Q: How durable is your interest in music?

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.

Q: How durable is your interest in music? (or do you think your interest in music will be)? (See below for more on what I mean be durable.)

I expect my interest in music to last.
43
98%
I think that my interest in music will fade.
1
2%
 
Total votes: 44

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Guy E
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Postby Guy E » 29 Sep 2004, 20:45

It’s not uncommon for people in the arts to lose interest when their careers wane. I did some consulting work with a dance company for several years and most of the management and fund raising people had once been dancers. The problem is, a dance career only lasts for so long – retirement comes at an early age. These people had to move onto something else and parlayed their knowledge of the art/business into a mainstream career. They were still interested in Dance and would go to performances, but there was also a lot of cynicism about the egos and BS of the dancers and the dance companies themselves, so they were jaded in a way. I know people who were in bands who stopped playing their instruments entirely once they faced up to the fact that Rock Star was not going to be their epitaph.

Being a fan is much easier. I’ve been passionate about music for 40 years now and that interest will never end. The average teenage music fan stops buying records and CD’s as they “grow up.” But judging from the poll results so far, this group does not reflect an average cross-section of society and that is not at all surprising.

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Postby The Write Profile » 29 Sep 2004, 22:42

FuckyBumboobah43 wrote:My interest in music is partly fuelled by an interest in the dynamics of change, and of history itself.

I tend to view music with one foot forward and one backwards, looking at what is happening and what could happen. So, in that respect I don't think my interest in music will ever wane.

Recently, my interest in reductionism has led me to just treating music as sound, noise as it were. I find wonder in the sound of a bus, or a plane or birds. That'll continue for evermore.



While I'm not going to the same extreme as Bleep here, I can totally see where he's coming from. As Duke Elliot once said "if something sounds good, then it is good". Meaning we shouldn't get caught up in whether it appeals to our natural inclinations of musical taste or whatever.

Me, I'm at the stage where I'm looking forward and looking backwards at the same time--it's easy to keep up with what you like in the present, it's harder to get a handle on the past. For me, writing about music is interesting because I don't know that much about instrumentation and the like, but in the end, it's whether I get a feel for something. Often it's just as likely that something from a while back which sort of clues me into my current tastes is just as easy to knock me out as something from the present.

The attitude I will never subscribe to is that contemporary/popular music is in some way "worse" than in previous decades--because it's all about progress. There's been the argument htat Classical Music has declined over the last century or so, but where do the film composers figure into that equation, for instance?

There was a thread by OhDear_Me a wee while ago about how a friend whome he once bonded through listening to music now has terrible (in the sense that he doesnt have any) taste. That's what I'm most afraid of, but whenever I'm knocked down and out but the state of things, something will happen. I expect that to continue...
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Butch Manly
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Postby Butch Manly » 29 Sep 2004, 22:47

Maximum Baron wrote:I'm a lifer. No doubt.


i'd always suspected as much.
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Postby Six String » 30 Sep 2004, 00:10

I don't think I'll ever stop listening to music as passionately as I do now.
Having felt the same way about music for almost forty years is pretty good evidence. It brings me a lot of joy and I don't see that changing any time soon.

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Postby Snarfyguy » 30 Sep 2004, 00:29

Don't you mean

TheBoyGiraffe wrote:
Maximum Baron wrote:I'm a lifer. I like No Doubt.


i'd always suspected as much.


:?:
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Postby Gater » 30 Sep 2004, 00:51

I can not imagine ever not listening to music. It's a scary thought.
I wont retire,but I might retread.

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Postby take5_d_shorterer » 30 Sep 2004, 02:11

the masked man wrote:I think a principal difference between music and ballet is that the former is essentially inescapable. You turn on the radio, and music's right there; you go to the store or bar, background music is playing; any film has a musical soundtrack.


I see where the masked man is coming from, but I know that for myself, the everywhere-ness of music doesn't have all that much effect on me. That is to say, the radio doesn't influence me all that much in terms of what I like and what I like to listen to. However, the fact that music collections in libraries are far larger than collections of dance videos or DVDs has made a big effect on how much music and how little dance I know.

Music seems to be (but I emphasize ``seems'' here) one of the most portable activities, but sometimes I wonder whether this is simply just an illusion (for example, playing the piano)...

...or maybe it really is portable. Note as well that reading (seriously) is something that people generally do not grow out of, and it's hard to imagine a more portable activity.


cheepniz wrote:Music, after all, is a listener's game; ballet, on the other hand, requires feet of steel and a dedication above and beyond. That is a kind of passion much harder to maintain than the relatively simple act of listening to music.


Still, the thing that I'm thinking about is that these people who danced seriously at one time, simply have very little contact with even thinking about dance or watching dance on a weekly basis anymore. It's an odd thing to consider that a passionate interest could evaporate that abruptly. That's the part I don't understand.

pete wrote:Regarding the ballet analogy. Would I be wrong to suggest that ballet is a slightly limited art form, while music has endless potential.


