This is the seventh of our instructor-led online discussions for Mu 101 (Fall 2019). Refer to the handout you received the first day of class (click on this highlighted text to go to that page our class website) which describes the amount and kinds of contributions you’re expected to make to these online discussions — they’re all the same parameters of good conversation that happens offline, too!

BEFORE WE BEGIN: A REMINDER ABOUT EFFECTIVE DISCUSSION FORUM PARTICIPATION

Most importantly for blog-style discussions, do not try to respond to every idea in this post. Focus on the ones that you have a strong reaction to, and learn from other people’s comments that address the other questions. Leave space for others to move the conversation along. There is no prize for trying to do it all yourself.

Limit each of your comments to addressing a single question or topic. By doing so, you make it easier for others to see your point quickly and easily, rather than letting your good idea get lost in the middle of a long, multi-topic post. If you have several different ideas you want to share, make several different comments. Let each idea speak for itself.

There are no questions at the end of this post to get the conversation going. Use your own critical thinking to make this conversation substantial: compare or contrast its ideas to your own experience or other things you’ve learned about, think about what surprises you, and think about what aspects resonate with or contradict your own experiences. 

The approximate reading time of this post is 10 minutes, not counting any audio media.

Let’s begin


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?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525, I. Allegro (1787)

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 October or November 2019).

orbit

There’s the experience right now of listening to the music, but is that the only place you are? Listening to a piece of music can remind you of past experiences: places you’ve been, people you’ve been with when you heard 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

triangle

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).

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 your 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.

90 thoughts on “Musicking (Online discussion Oct 28-Nov 3)

      1. Social media the drama happens and a tweet some celebrity said is retweeted like crazy making then in the spotlight. Reminding fans about them. 🙄publicity stunt.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The real problem is when somebody tweets a lie, and millions of people see it, believe it, and retweet it themselves.
          People these days care more about fame and popularity rather than the truth.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. social media also creates an echo chamber effect which has resulted in the recent rise of call out culture. Certain people have begun to formulate their own opinions off of what they see on social media, and they do not really think for themselves or do much research.

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            1. Social media has its pro and cons. I do see social media as a echo chamber and can be really good to bring out talent. But, on the other hand it could side track the artist and not have them allocate their talent and focus on what they originally was doing. All in all social media can be a great tool if the artist can avoid being sucked into the drama trap.

              Liked by 3 people

          2. The truth seemed unimportant these days. People want to know about other people life styles. Lifestyles that are oftent fake and reckless. They get more likes.

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            1. it’s true, but no one ever really wants to show the bad of themselves to the public. when we have bad days, do we make sure everyone knows about it? or do we just try and go about our day?

              Liked by 1 person

          3. I feel like this happens too much where people believe anything they see on the internet. Personally I don’t believe everything I see or read on the internet.

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      2. I think youtube still counts as social media. Likes and comment are still critical in order to gain attention. Sure youtube is a great platform, but other social media apps are great ways to get your name and image out there. I would be so quick to discredit its usefulness for promotion.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree that Youtube can be counted as social media as well. Think about it these Youtubers promote themselves and there lives to get subscribers. Youtube even has stories like Snapchat now. All these platforms are used to gain more exposure.

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        2. youtube was one of the first social media sites to ever exist. it definitely counts as social media. soundcloud as well even though there’s no open forums there, just sharing music and people commentimg. I think Spotify is the least social media crazed form of music share, but I could be wrong.

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        3. Agreed, additional I just noticed you can post recorded feeds on youtube now as well like any other social medias. As many of us view it social media has many pros and cons, but I think it really all depends on the image you’re going for and how you personally use it.

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      3. In my honest opinion social media can be good depending on the user and if he or she uses it wisely. But to me I use social media is a tool. social media can be used to network with others and also keep in touch with loves ones. I wouldn’t say social media is harmful overall. but it can be harmful depending on the user.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I also agree with you and what sancedga said before, social media can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to music and everything in general. But I also got to say that even if an someone uses social media on a positive way, there will always be someone who will incite trouble and make it harmful. But just as how it can make something repetitive and mainstream, it can also help others like someone who has low resources but is, let’s say, a talented musician, those who appreciate his skills could support that person in order for them to keep making/playing music.

