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(NPR)   Can you learn to like music you hate? Sorry, NPR, I'm not a Belieber   (npr.org) divider line 104
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3741 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Feb 2013 at 11:42 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-17 09:37:08 AM  
Considering that the majority of Top 40 today is just sampled techno beats from the 90's with auto-tuned singers laid on top of the electronic noise, I doubt there is anything that resembles harmonies to enjoy much less complex harmonies.
 
2013-02-17 10:07:37 AM  
I think this is very true of "avant-garde" music: I mean, the first time I heard some of Schoenberg's twelve-tone stuff, it just sounded like noise to me. Then I learned a little music theory, and at least I knew what it was trying to do.

That said, though, I can't say that I "enjoy" that sort of music.  I'm not gonna make a Schoenberg playlist for my iPod for my next road trip.
 
2013-02-17 10:12:19 AM  
I guess it is possible, I hated Pop music in the 80's but now I enjoy it for the reasons I hated it then, the cheesy feel good vibe.  Inversely, I can barely tolerate much of the Heavy Metal music I listened to in my youth, most of it was shiate.  But, I've never been what anyone would consider a musical connoisseur.
 
2013-02-17 10:15:38 AM  
I'm a jazz musician and in the course of my education at it, I directly experienced what's described in the article as well as observed it in other people. Seems pretty obvious to me. The whole history of music runs like that, with increasingly rich harmonies becoming more 'acceptable' over time in classical and later jazz music. Back in the 1700s the tritone, now an interval used in almost every tune imaginable (it hangs out in 7th chords among other places) was called 'Satan in music'. Supposedly at one point a few composers who used it in holy music were excommunicated from the church.

WTF Indeed: Considering that the majority of Top 40 today is just sampled techno beats from the 90's with auto-tuned singers laid on top of the electronic noise, I doubt there is anything that resembles harmonies to enjoy much less complex harmonies.


I think we even see it today, just in a different facet of music. That 'electronic noise' you refer to is often in fact a more rich, dissonant individual timbre. That 'wub' bass sound you hear in dubstep which sounds like a single, buzzing, obnoxious tone is in fact a multitude of overtones/harmonics more complex than other timbres we're more accustomed to. It seems to me that since the 50s and Ike Turner we've seen a progression in timbre toward more complex overtones and harmonics, rather than a progression in harmony. It's interesting to think about, anyway.
 
2013-02-17 10:23:01 AM  

ozebb: I think we even see it today, just in a different facet of music. That 'electronic noise' you refer to is often in fact a more rich, dissonant individual timbre. That 'wub' bass sound you hear in dubstep which sounds like a single, buzzing, obnoxious tone is in fact a multitude of overtones/harmonics more complex than other timbres we're more accustomed to.


i.imgur.com
 
2013-02-17 10:43:43 AM  
Seems like a silly question. This may be an apples/oranges angle (actually music/food) but if I eat something that doesn't taste good, why try it again? I know what I like/don't like. Same for a shiatty movie or poorly written book. Why watch/read it again?
 
2013-02-17 10:50:41 AM  

Ennuipoet: ozebb: I think we even see it today, just in a different facet of music. That 'electronic noise' you refer to is often in fact a more rich, dissonant individual timbre. That 'wub' bass sound you hear in dubstep which sounds like a single, buzzing, obnoxious tone is in fact a multitude of overtones/harmonics more complex than other timbres we're more accustomed to.

[i.imgur.com image 594x400]


Hey now, I'm not defending it on moral grounds, it's clearly insipid and should be destroyed. But there is a trend in all kinds of popular music toward more dissonant overtones/harmonics in individual instrument sounds. You can hear it from the late 40s onward in guitar music progressing to the fuzzed out noise that Jimi Hendrix used and beyond and you can hear it from the 60s onward in the electronic sounds used in synthesized music. It's like an opening up of peoples' ears to greater and greater dissonance through greater exposure, exactly as the article posits.
 
