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KonradZuse

Dubstep and VGM... Why?

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context. vgm is a style in the same sense that music for film is a style, which is that it has more to do with formal/contextual characteristics (ie. the idea of music which is meant to loop infinitely, or reflect/comment on indeterminate action on-screen) than specific ideas of instrumentation or "genre". 8 bit era vgm is not so much a style as defined by its timbral characteristics but by its form determined by limitations of hardware and its intended function. in that sense it is no different stylistically from current gen vgm.

I disagree. Context does not a style make. When you say "music for film" no doubt that you are referring to orchestral pieces like Hans Zimmer. Thing is, film has other genres made specifically for it too. Techno Syndrome by Lords of Acid (aka Immortals) was made to accompany the first Mortal Kombat game, commercials AND the film. Most people think that the song was made for the movie, but it was made and released for the game two years before the movie.

By the "context" logic, the "Mortal Kombat Theme" is VGM, Television music AND film score as it was composed specifically to accompany all three.

but we all know that the Mortal Kombat theme is simply techno music.

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I actually do, because the harder it was to make, the more respect I have for the person's efforts, even if I don't like the song. And if I like it anyway, I still respect them.

The problem I have with this is how do you quantify how hard a song was to make? It's easy to write a song of mind-bending complexity, with time signatures changing every bar, modulations, tempo changes, etc. and it's much harder to write a simple song that works and that people will appreciate.

I'm honestly surprised that this attitude seems to be so prevalent within people who like to listen to songs from video games. Most of the most appreciated video games song are pretty simple.

to me the concept of a "guilty pleasure" is pretty sad. if you like something you shouldn't have to justify it to others.

Exactly. It's almost as if music was used as a fashion statement instead of appreciated for the art form itself.

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I disagree. Context does not a style make. When you say "music for film" no doubt that you are referring to orchestral pieces like Hans Zimmer. Thing is, film has other genres made specifically for it too. Techno Syndrome by Lords of Acid (aka Immortals) was made to accompany the first Mortal Kombat game, commercials AND the film. Most people think that the song was made for the movie, but it was made and released for the game two years before the movie.

i didnt say anything about orchestra or hans zimmer. when i say "music for film" i mean any music written to accompany film (im thinking general cinema, art film, and television, as opposed to music videos which you might instead say are film created to accompany music, and advertisements which i'd consider a separate thing entirely). the point im making there is that music for film can be - in terms of harmony and instrumentation or, more broadly, timbre - just about anything. but those make up only part of what constitutes a style, you need to consider form as well. you cant meaningfully talk about a style of music without consideration of its context, by which i mean the environment in which it exists, or is intended to exist. the formal and melodic content of film music is determined by considerations of imagery (the picture on-screen) and theme (the acting or emotional content). in the same way, the content (formal, etc.) of video game music is determined by things which are specific to video games: like film, imagery and theme (though this part i'd say is different from film in the sense that the on-screen action in video games is indeterminate in some way or another, not least that it is potentially infinite, so it has to go about it in a way different from film) and hardware (for a long time this was something very rigid - like limited number of voices which determined texture, timbre, length of the music, and so on - which made vgm a little easier to pin down, but as i said earlier i think hardware is still very much a factor today).

to put it another way...generally speaking, one might describe edm as a style purely in terms of superficial harmonic/melodic and timbral qualities ("usually x-y bpm, repetitive four-on-the-floor rhythms, synthetic timbres, etc."), but without considering form or context, it doesnt make for a particularly useful music theory. in order to grasp those essential components of style you need to consider that these things were not necessarily conscious aesthetic considerations, or taken for granted as The Way Things Are Done, and acknowledge how they were shaped by the instruments/hardware used and the conditions in which they were created in the first place. this includes the use of short repeating loops, which were a byproduct of the typical two-turntables-and-a-mixer setup, and drum machines and samplers with limited memory; timbral qualities which were determined by the kinds of effects available on mixers; tempo and form which were derived in part from the kinds of records being used, as well as the fact that the styles were born out of parties and raves which were intended to have continuous music for hours at a time, and so on.

to use your earlier example of "glam rock", even if they were in terms of instrumentation and harmony indistinguishable from other forms of rock music (which they werent, in the ways that you described), but taken as a whole which includes stage performance, recording practice, lyrical content, and a specific function or ethos (the "gender-bending" you mentioned), they become distinguishable as a subgenre at the very least ("rock" is still in the name).

i cant speak to the mortal kombat example, but i dont think anything ive said precludes pop music which can work as film music which can work as video game music. take video games live, for example, where part of the novelty of it is experiencing video game music outside of its intended context, which in my mind does not negate it as its own specific entity. neither does the use of a pop song in a tv show negate its identity as a pop song.

