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#206143 - 06/13/13 08:58 AM [Off-Topic] discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit?
Pat Marr Offline
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This thread is a spinoff from another one in which Aleck said:
Quote:
The issue of whether music is an intellectual or emotional or aesthetic experience could form a blockbuster discussion all by itself. But I wouldn't take part, for reasons that follow.

It is moot from my point of view, because everything personal - and I mean every single thing - your thoughts, dreams, regrets, hopes, guitar licks, tickles, itches, pains, plans, etc. - issues from the squishy gray lump sitting inside your skull. Music is brain output of a certain type. Poetry, philosophy, mathematics are brain output. Charles Darwin said that the brain "secretes [these things] like the liver secretes bile."

Both Albert Einstein and Wes Montgomery are called geniuses. Einstein lived in an obscure world of mental objects; Wes was no man of intellect, but he also lived in a world of mental objects - his melodic ideas, which, like a virus, went on to infect thousands of future musicians. I'm one of them.

Now, no one shouts out "yeah!" during a Physics lecture, but they do at a Jazz club. Are the people at the Jazz club agreeing with something when they shout, "yeah!"? Or is it just another word for "good!", in which case, what is it that was good at that particular moment?

I'm not much interested in the question whether music is an intellectual or emotional or aesthetic experience because, to me, all are brain output with complicated cross-talk between the three experiences. Songs make people cry. The equations of modern physics do not. Why? Beats me.


what's YOUR point of view?

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#206145 - 06/13/13 09:09 AM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
Pat Marr Offline
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I agree that EVERYTHING we do originates in the brain... but the it is also true that the brain addresses the same topic differently if it sees it as a logical question or an emotional one.

Studies show more left brain activity when solving analytical problems, and more right brain activity when involved in playful or emotional activities.

Creative decisions based primarily on a formula (such as musical scales) would probably stir the left brain... whereas creative decisons made "because it feels right whether it fits the formula or not" would probably be driven by the right hemisphere.

Whether this is a moot point or not becomes most important in the teacher-student relationship because research has also shown that people learn more easily from teachers whose teaching style matches the student's learning style

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#206147 - 06/13/13 09:41 AM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
floyd jane Offline
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It is a mix/balance of all three - proportions dependent on what you are listening to and why. It's music.
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#206149 - 06/13/13 10:32 AM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
Mac Offline
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Yes, by definition it becomes a mix of all.
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#206153 - 06/13/13 10:54 AM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
Pat Marr Offline
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OK, Obviously a complex process consists of a mixture of stimuli. But there is a hierarchy, and depending on which is being prioritized the results will be different.

For example, a college kid furnishing his dorm room might rationally prioritize cost above all else, and end up with books stacked in shipping crates he got for free.

Later in life when cash isn't his biggest constraint, he might furnish his home with a variety of completely different goals:
1) to please his wife
2) to impress his colleagues
3) to please his senses

the point I'm making is that the exact same task gets handled differently when we approach it as a primarily analytical process as opposed to a primarily emotive process

I'll go so far as to say that Hendrix was probably NOT writings songs with music theory as his primary consideration

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#206155 - 06/13/13 12:30 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
eddie1261 Offline
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50/50. You need the intellect to be able to cohesively and cogently present something that elicits emotion. If your music is not both intellectual and visceral, you have fallen short. People listening to your writings need to be given both something to think about and something to feel. When you touch both of those senses, your song is a success. Whether it is 6 minutes long or 3:34. wink
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#206158 - 06/13/13 12:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
Kemmrich Offline
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But if you can do it in 3 minutes instead of 6 minutes you are twice as successful! (ha, ha)

Intellectual or Emotional?? When it comes to art, then it is two sides of the same coin.
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#206163 - 06/13/13 01:39 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
ROG Offline
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Intellectual or emotional?

It think can probably be both, either together or in isolation, but for me it has to be emotional above all.

I won't listen to anything which is purely intellectual but devoid of soul, but on the other hand, I'm quite happy with something which moves me emotionally without necessarily being technically clever.

If I was a philosopher, I could think that anything which has the power to move me must, therefore, be clever in some sense, but this starts to make my head spin.

ROG.

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#206166 - 06/13/13 01:54 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
Pat Marr Offline
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Rog
So far your reply is closest to what I'm looking for

Obviously music enters both realms, but I'm curious to hear how that works Itself out for each of us

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#206169 - 06/13/13 02:14 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: ROG]
MarioD Offline
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Originally Posted By: ROG
Intellectual or emotional?

It think can probably be both, either together or in isolation, but for me it has to be emotional above all.

I won't listen to anything which is purely intellectual but devoid of soul, but on the other hand, I'm quite happy with something which moves me emotionally without necessarily being technically clever.

If I was a philosopher, I could think that anything which has the power to move me must, therefore, be clever in some sense, but this starts to make my head spin.

ROG.


I agree!

This reminded me of another thread that was about playing fast, running scales etc but with no melody; I can’t remember what thread it was. I personally don’t like music that is nothing but fast rifts and/or shredding instruments (guitar, sax, mandolin etc) with no melody, regardless of the genre. This does not move me however it may move someone else.

