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How imprinted are you?

Wade Cornell

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I hear you Alice. There is however potentially a difference between things you hear that can be noises and music that has a human intention of communicating. It's a lot like hearing another language. You may not understand what's being said, so it has no meaning for you. Of course (non vocal) music is a form of communication without words, so it's potentially a bit easier than learning the Balinese language. That's what's meant by "Challenging ears to hear in other ways". It's not noise, it's communication, which you are welcome to ignore and think of as nothing more than noise...but I would hope that (as a musician) you're not invoking an ethnocentric attitude. It contains many musical elements that have resonated with Western Musicians who have been influenced and adopted some of the sounds and feels of Balinese music.

We all discriminate to some degree. As you say living in a noisy environment forces you to shut out quite a lot. I would have thought that listening to this would not have been while in an environment where one intentionally is shutting out those noises. It is a challenge to hear beyond what one is used to...which can also relate to imprinting if you only have exposure to your own culture's music. You say you lasted for four seconds. With due respect I'd say that's hardly accepting a challenge. Heck, I'd a give Religious Door knocker more than 4 seconds although I've already heard that type communication and am not open to anyone telling me that whatever I believe is inferior to what they believe...My level of discrimination/intolerance.

It's OK...and it was expected that many will not resonate with something that's way outside of their musical experiences. There is another theory in psychology that goes something like this: if you experience something that is so bizarre and foreign to your experience you may not respond to it. It's our not having a basis by which to "see" or categorize the experience. Short example: I was once in an electric storm and outside when my girlfriend (at that time) drove up in my car. Before she got out the entire care was enveloped in a green light. I saw it, but didn't, and said nothing to her after she got out. Later that evening I recalled the green light, but wasn't sure if it was real and asked her if she saw it. She had exactly the same reaction. Yes she saw it but didn't think it was real, so said nothing when it happened.

I too like the sound of nature and am fortunate enough to live with them. I would hope that it gives the listener peace and a feeling of being a part of a natural world, but there is no intended communication with us in those sounds. It's just us responding and feeling however we do. For many in the past the sound of a wolf brought about fear...they were also listening through their cultures' prejudices.
 

spike

Old Indian
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Reminds me of idle chatter junior by Paul Lansky from his "Ride" album
 

altissimo

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Reminds me of idle chatter junior by Paul Lansky from his "Ride" album
I get what you're saying, but the Kecak is supposed to depict a battle from the hindu epic Ramayana, whereas Lansky's chatter pieces involve using software to reduce speech down to it's fundamental sounds and syllables and reassemble it into multilayered rhythmic structures, thus making the familiar sound of the human voice unfamiliar ...
this may be relevant -
"In order to listen to my music you have to do some work," Lansky told one interviewer. "In other words you have to make decisions about where to listen, and what to rest your ears on. There is not a clear lead tune, story line, or main voice. I hope that I've composed a texture which, as I like to say, gives your ears room to dance."

View: https://youtu.be/NKMmwq1Iy_8
 

altissimo

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Tribal chanting started as popular music that's simply intended to appeal to the lowest common denominator so that everyone in the village can join in at the Saturday night get together.
Because it is foreign does not automatically make it intrinsically esoteric.
Evolutionary scientists believe that a musical culture would have helped prehistoric human species to survive because the music coordinates emotions, helps important messages to be communicated, motivates people to identify with a group, and motivates individuals to support other group members.
African music is used in many aspects of life such as child’s naming ceremonies, initiation rights, agricultural activities, warfare, religious ceremonies and ceremonies for the dead
So it's not all "saturday night get togethers", assuming of course that all tribes use the same calendar system that we do and that 'saturday' in a hunter gatherer or agrarian community has the same day off work meaning that it does in our 9 to 5 five days a week culture - in some parts of the world, saturday is the religious day and not sunday.
Just because you're european doesn't mean you can demean other cultures. Even if you don't like them, you can at least acknowledge that other people have the right to do things that have more meaning to them than whatever lowest common denominator you'd like to label it with
 
D

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Not sure whether I should load up some other equally challenging types.

