Jump to content

why do you play other people's music?


xRisingForce
 Share

Recommended Posts

i stumbled across something while thinking today. i think the experience of certain artistic disciplines can be accurately summed up in three distinct areas: conceptualization, appreciation, and realization. applying this to theatre, you get script-writing, attending plays, and directing/acting. likewise, you can choreograph, attend a show, and dance. you can write a book, read someone else's book/attend an oration, and orate your own book (words are not physically manifested until spoken).

(on a related note, it's worth pointing out that realization can only be applied to disciplines whose respective appreciations exist in time, and otherwise is absent, like with sculpting, painting)

with music, the equivalents would be composing, listening, and performing. in my musical experience, composition is most practically realization alongside conceptualization, although it can be independent of realization as evidenced by the pieces Beethoven wrote far into his deafness.

here is what i'm wondering: why we are compelled to experience music through realization. i feel like i can justify the other two; i compose to express myself, i listen to songs as a means of experience, but i'm at a loss as to why i play other's pieces. for the artist, i understand realization is necessary in order to commit songs to a lasting format, and a means to make money by touring, but even then, what is the artistic end? is the realization of a song, written by you or not, a more submersive, and higher order of appreciation in comparison to just listening to a song? appreciation, done through realization, so to speak?

anyway, i'd like to know why you all play other people's (or your own) music, so please, share your thoughts (and on everything else too, if you'd like).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 89
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

The same can be said for other areas - why act in someone else's play? Why read aloud from someone else's book?

I can think of a number of reasons why you'd want to play someone else's music.

1) Pieces written by small numbers of people (a single composer, a couple band members collaborating) are written to be played by more. It wouldn't work to only play your own music.

2) Many people can't write music but can play and even improvise well. Should they not play? There are very few people who are gifted compositionally.

3) Playing and performing is fun.

4) Sometimes, composition isn't separate from realization, such as when a band takes a rough concept into the recording studio and works with a producer to flesh it out. Significant quantities of music would not exist if people only played their own stuff.

5) Compositions make no money if no one plays them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The answer to this question is almost self-evident; because there is so much good music out there in a virtually limitless variety of styles. No matter how good of a composer you are, I doubt you can write a klezmer piece while also being capable of writing a baroque, classical, romantic, bebop, and bossa nova piece. I also doubt that your skill in writing at any given genre matches the skill of the great composers in any given genre, thus you're going to be playing better music if you play theirs as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, for other mediums like mentioned with sculpting and painting I do believe that carrying on a specific design, theme, or visual style arrangement can apply to that realization category. Its all fairly vague.

But why play other people's creations? Why emulate their style?

Immitation is the best form of flattery. If I made a great work of art in any medium I'd certainly want people to love it so much as to want to get closer to it via replication.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i stumbled across something while thinking today. i think the experience of certain artistic disciplines can be accurately summed up in three distinct areas: conceptualization, appreciation, and realization. applying this to theatre, you get script-writing, attending plays, and directing/acting. likewise, you can choreograph, attend a show, and dance. you can write a book, read someone else's book/attend an oration, and orate your own book (words are not physically manifested until spoken).

(on a related note, it's worth pointing out that realization can only be applied to disciplines whose respective appreciations exist in time, and otherwise is absent, like with sculpting, painting)

with music, the equivalents would be composing, listening, and performing. in my musical experience, composition is most practically realization alongside conceptualization, although it can be independent of realization as evidenced by the pieces Beethoven wrote far into his deafness.

here is what i'm wondering: why we are compelled to experience music through realization. i feel like i can justify the other two; i compose to express myself, i listen to songs as a means of experience, but i'm at a loss as to why i play other's pieces. for the artist, i understand realization is necessary in order to commit songs to a lasting format, and a means to make money by touring, but even then, what is the artistic end? is the realization of a song, written by you or not, a more submersive, and higher order of appreciation in comparison to just listening to a song? appreciation, done through realization, so to speak?

anyway, i'd like to know why you all play other people's (or your own) music, so please, share your thoughts (and on everything else too, if you'd like).

Are you smoking a joint at your computer, thinking about random shit and reasons behind them?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm.

Well, that's the wonderful thing about mixing video game music. It has quite the nostalgic value. I mean, a song can generate a feeling deep inside someone that is almost completely unique to the song. It goes up to another level when you combine it with a visual aspect, like the feeling of heroicness that fills your soul and makes your skin tingle when watching Lord of the Rings (please insert a movie that you like if LOTR doesn't perk your fancy). This feeling can rise even further when dealing with video game music, not only are you building nostalgia by listening to a song that portrays the mood of a particular environment, but YOU are in that environment, hypothetically.

