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Is obscure, difficult prog deeper or more ...

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Post Options Post Options   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Is obscure, difficult prog deeper or more ...
    Posted: February 05 2012 at 09:13
Originally posted by rogerthat

Originally posted by 2dogs

"Difficult" suggests to me a piece of music too complex to be absorbed in one listen - initially it sounds confusing because part way through I have forgotten the beginning and I don't know what is coming next. However, after a few plays I have learnt it well enough to recognise the components that are repeated with variations at different points and am able to relate the current section to those that come earlier or later. The reward is to be able to see how all the diffrent parts fit together to make one whole, and this is similar to the feeling produced when trying to understand any difficult topic when suddenly it all becomes clear. In fact, in posting this I now see the meaning of the last card in the 11 card Tarot spread I drew when deciding whether to join the forum. So l would say that listening to "difficult prog" is very wortwhile - and could help one move a step further along the path to enlightenment.


I would consider the Ninth Symphony more intricate than many prog pieces and yet it is more easily digested.  So I have to say that I don't really agree with your theory above.   Some of the greatest works of music are such that can be enjoyed "on the surface" because the parts are great and also analyzed in depth because they are, in totality, intricate.  A parallel in architecture to my mind is Taj Mahal.  The only reason I persist with a given piece of music even if it doesn't draw me in the first time is because so many factors like my previous experiences with music and the expectations that I may have based on that, my mood at the time of listening or simply my receptiveness that day to absorb something out of the norm may stop me enjoying a piece of music.  Otherwise, if a piece of music does not grab within a few listens, it is really not an ideal situation in my opinion.
 
Interesting post
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2dogs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2012 at 11:16
A piece of music may contain complexity that could be analyzed further, but if I can get some grasp of it straight away, even if superficially, I don't call it "difficult". Not being familar with music theory, I may never get a full appreciation of just how clever a composition is, but still enjoy it on some level. The argument about a simple piece of music being deep is something else - some emotions and ideas can be very powerful yet only need a simple stimulus to evoke them e.g. anger. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Alitare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2012 at 12:26
Again, I agree with Slarti. I DO know enough about music theory and composition complexity, yet still don't care. I listen to what makes me feel deeply, whether it's John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Pain of Salvation, The Beatles, or Prince, gobdamn it.
He gave her his town house and his racing horses. Each meal she ate was a dozen courses. She had a million dollars worth of nickels and dimes. She sat around and counted them all a million times.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2012 at 13:25
Originally posted by Alitare

Again, I agree with Slarti. I DO know enough about music theory and composition complexity, yet still don't care. I listen to what makes me feel deeply, whether it's John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Pain of Salvation, The Beatles, or Prince, gobdamn it.

Attempting to quantify it is an exercise in futility....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Redug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2012 at 14:49
As somebody who knows theory fairly well I would like to comment that my perception of music isn't like, worlds away from what it was before I learnt theory.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2012 at 20:50
Originally posted by 2dogs

A piece of music may contain complexity that could be analyzed further, but if I can get some grasp of it straight away, even if superficially, I don't call it "difficult". Not being familar with music theory, I may never get a full appreciation of just how clever a composition is, but still enjoy it on some level. The argument about a simple piece of music being deep is something else - some emotions and ideas can be very powerful yet only need a simple stimulus to evoke them e.g. anger. 


My point is really that if difficulty equates complexity, then it doesn't necessarily follow that complex pieces are more difficult to get into. It depends on the quality of songwriting.  A lot of Gentle Giant compositions are fairly accessible, but they are not "easy" either.  Difficulty in appreciating a given piece of music usually suggests either that the listener is unfamiliar with that kind of music or it's a little outside his tastes and finds it hard to relate to it or simply that the songwriting is not very good.  That is my point, that difficult is not necessarily more rewarding. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote thehallway Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2012 at 10:13

Originally posted by Alitare

Again, I agree with Slarti. I DO know enough about music theory and composition complexity, yet still don't care. I listen to what makes me feel deeply, whether it's John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Pain of Salvation, The Beatles, or Prince, gobdamn it.

You say you don't care..... but do you? Do you really, honestly, purely, not have any musical prejudices at all?