It depends on how you focus on the music in question. If i was looking for something in my comfort zone - then i would avoid said music like the plague.
However if i was looking at the music to examine the way they do their music then that could be of interest.

The other thing is, there might actually be some different stuff they do that might appeal to me. Just like they could come over here and be unfortunate to hear just one of our rubbish tunes, and write the whole lt off. lol

I’ve been abroad as a tourist, and got suckered in by tour guides to hear and see some of the local customs, and been trapped in the tourist tour group and being forced to comment politely so as not to offend anyone.

I spent a few weeks in Austria (fuschl) and our hotel owners said to go along to hear one of their brass bands playing their traditional music, that was great fun, but i didn’t come away with the desire to take up yodelling.

A lot of these traditional customs, you have to be there to feel the atmosphere and mood of the people to appreciate it better, which doesn’t come accross in a recording.
 

Alice

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OK, interesting that we've got extreme divergence of reaction. Not sure whether I should load up some other equally challenging types. I guess those of you who can't find anything to hang on to (too foreign?) can always just turn off before your head explodes. This post was about challenging our ears to hear in other ways. Admittedly what I've intended was to offer the most extreme examples, yet each has it's own integrity, which is something often lacking in popular music that's simply intended to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Sincere thanks to all who bothered to check it our...even if only for a few seconds.

I don't understand why you would think that you should not upload any more examples, Wade? You posted that one and received an honest response. There's no reason at all why you should not post other items that you consider to be worthy of interest?

However, i'm having difficulty with the assumption that if somebody does not like it, that they can be swept into a category of "lowest common denominators" which I interpret as dismissive and altogether untrue.
You originally posed the question "How imprinted are you?"
Numerous studies have shown that humans imprint on a style of music associated with a period between adolescence and 20 something. These are formative years in which we actively disassociate with music and taste of our parents and instead take up the prevalent music of our peers.
As people who actively engage in music making (and the music is seldom from our "imprint years"), I'm curious to hear where individuals have drawn lines as to what they will listen to and what get's shut out. Is there a strong desire to play music from those imprint years? Have some (all?) of you evolved past thinking whatever you listened to at age 18 was the best music of all time? What's the "furthest out" music that you enjoy and would like to share and see if others ears are open?

This is an invitation to share, so hopefully there will be some respect for each person's "out there" choices. The real question is can you keep your mind and ears open to hear what might be special about that person's choices?.


The responses so far have actually challenged this statement "Numerous studies have shown that humans imprint on a style of music associated with a period between adolescence and 20 something. These are formative years in which we actively disassociate with music and taste of our parents and instead take up the prevalent music of our peers."
You have read for yourself that numerous people on this forum have shown those studies to be full of holes. What you seem unable to accept however, is that an individual's taste in music and what they actively desire to listen to does not have to be of bottom feeder level just because they do not particularly like the same things that you do.

I have not yet written about my own experiences and am beginning to have second thoughts about doing so because I am very alarmed to read the following:
I hear you Alice. There is however potentially a difference between things you hear that can be noises and music that has a human intention of communicating. It's a lot like hearing another language. You may not understand what's being said, so it has no meaning for you. Of course (non vocal) music is a form of communication without words, so it's potentially a bit easier than learning the Balinese language. That's what's meant by "Challenging ears to hear in other ways". It's not noise, it's communication, which you are welcome to ignore and think of as nothing more than noise...but I would hope that (as a musician) you're not invoking an ethnocentric attitude. It contains many musical elements that have resonated with Western Musicians who have been influenced and adopted some of the sounds and feels of Balinese music.

We all discriminate to some degree. As you say living in a noisy environment forces you to shut out quite a lot. I would have thought that listening to this would not have been while in an environment where one intentionally is shutting out those noises. It is a challenge to hear beyond what one is used to...which can also relate to imprinting if you only have exposure to your own culture's music. You say you lasted for four seconds. With due respect I'd say that's hardly accepting a challenge. Heck, I'd a give Religious Door knocker more than 4 seconds although I've already heard that type communication and am not open to anyone telling me that whatever I believe is inferior to what they believe...My level of discrimination/intolerance.

