or music influences is what creates this idea of Musicking. Christopher Smalls who wrote a piece of Musicking explains it as a concept that covers ALL participation of a musical performance and our judgment on the performance as avid listeners. As an audience we are supposed to engage in a relationship with the performance that is being given. This brings the idea that Musicking can be done in various ways such as through social connections, physically interaction, the registered sounds that we hear, and even intellectually thinking about the performance.

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  37. Wow this weeks discussion really lets to see how all three kinds of people : the composer, the performer and the listener all relate to one another. I feel sometimes in the current music today artist who sample other older songs try to bring that same feeling and direction that the original composer had gave in their own records. Reading about Jean Pierre Rampal caught my attention as well, he was recording every single piece of music written for the flute in effort to raising the profile of the instrument. I felt that was rare and it showed his love and passion for playing the flute and trying to shine light on a instrument that is often left out or out shined by other common instruments.

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  38. Music is something that is always changing. We have hear new experimental sounds that may or may not resonate with us. This shows that performers are willing to change and try something new. However, we still have those who cling onto the past and stick with more classical and familiar sounds.

    My question is, Do you believe that Music constantly changing is beneficial, or should music stay in a realm of familiarity?

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    1. I for one don’t think it’s possible for music to stay the same. There are so many kinds of instruments and machines that make music, so many different thoughts and experiences. Music is ever changing and I love that about it!

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    2. I believe that music changing is beneficial to us. It is not good for anything to stagnate, as the times change, topics, social events etc. Music has no choice but to follow suit in order to keep up with the times. As we grow it is important for Music to adjust, because if it is too familiar or repetitive it will not intrigue its listeners. The music industry and its following are always hunting for a new sound or artist to push the boundaries of the current perimeter of music, which is always expanding.

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    3. I agree, Music is constantly changing and evolving, that sometimes it could be hard to just keep up. I do believe change is beneficial, because it shows how creative other people are, and is constantly showing what’s new a trendy.

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  39. The song by Jean-Pierre Rampal and Johann Sebastian Bach makes sense now. They demonstrate the meaning of multiple simultaneous orbits.

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    1. To answer your question musicking is apart of everyones daily life, becuase we have to listen to other people and give opinions about it, for example in a group setting the audience is the most important decision maker in what is right or wrong. We always give opinions and have ideasfrom what we listen to.

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  40. I found the topic of multiple simultaneous orbits very interesting! I’ve never considered music needing 3 kinds of people to exist. At first, it didn’t make sense to me, but employing the idea onto classical music concerts it made sense to me! The compoer is typically from an old era, the songs are typically played by a new age symphony and somebody such as myself is listening to the song, probably interpreting it wildly different from what the original composer had in mind.

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  41. The only question that seemed to puzzle me was that after the song Jean-Pierre Rampal performed in 1985 why was his project highly ignored though out the 19th century?

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    1. I think very much so since we are participating with the music, when we experience “flow” we don’t really just say “okay let’s flow” no we are taken in I believe, we are in the moment appreciating every single detail, every note, Participating not with instruments or our voices but with our thoughts. We are the ones who bring musical pieces to life.

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  42. Do we sometimes truly like a piece of music when we listen to it or because of peer pressure? For example a few years ago I never really liked hip hop but I kinda forced myself to like it because I thought it’d make me seem cool.

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    1. This is an interesting topic which I believe many of us have encountered. In middle school I had friends who listened to Kid Cudi, and even though I was never really a fan (nothing against him) I tried to follow along with the norm amongst my friends. I think that we see this type of assimilationist ideology not only in music but in many social topics such as sports or dancing.

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    1. Of course music is always changing, it’s always in a constant change. People study music from 60s and beyond and they only happened decades ago, the sad part about the constant changes in music is that sometimes genre or the popularity dies out from that area but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely gone there is always a hint of it somewhere, take for example jazz, its always some in pop and in rock. Music is always being learned and adapted by others.

