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Post_Human_Shadows
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 3:36 pm
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 12:57 pm 
 

People have compared music and the written word, and I often find that, between the two, music comes out on top for many of these people. They often think along the lines of that quote, “Music expresses that which words cannot”. So yeah, “Dunkelheit” by Burzum has some gottamn deep lyrics to go along with the music; but then, even without acknowledging the lyrics, I think most would agree the song stands well on its own and gets a point across alone most admirably. Burzum could have pulled a Gorgoroth and not published the lyrics, and the approval for that song and album would remain as is, don’t you think? Good music seems to be preferred over good writing in this manner. (This does clash however with the idea I agree with; and that would be considering every element of the art to judge and “take in” the experience…)

Another comparison is between books and movies. People say often, “The book was better (than the movie version)”. Perhaps the movie sucked ass, or maybe it didn’t suck ass; it just faced inevitable limitations like time, budget, and actor selection. The book might have simply been a better medium of choice for a story the movie tried to squeeze into its block of time. With its detail and presentation, the book thus tends to offer more for your imagination. (At least, that’s what I believe people are getting at when they say the book is better than the movie…)

So does the definiteness of visual mediums put them at a disadvantage? You still work to figure out the contexts (objective, emotional, etc.) and expressions of, say, a painting, but there’s not nearly as much work to it as figuring out non-visual forms like music. The mind’s eye or your imagination or whatever has to put more effort into constructing images and such on its own with music and writing, and this tends to increase the fun and interest--- is that what ultimately leads to more rewarding, stimulating experiences more often (not always) with music and writing as opposed to other art forms?

But back to the comparison between music and writing: Does the advantage talked about previously in the Burzum example that good music has over good writing also have to do with the differences between the two in their respective creation and release processes? I ask that because, hypothetically, it seems that writers could be afraid to take risks with their writing due to dependence on strict editor approval to get their stuff published. I don’t think musicians/songwriters (the ones who make good music, not the ones who are puppets to corporate, mainstream interests) really have to worry about this as much? A good writer is more likely to be rejected by many editors and not get his/her shit out there, whereas a good musician/songwriter doesn’t necessarily have to go through “someone else” to get his/her shit out there? My point here is that doesn’t all that make the limitations of writing more apparent compared to music, which is not nearly as shackled by its own creation and release process? [There may be a flaw in my thinking here… and I may be simplifying things… if so, point it out for me, and be specific, if you could]

I started this because there’s something “more” to the best music that I can’t quite get in the best [literature or films or etc.], especially with listening to some of the best music for that magical first(!) time--- granted it fulfilled your expectations from the get-go and you were receptive to it, or simply "in the mood" to take it all in. (That's really what makes listening to the best music singular when all those things come together).

Anybody that thinks otherwise? Maybe it’s just silly to make all these comparisons between the forms of art and entertainment? Maybe you take an opposing position and think that visual forms have an upper hand in presentation over non-visual forms? [Like somebody in the comments section here who believes pictures contain more “info” than words ever can: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39UJuPogwiY --- Look, I try to avoid the inevitable train wreck comment sections on youtube, but this particular one managed to heavily inspire this post…]
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Empyreal
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 1:27 pm 
 

I don't know about that. What you're saying - that music offers more than literature and film in some respects - is really all down to a matter of opinion in the end and there is no concrete answer.

Quote:
So does the definiteness of visual mediums put them at a disadvantage? You still work to figure out the contexts (objective, emotional, etc.) and expressions of, say, a painting, but there’s not nearly as much work to it as figuring out non-visual forms like music.


See, while I personally don't spend a lot of time looking at paintings, there are some people who would vehemently and loudly disagree on this point. It's also a bit insulting to painters, to imply that their work takes less time to "figure out." It's not really about figuring anything out anyway. It's just about interpretation, which changes as people change. It's about context and about what the artist initially intended. Art can have just as much subtle beauty as music, and to me it seems like you're speaking as someone who hasn't studied much art.

Quote:
I ask that because, hypothetically, it seems that writers could be afraid to take risks with their writing due to dependence on strict editor approval to get their stuff published. I don’t think musicians/songwriters (the ones who make good music, not the ones who are puppets to corporate, mainstream interests) really have to worry about this as much? A good writer is more likely to be rejected by many editors and not get his/her shit out there, whereas a good musician/songwriter doesn’t necessarily have to go through “someone else” to get his/her shit out there? My point here is that doesn’t all that make the limitations of writing more apparent compared to music, which is not nearly as shackled by its own creation and release process?


I am a writer, and yes it is difficult to get stuff published. But musicians also don't have too easy of a time making it big, unless you count self-released demos and stuff on friends' labels, which is the equivalent to self-publishing a book and selling it on Amazon. Your idea that music is easier to "get out there" seems to stem from the internet, where we have bandcamp and Youtube and etc, ways for people to promote their music more easily. But on the flip side, writers can do the same thing by publishing their work on blogs. So again there is no clear advantage to music in this situation.

I'd also like to address your claim that writers are "afraid to take risks"...where did you even get this idea? Sure some probably are, but how is that any different from music? Musicians who play really out-there, avant garde shit aren't going to get picked up that easily either. The assertion that writers are afraid to take risks is just baffling to me, because there's no concrete evidence of that at all.