It's OK...and it was expected that many will not resonate with something that's way outside of their musical experiences. There is another theory in psychology that goes something like this: if you experience something that is so bizarre and foreign to your experience you may not respond to it. It's our not having a basis by which to "see" or categorize the experience. Short example: I was once in an electric storm and outside when my girlfriend (at that time) drove up in my car. Before she got out the entire care was enveloped in a green light. I saw it, but didn't, and said nothing to her after she got out. Later that evening I recalled the green light, but wasn't sure if it was real and asked her if she saw it. She had exactly the same reaction. Yes she saw it but didn't think it was real, so said nothing when it happened.

I too like the sound of nature and am fortunate enough to live with them. I would hope that it gives the listener peace and a feeling of being a part of a natural world, but there is no intended communication with us in those sounds. It's just us responding and feeling however we do. For many in the past the sound of a wolf brought about fear...they were also listening through their cultures' prejudices.

I find this quite patronising, it is also false and I don't think that you understand at all, despite the remark "I hear you Alice". I think that you assume too much and dismiss a great deal. There is a paradox within your desire to communicate with open minds because when you yourself are challenged, you quickly elevate your position and start to disregard other people's views.
You called something music but perhaps my idea of music is different. I find beauty and song in the cries of a wild animal. There is more to say here but I simply don't have the time right now, unfortunately.

However, I will say that I resent the veiled accusation of racism towards me and you've crossed a line there. You have insulted me rather a lot and I will refrain from writing more now or attempting to have an intelligent discussion with you about my personal views at this point in time because I cannot give it my full attention or the answer that you deserve.
 
D

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I dont know if any studies have been done on how music played in your surroundings can have a far bigger impact on a baby’s outlook in later life, while it is in the womb surrounded by background music, compared to later on in life.

Our first baby was surrounded by classical music, next year she’s doing a PHD in physics, so who knows? She completed grade 5 in piano, and flute, and then stopped playing at uni.
 

altissimo

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I dont know if any studies have been done on how music played in your surroundings can have a far bigger impact on a baby’s outlook in later life, while it is in the womb surrounded by background music, compared to later on in life.

Our first baby was surrounded by classical music, next year she’s doing a PHD in physics, so who knows? She completed grade 5 in piano, and flute, and then stopped playing at uni.
well Albert Einstein enjoyed playing the piano and missed it when he was away from home. Richard Feynman was a keen bongo and latin percussion enthusiast who's best friend Jirayr Zorthian hosted wild parties attended by jazz musicians like Charlie Parker
... and of course Brian Cox played keyboards with D:Ream, so maybe stopping playing at uni isn't such a bad thing :)
 

Targa

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Evolutionary scientists believe that a musical culture would have helped prehistoric human species to survive because the music coordinates emotions, helps important messages to be communicated, motivates people to identify with a group, and motivates individuals to support other group members.
African music is used in many aspects of life such as child’s naming ceremonies, initiation rights, agricultural activities, warfare, religious ceremonies and ceremonies for the dead
So it's not all "saturday night get togethers", assuming of course that all tribes use the same calendar system that we do and that 'saturday' in a hunter gatherer or agrarian community has the same day off work meaning that it does in our 9 to 5 five days a week culture - in some parts of the world, saturday is the religious day and not sunday.
Just because you're european doesn't mean you can demean other cultures. Even if you don't like them, you can at least acknowledge that other people have the right to do things that have more meaning to them than whatever lowest common denominator you'd like to label it with
Evolutionary scientists also believe that applies to the vocalisations of pack animals.
Doesn't this apply across several cultures, why specify African?
Obviously you failed to see the humour in the phrase 'Saturday night get togethers'.

I did not demean any other cultures, it might not have occurred to you that the ancient Britons were a tribal people no doubt with similar tribal culture. (Apart from which other than tabby you have no idea what my 'culture' is).
Would you like to specify which of my words you inferred meant that I believed other people did not have the right to do things that have more meaning to them? And I used the term ' lowest common denominator' as it had been used before.
 