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      4. Agreed. Social media is the devil’s playground. One must be very carefully on how they allow social media to influence their lives. Hence why social media is full of influencers.

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    1. True! The relationship between one who creates music and the ones who listen to said music is very symbiotic. Without an audience to perform to, a musician has little reason to book a concert venue. There are still reasons to make music without an audience, such as personal enjoyment. But in order to make a living off of music making, fans are critical. Fans are, in a sense, a modern version of patrons. Rather than one individual housing an artist and completely funding their music making, the public collectively funds artists whom they all enjoy. Music today is more widely accessible, and when we are able to distribute is cheaply, many people are able to help fund the musician. The music brings happiness to the listener, and gratitude for that happiness is paid in money for the artist.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Chloeg1244 You made some value points which I agree with,Especially about music today being widely accessible and can be distribute cheaply.

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  1. When I listen to the “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” music, I think about all of the parties and celebrations I went to within the past 2 or 3 years because that’s what the music sounds like; party music. That’s what it reminds me of.
    Do you get remind of another place or event when you listen to specific songs?

    As for “what will happen next in the world of music, and how do we shape that future,” I’m not sure I like the direction today’s mainstream music is headed. So-called music videos often focus more on the pointless oversexualized dancing as opposed to the actual music. People like Nicky Minaj and Miley Cyrus are prime examples of this, who both rely on sex to make their music popular. They also focus heavily on special effects like autotune. Autotune can be really good if it makes the music sound overall better, but many singers like Ariana Grande don’t need special effects like autotune since they are already naturally good singers. In that case, autotune does not actually improve their music, and sometimes even makes it worse.

    I believe this article explains everything perfectly:
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-wrong-with-the-music-industry-today?share=1

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    1. Then u will like Kanye West’s new album. He has been very vocal lately about the harm that oversexualization does in music. He also talked about use of bad words in music. Whatever your opinion on Kanye’s new direction, it is certainly interesting.

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    2. I agree with you that some of these music videos focus more about oversexualized dancing. I don’t understand why they have to produce their songs in that manner when they are so talent and beautiful, but on the other hand their followers/ supporters are also promotion it because they are downloading, uploading etc these videos. Women in music industry have it hard compare to men, they are mostly seen as sex symbols which is a shame.

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  2. @Narveeda and @Christen are opposing each other which will build a heated discussion, good jobs I’m engaged but from my perspective, I think both social media and the blogs on YouTube will get great fans equally . Once someone is “popular” the fans will keep swarming them. What do y’all think?

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    1. There’s no need to put the @ symbol before names. It doesn’t do anything here. Instead, you can click on the Like button to like someone’s comment, which can notify them on their email.
      I think people should be careful not to let popularity get to them, because what happens when you are used to being popular, and you are all of a sudden no longer popular? It’s not a good situation to be in.
      Your popularity does not last forever. Eventually, it will start to diminish if you can’t find a reliable way to maintain that popularity.

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        1. The future of music is relevant and important. Music nowadays is being ruined by many, while also being made better by others. We need to focus on making it better, put an end to the oversexualization that goes on in music, put an end to the habit of trying to fix what is not broken, and put and end to bad hateful lyrics in many songs.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree with this statement. I find it odd that women want to be treated equally to men and given the same respect, however a majority of women promote this behavior from men and other women by listening to derogatory music, and then expect men to not think of them In that way.

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            1. are you not a woman yourself? the way you’re speaking about women as if you aren’t included is odd. everyone sacrifices their morals and values in order to become a successful artist. If you fight constantly against the grain, you won’t end up with the fame and fortune thats been shoved in everyones face to want. Women having control over how we display our bodies while trying to fit the mold of still being “popular” is incredibly difficult, as mentioned in our music and gender discussion. I should be allowed to wear whatever I want without someone saying that means I don’t deserve to get paid the same amount as any man. Where’s all this outrage and energy when male artists brag about domestic violence and live their whole lives shirtless? Should women also be looking at men in a derogatory manner then?

