What is it that makes music special for you?

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  • sunjumper 5 Oct 2012 13:24:15 2,993 posts
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    Like some other crazy fools here on Eurogamer I am trying to write a novel in a month for this years NaNoWriMo and I want to make it a story about music.

    For that I'd like to understand the magic of music better, how it works for different people what makes it special.

    So if you feel so inclined to help me it would be great if you could answer the following questions (and feel free to add you own thoughts to it and even link to favourite songs to show why they work in that way for you)


    Think of music.

    What does it mean for you in your life?
    Which songs do have a special power over you? And why?

    What is your favourite type of music?
    Why does it work for you?

    Which song(s) have a special power over you?
    What makes these songs so magical?

    What music would you erase from the books of history?
    And what exactly does it do to you that you have no choice but hate it?

    When you think of musicians what are the archetypes which appear in front of your inner eye?
    Which of those do you love?
    Which do you hate?

    Which music/ musician do you love despite you having the sneaking suspicion that you really shouldn't?
  • Bremenacht 5 Oct 2012 15:08:09 15,756 posts
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    One thing I find hard to understand is how folk music, which I really couldn't stand, has become more listenable as I've got older. Stuff like this:




    ..would have been utterly unlistenable shit to me 15 years ago, yet now I appreciate it. I don't even know what folk music is anymore. Is Ed Sheeran really 'folk'?

    Edited by Bremenacht at 15:10:58 05-10-2012

    Once an eagle taught me courage. And I will never forget that day

  • THFourteen 5 Oct 2012 15:12:04 31,809 posts
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    Music is made special for me by expensive speakers and home audio system

    edit: or should add, would be made special, if i had any of the above :)

    Edited by THFourteen at 15:12:19 05-10-2012
  • sunjumper 5 Oct 2012 17:46:00 2,993 posts
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    @Bremenacht
    Now that is an interesting development. What does it do now that makes it listenable? Does it remind you of something or does it just now 'work' for you?

    It seems that most music is an acquired taste, it takes a while until you 'get' it and suddenly it works. I was never a big fan of opera for example but my parents kept listening to it every once in a while and now I somehow understand it. Still not my favorite type of music but I do have developed a soft spot for a powerful aria.


    @THFourteen
    You will find out that the home audio system is a bit of hunt for capturing the feeling of musicians going wild on a live stage.

    OK. Tell me then about your dream set-up. What would you get and why?
    And the really hard question: what would be the first things you'd listen to?

    And really good music should still work on tiny speakers connected to a shity amp. Which in a way must be true as people these days tend to listen to incredibly badly compressed and shoddily mixed music. I unearthed the vinyl collection of my mother a couple of months ago and I am deeply surprised of how 'different' these records sound to modern media. Especially MP3s but they also have a different sound, not better mind you, to CDs.
  • elstoof 5 Oct 2012 20:13:41 6,140 posts
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    I just need something to stop the voices. Anything to drown out the constant chatter, urging me to do things.
  • cheeky_prawnking 5 Oct 2012 20:18:50 3,798 posts
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    The emotion of a song, at present, given my fragile state of mind, rightly or wrongly, a lot of the songs I am listening too are about death and suicide. They say things better than I ever could.
  • Zomoniac 5 Oct 2012 20:34:40 7,402 posts
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    That bit where he says "Oppan Gangnam Style" and dances like a horse.
  • Fab4 5 Oct 2012 20:37:24 5,692 posts
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    If you haven't you should read 31 Songs by Nick Hornby.
  • Physically_Insane 5 Oct 2012 20:38:40 7,863 posts
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    The wubs.
  • Kanjin 5 Oct 2012 20:47:23 961 posts
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    The feeeeeeeels.
  • elstoof 5 Oct 2012 20:49:28 6,140 posts
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    Zomoniac wrote:
    That bit where he says "Oppan Gangnam Style" and dances like a horse.
    :D
  • SYS64738 5 Oct 2012 20:50:16 1,512 posts
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    Bremenacht wrote:
    One thing I find hard to understand is how folk music, which I really couldn't stand, has become more listenable as I've got older.