If not in a negative way then certainly positively........ e.g.  you seem more proud to be a Tom Waits fan than a Yes fan, for example. I'm only basing that on what you've posted here, of course.

And in a different way........ that list you wrote up there, are there any artists or styles you may not have added to it, even if you did like them? In other words, are there musicians that you enjoy that you won't necessarily lie about liking, but may not be so inclined as to declare your love for them repeatedly on this forum?

If there weren't, I would have to conclude you were perfect. I'm not keen on that idea!



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Post Options Post Options   Quote tamijo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2012 at 10:39
Originally posted by thehallway

Originally posted by Alitare

Again, I agree with Slarti. I DO know enough about music theory and composition complexity, yet still don't care. I listen to what makes me feel deeply, whether it's John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Pain of Salvation, The Beatles, or Prince, gobdamn it.

You say you don't care..... but do you? Do you really, honestly, purely, not have any musical prejudices at all?

If not in a negative way then certainly positively........ e.g.  you seem more proud to be a Tom Waits fan than a Yes fan, for example. I'm only basing that on what you've posted here, of course.

And in a different way........ that list you wrote up there, are there any artists or styles you may not have added to it, even if you did like them? In other words, are there musicians that you enjoy that you won't necessarily lie about liking, but may not be so inclined as to declare your love for them repeatedly on this forum?

If there weren't, I would have to conclude you were perfect. I'm not keen on that idea!

Im perfect !!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Alitare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2012 at 13:18
Originally posted by thehallway

Originally posted by Alitare

Again, I agree with Slarti. I DO know enough about music theory and composition complexity, yet still don't care. I listen to what makes me feel deeply, whether it's John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Pain of Salvation, The Beatles, or Prince, gobdamn it.

You say you don't care..... but do you? Do you really, honestly, purely, not have any musical prejudices at all?

If not in a negative way then certainly positively........ e.g.  you seem more proud to be a Tom Waits fan than a Yes fan, for example. I'm only basing that on what you've posted here, of course.

And in a different way........ that list you wrote up there, are there any artists or styles you may not have added to it, even if you did like them? In other words, are there musicians that you enjoy that you won't necessarily lie about liking, but may not be so inclined as to declare your love for them repeatedly on this forum?

If there weren't, I would have to conclude you were perfect. I'm not keen on that idea!


It's because I prefer Tom Waits (my favorite artist) about four times over Yes (whom I only somewhat enjoy). I'll openly admit any band/group I love - Savatage, Prince, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Danzig, Judas Priest, King Crimson, Steve Vai, Steve Hackett (and not necessarily Genesis), Radiohead, Frank Sinatra, The Seatbelts (that band that did the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack), Neil Young, Bob Dylan - I'll honestly name each artist I thoroughly enjoy, and explain why. I adore the original Jesus Christ Superstar album, and openly appreciate...whatever it is I appreciate. 


He gave her his town house and his racing horses. Each meal she ate was a dozen courses. She had a million dollars worth of nickels and dimes. She sat around and counted them all a million times.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote musicbandit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2012 at 10:04
I agree with the general consensus here but I found that one of my favourite albums, and also the one I found hardest to get into, is Robert Wyatt's Rock Bottom. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote paganinio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2012 at 04:55
Originally posted by musicbandit

I agree with the general consensus here but I found that one of my favourite albums, and also the one I found hardest to get into, is Robert Wyatt's Rock Bottom. 
 
Insightful! This is what I have been waiting for in this thread, and I've finally found it.
 
Good to know that Rock Bottom is a difficult album to get into, but will be more rewarding. Did it just take five pages of discussion to lead to this final relevation revelation? Clap Well, it has been difficult to find this gem in this thread but it was rewarding! See the parallel??


Edited by paganinio - February 21 2012 at 05:06
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2012 at 05:55
Rock Bottom was totally easy for me get into on first listen.  You want difficult?  Try Soft Machine's Spaced.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2012 at 21:00
Originally posted by Slartibartfast

Rock Bottom was totally easy for me get into on first listen.  You want difficult?  Try Soft Machine's Spaced.

I've tried.  I've yet to succeed!

I agree that RB is not too difficult.  

Spaced is just bad.

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