              Liked by 2 people

            2. yes, I am a woman. I do not include myself in this statement because I don’t consider myself a woman who encourages others who degrade us. I don’t listen to the music, I don’t condone it online, or in real life. So basically what your saying is that if I wanted to be a rich and famous woman, I have to show off my body? that’s not true, and not everyone wants fame and fortune. I am aware of plenty rich and successful business women who haven’t had to sacrifice their morals and values. Adena Friedman, Mary Barra, or lori Greiner. I’m not just talking about artists, however modern rap music plays a big role in this way of thinking about women. I’m not saying your not allowed to wear whatever you want, I’m saying men should have more respect for women and having more wholesome, loving song lyrics might help with this ongoing problem of our children listening to this crap and thinking its okay to treat women like they do in the songs. lmao this is the outrage! that’s exactly what i’m trying to say. If society was opposite, then yes we would be looking at men like that, But you don’t hear women making music too often about how disposable men are.

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            3. That’s not even a fraction of what i meant, but i’m sure you know that. my point is you seem to be more outraged at women who are complicit in misogynistic music than the actual men that also sexualize themselves and make the “derogatory music” in the first place. also, misogyny is prevalent in every musical genre–classical, pop, rap, dance, reggae, etc.

              So it’s extremely tone deaf to specifically only point out rap when women were literally considered objects before hip hop even came to fruition. It’s clear you have a bias. How about you direct the actual outrage to the ones who create the issue, which is pretty much every male in the industry,and not jsut the ones who go along with it.

              There are plenty of women making music about how “disposable” men are, in female empowerment songs across all genres, they’re just disguised as bubblegum pop songs so they never get the backlash that female rappers get.

              And if you listen to interviews about the music industry by female artists, you would know that they are often pressured by their label to sexualize themselves, hence the giving up morals and values. Models are the same way, often pushed to lose weight or be in situations they aren’t comfortable with in terms of furthering their careers. It’s a issue worth discussion, not blame.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Are you not outraged that your own promotes misogyny? I am, not to say that im not any less outraged that men did indeed start the fire, but im outraged that other women like myself, like you, aren’t doing enough to stop giving these male artists a platform. I dont consider myself biased, i do listen to rap songs such as 50 Cents, 21 Questions; or Nasir , Daughter ; Ice T, You played yourself. Im not saying that these artists haven’t ever created misoginistic lyrics, but i prefer not to listen to songs that often talk down on my kind like we are still objects. I specifically point out rap because last time i listened to a michael buble song, i didnt recall him describing a woman as a “hoe”. The same goes for classical music. however if you know of a song, besides a rap song, that describes a woman in this way please, correct me. and in case you need me to spell it out, there is a line between a misogynistic song and a song to a beautiful woman. The line is when male artists start to describe women as Dimes, Hoes, And other degrading names. personally, I don’t think any song degrading the other sex should be considered ” empowerment” despite whether they are made by a man or woman. And as for female artists being pressured into sexualizing themselves, I dont recall anyone holding them against their will and telling them they have to appear nearly naked and twerk for a music video. there is pressure for these artists to sexualize themselves, but its not the only road to fame and fortune, its a choice. Take selena gomez, she is successful and has not sexualized her image like Nikki Minaj has or miley cyrus has.

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            5. You wanted a list of misogynistic non-rap songs? Here’s your list:
              1.Guns N Roses — “It’s So Easy”
              2. Sublime — “Wrong Way
              3. Limp Bizkit — “Nookie”
              4. Neil Young — “A Man Needs a Maid”
              5. Fall Out Boy — “Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today”
              6.David Crosby — “Triad”
              7.Korn – “K@#0%!”
              8.Dory Prévin — “Beware of Young Girls”
              9.The Rolling Stones — “Under My Thumb”
              10. The Beatles — “Run For Your Life”
              11.Robin Thicke — “Blurred Lines”
              12.The Misfits — “Attitude”
              13.Nickelback — “Follow You Home”

              And there’s plenty more where that came from. All you have to do is look it up for yourself, but you don’t want to do that. You just want to hide behind your bias and think that non-rap misogyny is somehow better than rap’s misogyny. Which it isn’t. Misogyny is misogyny no matter how pretty you dress it up.