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    2. I would like to believe so, but I feel that because music is so mainstream, there’s nothing too “special” about the music of today. Everything can be copied so easily, as opposed to music from the past which were considered groundbreaking for their time

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  43. Hearing Bach’s piece played by the same instrument with one being modern and the other being from the period the piece was in, was intriguing. They sound a bit different with the appropriate piece sounding more in place for me anyway, the noise sound more organic more natural than the one Jean-Pierre Rampal used. It really makes wonder if hearing the original piece by Bach himself would sound better or worse.

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  44. Musicking… at first glance of the word, I couldn’t come up with a definition, but I knew it had to do with music (duh?!). After reading this blog post, the definition of the word became clearer. To refer to music as simply some “thing”
    we listen to always seemed shallow to me because to me, music is so much more than that! Christopher Smalls was definitely groundbreaking for his time in coining the term musicking. Music is absolutely more than just something we listen to for our pleasure. It has unparalleled benefits, from health to general mental wellbeing. So I definitely think that music is more than its three components- it’s literally everyone involved as Smalls states.

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  45. Firstly I believe that both past person and present person deserve credit because, yes indeed the past persons are the ones who created music and brought it alive but presently the people in the present are the ones who keeping it alive. I give both credit because not everything that was created in the past are present today.

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  46. “musicking creates relationships between people” this sentence right here that I got from the article is so accurate. I’ve been to a few concerts and you actually end up connecting to strangers by either singing along or jumping around with them. When you fall from all the shoving and pushing there’s always a person there to help. Music really brings people together. I really liked the time travel point because I feel I do that with music since I feel I was born in the wrong era.

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    1. Do any of you feel you were born in the wrong era of music? Or wish you were born in a different time because of music?

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  47. One term that I found interesting in the reading was, “Musicking.” Coined by Christopher Smalls, the verb Musicking meant “to music.” The term was inclusive of all people who had something to do with the process of making, performing or listening to music. Everyone from the producer or composer down to the people who move the pianos into place, were Musickers. I like this term because that means that nearly everybody is a Musicker, everyone has a role in the way music is made and presented.

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    1. I think that musicking was a cool concept as well because it gives those who don’t really have any musical experience at all a chance to feel included.

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  48. I like the idea of thinking about music as a verb instead of a noun. Musicking is something that we all do whether we realize it or not. Uf you tried to keep track of the amount of people you saw in one day listening to music you would probably lose count. Because we are different people we are receiving the music that w are listening too in different ways. Now that we are adding time into the equation, there are even more possibilities of how something can be interpreted therefore creating a more diverse spectrum.

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  49. What interested me whiles reading this was that 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.

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  50. What intrest me about this article is learning how music exist and musiking. I have learned in order for music to exist it needs a creator, executor and an auditor or a listener which is also me since I enjoy listening to music I also support towards its existence by purchasing music and partaking in concerts. I also feel of my participation is also a form of musiking since its an activity in which all those present are involved and for whose nature and quality, success or failure everyone presented bears some responsibility.

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  51. I think the most important thing when it comes to musicking is the three kinds of people necessary for music to happen which are the songwriter, singer, and an audience. Whats also interesting is that this can exist in different periods of time (like holy crap). Meaning i could be in 2014 when a composer is playing in 1976 and the songwriter wrote the piece in 1920. I remember when I was in Quebec the performers and musicians would always say there isn’t a good show without a good audience, so it very important in music to have an audience. Unfortunately many people only see music as an object or thing they do not see what essence and power that music brings. Music is a force that cannot be destroyed or reckoned with, it brings people together making relationships whether it being physical, intellectual, etc… for example during the Quebec shows everyone in the audience came together it didn’t matter where anyone was from, everyone got along fine. So i think the most important thing to musicking is the songwriter, singer, and an audience because if there is no audience music wouldn’t translate to something magnificient.

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  52. My question is if musicking creates relationships between people whether it being physically and intellectually why don’t we use music to solve everyday problems? my guidance counselor used to play music when someone was feeling upset or sad.

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  53. dgreen75, I believe some of us bring the wrong things into the present in terms of music because not everyone see things the same way, neither have the same listening experience because they don’t have the same exact knowledge for example same past experience neither pay attention to the same thing.

