February 8th, 2010

pencil

Not a personality quiz, for once

Here is a link to an entertaining math quiz about famous numbers I ran across. You have 6 minutes to identify 11 common numbers from math and science. I got 8/11 correct, although a couple of those were because as you type in the answer box if you type a correct answer, it takes it and fills it in, so I got one semi-freebie that I might not have remembered in time. But even 7.5 or 7/11 is pretty good for numerically dyslexic me! So the uber-mathematical may find it dismissively easy, but I got six minutes of fun out of it.
  • Current Music
    wrr wrr wrr go the fans
pencil

a few thoughts about music (part 1)

I was contemplating my phone, which has among its many talents impersonating a portable music device, and idly wondering how many regulations I would be violating if I went to the trouble of figuring out how to de-proprietize any bits of my music collection I might want to illegally copy, and what sort of non-system royalties I could theoretically provide to compensate the actual artists for their work. But how DO you track down the members of, say Pink Floyd these days to find out what kind of cupcakes they like?

In any case it occurred to me that in terms of human history AND the nature of music as a creative force/item/art, the "music industry" is a rather short-lived and unusual phenomena. It's been around in the hard core marketing industry sense since radio and recording media became common is my guess (idle speculation without research here) - and to be sloppily generous with my time-frame I'll stretch the definition all the way back to hand-copied manuscript commissions to favored musicians from kings and courts and such.

So the music industry as I see it is 40-70 years old if we are talking about folks squawking about digital piracy destroying music as we know it, which is of course nonsense. Even if it destroys the music industry as we know it, people will go on making and sharing music like they always have. Which leads me to my second batch of thoughts...
  • Current Music
    Kiss Them For Me - Siouxsie & the Banshees
  • Tags
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pencil

a few thoughts about music (part 2)

(this posts thru to facebook, so I am trying to break it into bits instead of using a cut tag)

I've come to the opinion that music is an inherently social art. I also think it is among the first, if not the first one humans developed/practiced - possibly even before we started breaking things up into phonemes and syllables and words. I've been out of the formal field of anthropology for years, so these thoughts aren't backed up by any citations, just observation and reasoning and that horror of horrors, personal anecdotal evidence, being somewhat acquainted with music myself.

First I need to say that it is obviously possible to enjoy music alone; let's not be specious for the sake of contention. I'm seriously interested in this, because I can't think of any other art forms where the experience is enhanced by being practiced socially. Lately I've seen artist jams, it's true, where a group gets together and draws, but that's usually a fund raiser; music is a group production normally, with solos being the rarity.

On the other hand, those examples are of performance, and most music is written by one person. Ok, and I imagine there are probably as many lyrics/music teams as there are collaboratively written types of literature. However, and (this is how I got here from part 1 and the digital piracy musings): there seems to be an immediate impulse or desire upon hearing a cool piece of music to want to share or be sharing it with someone. Even a stranger at a club or concert, but better if a friend. (Then there is the impulse to dance, but I wasn't thinking about that, and this is long already.)

The other and sort of winding down thought about music and groups is that people like to listen to music in groups much more than they like to do other things in groups. If we wanted to, we could all gather in a public venue and read novels together - but we don't. Usually if you are with a group of people in a museum, you are on a tour in a foreign country not because being in a group enhances your experience of the art of the museum. But the crowd energy makes the experience better for both the performers and the audience, and it is a group phenomena - I know from experience that an empty house is harder to connect with...
  • Current Music
    Shadowtime - Siouxsie & the Banshees
  • Tags
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