    ..would have been utterly unlistenable shit to me 15 years ago, yet now I appreciate it. I don't even know what folk music is anymore. Is Ed Sheeran really 'folk'?
    Going through something similar but with music pre 1980's which I for the life of me couldn't listen to 10-20 years ago.
  • thenastypasty 5 Oct 2012 20:58:21 5,178 posts
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    Despite being to more than 20-25 festivals over the last 10 or more years and loved everyone of them, I'm really not one who will sit there listening to albums or bands. For me, music is special because it takes me back to memories and good times.
  • Carlo 5 Oct 2012 21:01:42 17,913 posts
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    Lyrics







    Edited by Carlo at 21:10:38 05-10-2012

    PSN ID: Djini

  • mal 5 Oct 2012 21:02:18 21,962 posts
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    Most of the songs I used to love when I was younger have turned out to be turgid pap, and now only serve as a reminder of good times.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • thenastypasty 5 Oct 2012 21:06:24 5,178 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Most of the songs I used to love when I was younger have turned out to be turgid pap, and now only serve as a reminder of good times.
    I bet most of the songs you used to love are still better than the shit that is being produced now!
  • Syrette 5 Oct 2012 21:11:26 41,864 posts
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    To be fair if mal was a child of the 80s, that's very debatable.

  • Dougs 5 Oct 2012 21:20:43 64,910 posts
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    thenastypasty wrote:
    Despite being to more than 20-25 festivals over the last 10 or more years and loved everyone of them, I'm really not one who will sit there listening to albums or bands. For me, music is special because it takes me back to memories and good times.
    Older Music is definitely about the memories it evokes. Current music is about the emotions it evokes according to your mood and experiences at the time.
  • thenastypasty 5 Oct 2012 21:37:11 5,178 posts
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    Dougs wrote:
    thenastypasty wrote:
    Despite being to more than 20-25 festivals over the last 10 or more years and loved everyone of them, I'm really not one who will sit there listening to albums or bands. For me, music is special because it takes me back to memories and good times.
    Older Music is definitely about the memories it evokes. Current music is about the emotions it evokes according to your mood and experiences at the time.
    I couldn't agree with you more. For instance, I was walking round The V festival a few years ago before any of the stages had opened and I wondering into a tent to find Dave Grohl doing an unplugged version of Monkey wrench in front of about 100 people. Walking back to the tent area I was absolutely buzzing and still feel a little smug having that experience when my friend didn't.
  • elstoof 5 Oct 2012 22:04:03 6,140 posts
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    As a rule I don't like anything that hasn't been out for at least 7 years. I figure if its any good it'll still be played 7 years from now at which point I'll pick it up, and I let you suckers be the filter that soaks up all the shit that's wrong with the world in the meantime and save me the hassle.

    You know I'm right, look at all the fools who jumped on the Razorlight ship. Who's laughing now eh.

    Edited by elstoof at 22:04:41 05-10-2012
  • Bremenacht 6 Oct 2012 00:37:57 15,756 posts
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    sunjumper wrote:
    @Bremenacht
    Now that is an interesting development. What does it do now that makes it listenable? Does it remind you of something or does it just now 'work' for you?

    It seems that most music is an acquired taste, it takes a while until you 'get' it and suddenly it works. I was never a big fan of opera for example but my parents kept listening to it every once in a while and now I somehow understand it. Still not my favorite type of music but I do have developed a soft spot for a powerful aria.
    Picking up on what was written about festivals, I used to go the the annual Fairport one quite a bit. I thought Fairport and all the folky stuff was shit, but I loved being there with friends, and the atmosphere was good; friendly.

    I think it was seeing Seth Lakeman at a festival that made the music work. He's distinctly folk, but original, fairly modern -rather than trad- and comparatively exciting. Stuff like Fairport became easier to get into.

    Still cannot get into The Beatles though. There - I said it.

    Once an eagle taught me courage. And I will never forget that day

  • boo 6 Oct 2012 00:39:34 11,604 posts
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    Think of music.

    What does it mean for you in your life?

    Since I was about 12, I don't think there's a day gone by that I haven't listened to music. Can't imagine my life without it. It makes me happy, it makes me sad, it chills me out and it makes me want to leap up and down shouting.
    Nothing else in my life comes close, with the possible exception of my wife.


    Which songs do have a special power over you? And why?

    I wouldn't say anything has a power over me. Sure, I have favourite songs, or tracks that can instantly take me back to a particular place or time, but power? No.


    What is your favourite type of music?

    Up until about 20 years ago, I had a big, but narrow record collection, which could basically be defined as 'rock and pop of the last 40 years'.
    Then I had a revelaton.
    Mojo magazine published an article 'What if you lost your record collection?'. Basically the idea was that everything had been lost/stolen/destroyed, and the insurance company had only paid out £1,000 to replace it. They came up with a complete 'starter kit' for just about every genre. Stuff I'd never thought about. Jazz. Blues. Reggae. Rap...

