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Thread: Listen to what you like.

  1. #1
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    Default Listen to what you like.

    Just my observation, and observations can be wrong... But I feel like there is this pressure to somehow like things that other people like. Yes I'm complaining about human nature probably. I've just noticed here that it seems like people listen to certain things out of a sense of duty like they are throwing mud on great masterworks if they don't listen to and find some sort of appreciation for the "canon" of classical music.

    With these objective-subjective threads recently, some of the objectivist arguments seem like they are coming from the standpoint that there is something universally great with whatever is the top piece or pieces and that people who don't like such masterpieces are blind to this supposed greatness. Perhaps I'm exaggerating.

    This is exemplified by the attitude that some composers like John Williams get. His music, though many obviously find it quite enjoyable, is often scoffed at as if you have bad taste if you like it. Why? I've seen the same with Carmina Burana. Oh that brutish stuff! And don't even mention pop music.

    The same goes if you don't like something that is highly esteemed (or at least highly esteemed by some). I'll never forget the responses I got in that thread where I said I found Bach boring. Oh dear... And you're darned if you like John Cage as well as if you don't (or any modern music for that matter).

    Apparently some people think that classical music fans are snobby, and well, after spending a year posting here, I think that's somewhat true. Sure not everyone is, and I'm not calling anyone out, but I definitely understand why some feel that way. It's probably true with every genre of music though to be honest.

    Maybe some will not like this, or they will take it the wrong way. But I just don't care anymore. I simply don't have a thick enough skin for this and don't plan on posting here anymore anytime soon.

    Please just listen to whatever floats your boat. You do you.

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    I think we all here listen to whatever that "floats the boat". And many here including me branch out to discover other works by other composers. I also like to evaluate a work, which I find helps me to appreciate the work on a deeper level. For me, listening to it on its own and finding it enjoyable is sublime but it is even more meaningful to know why from a musical point of view, the merits of the work.
    Last edited by ArtMusic; Apr-05-2021 at 07:51.

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    Moderator Nereffid's Avatar
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    I know the OP mentioned objectivism/subjectivism, John Williams AND John Cage, but can we please not use this thread for yet more arguments on these particular topics?

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adriesba View Post
    Just my observation, and observations can be wrong... But I feel like there is this pressure to somehow like things that other people like. Yes I'm complaining about human nature probably. I've just noticed here that it seems like people listen to certain things out of a sense of duty like they are throwing mud on great masterworks if they don't listen to and find some sort of appreciation for the "canon" of classical music.....
    There is always pressure to like what critics and influential people feel are the 'greatest recordings'. Sitting down and listening to some of these great recordings you might wonder what the fuss is about. I have, ever since I came here, and I'm always on the lookout for new / unheralded recordings of the pieces I like. Naturally, there's a pressure to conform and some will blindly follow what their favourite critic / person says but how you handle that is down to you. You can accept that you're not going to change their POV or you can challenge the norm and argue your corner and get others to truly listen. Human nature is that many people have fixed mindsets so you have to try and alter that mindset. It can be done. What will you achieve by flouncing? Nothing. I avoid the objective / subjective threads like the plague as they bore me rigid. My advice to you is do the same and concentrate on discussing pieces / recordings that you really love. This forum is no worse than any other forum (if you really want fixed mindsets then join an audiophile musical equipment forum). They are full of opinionated people but that's the way it is. You should focus on changing opinions by offering an alternative, not directly challenging deeply held opinions. Classical music listeners are no more snobs than valve amp snobs, FLAC snobs, shellacosnobs or guitar snobs. Many people leave this site as they feel that there are too many posters set in their ways. I've found, over the years, that this isn't really the case, it's just that people are comfortable with what they have. Offering a fresh perspective and alternatives is always welcome. How you go about doing this will determine how well you fit in.
    Last edited by Merl; Apr-05-2021 at 11:41.

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    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    Everyone has their own taste, and that's how it should be, no matter what others say.

    It's good advice to not even bother with threads like the subjectivity/objectivity conundrum, that go nowhere slowly.

    There are plenty of other threads at the site though. One that I like a lot, and that could do with more participation, is Ingelou's Chain reactions, which gives you the opportunity to explore relatively short and usually less well-known pieces selected by fellow members, and submit your own.

    Chain Reactions

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Of course we should each listen to what we like and love and of course we might want to share our tastes with others in the hope that others do too. Also, personally, I like enthusiasm and am often nudged to try something when it so clearly excites someone else. Sometimes this doesn't work for me but sometimes it opens a door. I find negative views have very little influence on me.

    But I do also think that it is legitimate to critically discuss the value of music. I think it is possible to recognise something as great without liking it. And the converse is also true: it is possible to love something but to know that it is somehow less than great.

    I am not sure I agree with Merl, above, but know his recommendations are often (usually) a reliable guide for me. I am not one of those who are suspicious of people who like music that the critics tell us to like. Critics know a lot. Some are perverse and some value qualities that I don't. But at least they are mostly better equipped than me to explain where their judgments come from (not that all care to!) than most of us and they often draw on knowledge that we often lack. There are many who like to think of themselves as critics who just don't have the knowledge or facility to explain their views but still present them as being more than just "what rocks my boat". I am somewhat allergic to them!

    But, in the end, I love what I love. And I dislike what I dislike. And I am cold to what leaves me cold, while knowing that one day I might find I was wrong.