2013-02-17 11:07:22 AM  

ozebb: But there is a trend in all kinds of popular music toward more dissonant overtones/harmonics in individual instrument sounds. You can hear it from the late 40s onward in guitar music progressing to the fuzzed out noise that Jimi Hendrix used and beyond and you can hear it from the 60s onward in the electronic sounds used in synthesized music. It's like an opening up of peoples' ears to greater and greater dissonance through greater exposure, exactly as the article posits.


OK, I can see that.  I have zero foundation in musical theory, I can't read a note and wouldn't know a complex melody if it bit me on the ass, but I get what you are saying.

It's not my fault, really, I am a product of the US Public School system, they were to busy trying teach us to catch a stupid ball in gym class to actually try teach music.
 
2013-02-17 11:19:21 AM  

jake_lex: I think this is very true of "avant-garde" music: I mean, the first time I heard some of Schoenberg's twelve-tone stuff, it just sounded like noise to me. Then I learned a little music theory, and at least I knew what it was trying to do.



upload.wikimedia.org

Okay...here is the most difficult stuff I've ever learned to appreciate (on an intellectual level only).

Have at it.

I never got into Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music or Pat Metheny's Zero Tolerance for Silence. Couldn' do it.
 
2013-02-17 11:30:02 AM  

Somacandra: jake_lex: I think this is very true of "avant-garde" music: I mean, the first time I heard some of Schoenberg's twelve-tone stuff, it just sounded like noise to me. Then I learned a little music theory, and at least I knew what it was trying to do.


[upload.wikimedia.org image 300x300]

Okay...here is the most difficult stuff I've ever learned to appreciate (on an intellectual level only).


This, much more so than any silly 'she broke up the Beatles' argument, is why she is mocked and scorned.
 
2013-02-17 11:33:59 AM  

Ennuipoet: OK, I can see that. I have zero foundation in musical theory, I can't read a note and wouldn't know a complex melody if it bit me on the ass, but I get what you are saying.


Yeah. And I'm even just talking about timbre (the intrinsic sound of an instrument) more than melody. Melodies in popular music are pretty bland these days to my ears but then again... maybe that's an exposure thing too. I myself dig some of the hooky melodies from the 60s through the early 90s but a lot of people didn't at the time. People like what they like.

Somacandra: Okay...here is the most difficult stuff I've ever learned to appreciate (on an intellectual level only).


Those are pretty cool. I hadn't heard that Pat Metheny album before (and I dare call myself a jazz guitarist, pshaw). To those I would add John Coltrane's Interstellar Space as interesting harmonic and melodic listening goes.
 
2013-02-17 11:37:51 AM  

John Buck 41: Seems like a silly question. This may be an apples/oranges angle (actually music/food) but if I eat something that doesn't taste good, why try it again? I know what I like/don't like. Same for a shiatty movie or poorly written book. Why watch/read it again?


There's a thing called "acquired taste" that shoots all kinds of holes in your theory. I didn't like spinach the first 50 times I tried it but now I think it's delicious.
 
2013-02-17 11:48:20 AM  

jake_lex: I think this is very true of "avant-garde" music: I mean, the first time I heard some of Schoenberg's twelve-tone stuff, it just sounded like noise to me. Then I learned a little music theory, and at least I knew what it was trying to do.

That said, though, I can't say that I "enjoy" that sort of music.  I'm not gonna make a Schoenberg playlist for my iPod for my next road trip.


I didn't care for or appreciate jazz until I learned how to play guitar.
 
2013-02-17 11:48:21 AM  
I used to hate country music but then my girlfriend left me and she took the dog.
 
2013-02-17 11:48:34 AM  
Most of us never move on from whatever music we liked at age 14 - 16.

Others keep our minds open & can enjoy ANY type of music... even stuff that came along after we were 14.
 