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  54. @gimberg I believe it would be a mix of everything to be studied 300-400 Year’s later because music over time changes in sounds, the way people think of music, and what they feel about what the music bring to the table from the past to the present and to the future.

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  55. In the beginning of the blog with how we experience music for the first, made me think of the first time I have heard 2pac song Thug Passion. I heard the song from my cousin and we was on a bus trip. What made me remember that song the most, was it was a Zapp sample of Computer Love that came out in the 80’s and 2pac song came out in 1996 and I heard it in the late 2000’s. That songs how music flowed between 3 generations.

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  56. Yes musicking creates relationships between people whether it being physically and intellectually why don’t we use music to solve everyday problems. My question towards this First of all music has the power to put a person in another state of mind and also it can keep a person humble, excited or even cheer them up. My qurstion why you listen to music and what it does for u ?

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  57. One question I have for you all – is music simply the composer, producer and audience? Or is it more like Christopher Smalls said? Does each person who is involved in that piece of music actually make a difference in the way we perceive it? For example, he mentioned that the person selling tickets could also be considered a crucial part of our experience… do you think this is true? Not so much for musical concerts in the past, but now… personally, I feel as if it’s different today. Most people who work at concerts probably don’t even do it because they are passionate about the music and the artist; they simply do it because it’s a job. I feel as if our appreciation for music has drastically dwindled throughout the ages because it is so readily available and mass produced.

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    1. Our appreciation for music definitely hasn’t dwindled but we have become really lazy with it… things are made more simple and easy for everyone. It’s more about the lyrics now, we’re just in that age. But those that have a deep passion for music make the experience better for everyone. Everyone wants to be apart of the excitement since music is apart of our everyday lives, even just working at a concert is a great experience.

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  58. I have heard of musicians who played classical music but on modern day instruments such as an electric guitar or electric keyboard.(It was more common during the 70’s and 80’s than it is now). I think it sounds very interesting and it makes me wonder why more people don’t try it. I think it’s because that it’s less popular or liked among the general public because they prefer shorter, catchier tunes than long and complicated ones.

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  59. When I listened to the first piece of music on this blog I imagined I was in a pool doing synchronized swimming… I did not intentionally imagine that, it’s just where I ended up. I honestly don’t even think the music would fit with synchronized swimming but I was making it work 🙂 I always listen to music for the adventure, it makes daydreaming or fantasizing so much more enjoyable.

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  60. A piece of music needs three kinds of people in order to exist: a creator, an executor, and an auditor—in more common terms, a composer, a performer, and a listener (or in even more pop-friendly terms, a songwriter/producer, a singer, and an audience).” ‘Drjonesmusic. “Musicking (Online discussion #4).” Dr. Jones Music Classes, 21 Feb. 2018, drjonesmusic.me/2018/02/19/musicking-online-discussion-4-spring-2018/. When I read this part of the post I thought to myself that there seems to be a parallel that exists between the creative process of music and writing. In the creative process of music we can be the creator, executor and auditor. It seems like to me as a writer we are also three kinds of people when we go through the process of writing. As writers we are one person as we brainstorm our ideas and create a draft. We are another person as we receive feedback and refine our ideas. We are finally a different person as we hand in our completed final draft.

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  61. My question for everyone is do you feel more passionate about music from the older generations or current? What do you prefer about one and not the other? What one thing does one have that the other doesn’t do you appreciate?

    I love the chords in most older music not in my generation. Even the greatest artists of right now love so much the music that came before. Which is obvious since they sample almost everything.

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    1. i feel more passionate about music from the younger generations. I prefer the rap, and pop, and catchy songs, to the classical music that was played back then.

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  62. “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…” ‘Drjonesmusic. “Musicking (Online discussion #4).” Dr. Jones Music Classes, 21 Feb. 2018, drjonesmusic.me/2018/02/19/musicking-online-discussion-4-spring-2018/.
    As I read through this part of the post I had imagery in my mind of the similarity of the setup of a musical performance and a laboratory that is being set up for a science experiment. The hefty men, roadies, and cleaners although not part of the performance directly like the performers are still of great importance. The same can be said for laboratory technicians and cleaners in a laboratory. They don’t directly conduct the experiments like a scientist but, they set up the glassware and chemicals needs for the experiment. It seems to me that a musical performance is essentially and experiment. The performers playing to an audience creates a reaction just as where in a laboratory experiment the combination of two variables causes a reaction. Christopher Small reaffirmed my view that music is a science.

