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Good Music

emoticon:music On a recent trip to America I acquired an iPod mp3 player. I've long resisted the siren call of my gadget-acquiring-instincts to buy an mp3 player, figuring that as I didn't listen to much music I probably wouldn't use it a great deal.

As I commute almost two hours in each direction to get to work, I've had a lot of opportunity to use it and am really enjoying music again. I've been thinking about what makes good music. Not all music that is technically good is good music, and not all music that is technically not very polished is bad. I've come to the conclusion that good music is made up of three things.

  1. Technical Quality

    How well played are the instruments, how practised is the performance, how good is the timing and that sort of thing.

  2. The Energy

    All music carries an energy, a passion. It conveys an atmosphere and changes the way you feel. At least good music does. Smile The rave and trance music of the mid nineties carried a real energy. Either an energy that picked you up and thumped through all your senses, or a sound that you could drift off into and disappear.

  3. The Emotional Tone

    This is related to the energy a song has, but I think its a different thing. The essence of this, is how relevant is the music to you, how much does it speak into your life ? Usually the emotional tone of a song is in the lyrics, but not only.

Now, for music to be good it doesn't need to score highly in all of these areas. Any song that scores highly in two of these areas is likely to be good. The music of the guitar heroes is often very high quality with a real energy, and the fact that the songs don't mean anything [1] doesn't really matter. Some indie music can be rough, not polished at all, but it carries a genuine passion for life and the lyrics can be about something that means something to be. The emotional tone of the song speaks to me.

Any song that scores highly in all three of these areas is likely to be a classic. Smile

The only music I have at the moment is the music I listened to at University, and a few tidbits I've picked up along the way. Some of these are great, but I'm done with my angst and insecurity and I'm looking for music that speaks to me where I am in my life now.

[1]At best...

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2007-04-22 22:07:45 | |


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There was so much ancient wisdom distilled into my old blog, that I couldn't let it just creep ignominiously into the pages of cyber-history. More to the point I'm still getting some hits from google with the old entries. Here are the archives of my previous Blogger based blog.

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