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altissimo

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"Some listeners report that nominally sad music genuinely makes them feel sad. It is suggested that, for these listeners, sad affect is evoked through a combination of empathetic responses to sad acoustic features, learned associations, and cognitive rumination. Among those listeners who report sad feelings, some report an accompanying positive affect, whereas others report the experience to be solely negative. Levels of the hormone prolactin increase when sad – producing a consoling psychological effect suggestive of a homeostatic function. It is proposed that variations in prolactin levels might account for the variability in individual hedonic responses. Specifically, it is conjectured that high prolactin concentrations are associated with pleasurable music-induced sadness, whereas low prolactin concentrations are associated with unpleasant music-induced sadness."- SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research
 

kevgermany

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I listened right through. It was challenging, but an interesting mix of rhythm and sounds/pitches. Not something I'd listen to, but neither would I waste time to see if someone was unfortunate enough to tread in @Targa's mess.

@Wade Cornell would be good if you do post more of the challenging stuff.
 

altissimo

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Evolutionary scientists also believe that applies to the vocalisations of pack animals.
Doesn't this apply across several cultures, why specify African?
Obviously you failed to see the humour in the phrase 'Saturday night get togethers'.

I did not demean any other cultures, it might not have occurred to you that the ancient Britons were a tribal people no doubt with similar tribal culture. (Apart from which other than tabby you have no idea what my 'culture' is).
Would you like to specify which of my words you inferred meant that I believed other people did not have the right to do things that have more meaning to them and I used the term ' lowest common denominator' as it had been used before.
I only used african music as an example, as far as I'm aware most other 'tribal cultures use music for similar purposes and before reading and writing became widespread, it's believed that songs of various kinds were a means of transmitting history and culture in british as well as many other folk traditions. It seems from what archeologists tell us that homo sapiens evolved in Africa and migrated north, so it's possible that music may also have it's origins there, although some posit that it came from animal communication. But of course you apparently know all this already... BTW Kecak doesn't seem to be a tribal chant.
if "Tribal chanting started as popular music that's simply intended to appeal to the lowest common denominator so that everyone in the village can join in at the Saturday night get together" isn't demeaning to tribal cultures of all kinds who use music for other purposes besides that which is "simply intended to appeal to the lowest common denominator" then maybe you should've explained in greater detail what you meant instead of using phrases like "Tribal chanting started as popular music" without presenting any evidence to back up this bald assertion, particularly since you appear to be familiar with what evolutionary scientists think about the origins of music. Chanting, whether "tribal" or not is often used to induce self hypnosis-like trance states in various religious and shamanic traditions and while it's tempting to draw parallels with certain forms of popular music, similarity is not identity and in those cultures that have these traditions it's rarely widespread or "popular" and reserved for those initiates into what might be termed the 'priesthood' of the local religion - eg tibetan buddhism, native american so called 'witch doctors' etc. Since the british pagan tradition is largely a modern invention, there's little I can say about what british tribes may have got up to.on sunnanæfen..
The 'you failed to see the humour' excuse (as if reading what you wrote is my fault all of a sudden) and hiding behind your faux feline identity just won't work - all the cats I know have a far more sophisticated sense of humour
 

spike

Old Indian
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this article may be of interest to the few of you still following this thread
I'm following and fascinated by the various views, standpoints, perspectives, likes and dislikes - not exactly impressed by hypotheses - (looked it up the spelling is correct ;-) ). You can believe anything.
Do carry on - tribes are forming - followers are taking sides.
Fascinating and enthralling reading.
 