              Also, you could not have used a worse example. Because Selena Gomez’s music is extremely sexual in nature, as well as her music videos. (Like Hands to Myself??? Hello, she has like 30 songs explicitly about sex and has also posed naked in magazines)

              Also, the fact that you think the only way a man can degrade a woman is by calling her a “hoe” or “dime” (dime means attractive woman by the way, so you don’t even have a grip on rap slang) clearly means you are honestly so blinded by your own bias that you don’t see how it is prevalent literally everywhere besides hip hop culture.
              But it’s not my job to educate you, the professor specifically did an exercise in the class that addresses untrue assumptions about classical music, so you can understand that but not understand that you’re doing the same thing with rap? Then you really haven’t learned anything about music.

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            6. First of all this is supposed to be a respectful, intellectual class discussion. And i dont appreciate you putting words in my mouth because i said none of that, i did say that if you know of any other genre that talks about women like rap music talks about women then let me know. Which i mean by the explicit sexual acts that rappers often talk about. A kid listens to selena gomez’ “hands to myself” and doesnt have to wonder what it means, it sounds innocent. A kid listens to Tekashi 69’s, Gummo, ” on the stoop, crills in my draws, your girl on my phone, she wanna fuck but keep her clothes on, i only want the jaw, man thats really all i use her for, i kick her out the door, i dont want her, you can keep the whore, she fiending for some more”. Where did i say a man can ONLY degrade a woman by names. “Doll” also means an attractive female but somehow is also misogynistic, get the hypocrisy here? The only bias i see is you clearly hate men and for some reason think that i dont listen to rap music. I do, but its much more “wholesome” than tekashi 69, lol. I remember that lesson! I also remember it was stereotypes about music and last time i checked, theres a clear difference between stereotyping and describing explicit sexual actions. All of those songs above are mysoginistic, agreed. I never said that rap mysogyny is worse than non rap mysogyny. Its all bad, yes, but the rap genre speaks to male teenagers much more than the clasical genre, or the bubblegum pop genre or the alternative genre. And that is why im focusing more on rap than anything else. We have to start with baby steps, if we can first put out rap music that is more wholesome that teenagers can listen too, we would be on a good path to ending this music mysogyny for future generations. I hope that clears up!

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            7. That clears up literally nothing as you’re literally saying you have no bias and then proceed to justify having a bias. I’m not going to go further because you are right, this is supposed to be an open forum and clearly neither of our opinions on the matter are going to change so let’s just agree to disagree.

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            8. I agree to disagree, it was just a question but I see your unable to answer. See you next discussion.

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    2. Not Necessarily, there’s such things as one hit wonders. You create that temporary fame status and if your next piece isn’t a hit like the last you’ll lose those fans.

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  3. Claire de lune took me back to vintage housewife’s and the show bewitched. I can picture Samantha in a waltz with Darren.

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  4. Baroque period music is like reading a book when your mind wanders and creates these magical, fantasy scenarios in your head.

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    1. I think the reason we create scenarios in our head when reading books is because, when we read childrens books as children, we would often see pictures. Eventually, we get used to seeing pictures in childrens books as it helps us picture the scene in our minds.
      As we get older and we start reading books with less pictures (or none at all) our minds still want pictures, so we end up trying to re-create pictures in our minds, as we read, to mimic the old days when we would see actual pictures when reading, since our mind does not want to give up seeing pictures yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thats an interesting idea! However, I think that the human mind would still produce imagery while reading even if a person had never seen a picture book in their life. I think this is just a part of how our brain processes and makes sense of information as it comes into our head, In addition, many authors are very descriptive i their writing, and are able to put you in the situation with words alone. They paint a beautiful picture with words that we can effortlessly visualize.

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      2. Interesting concept, though it doesn’t have to be limited to reading books! our minds are always developing images, even when listening to music! Example when we had our soundscapes to close our eyes and listen with image in our minds of what the sounds could be.

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  5. i enjoyed the lecture this past Thursday. i’m starting to realize that we are adapting new way of listening by mean of ear training. honestly, i don’t listen the same way anymore. Now i want to identify beats and measures. tempo and textures, melody and counters. Music is now more than a sweet sound. it is instrumentations and arrangements. classical music as become more of a curiosity than a disgust. Now i want to hear the different parts that makes a symphony sounds exciting. i want to know how can anyone compose such complex creations. where they inspired by God or were they gifted? if gifted, why only them? what are your thoughts guys?

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    1. With third-party software like Synthesia and Audacity, it’s easier now than before to compose complex creations and songs. Back then, we didn’t have this kind of technology, but now we do.