That's hard to say. I know what I like, and I know my areas of expertise and ignorance. I don't particularly know ballet well at all, but that's just me. I would be willing to suggest that it is one of the major art forms, just one that I don't know all that much about.

Guy E wrote:It’s not uncommon for people in the arts to lose interest when their careers wane. I did some consulting work with a dance company for several years and most of the management and fund raising people had once been dancers. The problem is, a dance career only lasts for so long – retirement comes at an early age. These people had to move onto something else and parlayed their knowledge of the art/business into a mainstream career. They were still interested in Dance and would go to performances, but there was also a lot of cynicism about the egos and BS of the dancers and the dance companies themselves, so they were jaded in a way


Interesting. I talked recently to a professional conductor, and he mentioned that orchestral players were fairly cynical often as well...the attitude of ``Well, it's a job, and I'm being paid whatever to sit in this chair for three hours, but at three hours time, I'm off.''

In context of the way that professional activities can dull one's interest in an art, it really is amazing how jazz players, particularly from the 1940s, would play their regular slow-minded gig, and then, first chance available, go to Minton's and play and play and play as much as they could, only a lot faster and with much stranger chords. That's actually the one thing that I pick up from anecdotes about jazz musicians. The entire lifestyle might have its problems (drug addiction, poverty), but in general the musicians still seem to be in thrall to the music. I don't know whether one can claim the same thing for classical musicians.

The Right Summary Profile wrote:There's been the argument htat Classical Music has declined over the last century or so, but where do the film composers figure into that equation, for instance?

Classical music audiences have declined over the last century. Orchestras are now no longer profitable, and capitalism is increasingly more focused on efficiency. This is how it happens that major orchestras have no record label. Hard to imagine unless you figure out the profit margins.

Mr. Jim wrote:Dance -- whether one participates or just likes to watch -- is still a pretty marginal artform. The "support" one has for one's addiction to dance is not as extensive.


I understand the argument. I would still counter that until somewhat recently (read BCB), my interest in music has been a mostly quite solitary activity. True, there is actually some support available, but it has been for me almost a non-social activity.

It's for this reason that my guitar-playing is so heavily influenced by Richard Thompson. The idea being that, well, you're going to have to play the rhythm and the bassline, and the melody on top. Better learn to do that by yourself. It's a challenge, forced by circumstances, but it's yielded some interesting results. It hasn't been easy and not necessarily fun always, but it does lead you to places.

Hotsie wrote:My Grandpa played sax until well into his 80's and only stopped when his bandmates started dying off and Alzheimers hit him.


Sorry to hear that. One thing that comes to mind though is that if one were to have Alzheimer's or some other similar disease, it would seem that the best activity or art form to carry with you would be in fact music. What I mean is that music sets almost no threshold as to what one need understand about how the music is put together in order to be able to enjoy it. This makes it very different from math, of course, but also different from reading.

One comment related to this. What I just said has some rather astonishing consequences in this sense. When I was 13, I certainly read certain books (Ray Bradbury, let's say), saw art (da Vinci was a favorite), and listened to music (Bach).

Of these, the one experience that stands out as being something that I can still sort of relate to is listening to music. What do I mean by that? I think the way that I listen to Bach now is roughly comparable to the way I listened to it then. That is to say, the things that excited me about Bach are similar to the things that excite me now.

However, it's hard to see or even know the reader I was when I read at age 13. The way I read (and especially the way I write) is so radically different that while there is some connection, the level of immaturity then stands out as a real embarrassment.

I don't feel that way at all about the way I listened to music when I was 13. That seems in a very fundamental sense to have been on a similar level of maturity that I have now, not that I knew as much, but in that the things that I liked have similar resonances as they do now.
Last edited by take5_d_shorterer on 30 Sep 2004, 02:46, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby Poppypoobah » 30 Sep 2004, 02:12

I'm still going strong on it. Looking at my parents, they still are rabid fans of different artists, for dad it's jazz and for mom it's a quirky guy named Greg Brown. My Grandpa played sax until well into his 80's and only stopped when his bandmates started dying off and Alzheimers hit him.

I hear that my favorite song as a toddler was What's it All About, Alfie? Mom and dad always had music on and we still do. When I go home it's much like sitting here chatting to or reading you guys, we talk about what we've heard recently, we make comps for each other. My brothers bring out their guitars and play and talk about thier respective bands. I'm fourtysomething now and I don't expect that to change as I get older until I've got Alheimers myself.

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Postby Quaco » 30 Sep 2004, 02:24

Dance -- whether one participates or just likes to watch -- is still a pretty marginal artform. The "support" one has for one's addiction to dance is not as extensive. By contrast, there are millions of stores that sell music all over the world. This (and possibly other factors) have made music increasingly available, whether one chooses to listen or not, while dance has become more and more marginalized. How many famous dancers or choreographers does the general public actually know any more? Three or four maybe. While the man on the street can rattle off a hundred singers, musicians, and songwriters.
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Postby Uncle Spellbinder » 30 Sep 2004, 05:34

Maximum Baron wrote:I'm a lifer. No doubt.


