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The best ones have a immediate impact

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rdtprog View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 26 2012 at 16:17
I am curious if some agree with me, when i say that the best songs we can hear on a progressive rock cd are the one that have a immediate impact on you. I mean when you can clearly feel the sense of the melody and you are immediately affect positively by it. And the songs that take many takes to get something out of it don't have such strong melody and are easily forgotten. For those kind of songs it takes great songwriting by the artists to be able to connect emotionally to the listener. I don't want to say by this, that only songs that have a strong or catchy melody have a impact on you, but that they are the songs that are the most memorable for us and, that we want to listen over and over again. There also songs that we can enjoy for the sound, the atmosphere or the complexity, but i think that those things should never overshadows the melody in the songs.

I think that the bands that have strong songwriting ability, by creating the best songs, are rare. Is this what we call "genius" , "gifted"? Is melody the essential part of music and the at a point where sometimes we can say that its surpassed the artist, just like he was control by a higher energy impossible to describe.

Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, PFM, Rush are in the category that i have in mind, and soul... when i am thinking about great songs with a sense of melody, which mean more than a succession of notes and tones, but something that reach the listener deeper,  a bit like when you find yourself humming or when people say that they can't get the songs out of their heads.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 16:25
I don't agree with you. I think the best songs are often the ones that require a little time to fully digest and appreciate. If your theory were true, then we would be forced to conclude that highly accessible pop/dance music is really good, which of course it isn't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote knumorvid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 16:30
^This
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 16:45
^ that.
 
Exhibit A:


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snow Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 16:47
^Those
Coldness doth get away with the badness.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote QuestionableScum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 16:50
I completely disagree. There are many songs and albums that are now among my favourites that took me several times to get because they are not driven my a catchy melodic hook.

In fact an excessive focus on immediacy in melody can lead to bland music that is very predictable. Much mainstream pop is catchy and pleasant in an immediate melodic sense, but with such music I can often predict where the melody and chord progressions are going.

Also, if your theory regarding melody were true then Stravinsky, Bartok, Schoenberg and many other musical geniuses could not be said to have created great pieces. But their music is still highly regarded nearly 100 years after their death.

It takes time to develop the listening skills to appreciate music that is not driven by an immediate melodic hook, as most contemporary music conditions us to listen to all music as if it were driven by melodic hooks.

Edited by QuestionableScum - November 26 2012 at 16:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rdtprog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 16:52
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

^ that.
 
Exhibit A:

This is a good example of a cd that i have mixed feelings about it, precisely, because the melody has been lost in the way the band have linked all the passages of the songs together, like was missing a coherence in all the great ideas put in it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snow Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:02
^Nonsense.
Coldness doth get away with the badness.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:04
^This.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HarbouringTheSoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:07
Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

If your theory were true, then we would be forced to conclude that highly accessible pop/dance music is really good, which of course it isn't.

First of all, who says it isn't? There is some highly accessible pop (not sure about dance) music that I value just as much as, say, "Close to the Edge" and "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight". Pop is not inherently worse than prog, although I do find its hit-to-miss ratio to be lower. But even that is up to personal opinion. Secondly, you're misrepresenting his statement. He said that the best music is usually the one that has an immediate impact on you, not that all music that is accessible is good. There is plenty of accessible music out there that doesn't have any impact on me at all. But in general I find it true that when I listen to an album, the songs that appeal to me the quickest are also the ones I will continue to like the best. I've loved my favorite album, "Close to the Edge", since the first listen and the same holds true for most of my favorite music. Time may alter my opinion a bit in either direction, but it rarely happens that I suddenly start liking a song that I disliked before and vice versa. Sometimes I'm ambivalent, and in that case it may take a few more listens for me to decide if the positive sides or the negative sides win over (this happened with Jethro Tull's "Orion" and Camel's "Freefall" for example). Some songs are so complex that it's hard to get a complete overview on first listen. But even then, if the song is really good, some parts of it will stand out to me right away.

All of my favorite music has a strong 'hook' somewhere in it, but I see 'hooks' where most people don't. Like Captain Beefheart music for example. So maybe I'm a lover of catchy pop music at heart, just with a broad definition of what constitutes 'catchy'.


Edited by HarbouringTheSoul - November 26 2012 at 17:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:11
If we're going to start down that old "musical taste is subjective" road again, we might as well close the thread right now (and all threads on PA, for that matter) for all the good we will get out of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rdtprog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:12
Originally posted by QuestionableScum QuestionableScum wrote:

I completely disagree. There are many songs and albums that are now among my favourites that took me several times to get because they are not driven my a catchy melodic hook.

