Music Origins, History, Creation, Special Musicians…
October 24, 2022 at 7:46 pm #45165
One did not achieve notoriety without some talent.
I don’t think I’d go that far. I think we end up with a sort of biasing effect. Joe made it in the recording industry. Joe is loved by the fans. Joe is a decent singer. Add up those three things and it gives the impression that Joe is talented. But it’s possible he’s actually middling.
You’d have to figure gatekeeping celebrity was considerably easier in the 30s and 40s compared to now. Talent gets defined in the context of cultural norms, and cultural norms are easier to shape in an environment where media reach is limited. Basically, it’s easier to create the illusion of talent in such an environment, even if the base materials you are working with only rise to the level of competent. Let’s take Sinatra and Bing Crosby—were they talented singers or competent singers with the right charm and look for the times? I’d say the music they put out really didn’t test the limits of talented singers, so it’s hard to say they weren’t capable of more, but the fact that they climbed to fame off of what is a fairly easy listening sound makes it seem like talent for music, per se, wasn’t the defining factor in their career success.October 24, 2022 at 7:56 pm #45167
Careful, when comparing singing of today, remember that today Autotune allows any singer to hit every note perfectly in the studio or live even if they sing flat or sharp most of the time. As for dancing, unless you’re talking about live performance, today we have easy editing and do overs due to digital video recording and editing. Back in the heyday of Hollywood dancers and dance numbers, there’s no way to know how well they danced live and in person besides reports by journalists of the day.
It’s hard to justify saying that modern music is better than ever when, in a 1/23/22 article in The Atlantic it was asserted that “Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market. Even worse: The new-music market is actually shrinking.”
The public appears to be voting with its feet. Now, old guys like me choose old music based on nostalgia, but why are kids in their teens and twenties voting with their feet, preferring everything from The Beatles and Stones, to Jimi Hendrix and Kate Bush, to The Police and Duran Duran over the best of current the current crop of pop. (Note, too, that old music has no Autotune, so while today’s singers may love it, today’s listeners maybe not so much.)October 24, 2022 at 8:01 pm #45168
I can have a visceral reaction to bad music. Like that canned pop that many shops play. I have, on occasion, just dropped the shopping basket and walked out the door. Once I was filling gas and there was the brutal sound of dire pop started that echoing around the forecourt. I immediately stopped filling the tank and drove to the car park. I went in to pay for what I had taken and it turned out there was a minimum purchase of €2. I had pumped about 90 cents and was told the rule. I explained I was only paying what I owed and told them the reason was they were bombarding me with shit music and adverts.
When I was told by another member of staff that nobody else complained I said that is because they only have opinions on music but I have class. Then I was asked if I would move aside until the manager came to speak with me.
Are you lot for fucking real? You have all been turned into sheep from listening to that crap. If I were you I would be onto the Union immediately. Nobody should be subjected to that horror. Here is €1, keep the change and treat yourself to something nice like a lollipop. I am out of here.
I slowly drove out with Voodoo People playing at volume 11 just to wash out the sound receptors in my brain.October 24, 2022 at 8:42 pm #45171
It’s hard to justify saying that modern music is better than ever when,
It’s not that music is better than ever as an average. It’s that there are likely, by sheer numbers, more highly talented and accomplished singers, musicians, and dancers now than in the past. There is also a nearly unprecedented amount of music being produced. While that likely means there is a larger volume of middling to low quality being produced, there is also a lot of great music being produced. What I am saying is there are probably more outliers at both extremes now more than ever.
Unfortunately, signal to noise ratio is shit. I know, personally, I go through waves of being entirely unable to find new music. It’s not that there isn’t music I love being made today; it’s that my brain literally cannot sort through the wall of content that’s been created. It locks up not knowing how to dig through. In the 90s, I basically had to go through what was on offer from the local music shops, pick something with a hope it might be good, then listen through the album until it truly grew on me. Now I can just boot up a streaming service and slip into skip track oblivion, but there is nothing to anchor the music to me, personally. If a Queen song comes on, however, my brain definitely has a much better framework for processing it. It’s not that I love Queen—some songs are so cheesy they almost fit into the realm of being liked ironically—but there is a familiarity, a connection to time and place, something that roots in in my personal experience rather than another bit of noise. If those same songs came out today and I’d never heard of Queen… well, I’d probably just skip over them too.October 24, 2022 at 8:52 pm #45172
I can have a visceral reaction to bad music. Like that canned pop that many shops play. I have, on occasion, just drop the shopping basket and walked out the door.
That’s half of what it’s intended to do in many cases. I think they’d prefer you hold onto the cart and clear it through the checkout, as you flee the shop, but in places like grocery stores, they want you in and out on a quicker turnaround, and they want you to be in a state where you are more likely to make impulse buys.October 24, 2022 at 8:58 pm #45173
I wonder whether there is a difference in the initial perception of new music comparing a lover of music to a casual listener. I am in the latter class and it is rare for me to love music on first impression. I know it must depend on the particular class of music and its quality. But there is clearly a role for familiarity and association.October 24, 2022 at 9:46 pm #45174
According to Rick Beato, the real reason so much of today’s music is unsatisfying is that the music world has been hijacked by PERFECTIONISTS! An autotuned harmony may sound perfect but it sounds robotic, weird, and thin. Barbershop Quartets strive for perfect harmony and the best ones achieve it, but listen to one and you’ll see what I mean about their harmonies sounding thin. A good piano tuner doesn’t tune all three unison strings for a note exactly the same (even if they could!). If it could be done, you wouldn’t have that effect of a piano note where you can hear an ever so slight dissonance to every note. These parallel shifts create depth and complexity.