Edited by Radiowar

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I guess it might be controversial, but even if dubstep has sub-genres in and of itself, I still don't consider it an umbrella genre the way I do hip-hop, jazz, etc. - I view it as decidedly more specific. The overall umbrella genre for dubstep in my mind would be "electronic," although Andy informs me that people are now using "EDM" as a high-level genre that could also have a similar, wider scope.

This is what gets tricky about genres... people clearly view them differently, trying to pin them down can cause friction and hurt feelings, words are subjective, they can jump and cross-pollinate across categories, etc. I still think you try, because I still think that talking about music is a lot more convenient when you've actually got words for certain patterns and trends and concepts, but it's also an exercise in appreciating the limitations of those words to facilitate agreeable definitions.

Oh, and I still like dubstep, if that wasn't clear when I said it before...

Edited by djpretzel

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I guess it might be controversial, but even if dubstep has sub-genres in and of itself, I still don't consider it an umbrella genre the way I do hip-hop, jazz, etc. - I view it as decidedly more specific. The overall umbrella genre for dubstep in my mind would be "electronic," although Andy informs me that people are now using "EDM" as a high-level genre that could also have a similar, wider scope.

This is what gets tricky about genres... people clearly view them differently, trying to pin them down can cause friction and hurt feelings, words are subjective, they can jump and cross-pollinate across categories, etc. I still think you try, because I still think that talking about music is a lot more convenient when you've actually got words for certain patterns and trends and concepts, but it's also an exercise in appreciating the limitations of those words to facilitate agreeable definitions.

Oh, and I still like dubstep, if that wasn't clear when I said it before...

Whats actually popular is brostep :D Edited by SonicThHedgog

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We should ban all popular forms of music, VGM and gamers are a niche underground audience and it should stay that way! All of the remixes should be black metal, traditional black metal not that mainstream dimmu borgir shit. :-)

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The problem I have with this is how do you quantify how hard a song was to make? It's easy to write a song of mind-bending complexity, with time signatures changing every bar, modulations, tempo changes, etc. and it's much harder to write a simple song that works and that people will appreciate.

I'm honestly surprised that this attitude seems to be so prevalent within people who like to listen to songs from video games. Most of the most appreciated video games song are pretty simple.

Simple. Just learn a lot and you'll be able to recognize what's hard to do and realize what's impressive. It's not easy to write a song of "mind-bending complexity, with time signatures changing every bar, modulations, tempo changes, etc." at all. A simple song is much easier to write. Too simple, and it gets boring. Too complex, and people just say "cool". So it's pretty hard to write something people like that happens to also be hard to make.

...And this song was even harder to make... and I have no idea how this guy's ideas flowed out like that, but they worked awesomely.

I did not mean to imply that electro-house and dubstep were dichotomously separated; but surely you would agree that even though they share elements they are, indeed, different?

Yeah, I do agree, hence the two separate names for those genres. It just so happens that dubstep was the start of wobble basses, and electro-house adapted the dubstep quality, so it seems.

Edited by timaeus222

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Simple. Just learn a lot and you'll be able to recognize what's hard to do and realize what's impressive. It's not easy to write a song of "mind-bending complexity, with time signatures changing every bar, modulations, tempo changes, etc." at all. A simple song is much easier to write. Too simple, and it gets boring. Too complex, and people just say "cool". So it's pretty hard to write something people like that happens to also be hard to make.

...And this song was even harder to make... and I have no idea how this guy's ideas flowed out like that, but they worked awesomely.

Yeah, I do agree, hence the two separate names for those genres. It just so happens that dubstep was the start of wobble basses, and electro-house adapted the dubstep quality, so it seems.

You are a boss. These 3 songs are example of very neat stuff. And dubstep can sound like this ;)

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Simple. Just learn a lot and you'll be able to recognize what's hard to do and realize what's impressive. It's not easy to write a song of "mind-bending complexity, with time signatures changing every bar, modulations, tempo changes, etc." at all. A simple song is much easier to write. Too simple, and it gets boring. Too complex, and people just say "cool". So it's pretty hard to write something people like that happens to also be hard to make.