    That became my bible, and I bought tons of new stuff. These days, I listen to all sorts, and I'm much more open to trying new stuff.

    Favourite though. Classic rock, probably.


    Why does it work for you?

    There's nothing quite like a solid backbeat, driving bassline and a great riff.


    What music would you erase from the books of history?

    As far as I'm concerned, if somebody gets some enjoyment out of a song, then it's good music, even if I don't like it.

    But I hate Coldplay.

    And what exactly does it do to you that you have no choice but hate it?

    It's tedious, formulaic pap.

    When you think of musicians what are the archetypes which appear in front of your inner eye?
    Which of those do you love?


    The cliches, I guess. The drummer behind the monster kit. The girl with the low slung bass. (Is there anyhing cooler than a girl playing bass? A girl on a fast motorcycle comes close, but female bass players are the cat's pyjamas.) The hunched guitarist exploring the rareified atmosphere up beyond the 20th fret. And the lead singer, belting out a line like his life depends on it.


    Which do you hate?

    I'm tempted to say boybands and girlbands, who don't write the songs, don't play the instruments, and spend more time on hair and dance routines than musicianship. But then you could probably level that at most Motown artists, and I think they were pretty cool, so I'll pass on that one.

    Which music/ musician do you love despite you having the sneaking suspicion that you really shouldn't?

    Nobody. If I like something, I like it no matter what anyone else thinks. For a while, about 10 years back, Abba and the Carpenters were cool. I liked them and so did everyone else. But I'd liked them before that, and still do.

    Basically, I'm right all the time, and occasionally, popular culture falls in line with me.

    :o)

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • RobTheBuilder 6 Oct 2012 01:38:31 6,521 posts
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    sunjumper wrote:
    Think of music.

    What does it mean for you in your life?

    More than anyone who isn't into music could ever understand.
    Pretty much every event and person in my life is linked in my head through music.

    Which songs do have a special power over you? And why?
    Lots, for the above reason.
    A few examples: Goodbye - Asobi Seksu, Daughter - Pearl Jam, anything from The Holy Bible - Manic Street Preachers


    What is your favourite type of music?

    I like good music, regardless of genre. But genres I listen to most: Metal, rock, indie, bass (dubstep, dnb, grime, etc), electronic

    Why does it work for you?
    Metal - Loud, cathartic, powerful
    Bass - Energy to dance to

    What music would you erase from the books of history?

    Anything that exists deliberately to be bland (E.g.: Westlife, and Boyzone, but not later Take That). I don't mind bland music as long as it is trying to say or do or be something. Oh and Chris Brown, the talentless woman beating pussy.

    And what exactly does it do to you that you have no choice but hate it?

    Music is so powerful, and to say or feel nothing genuine whatsoever through it is so wrong.

    When you think of musicians what are the archetypes which appear in front of your inner eye?

    The metalhead
    The indie muso
    The genius (very few of these)
    The warbler

    Which of those do you love?
    Which do you hate? The warbler...

    Which music/ musician do you love despite you having the sneaking suspicion that you really shouldn't?

    Lady Gaga.

  • Deleted user 6 October 2012 05:25:52
    THFourteen wrote:
    Music is made special for me by expensive speakers and home audio system

    edit: or should add, would be made special, if i had any of the above :)
    This, apart from the second sentence. :)

    Anyway, music seems to have a direct connection to my brain, be it subtle, powerful, beautiful, happy or sad or slow. Extra appreciation if it includes Lee Scratch Perry.

  • sunjumper 7 Oct 2012 19:31:39 2,993 posts
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    Again many thanks to all of you who took the time to give an answer.

    It made me realize that I had totally forgotten to ask about festivals.

    So bonus question:
    What was your most memorable expireince during a festival.
    Or any other live gig for that matter.

    @Bremenacht
    There seems to be something about music being connected to positive events and nice people that can give it its positive effect.

    What don't you like about the Beatles. Their work encompasses a wide variety of styles, do you dislike then through all the years?

    @boo
    Really helpful stuff. I especially liked the observation about the Motown musicians.

    What makes the bass-girl work so well for you?

    And a trick question, can't rock music also be at times formulaic?
    You can simply take a solid backbeat, driving bassline and a great riff, add some water and tadaa instant rock! Plus you can always put a drummer behind a giant mountain of kit, have a sinfully hot bass-girl tickling the base out of her instrument, the guitarist doing some 20th fret spelunking and a screaming singer with a god-voice.
    Why is the magic lost?