Targa

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. It seems from what archeologists tell us that homo sapiens evolved in Africa and migrated north, so it's possible that music may also have it's origins there, although some posit that it came from animal communication. But of course you apparently know all this already... BTW Kecak doesn't seem to be a tribal chant.
Of course I know that already, Rift valley supposedly though opinions on that are changing, as does anyone with a reasonable level of education, we'll skip the 'tidal movement' of expansion and interbreeding with other 'homo' species.
I didn't mention Kecak.
if "Tribal chanting started as popular music that's simply intended to appeal to the lowest common denominator so that everyone in the village can join in at the Saturday night get together" isn't demeaning to tribal cultures of all kinds who use music for other purposes besides that which is "simply intended to appeal to the lowest common denominator" then maybe you should've explained in greater detail what you meant instead of using phrases like "Tribal chanting started as popular music" without presenting any evidence to back up this bald assertion, particularly since you appear to be familiar with what evolutionary scientists think about the origins of music.
The important word is 'started', no mention of its development or continued usage, you might as well infer I was being demeaning to monks.
While repeating demeaning you did not answer: 'Would you like to specify which of my words you inferred meant that I believed other people did not have the right to do things that have more meaning to them?'
To make it simple for you, if I said trouser flies used to have simple button type fastening that is not stating that people who use the modern buttons were stupid, demeaning, nor would I be saying they should not be allowed use buttons, not have a right to do things.
No doubt you will avoid the comparison by picking at it.
You're first line in post 124 implied you also 'appear to be familiar with what evolutionary scientists think about the origins of music'.
Since the british pagan tradition is largely a modern invention, there's little I can say about what british tribes may have got up to.on sunnanæfen..
The term ancient Britons goes back far earlier than paganism encountered by the Romans which is that which has been reinvented. As there was a stone age culture, without checking I think back to 5000BC, it would be reasonable to assume that developed in line with other cultures of the time, (should I emphasise 'of the time' to avoid further accusations of demeaning current cultures?) and would have had similar music.
The 'you failed to see the humour' excuse (as if reading what you wrote is my fault all of a sudden) and hiding behind your faux feline identity just won't work - all the cats I know have a far more sophisticated sense of humour
I've always assumed people can recognise the attempts to lighten the mood a little without the need for yellow smilie faces.
 
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Wade Cornell

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I think there was possibly a misconception from the outset about imprinting. It's not an absolute. It works like a generalization where individuals can (if exposed to other music) or themselves musicians, keep their minds open an NOT think that the only music worth listening to is what what was popular when they were teenagers. Since this is a forum populated by various degrees of musicians it seemed like a good place in which to throw out some musical challenges. It's my sincere hope that those involved in music are less imprinted and have open minds. Stretching those minds when hearing sounds and rhythms that are completely foreign to your musical precepts is exactly what this is about.

Unfortunately it seems to have polarized between those who hear something and "get it" and those who don't and for some reason feel that they have to react very negatively. There are however two things that really don't need debate and should be obvious:
1. You can look around you and check the majority of your friends and will find that imprinting (as a generalization) is real, although not universal. It's a tendency and it's more than capitalized on by radio stations (music of the 80s, 90s etc.) that use that demographic in order to sell their sponsor's goods.
2. The music presented means something to a large group of people who produce and enjoy this music. If you don't understand it, that does not diminish the fact that this is a valid form of music.

Some will respond and get some or all of what the music is about. Others are not receptive. If you are closed to new ideas and sounds that's fine. Call it taste if you wish, you are welcome to dislike whatever you want. If one decides to go back to learn (as an adult), but has difficulty in grasping what's being offered, does it mean that the information was not valid? It could be that the instructor was poor at communication (that could be me). Yet they may be doing the best they can to provide that information. The music presented (if listened to for more than 4 seconds) shows a very intricate weaving of rhythms in the voices. It's not random chanting. It's meticulously worked on to achieve that precision.

Have I taken the position of being a pedant? Possibly, yet anyone who bothers to share information takes that on to some degree. If people are closed to taking in new information there's nothing I can do about that. Should pointing out that 4 seconds of listening is not what I'd call accepting a challenge be considered an insult? If someone challenges me to run a marathon I'm not going to run a few hundred yards and give up. That would be a VERY DUMB thing to do. I know that I'm not fit enough to run a marathon so won't even pretend that I'm going to. Could I run a 50 meter sprint as a challenge? Yea, OK.

Once again possibly I have failed to communicate what I thought this was about. It's about opening a personal space in which each of us recognize our limits; physically, emotionally, and intellectually. The challenge in this case was for individuals to see if they have run into a limitation musically, due to imprinting, or just their limited exposure (pretty similar to imprinting). Or, because of their connection to playing music, are they more open to new sounds that are out of their sphere of recognition? Admitting that one didn't try for more than 4 seconds was not a response I'd expected. Was this an attempt at humor? Did I fail to recognize that attempted humor and insult the would be humorist? Was there anything in my response that alluded to Alice as being considered racist? Where did that come from? I'm happy to apologize for my lack of clarity which hopefully is now a bit less murky.

