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snowdragon
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/08/05
Posts: 693
Location: End of County Road 10, turn left, right at the end of that road, third house from the pizza place
 
Re:Instrumental Songs
Wednesday, July 27 2005 @ 08:27 AM CDT

There's a long-standing rule of thumb in newsrooms that a newspaper photo has to have people in it. Eno's human-human connection theory would seem to be in a similar vein. And of course, there is considerable merit in the approach.

Perhaps that is why there have been so few purely instrumental "hits" since rock 'n' roll took hold 50 years ago. But does this lessen the merits of Telstar, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Classical Gas, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Little Martha or Wipeout? Of course not.

What it does do, is underline the impact of mass communication on human culture as a whole. Thumb rules tend to favour a median and it stands to reason that popular music will be that which appeals to the widest audience, ie, the most people.

It wasn't always so.

It is unlikely the lowest serf of the early Renaissance would ever get an opportunity to hear Vivaldi performed. However, he probably would have heard traveling minstrels exchange sagas extolling the virtues of some wondrous deed (which is tough to convey on a lute, tambor and recorder without words). Similarly, it is unlikely our serf would have access to much more than a beloved cowbell and as such, his instrument would have been the human voice, were he inclined to join in a rousing madrigal following completion of his daily tasks.

But, as Vivaldi's music was beloved by court and church officials, it would be commissioned, copied down and performed regularly and as such, survived in recorded history while the music of the people lived or died with the oral tradition.

Fast forward to the invention of the phonograph. And yes, it took a while but, in a process similar to natural selection, it would appear that when John Q. Middle-of-the-Mainstream plays his tunes, somebody will be singing on them, most of them, anyway.

When philosophy and reality collide, reality wins, Snow Gretzky


 
Re:Instrumental Songs
Wednesday, July 27 2005 @ 09:05 AM CDT

Well said, Craig Bakay.
stevec
Forum Junior


Registered: 03/28/05
Posts: 22
Location: Duvall, WA USA
 
Re:Instrumental Songs
Wednesday, July 27 2005 @ 12:03 PM CDT

A very interesting thread...

I post primarily instrumental music not because I dislike lyrics & certainly not because I'm not putting in the time or effort, rather it's because I'm terrible at writing & singing! Even so, I write songs to have vocals - all of them. Everything I have to say musically I say with the instruments. Does that make me a poor songwriter? A poor musician? I don't think so, but maybe you do & that is your right. However, not every musician is a "singer / songwriter" and I think it's incredibly short sighted to automatically dismiss music of any genre or style based on a single criteria - i.e. the presence of vocals / lyrics.

The primary reason I came here to Macjams was to find folks to work with, both to add their vocal skills to my songs, and to hopefully create new music together, most importantly to have that collabrative effort that one finds in a band, group or ensamble. Almost all of my initial posts were poorly recieved & the most common reason given (indirectly & directly) had to do with the lack of vocals. No matter how many times I explained in the comments, it never seemed to come across to some listeners that the song was written specifically for someone to sing. My expectation, which has turned out to be clearly wrong, was that the music would be heard as a canvas for a vocalist to use - i.e. is this song written such that a vocalist would be inspired, etc... Instead, I'm told that the songs are repetative or uninteresting & if seen only as a standalone creation that's often true. But if the song wasn't intended as a standalone instrumental, shouldn't it be heard that way? It can all be rather discouraging to someone who can't sing.

All of that personal ranting to say this: Try to be objective when listening, rating & reviewing. Not every song without vocals was written to stay that way.
alley-oop
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/23/05
Posts: 392
Location: N/A
 
Re:Instrumental Songs
Wednesday, July 27 2005 @ 01:07 PM CDT

Everything is a work of art.
cjorgensen's commentary at the beginning of this is a work of art.
Every paragraph in this thread is a work of art.
Deciding what is art and what is not art is not a work of art
and what art is better than another art is not a work of art.

It's just b.s.

The only thing that counts is what your ears tell your head. loops, actual instruments, renting the London Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, none of that matters.

I got the new prosepack3. Poem loops. I could burn a copy for you cjorgensen
(I'm kidding, you're not loop poet, you are a work of art)
atwood1956
Forum Full Member


Registered: 12/31/04
Posts: 365
Location: N/A
 
Re:Instrumental Songs
Wednesday, July 27 2005 @ 01:26 PM CDT


Quote by: alley-oop

Deciding what is art and what is not art is not a work of art
and what art is better than another art is not a work of art.



Who is Art, anyway? What kind of work does he not do? Or, who are these Art guys, anyway? Or...never mind.
alley-oop
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/23/05
Posts: 392
Location: N/A
 
Re:Instrumental Songs
Wednesday, July 27 2005 @ 01:46 PM CDT

Quote by: atwood1956

Who is Art, anyway? What kind of work does he not do? Or, who are these Art guys, anyway? Or...never mind.



It's that Art ....Poets say the darndest things...guy...that one
Hey it's breezy in here, Lofty, my man, can I borrow your...Oh...never mind
_nderscore
Forum Full Member


Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 719
Location: _nder, over..
 
Re:Instrumental Songs
Wednesday, July 27 2005 @ 02:29 PM CDT

the art guys.. no, really

atwood1956
Forum Full Member


Registered: 12/31/04
Posts: 365
Location: N/A
 
Re:Instrumental Songs
Wednesday, July 27 2005 @ 02:42 PM CDT

Quote by: _nderscore
the art guys.. no, really





Quote by: The New York Times
"...a cross between Dada and David Letterman, John Cage and the Smothers Brothers. Add a touch of Claes Oldenburg and Groucho Marx, and you've got a fair idea of the performance/conceptual art of Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing, the two Houstonians who are in year fourteen of their collaboration as The Art Guys."

--The New York Times, 1995



Oh, those Art Guys. Now I understand exactly what monkey-boy, I mean, alley-oop was saying.

alley-oop
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/23/05
Posts: 392
Location: N/A
 
Re:Instrumental Songs
Wednesday, July 27 2005 @ 03:27 PM CDT

There I was, thinking I was clever. Then _nderscore follows me and as usual, I become goggle-eyed bone head, with GORE-TEX1956 quick to pile on.

Well, well...I am the monkey-boy, once again
 
Joanna
Forum Full Member


Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 523
Location: , USA
 
Re:Instrumental Songs
Wednesday, July 27 2005 @ 06:30 PM CDT

SteveC - one way to overcome the lack of vocals is to listen to some of the singers on the site and when you find someone you respond to, and has a voice to suit your music, send them an email and ask them if they would like to collaborate. Rather than sit back and wait for volunteers, take things into your own hands. Some may say no (for various reasons) but some might say yes! There are a lot of talented singers on this site. And many of them are happy to collaborate.

-- Joanna