2013-02-17 11:50:26 AM  
Eh, sort of. For example I strongly hated rap music for quite some time, but liked Linkin Park, therefore M. Shinoda. Eventually I listened to Fort Minor and began to like that. So now there is a small amount of rap I will listen to willingly (some DMX, too).

On the other hand, if it is garbage music, garbage music it will always be.
 
2013-02-17 11:51:27 AM  
...or as Douglas Adams put it...

"1) everything that's already in the world when you're born is just normal;
2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
3) anything that gets invented after you're thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it's been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are."
 
2013-02-17 11:51:28 AM  
I involuntarily heard Rump Shaker by Wreckx N Effect many times in the early 90's - hated just as much the last time as the first.
 
2013-02-17 11:53:52 AM  

JasonOfOrillia: I used to hate country music but then my girlfriend left me and she took the dog.


Did she scratch her name into your car and defile your tractor to?
 
2013-02-17 11:53:53 AM  
Yes. Case in point: The Darkness.

I used to have I Believe in a Thing Called Love on my iPod just to demonstrate the world's worst song to my friends. Now, it's still on there, along with every Darkness song ever made.

I'm so ashamed...
 
2013-02-17 11:55:52 AM  

John Buck 41: Seems like a silly question. This may be an apples/oranges angle (actually music/food) but if I eat something that doesn't taste good, why try it again? I know what I like/don't like. Same for a shiatty movie or poorly written book. Why watch/read it again?


I think when most of us taste beer as a kid the first time we are not too enamored to it, but then strangely enough we grow up and it becomes awesome.
 
2013-02-17 11:56:48 AM  
Not when I don't consider the subject a form of music.

I'm looking right at you "gangsta" rap.
 
2013-02-17 11:56:57 AM  

EZ Writer: Yes. Case in point: The Darkness.

I used to have I Believe in a Thing Called Love on my iPod just to demonstrate the world's worst song to my friends. Now, it's still on there, along with every Darkness song ever made.

I'm so ashamed...


But do you have anything by Jefferson Starship?
 
2013-02-17 11:57:07 AM  

ozebb: I'm a jazz musician and in the course of my education at it, I directly experienced what's described in the article as well as observed it in other people. Seems pretty obvious to me. The whole history of music runs like that, with increasingly rich harmonies becoming more 'acceptable' over time in classical and later jazz music. Back in the 1700s the tritone, now an interval used in almost every tune imaginable (it hangs out in 7th chords among other places) was called 'Satan in music'. Supposedly at one point a few composers who used it in holy music were excommunicated from the church.

WTF Indeed: Considering that the majority of Top 40 today is just sampled techno beats from the 90's with auto-tuned singers laid on top of the electronic noise, I doubt there is anything that resembles harmonies to enjoy much less complex harmonies.

I think we even see it today, just in a different facet of music. That 'electronic noise' you refer to is often in fact a more rich, dissonant individual timbre. That 'wub' bass sound you hear in dubstep which sounds like a single, buzzing, obnoxious tone is in fact a multitude of overtones/harmonics more complex than other timbres we're more accustomed to. It seems to me that since the 50s and Ike Turner we've seen a progression in timbre toward more complex overtones and harmonics, rather than a progression in harmony. It's interesting to think about, anyway.


You seem like someone who went to some School of Music but couldn't land a career in your field after graduating.
 
2013-02-17 11:57:08 AM  

Somacandra: Okay...here is the most difficult stuff I've ever learned to appreciate (on an intellectual level only).


You can record audio of someone torturing a goat and call it music?
 
2013-02-17 11:58:14 AM  
How about D. N. Bieber subby? I've recently found out and i'm surprised I haven't heard of Definitely Not Bieber
cdn.popdust.com
 
2013-02-17 11:58:22 AM  
Yes.  I heard "Stayin' Alive", "I Feel Love" and "Relax" yesterday and actually enjoyed them.  But there may be nostalgia at play here...

Still not warming up to Michael Jackson or Tears for Fears, tho.
 
