What does ‘good music’ sound like? Part 2

Part 2

In part 1 of this article we examined the essence of what might be considered good from the root level of listening, but that is only looking at one half of the equation. The good in music does not only lie in the ability for one to hear whether it is good or not, but in the ability of the creator to pick out good sounds and melodies to arrange them in a manner that is in order, remember we said that music has to ‘feel’ good to the listener as well. We did establish that, it all depended on what the listener was looking for, and whether the sounds that are portrayed in the music give associations to ideas that resonate with the listener.

Elements of  Song

If we are to consider the producer, composer or writer in determining whether music is good, we have to level the playing field for everyone without attempting to generalise ideologies or establishing a bias. In the context of the current world we live in, music has pretty much been standardised to appeal to popular opinion, that is, a culture in music has been established across all genres to contain a structure that is somewhat similar across the board, a typical example is the 4-4 time signature that most beats have. This is not however, to state that all music is the same, as there are artists that have deviated from the norm in the name of intellectual creativity, but that still inherently has some structure to it.

Every song has a beat, a melody, and a voice to reinforce the idea of the song. Words in music will appeal to the group which carries the same interest of the singer/rapper, and the basis of whether one feels the music should be good will be on associations with the words expressed.  This can still bring things down to cultural limitations and one that writes for a piece of music can use this to appeal to their particular crowd. We are left with actual sounds that are heard within the song and the way the sounds are used will be largely dependent on the skill, intelllect and freedom of the musical composer or producer.

Technical Execution and Musical Correctness

This is the part where I might get raped by the masters of the industry for political incorrectness; well to heck with it. The exploration of this theme is mainly from a basic perspective of what a good track would feel like, and that has a lot to do with some kind of universal underlying structure that most of us may not be aware of. Music schools and technical colleges has some grasp of it, but we have not got to the core of it, because in its essence music is not repetitive, and neither is it set in stone.

Any creator of a good piece of music would have an intimate connectedness with particular sound that they are trying to express creatively, how that sound is published will have largely to do with your imagined target audience how well that piece of music is produced will depend on the technical prowess of the producer.

This is where things get problematic. Ever since the liberation of software by our internets freedom fighters, almost any piece of software can be acquired to produce music, and whether one knows how to use the software is an entirely different issue all together. Now this is my personal opinion, but ever since the introduction of electronic music there has been an explosion of self styled and self produced tracks which the self proclaimed producer would call a piece of music by conventional standards. As a result the interwebbies have been filled with exabytes upon exabytes of junk maqsuerading as music, and the infection has spread through to most genres of this world, except for the religiously preserved jazz music. For something to be called a piece of music there must be an order to the sound, this order is universal, but unwritten, and the mind naturally knows this, it will usually tell you by feeling.

Order is something that cannot be defined through any limited amount of words, what can be done is be merely to point out what might be inherent in order; for example when one sees a group of birds sitting on a telephone wire, one would observe the birds sitting in order, that is, there is space in between the birds, the space is ordered but not uniform, monotonous or repetitive. The same can be applied to order in music. Sounds can and should be applied in a manner that gives the mind space to appreciate each sound, each note and each melody to give clarity to the body of composition. Like anything that is made up of different parts each part playing its role, without the interference of another part and yet all of them working together create a harmony that would not otherwise exist if each part were acting separately. This is where feeling comes in, it is the ability to sense something being created out of what might seemingly be nothing-ness. This is why good music cannot be described, nor can it be re-produced once it has been heard, because in essence, good music can only be heard if ones mind is tuned into the right state to be able to recognise and feel something out of nothing. This is not rather a statement i would set in stone, primarily because, it may appear as  well that there might be an interference wit-h and to- listening and feeling, and that might might source from opinion and the need to know. It is during the times that when we are open and non-expecting that we get to experience something new. It is when one moves out of comfort that one may find comfort in the new experience of discomfort, such as when one discovers a new song when they are low how the mind is able to communicate feelings through sounds is the mystery of Music.




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