I prefer a good melody. A musician who can combine a good melody with some technically challenging parts can really move me. Musicians like Miles and Coltrane come to mind. But some may find this boring.

Thus the only correct answer to the question is the one you come up with.
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#206186 - 06/13/13 04:10 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
90 dB Offline
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I just try to keep them under 3 minutes. I leave the musical philosophy to the experts. grin
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#206187 - 06/13/13 04:14 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: ROG]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Originally Posted By: ROG
Intellectual or emotional?

It think can probably be both, either together or in isolation, but for me it has to be emotional above all.

I won't listen to anything which is purely intellectual but devoid of soul, but on the other hand, I'm quite happy with something which moves me emotionally without necessarily being technically clever.

If I was a philosopher, I could think that anything which has the power to move me must, therefore, be clever in some sense, but this starts to make my head spin.

ROG.


ROG saved me some typing since he hit the nail on the head.

It's got to have soul. I can't define that, ...but I know it when I hear it.
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#206205 - 06/13/13 06:24 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
MikeK Offline
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Music is all about emotions. In the creative process, emotions play the major part. Intellect comes in to make it all come together in a cohesive way to come up with a finished product.

My take, anyway.
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#206210 - 06/13/13 06:56 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
Jim Fogle Online   happy
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I think emotions rule the music world. Pride hearing your child's first recital, ear candy technical wizardry giving you pleasure, amazement at the clever turn of lyrics. It's all about emotions. Nothing can change your mood as fast as three minutes it takes to play a song.
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#206219 - 06/13/13 09:57 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
Sundance Offline
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My POV is this.

Intellect is learning how to make music so you can share your emotions with others who will relate to the feeling in your music. That's why it's known as the universal language.
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#206220 - 06/13/13 10:03 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Kemmrich]
eddie1261 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kemmrich
But if you can do it in 3 minutes instead of 6 minutes you are twice as successful!


Well, my success level at this point is ZERO.....

I may not be twice as successful, but it I cut them in half I would have twice as many songs!!
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I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.

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#206248 - 06/14/13 07:39 AM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
ROG Offline
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Just one example of something which is a simple chord sequence, minimal instrumentation and yet, to me at least, strangely moving. If you've seen it before, it's possibly worth another go - if not I hope you enjoy it.

If you're put off by Bruce Springsteen, try to watch until the other singers take over.

Bob CF - I hope there's a bit of soul in this one for you my friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1wg9jyvfN0

ROG.

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#206268 - 06/14/13 10:57 AM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: ROG]
Pat Marr Offline
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Originally Posted By: ROG
Just one example of something which is a simple chord sequence, minimal instrumentation and yet, to me at least, strangely moving. If you've seen it before, it's possibly worth another go - if not I hope you enjoy it.

If you're put off by Bruce Springsteen, try to watch until the other singers take over.

Bob CF - I hope there's a bit of soul in this one for you my friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1wg9jyvfN0

ROG.


good example Rog. I really liked that

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#206386 - 06/15/13 12:32 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: ROG]
Danny C. Offline
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Originally Posted By: ROG
Just one example of something which is a simple chord sequence, minimal instrumentation and yet, to me at least, strangely moving. If you've seen it before, it's possibly worth another go - if not I hope you enjoy it.

If you're put off by Bruce Springsteen, try to watch until the other singers take over.

Bob CF - I hope there's a bit of soul in this one for you my friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1wg9jyvfN0

ROG.


Sorry ROG . . . I could not get past Bruce. I'll try again later, maybe fast forward.

Later,
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#206397 - 06/15/13 01:25 PM [Off-Topic] Re: discussion: from YOUR point of view, is music an intellectual or emotional pursuit? [Re: Pat Marr]
aleck rand Offline
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Pat,

As usual, your ideas are fascinating.

Something I left out about the "gray lump of matter" is this: It has the power of understanding, not to say that other clever species are devoid of it, but our power is finite, just like theirs. There are things that I believe human minds will never understand. One of these is precisely how music can make people react emotionally. Songs - blasts of air - can make people cry.

The responses show that members recognize a mixture of intellect, emotion and aesthetics in music - with complex interactions between the three. What these interactions are and how they work, is what I'm saying is forever beyond human understanding. The mind lacks the horsepower to understand itself, to say nothing of the more fundamental question of how the soggy gray stuff conjures up the 3-D, technicolor "theatre of the real" that each of us lives in as conscious beings.

To conclude - and I ask readers who have not have this experience to take it on trust - I've heard musical passages (no lyrics) that made my knees buckle, made my heart ache, brought tears to my eyes. Or I might just shake my head, feeling a perfection that cannot be described in words.

Like poetry, music is supposed to express things that cannot be said with mere words. Do you think that one day how these processes work will be thoroughly understood at the neurophysiological level? Here's a simpler problem: Describe precisely - neurophysiologically - what happens just before a guitar lick in your head travels down two arms into the fingers onto the instrument and then out into the world.

Here's when I think any of these will receive answers: Not ever.

Aleck
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