2013-02-17 11:58:22 AM  
Whatever. I can lock my musical sensibilities in a gimp box as long as the royalty checks don't bounce.
 
2013-02-17 11:58:30 AM  

John Buck 41: Seems like a silly question. This may be an apples/oranges angle (actually music/food) but if I eat something that doesn't taste good, why try it again? I know what I like/don't like. Same for a shiatty movie or poorly written book. Why watch/read it again?


It's the basic "acquired taste" that everyone talks about. I'm an avid coffee drinker, but I'll be honest I didn't like the taste of coffee when I started drinking it in high school - I just wanted to look cool. Same story with whiskey - now I enjoy it, but it tasted awful my first time ever.

Maybe it's possible, but I'm not willing to put in the time with Jazz and Country music to find out.

/Metal and Hardcore on the other hand...mmm. I've always liked that sound.
 
2013-02-17 11:59:43 AM  

lilplatinum: John Buck 41: Seems like a silly question. This may be an apples/oranges angle (actually music/food) but if I eat something that doesn't taste good, why try it again? I know what I like/don't like. Same for a shiatty movie or poorly written book. Why watch/read it again?

I think when most of us taste beer as a kid the first time we are not too enamored to it, but then strangely enough we grow up and it becomes awesome.


I was gonna go with beer, but he said food. As for drinks, what about coffee? The only thing though is both of those drinks have drugs in them, so the taste is also paired with good feelings.
 
2013-02-17 12:01:21 PM  
And how about the reverse? I used to love groups like Jodeci and Boyz II Men, but now I can't stand that kind of group, nor can I really listen to the stuff they made back when I liked that kind of music.
 
2013-02-17 12:01:32 PM  
Sometimes music hurts at first, so you listen to it for that, because sometimes pain is interesting. Eventually it doesn't hurt as much and you wonder why everyone else's music is so boring. See: spicy food, working out, modern art, wearing a tie.
 
2013-02-17 12:02:03 PM  
The Dillinger Escape Plan.

If you like jazz, then maybe, just maybe you might like these guys.
 
2013-02-17 12:05:20 PM  

DeathByGeekSquad: You seem like someeveryone who went to some School of Music but couldn't land a career in your field after graduating.

 
2013-02-17 12:05:29 PM  
If you've never smoked weed, smoke some and you'll enjoy music you otherwise may not have.  My 74 year old dad has been a huge jazz fan all his life and I think he'd do himself a great service if he smoked up and listened to all his albums again.

/i realize that's two different points
 
2013-02-17 12:06:12 PM  
I never liked heavy metal when I was growing up, but it's now my favorite genre of music (or at least certain of its subgenres).
 
2013-02-17 12:06:44 PM  

DeathByGeekSquad: You seem like someone who went to some School of Music but couldn't land a career in your field after graduating.


I'm mostly self-taught actually. A little early exposure (my grandmother was a big fan of jazz and classical music, as well as some avant garde stuff) got me a-rollin' down the hill of knowledge as it were. I think that's what's so cool about stuff like the article talks about, a little exposure, especially at an early age, can really widen your appreciation and understanding of music or art or anything else such that you can appreciate a whole lot more than you might otherwise. I think my life's a lot richer for the experience.

But yeah, making a living at music is tough. I get a couple gigs a month if I'm lucky. I play with a couple Berklee graduates (and a former instructor there, actually) and they're in pretty much the same boat.
 
2013-02-17 12:08:34 PM  
Step 1: listen to it ironically.
Step 1 shortly later: like it.
 
2013-02-17 12:12:20 PM  
Last night, 4chan /hm/ had a huge thread on whether there were known nude pictures of Justin Bieber. This is the most likely, though covered up. You're welcome. noisey.vice.com/ja/blog/is-this-what-justin-biebers-penis-looks-like
 
2013-02-17 12:12:34 PM  
I've been sucked into the dark hole of Musique Concrete.  I'm starting to love this shiat. I've got hours and hours of it, and since Amazon still does per-track pricing, I can buy three albums for five dollars. This sort of music gets me both so relaxed and focused.
 
