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Thread: How do you decide what to listen to?

  1. #46
    Member xuantu's Avatar
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    Default How do you pick from your collection when you plan to have some music?

    Do you pick randomly or does it take some time for you to decide?

    I couldn't help but notice that many of you here on this forum have pretty large music collections, whether in digital download or in CD format. I wonder if you guys ever had problems choosing from your collection a particular piece/disk to enjoy. To be frank, my collection isn't very big, but not infrequently I suffered this difficulty of pulling out a record to listen to decisively. The following scenario would be typical: Hmm, now I've got some time to deal with a Mahler or a Bruckner symphony at last, but a Schumann or Wolf song recital would be nice too--I could read the booklets to improve my understanding of the words. Oh no, I just received the Stravinsky box not long ago; perhaps I should investigate that set. Or, shall I be easy with myself and stay with my favorite Bartok. Then I would probably run into panic, panting and sweating and need a lot of snacks and water to revive (of course, I'm exaggerating). Do you have similar experiences like mine, or can you see the essence of my strange behavior and tell me how to get rid of it?

    I'm looking forward to your replies.
    Last edited by xuantu; Jan-18-2010 at 20:50.

  2. #47
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    I'd say that I probably alternate between three different situations:

    1) Typically, I won't have too much trouble choosing something. It feels almost like an instinct, linked to my inner zeitgeist! When I get out my collection, I just know what to look for. Sometimes, however, relying on this often means that I unconsciously start to gravitate to a certain set of pieces (even if it's a large number of works) and I forget about other things that I have and would equally enjoy. So, sometimes, when I'm looking for something specific, something forgotten will catch my eye and I'll think, 'Yes, how about that!'

    2) Somewhat less often, but still regularly, I'd experience what you described above. I'd just be looking at the things I have and I wouldn't be able to decide between them. It gets me frustrated and, eventually, I just don't want to listen to anything! So I'll end up putting something on that I don't like, like Bach

    3) Rarely, I'll be sitting doing work or whatever, and I won't even be contemplating music, and then, out of nowhere, a melody will come into my mind. I'd probably hum it for a minute or two, then I'd realise what I was doing and then I'd have to listen to the piece it was from, as though satisfying my brain's own desire!

    Somewhat separate to the collection I already possess, I've been using internet resources more frequently of late in order to discover new music, and that's what's really hard. There is so, so, so much stuff that I want to listen to, and I just don't know where to start!

  3. #48
    Member xuantu's Avatar
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    Well said! And...

    Quote Originally Posted by Polednice View Post
    3) Rarely, I'll be sitting doing work or whatever, and I won't even be contemplating music, and then, out of nowhere, a melody will come into my mind. I'd probably hum it for a minute or two, then I'd realise what I was doing and then I'd have to listen to the piece it was from, as though satisfying my brain's own desire!
    I had situations like this during my exams sometimes and I couldn't turn off the music in my head ! It's kind of annoying.
    Last edited by xuantu; Jan-19-2010 at 02:48.

  4. #49
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    If I have an evening free, ie to myself, it will usually always be an engagement with music, either listening to CDs or playing the piano.

    If it's playing the piano, it's usually the simpler material by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, occasionally some Debussy. Sometimes my sister calls round and we can just about manage a piano/violin duet.

    If it's listening to CDs (which is the much more frequent event) I generally stick with the same composer for an evening. I have a number of "playlists" set up for each composer, comprising either solo instrument, chamber, orchestral or choral works.

    I generally concentrate on solo instrument or chamber music. Basically, I try to mix up the main composers so they all get a listen to. Tonight, I decided upon Liszt. This is because I happened to be discussing Liszt's works recently.

    Mention was made of music for exam revision. I have found that some composers are especially good as an aid here. I like Telemann a great deal. His music is very well written, and undemanding of close attention. Another is Purcell's instrumental works. If I'm in the mood to take it, I love material like Bach's English and French suites, but usually I find it a bit too clinical and complex etc. Haydn SQs are splendid too. Late Mozart SQs and early/mid Beethoven SQs are another god source. My favourite is Schubert's chamber works.

    Once upon a time, things were different. It would have been predominantly the heavier type material like Rachmaninoff's symphonies, Brahms PCs and all that. That's all now a distant memory. As explained once before, my taste for that kind of material has waned relative to the simpler genres which I now concentrate upon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    Oops, I didn't know the same question has been asked before. Sorry!

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    I forgive you.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
    Mention was made of music for exam revision. I have found that some composers are especially good as an aid here. I like Telemann a great deal. His music is very well written, and undemanding of close attention. Another is Purcell's instrumental works. If I'm in the mood to take it, I love material like Bach's English and French suites, but usually I find it a bit too clinical and complex etc. Haydn SQs are splendid too. Late Mozart SQs and early/mid Beethoven SQs are another god source. My favourite is Schubert's chamber works.
    These look like good choices for exam revision.

  9. #54
    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    I just kinda go by whatever I feel like at the time, and usually listen to stuff I either already know really well or something I've never heard before (if it's either 20th century or renaissance music--I don't tend to listen to common-practice music I don't know, since there doesn't tend to be as much variation in styles as in modern music... and I just like Renaissance music).

    And, as has been noted by several people, I listen to a lot of Mahler.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xuantu View Post
    Oops, I didn't know the same question has been asked before. Sorry!
    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    I forgive you.
    We forgive you, too

    These two threads are now one - We've merged the newest one into the previous one.
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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    I found this discussion via a google search for something else, but I found it entertaining, and since it's fairly old maybe people wouldn't mind revisiting it.

    I lost all my digital music in a hard-drive tragedy in October 2010, so I've been re-uploading my CDs, and since my playcount is at 0 I made a goal of listening to everything one time. Aside from some Christmas music and some stuff that a friend who visited requested, nothing has been listened to twice.

    It has been a good thing to do. Sort of a challenge. I love a lot of music, and when I hear it after some absence, it really is a sweet time. On the other hand, some of this stuff I bought intending to listen to many times, then I somehow moved on without doing so, and it's been good to find that stuff and remember it.

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    I decide based on neuroreceptor activity. If it's 5-ht receptors, I'm probably listening to Scriabin. Activity at my CB receptors requires Bob Marley or The Grateful Dead.

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    Senior Member Kopachris's Avatar
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    Because I form associations in my mind between certain pieces and certain emotional states while I'm listening to a new piece, I'll usually pick that piece or a similar one when I'm in a similar emotional state. It gives a sort nostalgic feeling. Or if I have a tune going through my head, I'll pick that one.

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    I make lists of 5 CDs to listen to every day until Im familiar with it and then change it

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    Quote Originally Posted by haydnguy View Post
    ...and since my playcount is at 0 I made a goal of listening to everything one time.
    ...
    Funny because I can't stand those 0 play counts

    My listening pattern is usually a good mix of different instruments and genres. I don't like listening to more than two of the same genre in sequence. Usually while listening to my least favorite passage, I would pick out the next discs to load my CD changer. Sometimes it's hard to decide but I enjoy the process.

    When outside, I tend to listen to something fast and energetic.

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