    @RobtheBuilder
    For this sentence: "Music is so powerful, and to say or feel nothing genuine whatsoever through it is so wrong." You are my favourite person of the week now.
    It perfectly describes why sometimes music just seems empty.

    Also I do share a confused fondness for Lady Gaga.

    Oh and what makes metal cathartic? Why not go through catharsis through other music? (Punk? Hip Hop? 'Angry' Rock?)


    @CrispyXUK
    Tell me about your set-up.
    How long did it take until you knew what you wanted and then getting it set-up just right.
    Which old tune you knew blew you away because you realized that only now you really actually heard it?
    Also was you monster set-up a big jump or did you slowly build it up with time?
  • Deleted user 7 October 2012 19:46:53
    CrispyXUK wrote:
    THFourteen wrote:
    Music is made special for me by expensive speakers and home audio system

    edit: or should add, would be made special, if i had any of the above :)
    Oh now this is a good tune :D Everything is better with added Lee Scratch Perry :)

    Edited by Dogme at 19:47:20 07-10-2012
  • MatMan562 7 Oct 2012 23:15:27 1,913 posts
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    What does it mean for you in your life?
    My music is everything to me, I genuinely believe that I might not be alive were it not for music. It seemed to find me at a time when I needed it most, I was 12/13ish and I was constantly having suicidal thoughts and just generally being depressed. I felt so alone but music taught me that I wasn't. I wasn't the only one who felt those things and that, I guess, gave me support to carry on. Music still helps me with that kind of stuff from time to time as well.

    Which songs do have a special power over you? And why?
    For the reasons above, pretty much every song from Metallica's St. Anger albums, it's one of their worst but the lyrics really spoke to me at that time and now, whenever I hear them, it almost takes me back to that time. For similar reasons, Fade to Black - Metallica, A tout le monde - Megadeth, Vermillion part 2 - Slipknot, I expect there's more.

    What is your favourite type of music?
    Metal. I do like bits of everything but it's Metal that I love.

    Why does it work for you?
    Metal music can make me cry and headbang without words... sometimes in the same song.

    Which song(s) have a special power over you? And what makes these songs so magical?
    Too many to mention them all but, F***ing Hostile - Pantera (makes me want to headbang regardless of anything else), Orion - Metallica (an instrumental but every note just fills me up and gets me "high on life"), any Slayer song just gets my blood pumping and often helps relieve any stress/ worries I have.

    What music would you erase from the books of history?
    I'm tolerant to pretty much all music whether I like it or not but I can't stand Scouting For Girls.

    And what exactly does it do to you that you have no choice but hate it?
    Repitition. Or, to put it in their style, they repeat themselves, they repeat themselves, they repeat themselves, they repeat themseeeelvees, they repeat themselves, they repeat themselves, they repeat themselves, they repeat themseeeelvees (x100)

    When you think of musicians what are the archetypes which appear in front of your inner eye?
    Power, emotion, love for music, often greed and over confidence.

    Which of those do you love?
    The first three.
    Which do you hate?
    The last two.

    Which music/ musician do you love despite you having the sneaking suspicion that you really shouldn't?
    Naturally, I don't care what anybody else thinks I should like, but others wouldn't really expect me to like things like Take That, James Blunt, Coldplay, Dubstep, that sort of stuff.

    Most memorable live music experience?
    Before Metallica come on stage they always have The Ecstasy of Gold played through the speakers along with a video. That! I've seen them 4 times and it doesn't lose it's effect, even when listening to it at home I often get excited and it sends shivers up me.



    Watching that, in amongst 60/70/80 or even 100 thousand people who are all there with you, waiting for Metllica to come on stage, singing along with it, it's unparalleled.

    XBL/ PSN/ Steam/ NNID - MatMan562

  • warlockuk 8 Oct 2012 10:09:59 19,101 posts
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    sunjumper wrote:
    Like some other crazy fools here on Eurogamer I am trying to write a novel in a month for this years NaNoWriMo and I want to make it a story about music.

    For that I'd like to understand the magic of music better, how it works for different people what makes it special.

    So if you feel so inclined to help me it would be great if you could answer the following questions (and feel free to add you own thoughts to it and even link to favourite songs to show why they work in that way for you)
    What does it mean for you in your life?
    So many things, really. Everything from something to drown out my co-workers while I'm at work and make the commute bearable to something I'm actively involved in from writing and playing to promoting.

    Which songs do have a special power over you? And why?
    Hard to answer, to be honest - there are a lot of songs I really like and a few that have some kinda meaning to me. Others for reasons that I can't explain that easily. For example, Coma by Guns 'n' Roses or Catch the Rainbow by Rainbow.