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this... lol

Hearing video game music while maintaining that link with the characters of the game can really inspire people to remake the song in a similar fashion, while adding their own flair. Almost like remixing VG music is a VG by itself. 8-O

All I'm saying, is that when I hear Felix's theme I get the unmistakable urge to have my broadsword let out a howl, and slaughter the nearest living creature.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's fun to cover songs, for many reasons...

A hard song might be a better challenge then what I can come with on some occasions...I think any musical experience adds up. Learning country just might improve heavy metal licks.

I really like covering a song, but making it very different, the way I see it...which changes slightly at any moment in life.

I also love to sing and signing is "easy" to pick along any song, so is playing chords at same time. Of course having tab files help, I still have a hard time finding the chords while I sing lol

Most songs I compose end up being hard to sing and play at the same time, I prefer to compose with riffs then basic chords...so playing others songs makes it easier to sing along too.

It's great fun to play along the mp3, I can do that with my own songs...but it's not like I composed and recorded 1000's and I get bored real fast of any song.

Never learning anything else then ones own songs is a weakness, same goes in staying in the same type of music all the time. There again, multi-styled composers are even rarer then just composers.

So I think there are pleeenty of good things to learn in playing "other people's music" and it is an important part in realizing ones self has a musician.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a huge wall of text, but it wasn't worth it. So here's what I'm gonna say, in a smaller wall:

-being able to play a song means you know a song well, meaning you can appreciate it as an entire work (like a painting) even though one instantaneous moment of a song exists in the present at any given time.

-being able to play a song can be fun and entertaining (or sad and depressing - basically, it's meaningful). Why the hell would anyone tell a known joke if they didn't want to make other people laugh? Why would I bother speaking an understood word if it wouldn't matter or somehow affect the people I'm speaking to?

-being able to play music can make you more likable and accepted. positive reinforcement.

-being able to play music is challenging; learning a song then practicing and perfecting your performance of that song can feel very rewarding.

-cows moo and ducks quack.

-because you can perform and appreciate at the same time - probably even appreciate and enjoy it better because you're the one performing it and you're experiencing the rewards of your practice. Like... I think I sound great on piano (I suck) because I know what went into the music i'm playing, and how i'm playing it.

-knowing music and being able to play music should help your general composing and performing skills, respectively - I say this if art = art, because I know that when I read a book, my style of writing (both analytical and artistic) is heavily influenced by that book. When I read Shakespeare, I start writing like Shakespeare.

-it's great exercise.

-it's nonsexual. <-note that

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I play other people's music because that's what a DJ does
Well, for other mediums like mentioned with sculpting and painting I do believe that carrying on a specific design, theme, or visual style arrangement can apply to that realization category. Its all fairly vague.

sorry if my terms are a bit confusing, but by realization i somewhat mean manifestation. when you play an instrument, you are manifesting notes, and when you play a song, someone else's or yours, you are realizing a song. when you dance, you are realizing a choreography, cooking:recipe, reading aloud:book, etc. painting and sculpting don't have these real-time equivalents.

Immitation is the best form of flattery. If I made a great work of art in any medium I'd certainly want people to love it so much as to want to get closer to it via replication.

well this can certainly explain why an artist would want to have his work performed, but the question i'm asking is why you would want to perform it

Hmm. All I'm saying, is that when I hear Felix's theme I get the unmistakable urge to have my broadsword let out a howl, and slaughter the nearest living creature.

this pretty well answers why you appreciate/listen to videogame music, but i'm asking why you would perform it, play it back

No matter how good of a composer you are, I doubt you can write a klezmer piece while also being capable of writing a baroque, classical, romantic, bebop, and bossa nova piece.

well sure, but realization isn't a theoretically necessary compositional tool; it just speeds up the process for those of us afflicted with relative pitch. why do you realize others' pieces, with realization as something distinct with its own artist end

Are you smoking a joint at your computer, thinking about random shit and reasons behind them?

and yes, this is a daily ritual of mine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the idea of interpretation plays an important role in the creative process. When I hear a kickass marimba piece I really like, I want to play it because I think I could do cool things with it. Playing another composers music also brings me to a higher level of understanding the music.

Also, composing takes a LOOONG time... just like writing a book, writing a script, choreographing a dance, etc-it's a type of menial activity that not everybody's cut out to do. Not to mention a lot of musicians don't know how to compose. Or at least are to afraid to try :D

More than anything else though, playing music is instant gratification--whether it's written by you or not. In fact, playing music not written by you can be more exciting, since the process of writing the piece makes you painfully familiar with the music. I guess the only real middle ground here is improvisation?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well when I actually played music, generally the music I wanted to play was because it was music I enjoyed listening too, and was also fun music to play.

Not all music I like to listen to is fun to play though and well I wouldn't play it in that case.

I'm sure most people that have played an instrument understand what I mean when I say some music just sounds fun to play.

But I still want to know, why wouldn't people play other peoples music?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...