I'm going to disagree with this. I disagree quite a lot actually.

First off, the only reason to really change time signatures at all is to accommodate a phrase's length or for a specific rhythm (like a waltz). There are many "progressive" metal and rock songs that have been written in mostly or entirely 4/4. Modulations are very easy to do as are tempo changes. Literally none of those things are difficult to pull off at all.

Dream Theater writes a lot of incredibly complex, difficult to perform music that honestly bores the shit out of me. I respect its complexity, but complexity doesn't always equal more interesting and better.

Specifically in that last link you share, the Stephen Anderson one...It's a great piece, but I'm not sure why you're mind blown by how "the ideas flowed out like that". The guy obviously just knows his shit when it comes to writing for orchestra.

If you know your theory, writing complex music or whatever kind of music you feel like is easy. The hard part is playing it. For example, I am no where near as good of a guitarist as Michael Romeo; the dude is, in my opinion, at the fucking pinnacle of electric guitar technique. However, I can write songs like Symphony X. I know the kinds of scales, progressions, phrasing, and general composition techniques Mike and the band often use to write their music.

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This is what gets tricky about genres... people clearly view them differently, trying to pin them down can cause friction and hurt feelings, words are subjective, they can jump and cross-pollinate across categories, etc. I still think you try, because I still think that talking about music is a lot more convenient when you've actually got words for certain patterns and trends and concepts, but it's also an exercise in appreciating the limitations of those words to facilitate agreeable definitions.

Definitely. And people certainly view them differently whether they're on the inside or outside of said genre label -- those on the inside always seeing a more nuanced, diverse schema versus the outsider's supposedly reductive view.

Take, for example, 1) a violinist in an opera's orchestra pit 2) a mandolinist in an alternative acoustic rock band 3) and DJ who specializes in IDM.

The DJ will call the violinist a classical musician, but the violinist would protest saying "classical refers to very specific era in Western art music! I specialize in 19th and 20th century works."

The violinist will call the mandolinist a pop musician, but the mandolinist would say "I'm not some mainstream pop sellout! I'm keeping strains of folk Americana alive."

The bluegrass musician will call the DJ a a guy who plays techno music, but the DJ would say "the word techno doesn't mean anything, and if it did it's very very different from the soundscapes I craft."

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I'm going to disagree with this. I disagree quite a lot actually.

First off, the only reason to really change time signatures at all is to accommodate a phrase's length or for a specific rhythm (like a waltz). There are many "progressive" metal and rock songs that have been written in mostly or entirely 4/4. Modulations are very easy to do as are tempo changes. Literally none of those things are difficult to pull off at all.

There isn't a "rule" for when you should change time signatures necessarily. I don't do it often, but it can be done subtly, like in our Metroid remix. 4/4 rhythms can be written to sound like modified 4/4 in 6/4 and 5/4 and still not be entirely obvious until you finish listening to one measure.

Modulations are only easy to pull off if you do know your music theory well enough, and for those who either informally learned it or haven't learned it, it certainly will be harder for them. It only seems easy to you because you did formally learn music theory, if I recall. Besides, I was talking about synth modulations, not chordal modulations; and I didn't say it wasn't hard to do those musically creative things... I only said it wasn't easy. e.g. It's easier to write a simple song than a complex one. Writing a

that uses a wide variety of instruments and vast music theory knowledge isn't necessarily hard nor easy, and writing a timbrally complex song may or may not be hard or easy depending on what timbres are used and how the arrangement is written, but writing a musically and timbrally complex song is certainly hard, or at least impressive since it combines two important skills: music theory knowledge and sound selection intuition. inb4 generic remark---you don't just need a great attention to detail. You need the experience to back it up. Besides, I included PriZm's wording, which had the words "mind-bending complexity". I'd expect something mind-bending to be pretty intense in that regard...

Dream Theater writes a lot of incredibly complex, difficult to perform music that honestly bores the shit out of me. I respect its complexity, but complexity doesn't always equal more interesting and better.

I actually like Dream Theatre, but not because of the complexity---because of their sound selection. Their lead singer's voice has that grittiness that fits in well with the tone of the guitars, which fits well with their synth leads, pads/drones, etc., for example, and that's partly why I like their music. I never said complexity was the only factor for interest, but I also never said sound selection wasn't a factor either; it definitely is.

Specifically in that last link you share, the Stephen Anderson one...It's a great piece, but I'm not sure why you're mind blown by how "the ideas flowed out like that". The guy obviously just knows his shit when it comes to writing for orchestra.

