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Are We Losing Our Respect For Music?


Jahfin

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Most of all I missed the moment when a piece of music transports you to a particular time and a place. You know the feeling. Three bars in and you can smell the car seat, see the friend’s silhouette in the sun, feel the frosty night, hear the traffic of a foreign city, shudder with relief that a break-up is over. I wanted these associations again.

Very nice and informative read from The Telegraph.

Personally, I know that I held off on mp3's for a very long time. That is, until someone gifted me with an iPod Shuffle. I had no idea at the time how that would change the world of listening to music for me. At first, I thought it was a good thing but now, I'm not so sure. These days I have a very bad tendency to rip my new album purchases to iTunes and then file the CD (and/or vinyl record) away, only to never listen to them. That isn't always the case but oftentimes it is.

On a very similar note, Johnny Marr talks about the listening experience of vinyl albums vs. mp3's in this clip that was recently posted on the Record Store Day website.

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Well I'm not so sure music today isn't as important as it used to be. I think people as they grow older tend to lose certain things they once held as all important. People talk about memories and music all the time and I truly understand that. The problem is as you get older and get on in life those memories of your youth get more and more distant..........and so they get more important by default.. Current memories don't seem to fall into that same category.

The other thing is, way back in the day of vinyl music was still portable and a lot of people took advantage of that. FM radio in the car or cassette or even 8 tracks..........those were the "Itunes" of that era. Folks just didn't sit in their houses watching the album spin on the turntable. So I think there's a certain romanticism going on today about how "music used to be". Part of it I buy fully but other parts.......it's just memory of a younger time in ones' life.

IMHO of course.

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I think the biggest difference is that 30 years ago music was a communal experience. You listened to it most times through speakers, not earbuds. When you were out, everyone listened to the same thing. There was much more of a time and place to music than there currently is. You'd go over to a friend's house specifically to listen to a record. That's not done anymore as far as I know.

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Jahfin, great links^^ thanks for posting. tyler19 I agree with you totally^^

I can only speak for myself, but I now value my music much more than I did say in my 30's when I was raising a child, working hard to move up.

I totally enjoy discovering new music, but I admit that the music I grew up will always be special to me. I still play certain albums/songs and can remember times in my life that were special, both good and bad. I will always enjoy an album more than any other way when it comes to listening to music. Next to that, I prefer a DVD of live music going through the sound system with speakers on a big screen. I still do not own an mp3, nothing against them..just for me it does not do the music justice.

I do believe that because we have so much access to a variety of music that it is almost impossible to keep up with it, let alone the cost to purchase everything you hear that you like.I play music most of the time because of how I feel on a particular day and sometimes I will at random just pick a few albums, a DVD or a few CD's and sit back and LISTEN to it:-). Again,for me, vinyl is the absolute best and music will continue to be more in my life than TV. :peace:

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I think the biggest difference is that 30 years ago music was a communal experience. You listened to it most times through speakers, not earbuds. When you were out, everyone listened to the same thing. There was much more of a time and place to music than there currently is. You'd go over to a friend's house specifically to listen to a record. That's not done anymore as far as I know.

That's very true and I never really thought of the communal part of listening back then. Nice post.

That part of it really has changed I think.

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We all have our own private radio stations. Never been more access. ALL the music we like ALL the time... and no one to experience it with in the moment.

The best we have is a youtube share through facebook or twitter. IN PERSON is better!

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I actually think that the issue of the quality of speakers/headphones is far bigger than the more popular debate about MP3 quality. Yes MP3's do offer reduced quality to a CD but for most the difference is relatively minor, proper large speakers that can deliver volumne and bass on the other hand compaired to crappy "earbuds" or laptop speakers really is night and day.

"There is no orthodoxy or dominant genre; everything exists on an even playing field. With this democratisation comes the need for artists to step up their game; they have to be brilliant to be heard."

