Curmudgeon mode: on.

Lunch. Listening to the first movement of Mahler’s Symphony #1. (BTW, it’s available for a liten at the Beeb. Just poke around a while in the “radio” files. Most of ’em are real Audio–which I despise–but play well with the OLD windows Media player. heh)

Anyway, listening (and recording–why not?) it struck me that I’m also listening in my head to a Leinsdorf-directed version. I do that. I hear what is happening (recording or live) but what I really hear is what’s in my head. The Beeb’s symphony is good. Well worth a listen. I happen to live with Leinsdorf’s version in my head more.

And that’s really how I listen to music: with one’s memory and mental “ears” tuning, comparing, editing in and out of the performance to hear the best. From what I can tell, most folks don’t really listen to music. Oh, they hear what’s going on, sorta. The beat affects them and some of the other sounds–maybe lyrics or whatever. But, if recording sales are any indication, what sells is stuff people can’t really be listening to. If they listened to it carefully (and had ears to hear and tonal, rhythmic and linguistic development to understand what they were hearing), most top 40 “artists” would be living on skid row.

Seriously.

go to my blogroll and CLICK on Keep the Coffee Coming. (Or, what the heck, just CLICK on the link in the previous sentence. heh). Listen to some of the music she blogs. Compare and contrast the artistry of most of the folks she posts to the crap manufactured for top 40 rcordings. There’s (usually, for almost all the songs Kat posts) a qualitative difference in prosody, melodic composition, instrumental artistry and the simple ability to reproduce pitch accurately of the music Kat posts as against the crap being churned out for big CD sales/radio play nowadays.

The problem is that all too many consumers have crap for ears. And what’s between their ears is so degraded (in ability to understand what the music they listen to is) that they don’t even know it.

Sad, really. Because better music would also help those who listen to it be more able to handle abstract thought. (ClICK HERE for just one of many lists of articles about the benefits of good music on thinking and learning) Hmmm… could it be that that is the key to Red State intelligence? Despite the crap lyrics and even crappier vowell and consonant production of so-called “country” singers, they at least still produce music that has (usually) a good sense of tonality, decent prosody, more logical structures and better-quality harmonies than other crap. Higher quality crap music=higher quality crap thinking? maybe…

Curmudgeon mode: staying on…

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