2013-02-17 12:14:43 PM  
I've heard traditional Chinese & Japanese music. They must march to the beat of a different drummer, cause I can't make out what's going on there.
 
2013-02-17 12:17:00 PM  
Nothing will convince me that certain timbres don't sound like fingers on a chalkboard, but you definitely have to push your boundaries and get to know something in order to truly appreciate it.  You're not going to fully appreciate a book by only reading the Cliff Notes or appreciate beer by only drinking Bud Light.
 
2013-02-17 12:18:38 PM  

Kevin72: Last night, 4chan /hm/ had a huge thread on whether there were known nude pictures of Justin Bieber. This is the most likely, though covered up. You're welcome. noisey.vice.com/ja/blog/is-this-what-justin-biebers-penis-looks-like




On one hand, it must be great to be Justin Bieber, with endless numbers of hot young women wanting you. Knowing that there are lots of grown men spanking the monkey to photos of you must be more than a little disturbing though.
 
2013-02-17 12:30:01 PM  
Sure can, I use to hate that 90's crap dance music 'what is love, or pump up the jam' for example. Now I can safely say it really amps me up. Maybe it's just reminds me of my junior high days at the roller rink hitting on girls, asking them to skate, they saying they can't skate backwards, and me saying don't worry, I can.
 
2013-02-17 12:43:18 PM  
It's disturbing how whenever i'm exposed to One Direction, I find myself headbobbing or tapping along with it, i do NOT like that shiat, but it's catchy....
 
2013-02-17 12:50:15 PM  

chewd: ...or as Douglas Adams put it...

"1) everything that's already in the world when you're born is just normal;
2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
3) anything that gets invented after you're thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it's been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are."


Hah, that's brilliant and mostly true, though i would bump the top rank up to 40. I'm still learning to appreciate new things (k-pop, dubstep) and I'm 38.

/i do however cling to the music of my late teens and early 20's as my favorite stuff though
 
2013-02-17 12:50:36 PM  
I give everything a fair shot, after that.....either I like it or I don't.  I consider myself a bit of a musical snob, because there's some stuff I just don't like and therefore don't listen to, no matter how "popular" it might be.  There's some great music being made today, it just doesn't get flogged to death on terrestrial radio.  In all honesty, I'd rather listen to Frank Sinatra or Pink Floyd than Justin Bieber or Li'l Wayne.
 
2013-02-17 12:54:09 PM  
I didn't even know about rock and metal music until I was 25. Up to that point I had listened mostly to pop, dance and techno. Then I found a radio station that played all kinds of rock with half the advertising of a pop station. The rest came along naturally.

Now I am deeply in love with classic rock, power metal and Gothic metal. Bring on led zeppelin, Nightwish, Sirenia and Evanescence.

Although I still love electronic music. Eurodance, trance, lounge and "progressive" (whatever that means) are my other chapter.

I don't like dubstep and other "hard" music styles mostly because I am not fond of overly aggressive beats. Hence why I say I prefer eurodance to just plain dance. I will not claim it's bad though.
 
2013-02-17 12:55:15 PM  

dopekitty74: It's disturbing how whenever i'm exposed to One Direction, I find myself headbobbing or tapping along with it, i do NOT like that shiat, but it's catchy....


This comment reminds me of the other thing you have to remember with music is the cultural/peer pressure that also plays a big role in liking or not liking something for certain people and joining or leaving certain influences could certainly help someone learn to like something.  I'll admit One Direction and Beiber and the like are catchy tunes and have good beats for dancing, but to me, it's bland and unimaginative, the lyrics are basic and juvenile, and there's no emotional impact.
 
2013-02-17 12:59:42 PM  
I grew up with Michael Jackson thrown in my face. I still don't like his music. Even the songs of his I kind of like I really don't like.
 
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