I'd agree with the first half of this but not the second. The idea of a genre "revolution" in the sense of Punk or Grunge does seem to be dead to me, granted I think history tends to play up such revolutions are being more all encompasing than they actually were but I really do not get the sense that one has happened since the mid 90's indie breakthough in the UK.

Music being so much easier to access and having so many ways to be promoted has I'd say made it almost too easy to be heard without being brilliant. Just like with genres I feel the power of an individual artist to capture the public imagination has been reduced in the last decade under a "tide of the average".

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I do believe that there is a preponderance of talent and work today compared to previous generations (I grew up in the 60's and 70's). But due to how tribal we've gotten and how insecure the average listener is we get sub sub sub genres that fracture the audience evermore, making it harder and harder to make money in the music biz. By the late 70's it was ok to patronize Zep, Elvis Costello and Stanley Clarke, for instance, while today audiences don't mix as much... or do they?

We're also at overload levels of input. So many things competing for your eyes and ears. I can only let so many bands into my listening sphere. I just can't ingest it all.

As far as the production quality, volume wars, mp3/flac, hardware etc; There's always quality product to be found... you just need to be discerning and support quality so they can keep producing it.

For the old folks like me I just came across a column written by Al Kooper. He talks about new finds that meet the old pedigree.

http://www.themortonreport.com/entertainment/music/new-music-for-old-people-sean-watkins-big-wreck-mel-brown-blue-rose-and-more/

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I'd say for me at least it's a combination of multitasking (I never just listen to music anymore; I'm generally doing 2-3 other things at the same time, so it's not getting my full attention); not having bonded with any new music really in the last ~ 20 years; and stage of life. I have a lot of memories associated with songs from my teens and early 20s, but not really after that because other priorities happened.

And it's not that there hasn't been music I've enjoyed; it's just background noise rather than a focal point now.

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I do believe that there is a preponderance of talent and work today compared to previous generations (I grew up in the 60's and 70's). But due to how tribal we've gotten and how insecure the average listener is we get sub sub sub genres that fracture the audience evermore, making it harder and harder to make money in the music biz. By the late 70's it was ok to patronize Zep, Elvis Costello and Stanley Clarke, for instance, while today audiences don't mix as much... or do they?

I'd say alot of this is down to increased comericalisation playing into a genre of music as a "lifestyle choice" which makes it m,uch easier to sell substandard artsists and a bunch of other products to fans.

Along with record companies being far less patient than they used to be and there being so many avenues to get exposure though I think a big impact this has had is that artistic devolpment isnt nearly as great as it once was, Bands/artists who spend years in the wilderness devolping a sound or switch sound during there career are not IMHO nearly as common as they used to.

This is i'd say part of the reason bands/artists are so readly identified by there influences today. Dispite the "youth is king" lexon of rock a young artists early work is likely to be more derivitive of his influences, its often only after a number of years that they start to create something more truely original.

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Most of all I missed the moment when a piece of music transports you to a particular time and a place. You know the feeling. Three bars in and you can smell the car seat, see the friend’s silhouette in the sun, feel the frosty night, hear the traffic of a foreign city, shudder with relief that a break-up is over. I wanted these associations again.

The second sentence of this quote is beautiful and it still holds true for me - music still has the ability to transport me back to another time and place in such vivid detail I could be reliving the moment. Proust wrote a series of books about his phenomenon and how a catalyst (be it a pastry, a scent, or a song) can slam us right back to our youth. I haven't lost those associations. For me, it is still often a communal experience but of a different kind now. We no longer sit in an altered state listening to vinyl and trying to dissect the liner notes, the album cover, or the meaning of a song. My husband and I share music with each other every day, several times a day, via our online radio stations, youtube, NPR, Afropop, etc. - we usually do this online while we're working - but we'll actually talk about it together later in the day. We travel together frequently and often our conversations revolve around music and musicians. Regardless of the format, I don't think that I've lost respect for music and its power.

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