Well of course, he's a film composer. He's almost "supposed" to know the ins and outs of composing orchestral. It's a "necessity" for a film composer... However, that's one of his only pieces I know of that actually changes dynamics, tempo, and atmospheric feel that often and that well, besides maybe "I Am The Sentinel" or the condensed Orc Wars opening theme. I've honestly never heard anything as compellingly arranged as that from anyone except maybe zircon. Just because you know how to use an orchestral library well doesn't mean you have the inspiration to think of those musical orchestral progressions, unless you studied orchestral music while learning and somehow you picked up exactly how those people wrote their songs in the process. Edited by timaeus222

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We should ban all popular forms of music, VGM and gamers are a niche underground audience and it should stay that way! All of the remixes should be Epic Folk Melodic Death-like Power Speed Metal, traditional Epic Folk Melodic Death-like Power Speed Metal not that mainstream Alestorm shit. :-)

Working on it!

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my buddy showed me this track today...its from 2004 apparently, suuuuper raw old school

if anyone was ever wondering where the "dub" in dubstep comes in

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There isn't a "rule" for when you should change time signatures necessarily. I don't do it often, but it can be done subtly, like in our Metroid remix. 4/4 rhythms can be written to sound like modified 4/4 in 6/4 and 5/4 and still not be entirely obvious until you finish listening to one measure.

Modulations are only easy to pull off if you do know your music theory well enough, and for those who either informally learned it or haven't learned it, it certainly will be harder for them. It only seems easy to you because you did formally learn music theory, if I recall. Besides, I was talking about synth modulations, not chordal modulations; and I didn't say it wasn't hard to do those musically creative things... I only said it wasn't easy. e.g. It's easier to write a simple song than a complex one. Writing a

that uses a wide variety of instruments and vast music theory knowledge isn't necessarily hard nor easy, and writing a timbrally complex song may or may not be hard or easy depending on what timbres are used and how the arrangement is written, but writing a musically and timbrally complex song is certainly hard, or at least impressive since it combines two important skills: music theory knowledge and sound selection intuition. inb4 generic remark---you don't just need a great attention to detail. You need the experience to back it up. Besides, I included PriZm's wording, which had the words "mind-bending complexity". I'd expect something mind-bending to be pretty intense in that regard...

I actually like Dream Theatre, but not because of the complexity---because of their sound selection. Their lead singer's voice has that grittiness that fits in well with the tone of the guitars, which fits well with their synth leads, pads/drones, etc., for example, and that's partly why I like their music. I never said complexity was the only factor for interest, but I also never said sound selection wasn't a factor either; it definitely is.

Well of course, he's a film composer. He's almost "supposed" to know the ins and outs of composing orchestral. It's a "necessity" for a film composer... However, that's one of his only pieces I know of that actually changes dynamics, tempo, and atmospheric feel that often and that well, besides maybe "I Am The Sentinel" or the condensed Orc Wars opening theme. I've honestly never heard anything as compellingly arranged as that from anyone except maybe zircon. Just because you know how to use an orchestral library well doesn't mean you have the inspiration to think of those musical orchestral progressions, unless you studied orchestral music while learning and somehow you picked up exactly how those people wrote their songs in the process.

Fair enough.

Also, nah, I'm not formally trained with music theory. I just became a nerd about it when I was a teenager.

Because

1. It's fun

2. It made my music sound better

3. It made me feel smarter than the local metal bands who don't know what a G chord is.

4. I realized that music is the only thing in life that I am even vaguely good at. So I became obsessed with how it works.

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I've always thought Dubstep is a really fun genre with a lot more potential for iteration than the more rigid 4/4 dance music. Dubstep with the elements of complexity from prog rock/metal would be fucking awesome.

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I've always thought Dubstep is a really fun genre with a lot more potential for iteration than the more rigid 4/4 dance music. Dubstep with the elements of complexity from prog rock/metal would be fucking awesome.

I've had some 5/4 and 7/8 melodies floating around my head for a while now. I gotta get them out of my head and into some choons. Thanks for the reminder.

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I like music that sounds good. I used to be really into shred guitar, but got bored with that after awhile. I find it difficult to listen to Dream Theater these days, while a band like Vanden Plas that writes simpler, more melodic songs is still satisfying to me after all the years.

