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Thread: How hard is it for you to enjoy music?

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Default How hard is it for you to enjoy music?

    Sometimes I suspect that we problematize things too much, perhaps intentionally. But perhaps it's just a difference from one person to another.

    For example, I can't think of any work of classical music that I don't enjoy at least a little. Even Bolero. Some things are not really my thing (for example Bruckner and Richard Strauss), but they're not painful to listen to or anything.

    Nor can I think of many recordings that really turn me off. I don't like a lot of coughing, and I usually like recordings better the clearer they are, but I can only think of one recording that really turned me off. (Irrelevant, but it's Gardiner's Mozart's Requiem. I would throw it off the balcony, but I suspect I might like it someday.)

    But it seems like a lot of the discussion is focused on what people don't like. The Second Vienna School? I don't see what the problem is. Stockhausen or Xenakis or Nono or Berio or whoever? I don't see what the problem is. Mozart? I don't see what the problem is. Higdon? I don't see what the problem is. Johann Strauss II? I don't see what the problem is. Minimalism? I don't see what the problem is.

    So I don't relate to a lot of the discussion here.

    But it occurs to me that there may be people who love music but don't enjoy it easily.

    I'm like that with movies. A lot of movies bother me, bore me, disappoint me somehow. I'm ambivalent or nonchalant about probably the majority of movies. But the ones that get it just right, I really, really love.

    I suspect that's how some of you may be with music.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member ahammel's Avatar
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    Well, there's a lot of classical music that I don't particularly care for, and plenty I don't really grok, but none that I can think of that I react to with undiluted revulsion. With one exception:

    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    Even Bolero.
    [shuns forever]

    Related: Why don't art lovers love art?
    Last edited by ahammel; May-02-2013 at 18:39. Reason: stray punctuation mark

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    Senior Member brianvds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahammel View Post
    Well, there's a lot of classical music that I don't particularly care for, and plenty I don't really grok, but none that I can think of that I react to with undiluted revulsion. With one exception:
    [shuns forever]
    With me, it's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. If I never hear it again it will be too soon. :-)

    My problem with music is usually that I enjoy it too much though. I get lost in the sensual enjoyment and thus never get to properly analyze it, thus missing out on a whole different level of enjoyment.

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    You are correct. With classical music usually the worst that happens is I shrug my shoulders in puzzlement or boredom, but it is almost never outright hatred or contempt.

    Country and some pop on the other hand can drive me right up the wall and can even make me physically ill. Those genres are not only hard for me to like, but hard to endure being counted as one of the same species that perpetrated them.

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    I actually overanalyse...wait overthink music too much sometimes. I always want to know how much 5-star ratings an album got on Amazon, and I always search for grips in the music, like intervals or harmonic grades I recognize. So the cognitive part plays a role. Of course there are pieces which seem to always sensually, or emotionally grip me. But sometimes I feel even guilty for listening to that instead of learning more new stuff etc.

    Certain recordings sound painful to me (bought a way to cheap Mozart box set once which had no depth or brightness in the sound at all, it would even mentally disaffect me), and certain musical genres also, but mostly classical music (the music itself) doesn't annoy me.

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    Senior Member ahammel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weston View Post
    Country and some pop on the other hand can drive me right up the wall and can even make me physically ill.
    Am I to understand that you have heard pop songs that were so bad that you actually, as it were, tossed your cookies?

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I have to disagree with the other posters here. As the great J. F. Runciman wrote in 1896, "It is one's duty to hate with all possible fervor the empty and ugly in art; and I hate Saint-Saëns the composer with a hate that is perfect."

    In short, music without hate is like an egg without salt.


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    Senior Member Kazaman's Avatar
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    I enjoy it effortlessly. I dislike things not because they sound "bad" to me or because I don't "get it," but because I disagree with what the composer is communicating.

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    Senior Member Feathers's Avatar
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    I can't think of any piece of classical music that is "painful" for me to listen to. (At one point, Canon in D got close to painful, but it was because my friends and my neighbour from the other side of the wall kept playing it, rather than the fault of the music itself). However, I have to admit that there's a handful of pop songs that can drive me crazy.

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    I have to disagree with the other posters here. As the great J. F. Runciman wrote in 1896, "It is one's duty to hate with all possible fervor the empty and ugly in art; and I hate Saint-Saëns the composer with a hate that is perfect."

    In short, music without hate is like an egg without salt.
    Whatever your intention, the actual effect of this post was to make me want an egg sandwich.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member Cheyenne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    I'm like that with movies. A lot of movies bother me, bore me, disappoint me somehow. I'm ambivalent or nonchalant about probably the majority of movies. But the ones that get it just right, I really, really love.
    With classical music, you will invariably and often necessarily listen to the highlights - the pieces that have been preserved over time, usually due to high quality. Besides, getting a quality movie is more difficult because of the amount of people involved.

    As far the general question, I share Science's general inability to find faults with the majority of the canon. All the better, no?

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheyenne View Post
    With classical music, you will invariably and often necessarily listen to the highlights - the pieces that have been preserved over time, usually due to high quality. Besides, getting a quality movie is more difficult because of the amount of people involved.

    As far the general question, I share Science's general inability to find faults with the majority of the canon. All the better, no?
    Yes, almost certainly all the better.

    It's a good opportunity to clarify - I don't only find the canon enjoyable. Well, perhaps no matter what I say now someone will say, "That's the canon!" But whether it's Andriessen, Ryu, Kilar, Shchedrin, Taneyev, Rosetti (Rössler), Luython, Zipoli - even there I just don't find much not to like.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    Problematize ?????Only an American would come out with that !!!
    Fools talk because they have to say something, wise men talk because they have something to say.

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    Senior Member ptr's Avatar
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    There are few types of "Classical" music I cannot enjoy, of course, the level of enjoyment varies. Listening to some forms of Jazz and certainly "Rap" leaves me and my ears much more in conflict, hence I don't engage in listening to them.

    I can relate to KenOC's "Hate is the Salt" analogy, but I really find that life is to short for me to engage in hate, instead, for me music is the salt that makes the egg bearable, thankfully, there is more salty flavours than I could ever wish for!

    /ptr
    Je suis Charlie ~ I am a certified OrgaNut! (F.—I.W.)

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    This is a trick question, right?

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