Perfect is the enemy of good? Perfect is the enemy human! People aren’t perfect. Their music shouldn’t be, either.October 24, 2022 at 10:16 pm #45175
Sometimes I prefer the scratched sound of an LP to the digitally engineered sound of an mp3.
Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd. should be pronounced with a few crackles.October 24, 2022 at 10:34 pm #45176
@autumn – That’s half of what it’s intended to do in many cases. I think they’d prefer you hold onto the cart and clear it through the checkout, as you flee the shop, but in places like grocery stores, they want you in and out on a quicker turnaround, and they want you to be in a state where you are more likely to make impulse buys.
When I go shopping I go with a plan, even if I am only buying a newspaper. Once I found someone blocking my path with a full trolley and they were staring a stack of tinned beans. I said to her, in a very exasperated tone – without realizing it until the words were spoken – Oh Please, just pick one, they are all the same! At least she saw it as humorous!
If I think they are playing their terrible music to hurry me along, I hear the words “Well fuck you and your amateur BS psychology, you ain’t getting my money” in my head. Then I will fill the trolley to the brim and abandon it and walk out. I know am I being silly but it amuses me. I am never that annoyed or wound up by it, it is just that the reactions the humans give me can be funny 🙂 It doesn’t amount to a hill of something or other.
If you are ever in a book shop and find The God Delusion or a similar book in the Bible or Christian reading shelves, I was there once. There are only about 61 days left until Christmas and I have nothing purchased yet!! And not a child in the house fed.October 24, 2022 at 11:29 pm #45189
When I record music, I will often clean-up any mistakes (bad notes) and then quantize the notes to be exactly on time and then re-humanize them by adding small random timing variations to the start time and duration of each note. This way I don’t need to do 5 takes of everything. I would guess most musicians are at least +/- 100 ms accurate unless they are really sloppy or drunk.
When I record singers, most will overshoot on pitch a tiny bit and then self-correct very fast. A few do creep up on the note and that sorta becomes their style. If they do really miss a note, I can fix it with a tool called “melodyne”. It is so good you can use it to experiment with melody changes. In the old days you could pitch shift with tape speeds as well, but it was more detectable. They did a lot with tape splicing and dubbing back in the day.October 24, 2022 at 11:38 pm #45192
As a little kid i had a formative musical experience. Not sure if it was a victrola or a record player but i hear Caruso and it was a scratchy recording but so damn powerful. I am not sure that it would have been as powerful if it had attained perfection in its recording.October 25, 2022 at 1:25 am #45198
In another video, Beato makes the point that worshipping at the altar of perfection inhibits creativity. Your better soloists don’t play the same notes every time. Often they are actively exploring at the ragged edge of their musical knowledge and abilities. To do otherwise would result in boring music. And that’s one reason why so much of today’s music isn’t terribly interesting musically.
Here in the Pacific Northwest we have a locally-based singer, Curtis Salgado, well known in blues circles* who I saw in a video once talking about musical creativity. I paraphrase (because I can’t find the original), “You know, I don’t mind if a singer’s voice cracks as long as he’s pushing himself at the very edge. So what? Why would I want to watch a singer playing it safe?”
* If you want to find it, on Youtube there’s an hour long video of Joe Bonamassa (a blues GOD) interviewing and reminiscing with Curtis.October 25, 2022 at 1:59 am #45199
In another video, Beato makes the point that worshipping at the altar of perfection inhibits creativity. Your better soloists don’t play the same notes every time. Often they are actively exploring at the ragged edge of their musical knowledge and abilities. To do otherwise would result in boring music. And that’s one reason why so much of today’s music isn’t terribly interesting musically. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have a locally-based singer, Curtis Salgado, well known in blues circles* who I saw in a video once talking about musical creativity. I paraphrase (because I can’t find the original), “You know, I don’t mind if a singer’s voice cracks as long as he’s pushing himself at the very edge. So what? Why would I want to watch a singer playing it safe?” * If you want to find it, on Youtube there’s an hour long video of Joe Bonamassa (a blues GOD) interviewing and reminiscing with Curtis.
Yet when I go to a concert I wanna hear my favorite songs pretty much as recorded. Some bands mess with the songs so much on stage that they are almost unrecognizable. Not cool. Sure, jam out on the solos or whatever but there are iconic things I wanna hear. I get that they may be bored of their old stuff but hey… I didn’t come here to hear your super shitty new album either, LOL.October 25, 2022 at 2:29 am #45200
This is a performance with acceptable differences from the hit record. Synth chorus parts replaced by vocal harmonies. At first, I was like “oh no”, I loved the lush synth sounds. And some harmonies are changed from a major to a minor 3rd, but the song is intact, and the performance is near perfection.
Did you see that old video where Rick Beato’s kid with perfect pitch was calling out notes? Amazing kid. I have good relative pitch, but I need a little 440 hz reference hint.October 28, 2023 at 6:07 am #50943
I tend to ignore anything that goes viral these days, but I got into this one because of a few music reviewers I respect. IMO this performance is awesome, and meaningful. About 9-1/2 minutes.
Late PopeBeanie edit: If you’re feeling emotionally vulnerable, I recommend you watch this video doled out more in stride in the next post instead of this all-at-once, original version of the video.
- This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by PopeBeanie. Reason: added link to reaction video
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