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I like music that sounds good. I used to be really into shred guitar, but got bored with that after awhile. I find it difficult to listen to Dream Theater these days, while a band like Vanden Plas that writes simpler, more melodic songs is still satisfying to me after all the years.

Vanden Plas is epic as hell

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Simple. Just learn a lot and you'll be able to recognize what's hard to do and realize what's impressive.

I stand by what I said, but 'mind-bending' was probably a poor choice of words on my part. It's too subjective; now I could give you any example and you could answer that it doesn't correspond to your definition of the word. I personally consider any song that changes time signature every bar 'mind-bendingly complex'.

Your statement is pretty condescending in that it seems you are assuming that I would need to learn a lot to understand what complexity is.

The problem I have with trying to justify what you like is that there will always be exceptions to your arbitrarily self-imposed rules. Is Dance of Eternity a better song than Terra's theme? No? It's (a lot) more complex, sound quality is much better and more original, etc.

There is no such thing as a good song or a bad song, no matter how many variables you try to quantify them with. Only things that you like and things that you dislike.

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There is no such thing as a good song or a bad song, no matter how many variables you try to quantify them with. Only things that you like and things that you dislike.

See, this is something people say all the time, but I don't believe it's true. At least, I don't believe it's 100% true.

If it were, I could just throw together any random sequence of notes, call myself a composer and say that my music is just as good as John Williams. We all know that isn't the case though. Just like I couldn't make my own copy of the Mona Lisa with one eye slightly larger than the other, little variety in color, etc. and say that it's just as good as Leonardo's.

To imply or explicitly state that music, or any art for that matter is purely a matter of taste is something I personally find somewhat insulting. Because it makes it sound like centuries of work done by composers, music theorists, and sound engineers in the 20th and into the 21st century was all meaningless. Why bother to learn it at all if it's all just so "subjective"? I disagree, all of these things, the "rules" exist because the people who discovered them realized it made their music (art) better. That's why we have the same chord progressions that are re-used in countless pieces. There is a standard that the art can be held against. If music is just totally subjective, I guess colleges and universities should just stop teaching their composition students music theory and forget studying the works of Bach or Mozart.

I don't believe that any art is completely subjective. I think the fact that you can "improve" at it is evidence to that point. What is subjective though, is your preference in it. As I said earlier, I don't really like the genre of country music, but I can still listen to a country song and realize that it is well written, performed and produced. I don't think that I would be able to say that if there wasn't SOME objective standard that applies to all music.

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To imply or explicitly state that music, or any art for that matter is purely a matter of taste is something I personally find somewhat insulting. Because it makes it sound like centuries of work done by composers, music theorists, and sound engineers in the 20th and into the 21st century was all meaningless.

How the hell does that follow? Just because there's no objective standard of artistic merit doesn't mean that centuries of refining and exploring within an artform is worthless. Until science invents a machine that can measure "artness", then artistic worth is necessarily a subjective judgement. Reasonable, intelligent people can and do disagree about it. I mean, shit, this is a video game music remix site -- you and I both know that there are people out there, some of them well respected in their fields, who would dismiss it as artistically bankrupt just because of that.

Now, there are plenty of objective statements you can make about art, particularly in terms of technical aspects. You can say that someone's performance is "better" if one plays the music exactly as written and another plays wrong notes or messes up timing -- but that's an extreme example and I don't think that's the sort of thing you mean.

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I stand by what I said, but 'mind-bending' was probably a poor choice of words on my part. It's too subjective; now I could give you any example and you could answer that it doesn't correspond to your definition of the word. I personally consider any song that changes time signature every bar 'mind-bendingly complex'.

Your statement is pretty condescending in that it seems you are assuming that I would need to learn a lot to understand what complexity is.

The problem I have with trying to justify what you like is that there will always be exceptions to your arbitrarily self-imposed rules. Is Dance of Eternity a better song than Terra's theme? No? It's (a lot) more complex, sound quality is much better and more original, etc.

There is no such thing as a good song or a bad song, no matter how many variables you try to quantify them with. Only things that you like and things that you dislike.

I just took it like it was written. Besides, if you gave me any example, I wouldn't say it wasn't complex, necessarily. I might say it's "not as complex" as something else, but that it does hold complexity in that it does this and that. I don't have an "official" definition for complexity, and I honestly haven't looked it up in any dictionary, but I will say that it's just "the level of objective execution of anything that can be observed". In my opinion, complexity isn't inexplicably, unequivocally, 100% opinion-based.

