liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
[personal profile] ceb asked: What kinds of music do you enjoy and what do you get out of them?

I have a reasonable education in (Western) classical music, enough to get some of the nuances. Specifically I spent about 10 years learning to play the piano; I was never very good, but I was quite advanced by the end of it, and know enough about the development and the theory and something about musical techniques to get fair amount out of it. I prefer Baroque music to Classical in the narrow sense; I basically like just about anything Baroque and earlier, whereas I'm pickier about true Classical. I also fell completely in love with some of the Romantics from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I don't globally hate Modern and contemporary classical music, but I am much more ignorant of the last hundred years of musical development and therefore find recent stuff less accessible. I'm also completely lost when it comes to jazz, most of it I simply can't get my head round at all.

Most of the time I like to actually listen to classical music rather than just having it in the background. I like choral music and orchestral music and piano music about equally, it depends on my mood. I sometimes enjoy live performances and concerts, but I don't get to them extremely often, because I put a relatively low priority on social events that involve several hours of not being able to have conversations. I do sometimes put Radio 3 on while I'm cooking or washing up, the kind of activity where I mostly stay in the same place and have spare brain to pay attention to what I'm listening to.

Regarding popular music, there are very few genres I outright refuse to listen to, but I gravitate mostly towards the rock sort of direction. Rock rather than pop for the older stuff, let's say the second half of the twentieth century, rock rather than R&B for contemporary stuff, though I don't absolutely repudiate R&B, just I am much less au fait with it. [personal profile] doseybat introduced me to some of the less mainstream subgenres of rock music, goth and punk and industrial and some bits of metal, and I continue to enjoy those. Basically stuff with a lot of electric guitar :-)

The industrial side of goth shades into the more beat-heavy side of electronica and that isn't a very defended boundary, and likewise the softer, ballady end of rock music includes more and more folk rock and even straight folk these days. This isn't exactly a genre, but I am a complete sucker for pretty, breathy female voices, so singers like that massively dominate the softer end of my musical taste spectrum. I generally prefer music where the lyrics mean something (rather than purely instrumental music or music with very banal or nonsense lyrics), but that's a mild preference, not an absolute.

The way I tend to enjoy this kind of music is that I play randomized playlists or equivalent radio stations in the background while I'm working. (That's most of what shows up in the music field on my DW posts.) I rarely if ever listen to a whole album all the way through. I'm not really a connoisseur, I just like some stuff. I have somewhat turned into one of those awful middle-aged people who sometimes get excited about nostalgia music from our teenage years, but I do seek out new stuff as well. In fact my ideal background music track contains about an even mix of songs I know well with artists who are completely new to me. I rarely go to live performances of popular music, with the exception of VNV Nation gigs.

In fact [personal profile] ceb herself is a big influence on my musical taste, I'm always listening to her last.fm and going through her festival setlists in detail.

[January Journal masterlist]

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-30 11:43 pm (UTC)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
1. Walking through Oxford the other night, we saw someone DRESSED IN 90S RETRO. IT WAS HORRIFYING.

2. I should really write up that thing about how I interact with music (astonishingly enough, I'm enormously lyrics-driven and tend to mostly view it as a vehicle for poetry, but unfortunately I loathe & detest vocal vibrato so that instantly wipes out most Classical sensu lato music w/ vocals.)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-31 05:13 am (UTC)
cxcvi: Black on white, the words "it's complicated", in unconnected handwriting, below by complicated line art drawings (Complicated)
From: [personal profile] cxcvi
Sophie introduced me to VNV Nation a few months ago. That might be one of the few moments of my life that I can definitively define as life-saving.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-31 10:21 pm (UTC)
ephemera: A scratchy cartoon of a heart wearing headphones surrounded by musical notes - music is love (Music of my heart)
From: [personal profile] ephemera
Yes. just - yes.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-31 06:26 am (UTC)
green_knight: (Haunting)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
I rarely if ever listen to a whole album all the way through

If you have the time and inclination, this could be worth a try. There was a lot of music from the 60s onwards that was written for albums - apart from one or two songs which work in isolation, they often leave me 'meh' when I hear them as part of a random playlist. When I listen to the whole album, however, they suddenly come together and work really well, so they're more like symphonic movements than individual pieces. (Billy Joel comes to mind as an artists that I really noticed doing that, but he's far from the only one.)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-31 12:13 pm (UTC)
ceb: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ceb
Oh fantastic, I've increased the number of people who I know get something out of my quick music reviews from 1 to 3 since this time yesterday :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-31 10:23 pm (UTC)
ephemera: Off-centre the photo shows a small teddy bear wearing a paid of oversize headphones (Music bear is listening)
From: [personal profile] ephemera
I have to admit that pretty, breathy female voices are pretty much my musical kryptonite, but it seems like we have some common ground over in the guitar-based and beepy end of things ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-02-05 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] daharyn
If we ever happen to be in the same place at the same time, I'd love to talk to you about twentieth-century classical music and share some. It's one of my most favorite things! (Also, I did about ten years of cello training, and I was in a contemporary music ensemble in high school that was half modern classical and half jazz? So I also have Thoughts About Jazz, though in my NYC life I've gotten clear on just how little I know about it. I know enough to know what I like, and no more.)

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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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