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  6. I have a question that I am unsure if it would be relevant to the discussion but social media was mentioned. Nowadays a lot of upcoming music artist use social media platform to gain popularity. I wonder how before social media was even a thing, how did musicians and artist gain so much popularity? Was there any type of networking that allowed musicians and composers gain popularity.

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  7. I think the media does help majority of musicians to produce good music because when someone wants to create music they also need motivation and media brings these musicians fans and money which is good enough to spike their dopamine levels.

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  8. In order to make music from the heart one must not be stressed out about anything like money,fame or hunger etc. media is helping musicians to be stress free by bringing them money and fame so that they can focus on making music only.

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  9. Music can be experienced in many of different ways. There are concerts, social media, gathering in a park or festival but we all listen to them differently. As much as I love listening to music in the comfort of my own home, getting out and going to a concert or festival is super dope and I absolutely love it. To be honest I never really thought about listening to music and being part of the music as the here and now. We are part of the performance and it does inspire others to make music especially when your listening to it live!

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  10. I think that music can also be seen as a gift; it’s a give and take where just like with a present, not everyone whom you give a present will necessarily like whatever that was given to them. Let’s say you give someone a necklace as a present, that person might not like the color, the shape or the material of it, meanwhile someone might love it and appreciate every single feature and aspect of it. You can also give yourself a present even if it sounds crazy but when you treat yourself to a piece of cake or delicious food, aren’t you giving a gift to yourself. Music can even be given as a present when you compose/write a song for someone.
    What do you think would happen if we all were able to listen to music the same way? Would it make it better or worse?

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    1. In my opinion if we all were to listen to music the same way we wouldn’t have much creativity. I feel like people would have similar thoughts and their wouldn’t be much expression or creativity anymore.

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  11. If musicians were to travel to our time period they will not adjust to the way we produce or even listen to music. The way music is made today is being broadcast on radio stations , downloaded on phone, placed on different platforms , in order for us the audience to enjoy and possibly inspire yourself to make something better. I will say that social media isn’t that great all the time but it helps a lot of performs be noticed.

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    1. yes i agree it helps performers so much. Back when, people had to work 10x harder to get noticed/heard. now they have potential exposure at their fingertips

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  12. I am sure there were lots of producers back then, but to be as popular as Mozart or as a guy like J.S. Bach, you had to be really good. Popularities back then is like today. if you not as good, no one knows about you or what you do. Regardless the platform used to promote your self. I have seen lots of people on social media trying to put their music out. but only few selected ones have gone viral. What is done on the internet and on on the phone today, was being done by word of mouth and by inscriptions back then. different platforms, but no difference in being talented or being a great composer. Just my opinion.

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  13. Social Media can have positive or negative effects on the way we listen or how we feel about music as one of my peers said some people use social media to create an opinion based on what other people think rather than how they actually feel about the music. In my opinion, social media is positive more towards the musician because it creates publicity for the artist other than that I feel like people tend to gravitate to what other people like and that’s basically what social media is in any aspect.

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    1. I agree with your point. Social media is definitely the best way to advertise in the time we live in, since a good majority of people use it, it is beneficial for an artist/producer to take advantage and utilize it to grow their platform. It also gives the artist a place to showcase their personality (or in most cases how they would like to be perceived) and that personal touch may actually cause their audience to gravitate to their music more.

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  14. The Excerpt from Slaughterhouse Five as makes me think of how when I listen to certain songs I am transported back to the time when I first heard it, or a time when I listened to that song a lot. It makes me re experience myself during that time and what my mindset was, what was important to me then versus what is important to me now, how I’ve changed as a person and how I’ve stayed the same in some ways as well. Music does it in a way that simply reminiscing cannot. It feels like the music is transporting me there (much like Billy has no control over when he goes) as opposed to me going back and attempting to remember that time on my own.