Agreed. Life with no music is no life at all.
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” - Frank Zappa

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Postby Diamond Dog » 30 Sep 2004, 07:09

This site (and the Mojo site before that) re-invigorated my interest in music. I'd become pretty much stuck in the same pattern - I still bought CD's, but they tended to be of music I felt 'safe' with; particularly replacing old vinyl. The fantastic knowledge (and generosity) from the people here has allowed me to expand into areas I'd previously shunned. Not so much different genres more like different variations of musical styles I'd already liked. I have Teabag to thannk for sending me that Springsteen live bootleg that has resulted in me having all his stuff now, plus numerous live boots. Joni Mitchell was another - I think that was AndyMac? And so on.
I think what I'm trying to say is that, whilst this or a similar site is going I'll always have my preconceptions challenged and( consequently) will always be listening to new stuff. Or stuff new to my ears, at least. So it's likely that I shall have everyone here to thank for my continued interest in things anew. Plus other sources of course. Just to say that, contrary to popular opinion, I don't sit at home just listening to Led Zeppelin bootlegs!
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Uncle Spellbinder
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Postby Uncle Spellbinder » 30 Sep 2004, 07:18

Diamonddog wrote:...contrary to popular opinion, I don't sit at home just listening to Led Zeppelin bootlegs!


Liar.

:lol:
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” - Frank Zappa

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Postby James R » 30 Sep 2004, 16:17

As Nietzsche says somewhere, "without music life would be an error". This is a statement in which I have fundamentally always believed. I could never imagine life without music—I've always said I'd rather go blind than deaf if I had to do either; I could live without looking at films or paintings, but I could not live without being able to hear music. I would frankly kill myself if I went totally deaf. More importantly, I could never imagine life without the passion for music. I could never understand other people who weren't interested in it, and I never thought I wouldn't be.

Which is why I'm scared, cos I'm finding myself in a position of late whereby I don't think I love music any more.

I've felt this consciously for the past two or three weeks only, but on reflection I suppose I've been out of love with music for some time longer than that. I'm not feeling the passion any more. It's not moving me in the way it used to. There are, I suspect various reasons for this, not all of which I wish to go into detail about, but suffice to say I'm scared.

I see my towering stack of CD containers to my right—ten of them, each holding between 56 and 78 discs, almost all of them stuffed full—and there's almost nothing in there I really want to play. Part of the problem is that I don't have adequate equipment any more with which to do them justice, but it goes beyond that. And I really don't know what to do to make this situation better. I've had these moods of not wanting to listen to anything before, but they've usually gone by the next day, not lingered for a month.

Conversely I understand where The Mozz is coming from with regards to his interest in literature. A short while ago I was having an email conversation with a friend of mine with regards to literature (he's doing English at Cambridge) and it was during the course of that chat that, for the first time, I began to feel acutely ashamed of what was, frankly, my ignorance of literature. Cos, you know, there's thousands of years of world literature out there to get a grip on; I had no idea how to begin to do so, and I let myself be daunted by it too much. But my friend told me his idea of "having read" a given author didn't necessarily mean knowing their entire oeuvre, but enough of their work as would give you a feel for what they were about.

I've taken that to heart somewhat and have decided, yes, it actually is possible after all for me to get a better grip on literature than I've had hitherto. So with a lot of library loans, I've been making an admittedly rather unscientific catch-up; over the last couple of months, I've gone through more books than most people would consider feasible (chronic unemployment leaves you with much reading time), and authors I've not read before or haven't read much of that I've been reading of late include Gustave Flaubert, Wm Thackeray, Terry Pratchett, Umberto Eco, James Ellroy, Don DeLillo, Robert Graves, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Jim Thompson, Truman Capote, Gerard de Nerval, Henry James... at the moment I have various volumes of Henrik Ibsen, Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Patrick O'Brian, Simon Raven and D.H. Lawrence to get through. It's a totally unmethodical survey, as the random list of names suggests, and there are still many unplugged holes, but even that's a damn sight better than it used to be.

So this is what I've been expending my energy on—to the point where, to be honest, I've feared it's almost turning into a mania; I finished the Nibelungenlied last night and still wanted to read something else, but didn't want to start a novel just before bedtime, so read a couple of Dostoyevsky short stories instead. Still, at least I'm expending my energy on something—I'd be worried about myself if I had no particular passion for anything at all.

I still worry that I currently seem to have no passion for music, though.

Thanks for your indulgence in reading this overlong post.
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Postby Magilla » 01 Oct 2004, 12:58

The Mozz wrote:...the last few months...my passion for music has decreased...as a more knowledgable 20 year old, I feel...


Young man, you have a very, very big, but pleasant, surprise in store: over the next 10 - 15 years you'll become interested in:

    country
    blues
    psychedelia
    singer-songwriters
    electronica
    jazz


...and maybe other genres as well. As you get older, you start to go beyond the stuff you listened to in your youth.
When I was in my teens to mid-twenties, it was strictly indie, or not at all. Then, well, you start to want to check out other stuff. Believe me, your passion for music will expand again.
While other interests and passions come along, don't be surprised at becoming interested in music you never thought you would.
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