In fact an excessive focus on immediacy in melody can lead to bland music that is very predictable. Much mainstream pop is catchy and pleasant in an immediate melodic sense, but with such music I can often predict where the melody and chord progressions are going.

Also, if your theory regarding melody were true then Stravinsky, Bartok, Schoenberg and many other musical geniuses could not be said to have created great pieces. But their music is still highly regarded nearly 100 years after their death.

It takes time to develop the listening skills to appreciate music that is not driven by an immediate melodic hook, as most contemporary music conditions us to listen to all music as if it were driven by melodic hooks.


Are you listening to Stravinsky, Bartok often of is it just the opinions of others? Maybe you can see that there is a line between pop and classic, and its progressive rock. Not totally catchy and not completely submerge in too much complexity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HarbouringTheSoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:13
Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

If we're going to start down that old "musical taste is subjective" road again, we might as well close the thread right now (and all threads on PA, for that matter) for all the good we will get out of it.

No, but we should refrain from absolute statements such as "highly accessible pop/dance music is obviously not really good". Because that's not obvious in the slightest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:16
Originally posted by HarbouringTheSoul HarbouringTheSoul wrote:

Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

If we're going to start down that old "musical taste is subjective" road again, we might as well close the thread right now (and all threads on PA, for that matter) for all the good we will get out of it.

No, but we should refrain from absolute statements such as "highly accessible pop/dance music is obviously not really good". Because that's not obvious in the slightest.


Tell that to the guy who started the thread with the word "best."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HarbouringTheSoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:20
I didn't say we should refrain from all absolute statements, just from the type of absolute statement you made, in which you implicate that something should obvious to everybody when in fact many people disagree with you. There's a difference between "this is what I think and you may disagree" and "this is what I think and if you disagree, you're wrong".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:23
It's incredibly tedious to write "IMHO" after every declarative sentence one makes on a forum where all the topics are inherently subjective. Can we just agree that anything anyone says implicitly carries the "IMHO" tag so we can avoid this sort of foolishness in the future?

Also, if you disagree with me, I do think you're wrong, because naturally I think I am right, or else I would think differently  (IMHO)


Edited by thellama73 - November 26 2012 at 17:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:26
Sturgeon's Law applies.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HarbouringTheSoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:43
Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

It's incredibly tedious to write "IMHO" after every declarative sentence one makes on a forum where all the topics are inherently subjective. Can we just agree that anything anyone says implicitly carries the "IMHO" tag so we can avoid this sort of foolishness in the future?

Also, if you disagree with me, I do think you're wrong, because naturally I think I am right, or else I would think differently  (IMHO)

I think that the best music is usually the one with the most immediate impact. You don't, so we disagree. Does that meant that I think you're wrong? No, because my statement applies only to my tastes and yours only applies to your tastes. Our statements aren't opposites of each other, so it's possible for both to be true (and both are indeed true, unless one of us is lying to himself) at the same time, even though we disagree. It's when you make statements that apply to everybody's tastes that it gets problematic. When you say "accessible pop music of course isn't good", the term "of course" implies that the statement is self-evident. It makes no sense to talk of self-evidence when you're only talking about your opinion (everything is self-evident to oneself, as you pointed out). You don't have to add "IMHO" when you're talking about your own opinions. You just shouldn't make assumptions about other people's opinions, because such assumptions are usually false.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote timothy leary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:45
^ isn't that a fish
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote QuestionableScum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2012 at 17:45
Originally posted by rdtprog rdtprog wrote:


Originally posted by QuestionableScum QuestionableScum wrote:

I completely disagree. There are many songs and albums that are now among my favourites that took me several times to get because they are not driven my a catchy melodic hook.

In fact an excessive focus on immediacy in melody can lead to bland music that is very predictable. Much mainstream pop is catchy and pleasant in an immediate melodic sense, but with such music I can often predict where the melody and chord progressions are going.

Also, if your theory regarding melody were true then Stravinsky, Bartok, Schoenberg and many other musical geniuses could not be said to have created great pieces. But their music is still highly regarded nearly 100 years after their death.

It takes time to develop the listening skills to appreciate music that is not driven by an immediate melodic hook, as most contemporary music conditions us to listen to all music as if it were driven by melodic hooks.
Are you listening to Stravinsky, Bartok often of is it just the opinions of others? Maybe you can see that there is a line between pop and classic, and its progressive rock. Not totally catchy and not completely submerge in too much complexity.


I enjoy Stravinsky and Bartok myself, but my point was to say that because their music is still enjoyed by others nearly 100 years after it was produced this shows that their music is not forgettable.

While I can see why someone would say progressive rock lies somewhere between classical and pop, I think this way of viewing things is misleading and not particularly helpful because progressive rock, pop, and classical are terms that refer to so many disparate forms of music.

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