View Poll Results: Do you like vocal music?

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  • Vocal music is my favourite.

    10 7.81%
  • I prefer vocal, but instrumental is good too.

    9 7.03%
  • I have no preference and listen to both equally.

    44 34.38%
  • I prefer instrumental, but vocal is good too.

    55 42.97%
  • I dislike vocal music and don't listen to it much.

    10 7.81%
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Thread: Do you like vocal music?

  1. #1
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    Default Do you like vocal music?

    There are many of us here who don't much like (or don't have much experience with) opera, and I was wondering if this extends more generally to a vocal/instrumental divide.

    I do like certain things, notably the Schubert song cycles and a handful of Requiems, but otherwise I'm not much of a fan of vocal music. I don't particularly like lieder; choral stuff I do without unless it's morbid (hence the Requiems); and anything that is voice only turns me off entirely.

    One of the criticisms often levelled against me by people who don't listen to classical music is: "but you can't sing along!" Well, even with vocal music, I don't actually pay much attention to what the words mean - I'm happy just humming along to anything.

  2. #2
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    I like sacred music, so I'm a fan of vocal music in that respect. But the bad thing about vocal music is, even if it's in my language, it's hard to understand the words, so I have to either ignore the text, memorize the text, or bury my head in a score. So I mostly listen to masses/requiems, because the text doesn't change, so I know what they're saying.

    Lately I've found myself not paying attention to the words at all, especially with operas, and just listening to the voice as another instrument, because I'm too lazy to try to follow along with the words.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member opus55's Avatar
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    I don't like opera yet even though I've given the genre few tries before. I do like requiem, mass, cantata, orchestral song or sometimes even lieder (Schubert, Schumann). Opera singers sometimes sound like they're running out of breath unlike baroque style singing which is airy and light. I also do not care for lyrics in the vocal music.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    l find myself preferring opera to anything else lately, but im not the biggest fan of unstaged vocal music.
    "Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody." - Rousseau

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I first came to classical music was because I didn't like vocal music. Lyrics were annoying to me. I suppose I miss out on an aspect of Mahler's Kindertoten Leider when I don't pay attention to the literary aspects of it, but I can't get past the fact that music should simply be music. I did listen to classic rock bands for a while, but the guitar, drums, were enough to enjoy for me and I like the vocal timbres better than classical singing. Make no mistake, I like the sound of the human voice, but I don't like thinking about the meaning of words in music.

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  8. #6
    Senior Member Kopachris's Avatar
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    To me, the voice is simply another instrument.

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  10. #7
    Senior Member Klavierspieler's Avatar
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    As long as it's not Opera, yes.

  11. #8
    Senior Member violadude's Avatar
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    I like vocal music just fine. Especially Lieder by Schubert and Wolf, Songs by Dowland, early madrigals and choral works in the Renaissance era, some opera, some requiems by certain composers. experimental vocal music like Stimmung is pretty cool too.

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  13. #9
    Senior Member neoshredder's Avatar
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    I prefer instrumental music for classical but am open to some vocal music. For the most part I prefer the vocals of classic rock singers the best.

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  15. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kopachris View Post
    To me, the voice is simply another instrument.
    And do you like that instrument?

  16. #11
    Senior Member Crudblud's Avatar
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    I often find words get in the way of music. For example; as much as I like Wagner, I've long wanted to hear what the Ring would sound like without vocals in its entirety; "Der Ring ohne worte" by Maazel (and The Ring: An Orchestral Adventure, the conductor of which I don't remember, it's a different suite though), the symphonic syntheses by Stokowski, and even the plain concert versions of Walkürenritt, Siegfrieds Trauermarsch etc. all point to the conclusion that the Ring would be great without vocals. Imagine it, a 14 hour concerto for orchestra!

    The problem with words in music is that they often serve to clarify the abstract; they can easily remove the mystery, the wonder of a work by giving a concrete, if poetic, explanation of what's going on. It's like if someone sat next to you with a score while you were listening to something and explained the techniques used. If handled with care (I won't say properly, because properly implies that there are concrete right and wrong ways to handle vocals, and that's ********), words can serve music well, but I love the freedom instrumental music lends to the imagination. To use our old example; I enjoyed the Ring more when I didn't know what was going on.

    Add.: The human voice used in an instrumental fashion is fine by me (e.g.: Ravel makes great use of wordless choir in Daphnis et Chloe, one of my favourite pieces) but "vocal" music tends to imply music with a text.
    Last edited by Crudblud; Feb-06-2012 at 20:04.

  17. #12
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    That depends entirely upon the style of singing. The only kind of vocals I really don't like is the style found in most opera and lieder, hence I don't listen to those forms. Pretty much anything else from Aka pygymies to Tuvan throat singers, gravelly American to vocoderified Deutsche, or even that really popular kind of falsetto that is in lots of stuff currently doesn't bother me too much. I do tend to like vocal lines to be as natural to speech and unembellished as possible but a little flair doesn't bother me.

  18. #13
    Senior Member aleazk's Avatar
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    I listen to a lot of medieval polyphonic vocal music, I love the "Ars Antiqua" period:

    -Codex Calixtinus (12th-century):

    "Congaudeant catholici":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgAjmFqRfRQ

    "Huic Iacobo":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYdlVycH76s

    "Iacobe virginei":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNvU5fVEEQk

    "Cunctipotens genitor Deus":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnoe2_AmxoQ

    "Dum esset":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBci8tC2QWc

    -Perotin (13th century):

    "Alleluia nativitas":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNMQu5LXaeI

    "Viderunt Omnes":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aySwfcRaOZM

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  20. #14
    Senior Member aleazk's Avatar
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    Default

    Also I like Ligeti's "Lux Aeterna":




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  22. #15
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    Default

    Best vocal piece evah:


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