    I think music in general has a power - it can be everything from an ultimate piece of self-expression to a throwaway piece of entertainment. It can be everything to some and nothing to others.

    What is your favourite type of music?
    Generally I'd say metal is my favourite "type", though the genre is quite a wide one anyway. Within the genre, doom is probably my favourite subgenre.

    Why does it work for you?
    Diversity, really. There's rock and metal for all moods and purposes. Whatever mood I'm in there's something for me.

    Which song(s) have a special power over you?
    Think it was already mentioned. I'd also add a few Type O Negative tracks in there, too.

    What makes these songs so magical?
    Dio is awesome. Meh, at work and nobody wants to read a wall o'text. Oop, too late.

    What music would you erase from the books of history?
    And what exactly does it do to you that you have no choice but hate it?
    I think no music should be erased, tbh. No matter how terrible and how much I hate it. Otherwise we have nothing to learn from. The terrible allows you to appreciate the excellent more.

    When you think of musicians what are the archetypes which appear in front of your inner eye?
    Mostly I'll think of people who are friends of mine or members of bands I've seen or worked with - because they're the musicians I've had direct dealings with.

    Which of those do you love?
    I'd say the ones I've known personally for years, they're all family to me. On a musical level I'd go with Chuck Schuldiner of Death and Nick Drake.

    Which do you hate?
    People whose music is either ripped off from someone else or just utterly terrible. Like Crazy Town. /spit. Also wanky shite that just has no balls, like Nickleback. Fuck that shit.

    Which music/ musician do you love despite you having the sneaking suspicion that you really shouldn't?
    Lily Allen.

    What was your most memorable experience during a festival.
    (That bonus question)

    Tricky one, so many festival experiences over the years. One that stuck in my mind which has happened once or twice was a few years back at Wacken Open Air.
    The German band Subway To Sally had just ended their set with a song of their's called "Julia und die Räuber" (Julia and the robber)... the album version is sung by a little girl, but in this case the band themselves sing it. The words themselves are pretty much like a nursery in German and translate loosely to:
    Blood, Blood, Robbers drink blood
    Robbery, murder and assault are good
    High from the Gallows it sounds
    High from the Gallows it sounds
    Robbery, murder and assault are good

    ...or something.

    Anyway, this was quite a creepy experience because when the song was finished the crowd was still singing it.
    And they were singing it as the band left the stage.
    And the PA started getting broken down
    And they headed back through the festival area back towards the campsite.
    Still singing.
    For a long, long time after, all you could hear was thousands of Germans singing.

    Blut, Blut Räuber saufen Blut
    Raub und Mord und Überfall sind gut
    Hoch vom Galgen klingt es
    Hoch vom Galgen klingt es
    Raub und Mord und Überfall sind gut

    Edited by warlockuk at 10:18:33 08-10-2012

    I'm a grumpy bastard.

  • dogbot 8 Oct 2012 10:28:09 2,272 posts
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    Think of music...

    What does it mean for you in your life?

    Pretty much everything. Entertainment, heart, soul, breath. It lifts me up, calms me down and everything in between.

    Which songs do have a special power over you? And why?

    There's far too many to list. But this one, for example, tears me up...



    Why? Well, it's about missing someone. Or someones. It gets me in the soul.

    What is your favourite type of music?

    Punk

    Why does it work for you?

    Because at heart, I'm still a snotty, aggressive little shitbag. :D

    Which song(s) have a special power over you?
    What makes these songs so magical?


    Isn't this the same question we just did up there minus the extraneous "do"?

    What music would you erase from the books of history?

    I wouldn't. I'm not the arbiter of the right of art to exist. Just ignore it. There's nothing in culture that can't be ignored, but there's no mileage for showing people how much you've suffered that way, so most people prefer to take personal offense and bang on about the horror of whatever they're "offended" by.

    And what exactly does it do to you that you have no choice but hate it?

    Not really relevant, given the above, but there's so much wonderful music out there, that I don't really have time for stuff that does nothing for me. If I hate something, I simply don't spend my valuable time with or around it.

    When you think of musicians what are the archetypes which appear in front of your inner eye?

    If you're really writing a book, I'd leave pretentious crap like this on the cutting room floor, tbh.

    Which music/ musician do you love despite you having the sneaking suspicion that you really shouldn't?

    I don't buy into the whole guilty pleasures thing. Fuck that. If you like something, why be guilty about it? Fuck what anyone else thinks.
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