Quote:
I started this because there’s something “more” to the best music that I can’t quite get in the best [literature or films or etc.], especially with listening to some of the best music for that magical first(!) time--- granted it fulfilled your expectations from the get-go and you were receptive to it, or simply "in the mood" to take it all in. (That's really what makes listening to the best music singular when all those things come together).


Sounds like you just have a greater appreciation for music than literature or films. It's personal preference and saying that there's something better about music than other forms of entertainment/art is just not right at all. All forms of art offer their own enlightenment and elucidation, and their own insight on the human condition, etc. People are drawn to different forms of art and there really isn't any way to prove one is somehow better. It just sounds like you're trying to justify your own love for music by trying to draw comparisons that don't make sense. You have a great love and connection to music, but that's completely 100% a personal thing only.
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Post_Human_Shadows
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 3:36 pm
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 8:37 pm 
 

Absolutely, the opinions and subjective insights that could be made on this topic are what I was looking forward to.

Empyreal wrote:
See, while I personally don't spend a lot of time looking at paintings, there are some people who would vehemently and loudly disagree on this point. It's also a bit insulting to painters, to imply that their work takes less time to "figure out." It's not really about figuring anything out anyway. It's just about interpretation, which changes as people change. It's about context and about what the artist initially intended. Art can have just as much subtle beauty as music, and to me it seems like you're speaking as someone who hasn't studied much art.


Actually I meant for “figuring out” to be synonymous to interpretation, but I guess my thinking and word choice didn’t align well there. This being an issue that makes me think a bit much, that sort of thing is bound to happen. And that example about painting might have been simply too general.

Quote:
I am a writer, and yes it is difficult to get stuff published. But musicians also don't have too easy of a time making it big, unless you count self-released demos and stuff on friends' labels, which is the equivalent to self-publishing a book and selling it on Amazon. Your idea that music is easier to "get out there" seems to stem from the internet, where we have bandcamp and Youtube and etc, ways for people to promote their music more easily. But on the flip side, writers can do the same thing by publishing their work on blogs. So again there is no clear advantage to music in this situation.

I'd also like to address your claim that writers are "afraid to take risks"...where did you even get this idea? Sure some probably are, but how is that any different from music? Musicians who play really out-there, avant garde shit aren't going to get picked up that easily either. The assertion that writers are afraid to take risks is just baffling to me, because there's no concrete evidence of that at all.


Yes, I looked at the internet’s influence and the myriad opportunities for exposure it provides for musicians. I know there’s self-publishing, but doesn’t tend to command little to no respect, especially compared to regular publishing? Is what is meant by calling it vanity publishing? And I would think a music track or video gets more hits on youtube these days than someone's personal blog for writing...

Regarding writers and taking risks: Well, I look at the common things I’ve come across in the “writing culture”, so to say. There’s a lot of discouragement in partaking in it. It seems evident in the jokes and serious talk about writing having to be a chore most of the time as opposed to fun. This comes up wherever (in creative writing courses or books on craft) or whoever (the writers themselves). And I don’t know how many times I’ve seen/heard/read the linkage between mental illness and writing ability. The real downer of all, to me at least, is the part where the editor more than likely has to come in and flat-out reject the work. Or worse, not even read it. (I know, sometimes it can be because he/she can tell off the bat the writing isn’t what their publication or company is looking for, or he/she doesn’t believe it can sell, or maybe he/she is a complete fucking snob, etc., etc). Sometimes, he/she can even acknowledge the writing and subject and use of language are GOOD and interesting in the first place, but they still reject it for some ridiculous reason- the first paragraph didn’t start in medias res, or the protagonist was cool, interesting but couldn’t “be related to” (are you fucking serious?? does it have to be that way every single time?), whatever else. You know this stuff already, but I was trying to expand on my earlier point.
OK, so musicians deal with similar shit too, obviously.

But as with my earlier point, I don’t think I have come across a legitimately good musician and good songwriter having to go through a “middleman” like most writers do, and having to change their material around just to get it out there? I mean, with musicians, doesn’t all the critiques and nitpicking come after the fact in the form of reviews and such? So that gets me thinking that a lot of writers end up going safer with the material to have it see the light of day. Is it still far-fetched to think like that? In this thread, I’m open to ideas that show this could be the case, and also to those that show it isn’t necessarily the case--- so far, I’ve not very well done showing it can be the former, but this isn’t so much an easy topic to research…

(I hope any of that isn’t mistaken as mere complaining and giving up - no way!- but just acknowledging it as the way it is in writing. It’s just baffling to me that a lot of good writing- even plot-based kinds, if we're talking fiction- that is acknowledged as such gets put to the wayside anyway, often for absurd reasons; hence, another thing that leads me to think many writers taking the safe route.)

Quote:
Sounds like you just have a greater appreciation for music than literature or films. It's personal preference and saying that there's something better about music than other forms of entertainment/art is just not right at all. All forms of art offer their own enlightenment and elucidation, and their own insight on the human condition, etc. People are drawn to different forms of art and there really isn't any way to prove one is somehow better. It just sounds like you're trying to justify your own love for music by trying to draw comparisons that don't make sense. You have a great love and connection to music, but that's completely 100% a personal thing only.



Yes I know, the issue here is that I could have done better making that paragraph as one that acknowledges that kind of belief as well, a belief. Still, I was looking for those who either could say “Yeah, I get what you are saying… I get that feeling too, and here’s my thoughts on it…” or those who simply disagree with it altogether and offer their thoughts…
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