    But we also need to remember the context in which we are doing our listening. While I was growing up it was expected that an educated person would have some familiarity with and openness to classical music. That time is gone. It is now a little suspect in the wider world to be a classical music fan and almost praiseworthy to declare against classical music. Some literature (Shakespeare, sometimes) can also suffer from the same thing. And with this trend has come the use of the term classical music to describe all sorts of music that, for me, is not classical music and cannot do what even merely good classical music can do. And that irritates me more than it should!

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    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
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    Regarding adriesba's OP, first I would say please stick around and second, maybe just avoid the threads that get acrimonious over such matters.

    For my part, I enjoy the music from Boney M (honestly!) to Helmut Lachenmann and I'm not judgemental about music.

    I will admit to posting a couple of mocking posts concerning the music of J. Williams and John Rutter, whose music I find truly appalling, but it was NEVER directed at the listeners.
    My new year's resolution is to buy less new music and listen more to the absolutely STUPID amount of music I already have.

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    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    I've noticed a 'serious' cult of continental German, Austrian, and French composers, with Italians and Scandinavians tolerable as fluffy mascots.

    But Russians?, the British?, Americans? In a polite house?

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    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Everywhere in life there are people who have entrenched thoughts on things and forums allow some to vent their particular views in a sometimes inappropriate/over zealous manner. It is sad that these posters and their intolerance can stop more open minded listeners from presenting their views for fear of the verbal backlash that can result.
    Frankly, at times, the behaviour of some borders on bullying - however I would urge the OP and others to read the posts, chuckle and move on. I have said this before and will continue to believe this - no one has the right to say you are wrong in what your musical preferences are, by all means discuss in a reasonable manner but the need for derogatory comments on differences imo are totally unnecessary.

    My maxim - I am always right in what I enjoy listening to and no one can agrue with that unless they listen with my mind and ears. If those choices are the objectively or subjectively best recordings (sorry for using the O and S words) matters not a jot, if you gain pleasure from them that is surely what its all about.
    Trust your judgement and those of others you know have a similar taste but there is little point in listening to music that you don't enjoy in any way just because someone says you should.
    Last edited by Malx; Apr-05-2021 at 22:01. Reason: Tidy up messy post

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    As far as performances go, I think it is one of the hallmarks of great music that there is always something new to find in it. That's why I don't tend to talk about "the best recording of something" (claims like that usually make me suspicious of the recommendation!) but do enjoy a wide range of approaches to music that I love. But there are many recordings and performances of great and much played works that don't do much for me, either because they are too safe and tell me nothing new or because they just don't catch any magic.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post

    It's good advice to not even bother with threads like the subjectivity/objectivity conundrum, that go nowhere slowly.
    Go nowhere? That's one way to look at it. I'd say they often go exactly where they should within a page or two; It's just that a number of people fail to recognize the destination.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    — Basil Valentine

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Agree with OP. Listen to what you like. I think there is merit to any form of music. I still listen to rap sometimes, something even rock fans scoff at (I think it was some Porno for Pyros member saying rap is short for crap). I don't try to compare with Classical. Have to admit my own relatives think I'm a bit snobby when it comes to Classical, maybe because I sometimes can't contain some value judgements when I'm hearing their K-pop. I look at it this way, any instance or genre in music is a different cut of the same fabric. There is a different sort of music for everyone where they are in their Life's journey.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    I've experienced all of those things you describe, adriesba. Often, the forum has become less a meeting place and more of a battle ground. The irony is that a lot of the battles aren't relevant in the wider world, not even in the little world of classical music.

    For example, some on TC talk as if the canon where fixed in the past, but the reality is that it is continuously evolving. In the past fifty or so years, different concepts of the canon have emerged. Some break it up into parts based on genre (which includes previously marginalised categories, such film music). Others, like William Weber, distinguish between repertoire as performance (what's played, which can include not only live performance but recordings), as scholarly (musicology and music history) and pedagogy (what is taught about music).

    Apart from theory, the reality on the ground doesn't match what's happening on TC. If you live in any decent sized city in the Western world you'll be able to go to many performances of classical music which don't fit into the categories of the fossilised (basically 1950's, or modernist) version of music which has dominated this forum more or less ever since I've been a member.

    Many years ago, I talked to a friend about what's going on here, and he said that what canon pushers are doing is forcing their own canons onto other people. I say don't listen to those people, if they're not living in the present you don't have to do the same. Their distorted and outdated views of the canon simply isn't your problem.

    I could go on about snobs. I've come across plenty, and just like the canon pushers, they try to define what is a genuine classical listener based on their own values. I've had the misfortune to talk to many types, and what they have in common is that they will waste no time telling you why for any reason you don't stack up to being the real deal. Its so lame. Try take no heed and give them as wide berth as possible.

    When you say you want to leave, all I can say is that I hear you. I've had breaks from here, they last at least a year. Recently I've come back after about 18 months away. Some aspects of what you talk about contributed to that, but it was mainly wanting to reduce screen time in general and also pressures from everyday living. I've found breaks like that to be beneficial, so if you feel you need to do it, no harm in taking them.

    My best wishes to you, and thank you for bringing up this topic. These things need to be discussed. I think its relevant to anybody who has spent a fair amount of time here.
    Last edited by Sid James; Apr-05-2021 at 23:31.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    ^ lol @ "fossilised".

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    Senior Member consuono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adriesba
    Maybe some will not like this, or they will take it the wrong way. But I just don't care anymore. I simply don't have a thick enough skin for this...
    I do. If you have some confidence in whatever music you love and the reasons you love it, who cares what anyone else says.
    Last edited by consuono; Apr-06-2021 at 00:44.

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