I'm not saying you're inexperienced, but anyone who does want to really know complexity does need to learn more than "a little bit of basic knowledge on this and that". It's inherent in the nature of complexity, and I'm sure you could define in your own words what complexity is too. There are different levels of complexity, and while many people can hear complexities, not many can often describe what they hear, nor necessarily point it out every single time. Of course there are lots of types of complexities, but

, and
that it just comes across as "cool", "nice", "interesting", etc., and the observer comes across as speechless, regardless of what type of composition you compare. It can even be electronic to orchestral, and the generic person just needs to have enough experience in both to evaluate them in order to determine for themselves which is better or more complex by way of what they know.

I have "arbitrarily self-imposed" standards, but they're not rules or even guidelines necessarily, and I try to leave most of my opinionated thoughts out often when I give feedback or reviews. I've just worked with synthesis and other material to a point where I can determine for myself with certainty in my own mind which filters sound smoother, higher quality, and richer, which sounds are well-constructed and well-modulated, which instruments have expressive articulations and emotional playing, when pseudo-live performances sound rhythmically tight, etc. It may seem like my opinion at times, but it still comes from what I know and what I've learned, and it's often just what I observe.

However, there truly is such thing as a good song and a bad song, regardless of generic opinion. Even disregarding encoding, mixing, and mastering, if a song is badly written or badly played, then it's bad. For example, if you took a sequenced song supposed to emulate a live performance that has all sorts of jittery, very obviously off-sync playing (exaggeration), excessive reverb on some instruments, zero reverb on other instruments, with no panning, and compared it to a sequenced/MIDI-keyboarded song also emulating a live performance that has very rhythmically tight---but not rigid---playing, sufficient fitting reverb overall, and a 3D stereo image, then it would make total sense to say the second song is better, execution-wise. Both songs could have very musically complex harmonies, rhythms, and so on, but if one of them doesn't come across clearly enough, then by natural reasoning it needs work "in some way". To a small extent, the execution of a song can affect opinion. Even if you can't articulate the issue, it's present in the mind of someone else who can.

Now if two songs were compared that were mixed with similar prowess with similarly well-executed arrangements, then it's not as clear which is better, but there's almost always a slight distinction between songs that gives one song the upper edge, present in the mind of someone who can notice it. For example,

and
were mixed similarly well and have similar arrangement skill, but the second song is a bit better because although both arrangements happen to be extremely emotive, creative, and not repetitive, the second song pulled off a longer result, also with apparently zero significant repetition. It's tougher to pull off a non-repetitious longer song than a non-repetitious shorter song. That isn't an exception, unlike how you pointed it out before, as any song can be applied to a repetition scenario. Repetition may not always be mentioned, but it is in the back of some people's minds at some point.

The fact is, if two songs were mixed exactly the same way with exactly the same composer for both... in other words, in the case of the perfect comparison where you can only make judgments based on the magical nature of the notes, then it does come down to pure opinion (I like it, I don't like it) and not, as you say, "arbitarily self-imposed rules" (this note doesn't make sense in this key, this instrument doesn't fit as well as it does here, etc.).

Edited by timaeus222

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See, this is something people say all the time, but I don't believe it's true. At least, I don't believe it's 100% true.

If it were, I could just throw together any random sequence of notes, call myself a composer and say that my music is just as good as John Williams. We all know that isn't the case though. Just like I couldn't make my own copy of the Mona Lisa with one eye slightly larger than the other, little variety in color, etc. and say that it's just as good as Leonardo's.

To imply or explicitly state that music, or any art for that matter is purely a matter of taste is something I personally find somewhat insulting. Because it makes it sound like centuries of work done by composers, music theorists, and sound engineers in the 20th and into the 21st century was all meaningless. Why bother to learn it at all if it's all just so "subjective"? I disagree, all of these things, the "rules" exist because the people who discovered them realized it made their music (art) better. That's why we have the same chord progressions that are re-used in countless pieces. There is a standard that the art can be held against. If music is just totally subjective, I guess colleges and universities should just stop teaching their composition students music theory and forget studying the works of Bach or Mozart.

I don't believe that any art is completely subjective. I think the fact that you can "improve" at it is evidence to that point. What is subjective though, is your preference in it. As I said earlier, I don't really like the genre of country music, but I can still listen to a country song and realize that it is well written, performed and produced. I don't think that I would be able to say that if there wasn't SOME objective standard that applies to all music.

I agree with this

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