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  63. A piece of music definitely needs the composer listener and performer. One of my favorite artists’ talked about the process of making his music and how important of a part research on the listeners played in all of it. Passion is important and the performers and performance needs a lot of it. It is all a symphony.

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  64. I Find this article particularly interesting. I learned about the cycle of music and how music goes from the composer, to the performer, to the listener. I also learned how music hits certain stimuli in the brain which remind us of places we have been, or memories we would love to keep. I find it interesting because i myself can personally relate to the article. there are times where i listen to certain music such as California girl katy perry, and good night black eyed peas it brings me memories of summer time when i was with my friends , and family just having a good time. It so amazing that music can link us to memories of the past. That means it has such a strong influence on the brain

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  65. @imagineraining i don’t think either deserves more credit. To me they are about the same credit wise because without the creator the piece of music would not be around today so their is credit due there, but it is the people today who are able to bring it to life and really create upon it that are important to so i would say they are about the same in regards to who deserves more credit.

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  66. The simplicity that a piece of music needs three kinds of people in order to exist: a creator, an executor, and an auditor or a composer, performer, and listener is quite intriguing when really put into perspective. You would think it would be more complex, but in reality it’s not so bad. In the essence of Musicking, I feel it is of significant importance that everyone has a job to do to make everything perfect. 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, or by dancing is really cool. Christoper Small broke the barrier in which music is not just a noun but can also verb.

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  67. This discussion was definitely a brain teaser for lack of a better word; I didn’t very much understand that you can presently be listening to a piece of music but then also be mentally in another time or era. But going into deeper thought and reading, I started putting the pieces together. When I listen to most music I don’t really correlate that piece with any paturvular moment in time, but when I hear certain pieces of music, I will catch myself being nostalgic over a moment I can’t really pinpoint but that just made me realise that, this is actually true and happens more subconsciously for me. Also, what was interesting was that the composer, listener and singer could all be the same person? If so, that’s kind of dull and cocky in my opinion. How can you make music and not get a second set of ears to give constructive criticism and open you to newer musical windows to help you flourish more with your music.

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    1. I feel that composers will reincorporate older styles of music. Performers will have to perform more to make money because, a lot fewer people buy music now. Listeners will be getting a more higher quality listening experience thanks to the advances in technology.

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    2. @androp14
      I feel that composers will reincorporate older styles of music. Performers will have to perform more to make money because, a lot fewer people buy music now. Listeners will be getting a more higher quality listening experience thanks to the advances in technology.

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  68. What I find most interesting is that the article narrows it down to three things and we all have different opinions as to which is most important when it comes to music . As listeners everybody has a lot of good points and they back up their arguments .

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  69. My thoughts about this informative article would be that music could travel anywhere and everywhere at anytime no matter the years ahead because of how much people still love the music from the 80’s and 90’s. I find that amazing and so important because there has been many amazing music and lyrics there have been in this world to just see it go away over time. All Music is can go for generations.

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  70. My question would be does anyone think there will be a time where music will eventually stop being passed down from generation to generation?

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  71. When I listen to music from different decades I do sometimes feel that I time travel back in time to when it was really popular. I think that’s why when I tend to write something in a different time period I have to listen to music that I think fits to the story I’m writing perfectly.

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  72. Out of the three being a composer, a listener, and a performer who is the most influential or most important? And out of those three which is the least important to people?

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  73. i found this reading to be very interesting and observing the different facts and differences between music in the past and music in todays current society such as rap, rock, jazz, etc, as oppose to the more known music of the past being classical. what i found interesting as well was the distinction and argument between which of the three main aspects of a piece of music is mist important, the three being a composer, a listener, and a performer. many people have different thoughts upon this but it poses an interesting debate because it is very opinion based and can have multiple reasons as to why one may be more important than the other but it would be interesting to see exactly what people believe to be the most important.

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