Listen to this or other challenges and get whatever you can from them. This is about YOU challenging yourself to hear beyond your everyday exposure. If you wish to share with us that you're incapable of hearing what's available in other forms of music that's up to you.
 
D

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i get what you are on about imprinting, closed minds, open minds etc...

What might be considered a load of mumbo jumbo to one group of people might be considered to be the holy grail to another group of people. Which group is right? Does it matter? Ok, it might be a new ingedient we haven’t tried, which could spice up our music, or it could just be a backward step which we tried in the past and pidgeon holed as something say martian clap trap (i can say that with out offending any martians, as i hope no martians are reading this - if so hopologeese to the grand martian klingDON of sound).

person no 1 - Imprinted with a closed mind listening to foreign music
person no 2 - imprinted with an open mind listening to foreign music
PERSON no 3 - imprinted with 1 brain cell (yep thats me, and proud of it)

a closed and an open mind is not the way to measure an individuals level of intelligence, without offending both groups.

4 seconds or less, to turn off some music, that could be a sign of super intelligence at detecting trashy music, longer than 4 seconds could be a sign of diminshed intelligence at detecting trashy music, listening all the way through could be the sign of no intelligence or someone in quick sand desperately trying to find something of meaning to cling to. (you see 1 brain cell)

Some people think its clever to go the whole hog and digest the whole lot, others who have been through the whole process before , just need a small (scientific) sample to come up with the same result, doesn’t mean to say they have a closed mind? In their open mind status, they’ve already decided what they’ve classes as tasteful or distasteful music.

If there was some crap on the floor, and you asked me to sample it, and if i refused, would you say i have a closed mind? or would you say i have an open mind?

You’re getting into the murky area of how the mind works in relation to tastes in various spheres, and yes from the 1st environment of our child hood can imprint on our minds what our bench mark for our various tastes could be. As the environment changes in later years we adapt our various tastes or not as the case maybe, and that may be due to a closed mind or an open mind?

Help let me out of here.....
 

Wade Cornell

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From what you write, I'd think you've got a very open mind saxbin. Wonderful and playful the way you walk around the object and poke at it from all angles. The only point possibly being missed is that music is not an object. It's communication, like language. If we don't speak a language and have no communication with a person who doesn't speak our language is that a matter of taste? It's simply failed communication. Music is supposedly a universal communication. If it's too foreign for us to relate to then maybe not. This is simply an exposure for individuals to see if they can relate outside of their frame of musical language/reference. Taste implies that one is imposing a weighted scale of preferences. How do you put a preference of taste on whether you prefer reading Farsi or Cantonese when you don't understand either of them? If it's all just too "foreign" then you know you have found a limit, which is fine. This exercise may not be for you. Taste is in hearing something you know and understand and applying your scale. I like the analogy of the "blind spot" for many things. You don't see what you can't see. Likewise you don't know what you don't know. Some find a lifelong pursuit in obliterating their "blind spot" (probably can't be done but can be a very satisfying pursuit). Some, unfortunately, seem to revel in having a blind spot. I guess most are somewhere in the middle. The only worrying bit is it seems that there is some sort of polarization happening. Could just be that the extremes are the ones commenting.

Thanks saxbin for you levity. Much appreciated.
 

Jeanette

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I have finally got around to listening to your video clip @Wade Cornell I must admit listening after reading the posts that followed it I did wonder what I might hear but was quite pleasantly surprised.

I did listen to the full clip and I found it really wasn't that difficult, in fact I did enjoy it and could hear the intricacy of rhythms. It wouldn't be my choice of background music for a dinner party but all music has a different place in my life.

It did get me thinking though about music as a form of communication, in the strictest sense communication is the imparting or sharing of information it can also impart emotions but I believe it can also be for nothing other than entertainment and enjoyment.

I thought this was a succinct explanation of what I mean Music and Communication - The English Magazine

It's an interesting thread and discussion and will be all the better if we can show respect and tolerance for
different views. :)

Jx
 
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