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Discussion in 'Non-Opeth Music Chat' started by S<issors, Jul 3, 2007.
Opeth, Draconian, Agalloch, Candlemass, Metallica (yes, I have faith in them), Therion, and Iron Maiden
Atheist is still active?
You have good taste, but if you weren't so blinded by this 'cultural expression' crap, you might be able to appreciate fine songwriting by bands that aren't necessarily from Scandinavia or Eastern Europe.
For one being blinded, I would look in the mirror were I you. Cultural expression is everything when it comes to Black Metal. If you can't underdtand this, then you don't understand Black Metal, let alone Drudkh. Yes I know I sound like a wanker, but you're out of your depth when it comes to commenting on this topic.
Yes, and if you're finding anything in the nature of expression in Drudkh's music at all you're either delusional or have mistaken expression for your own perception of whatever it is you think they are trying to say. Music cannot express anything at all. The fact of my understanding or misunderstanding of black metal cannot change this, but if Drudkh in their understanding of music believes they are expressing their culture or anything else they will never succeed and that is why the bands I mentioned are superior.
Go and listen to some Early Music, some religious works by Monteverdi, and then listen to Bach's passions, and then finally Mozart's Requiem. Now sit back and think twice about posting the most stupid comment I have ever read about music - music expressing nothing? Can you be any more stupid? It's posts like your's which give this forum the dumbified reputation it is. Fuck knows what your brain does when it interprets music man, fucking hell you're thick as a brick!
EDIT: My music teacher gf just read your post and laughed as well
OMG we're both laughing here! This is too funny! You're dumb as!!
Do you have anything to back up your submissions, or are you just going to wank on about how stupid I am? A line of reasoning perhaps, or is that particular concept alien to you and your gf?
Let me put it more clearly then - music does not and cannot express a particular subject, cultural theme or emotion - it expresses only itself.
HOWEVER, we feel emotion when we listen to music - why?
Music expresses only music. A particular chord or motif may arouse feeling in the listener but to say that it "expresses" something is to say it discharges, say an emotion, eg despair. But how does it do this? Music is sound - is possesses pitch, volume, motion, speed. It can have a despairing quality through its pitch, amplitude, atonality or fragility but these things are not of themselves "despair" but are aspects of them.
Another argument is that we're feeling the composer's grief, the same grief he is feeling as he wrote the music. This is nonsense - when you write something, when you’re composing, you’re simply laying down things which may remind people of certain emotional states but you’re not putting emotion into the music. The composer simply has an idea, intangible and transcendental, which he expresses in terms of music. The listener may feel something, a tinge of emotion, while listening to a piece, but the fact that another listener may feel nothing, or something entirely different, shows that the music is not expressing anything.
A 14 year old may listen to Trivium and feel excitement and 2 years later feel disgust - how can we say that it is the music which objectively expressed that excitement if it later vanishes or changes? How do we know that the culture intended to be "expressed" by Drudkh is the same one we are receiving through the music? The reason we are feeling something while listening to music is the representation through sound evokes an reaction which is an abstracted memory of our own feelings. Only once we experience sorrow can we call a minor scale 'sad' - this is why a baby or child whose viscera has not been exposed to stimuli giving rise to what we call 'grief' will not react to certain segments of Mozart's Requiem.
In summary music is merely a representation of the world, of the relationship man possesses between himself and things. The music might appear to express emotion, but that is only because it reproduces our own experience of emotion as we understand it.
funny to see you need your oh-so-clever g/f to help you own him
Funny to see how you couldn't think up anything more constructive to post, proving you know even less than hibernal does. I at least respect him because he's constructively counter-discussing, where as you have posted the most complex thing that's happened in your brain in the last 14 years.
As for hibernal's post:
Well exaplained, but I think you've missed the point (or are trying to derail the argument) - I agree in what you are saying (and you have explained it well, nicely done, but not in the context of this discussion), because we are not talking about the individual parts: to counter-argue you have deconstructed music, and this is not from the context of what I am saying (and you do know this). There is no way to put culture or emotion into music notation. These aspects are introduced when the music becomes whole, combined with the way a soprano or countertenor sings, the way a gambist uses their bowing and fingering techniques, and so on.
It is the sum of the whole of what I speak of. The result, the convergence of the notes, the tempo pitch and key.
Music as a whole is a by-product of culture and always was a celebration and expression of culture. From its humble beginnings in percussion and dance, through to un-notated singing lamenting the death of Christ, it has always purely expressed culture, ethnicity, legend and myth. This is its primary use - a cultural tool since the beginning of civilisation, a non-linguistic tongue from which tales of gods, wars, destruction and joy have been told.
It is only really in modern times that music has deviated from this course. Now, sadly, music is mostly created for non-cultural purposes, and when used for its initial purpose, its mostly ignored by the mainstream world who are too busy with consumer culture.
Black Metal, unlike many other forms of modern music, keeps its purpose parallel to that of the original purpose by telling tales of legend and religion, and its ties with nature and pre-modern life. So much so, that ancient dialects, instruments and even scales are used to provide a direct reference to culture itself.
At least there's finally some intellectual conversation going on in here.
I appreciate the verbose answer - it was a good one and very enjoyable to read and respond to.
I just want to clarify the discussion. I asked the question "how does music express"?
1) First you attempt to demolish my answer - you say I'm only considering the constituents of a piece of music (the notes and chords) and not the piece as a whole. Fair enough. Let me quote a passage from Keith Swanwick's A Basis For Musical Education:
When we take into account the various chemical and glandular changes in the body we can really begin to appreciate the difficulties of the "expression of the emotions" theory of music. The viscera cannot possibly respond directly in a one-to-one relationship with a long and involved piece of music. The range of emotional states would surely be too great to be fully stirred up in the listener. Also he would feel totally exhausted after the performance and this is not usually the case. People often feel stimulated and refreshed by music not always of being drained by a powerful and perhaps harrowing emotional experience.
I think what he's trying to say is, if we assume the mechanism of interpreting music is through the senses, how can we take a whole piece of music, say Drudkh, and respond to it, all nine minutes of it, with a single conscious affectation of the central nervous system?
2) Next you mount an counterargument which attempts to demonstrate expression through purpose - music has always been used to express culture, therefore it must actually effect it. I'm not so sure about this.
Considering the history of music, any sensible person would agree that music has had a purpose, part of which is cultural expression. Otherwise why would people make it? But how does that show that it (the music itself) serves the purpose by expressing culture (or whatever else it wants to)? An African tribal warrior might be roused by the pride of being part of his tribe by the pounding of drums in a certain rhythmic pattern. Bring an North American eskimo to the celebration and he will be totally confused - for after all, how does he know what the purpose of the music is? It is only because the warrior has grown up with this music and associates everything, the drums, the dancing, the ancient tales and the faces of his people with it. This is how music serves its purpose, and it serves it well, but it does it through a mechanism other than "expressing culture".
I agree with you that when listening to music, eg Drudkh, you or I may feel affected by a unique cultural aura. You speak of "music as a whole", and by this I think, from reading your other posts, you mean everything associated with the music - the lyrics, CD booklet, band photos, country of origin. These things are important and they can express culture, but they are non-musical. We are associating when we listen to Drudkh these extra-musical things to the music, so of course we will feel in the music a Ukranian touch - would we feel the same way without these non-musical things? Probably, since at our age we already know what east-europe music sounds like. Would a third-worlder?
Well they re-united...partially, with a different lineup...and they are touring, so...yes. Technically they are active I would say.