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  15. Social Media and other variants of media (movies, tv shows, etc) is how I managed to find all my favorite musical artists. And they aren’t even in this era. Most of the music I listen to are artists who are long dead and haven’t made music since the ’60s/70s (Nick Drake, Jimi Hendrix) and it also lead me to discover very unknown independent artists that make music as fun and really have no expectations to make it big. I feel like in Prof J’s class, her goal is to teach us to unlearn our bias and approach things in a more subjective manner but like the way everyones talking, it’s just sounding like baby boomer rhetoric/regurgitating your parents own words. Social media is a huge industry and obviously cannot be “good” or “evil” as it offers both negative and positive effects.And the criticism we’re discussing now was the same way with televisions and sitcoms like I Love Lucy which were considered “unnatural” and “corrupting the youth” as it apparently encouraged women to do things outside of housework. Later on, it was the same way with protests and the hippie movement. Then CDS, then boomboxes. Finally the internet.

    It’s just human nature to complain about literally anything and 30 years from now, there will be something else society based that will yet again result in the “well back in my day, things were soooo much better” mentality. it’s boring.

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    1. Kind of like the old days. The ability for songs to reach a global scale would be impossible. Me and someone listening to the same song in different continents would be difficult as it would probably never reach over there without a decent amount of time. Globalization of social media is a necessity to give people fame on an international level.

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  16. i feel like if your listening to a piece of music for the first time you are making a memory or an emotion of what you were doing and how you felt when you first heard it. other than that, one cannot listen to a song or melody and not have a flashback of any kind to where they were emotionally or physically when they heard it.

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    1. You must have super natural memory. I don’t know how you can remember where you were when you
      heard a melody. Is this a vivid memory you get when you hear a song?

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      1. i think its more about emotion for me. Sometimes i can put myself back into the place where I first heard the song. like the Song “Santeria” by Sublime; i remember myself sitting in my older sisters passenger seat listening to all of her old CD’s when I was younger on our way to get crepes it was a happy memory and maybe that’s why I think I remember it a little more vividly than others. But they’re not all like that, I assumed it was the same for everyone.

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    1. me!! i can also like a song so much that i will listen to it on repeat for a day or two and sometimes weeks. like Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” and “I’ll never love again” were my “playlist” for weeks on weeks!

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  17. Social media can be such a huge influence. It can turn really good in the beginning but it can lead to really big consequences. For example, I seem people wanting to be so famous and be a great artist but once they reach up there, they start be go and shift into the wrong path. They start using drugs and than want to suicide and/or overdose.

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    1. I feel that those people go to the wrong path because of peer pressure from their surrounding, it is either that or they could have a lot of pressure and they do not know how to handle it.

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  18. Listening a piece of music can create a memory, but also bonds people interest in the same interests. Going to a concert or listening to the same kind of music one enjoy, another individual might have the same taste of music; later friendship is flourished between individuals. However, I haven’t experienced friendship over a piece of music, do guys have?

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  19. I think social media is a great way for musicians to elevate themselves in the music industry and it has also change the music industry itself. a lot of artist use YouTube as a platform to share their music and gain exposure. If you listen to people like J. Balvin then you know that his fame came started on YouTube and now he’s known worldwide. Social Media makes it easier to access the public in a much faster way. It can help you elevate your song to No.1 in the charts, like when Drake did that challenge with shiggy making “in my feelings” number one. also it helps artist promote themselves without spending so much money on advertisement. its an amazing thing, very revolutionary. it has shaken the music industry to its core because artist do not depend solely on these record labels to make them famous/known/heard. they can do that on their own and it also makes us, the listeners feel more involved. we’ll know something is coming, we wait until midnight to hear the new drop. we all share our current favorite music on instagram, twitter and whatever other app you use. now you create this community of people who love you and your music, you’re more aware of people touring, even radio promotion is scarce because streaming is a dream come true.

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  20. I agree Melissaarce23! social media in this day in age is a great way for artists to get out there and be able to promote themselves and their music and not solely depend on record labels, the truth of the matter is that social media is where a lot of people get info on things like news, cooking, fashion, music etc. you can even shop on Instagram. Whether we like it or not, Social media has a huge influence on the world. Many big artists I truly believe would not be as famous if it weren’t for social media and them promoting not only their music but letting their fans get a sneak peek into their day to day lives. So I believe that’s why it’s intriguing to follow these artists on Instagram. I guess They feel like, why not use the free publicity right? It’s so easy to just click on an app on our phones and get info into what’s happening. Even though yes, it can be addicting right? Which is not good, because it can be distracting, but there are some pros to social media if not used to promote negativity.

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