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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
Personal vs Accessible
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orczy



Joined: Mar 30, 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:15 pm    Post subject: Personal vs Accessible Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is a concept that has come up for me in many correspondences I have been having recently.

We all do work initially to please ourselves, ie; the work has to pass our own inbuilt idea of what we like etc, but at what point does the idea of "will other people like it?" enter into the equation?

I don't believe the personal and accessible are mutually exclusive, but is there a point where a particular piece does or does not warrant being released for others to hear? How does a piece, or what makes a piece make the transition from staying inside the computer to being available for others?

What is your criterion?
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

the first thing that comes to my mind is that if I "release" something for free is for my personal enjoyment so if you don't like it.......
Very Happy

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice one, Carlo. Laughing

This is an interesting topic. I don´t know what to say about this. There is an audience for most types of music, but that doesn´t mean is easy to get access to the right audience. I guess one might say that it is a fact that presentation and "marketing" is a part of how accessible a certain piece of music is/can be. People tend to listen more closely when what they hear is supposedly important or whatever. They have been told it is good/important/essential.. well. and then it most certainly is. A lot of traditional marketing of music works that way and it most certainly does so for certain of the subcultish segments.

The composer has little control over this.

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jkn



Joined: Mar 14, 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's a good point - the quick answer is I don't know.

Virtually everything I write is just because I want to write it - some idea in my head I wanted to try, etc... At some point in tinkering with various tracks do they start feeling like an album and that other people may like them. I don't know that I consciously change much in a specific track to make it more marketable or pleasing to someone other than myself - although I will group tracks together in a way that I think other will find interesting. In other words, I don't usually put a noise experiment together with a happy little bouncy track... While sometimes I get a kick out of that - I know most others don't.

It's a mind shift - I usually start out with several album ideas in mind - and record a batch of tracks and sort out which tracks sort of feel right for which project. Ditch some tracks - throw out a couple of the album ideas until everything feels right for one project. My wife is a perfect sounding board - she likes a lot of what I write, but not all of it - and doesn't have a problem telling me which ones she doesn't like... Smile

Anyway - back to the question - I don't know. At some point I know I do it. If I was truly writing in a vacuum for only myself, I'd never bother trying to release anything. So know I at some point intentionally do things to present music in some sort of a format for some audience.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm very schitzy on this. I write mostly what I want for myself. My style is generally experimental. I've never really released anything commercially. When I perform or play my music for people, I really want my music to be liked. When people can't relate to it, I feel bad, even though my intent was not to please people. This puts me between a rock and a hard place.

When I come across composers who are popular, or have good marketing, or at least have a large audience, I have strong feelings that I deserve this myself. But I haven't been able to make the compromises necessary - either change my music to be more accessable, or hiring an agent and marketing firm.

Many "successful" composers I know do devote a lot of time and money to marketing. These people notice what people respond to and tend to move their work in that direction. Even John Cage did this. Near the end of his life he was doing big "shows" that were marketed like rock shows.

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chuck



Joined: Apr 26, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Why are we composing music anyway? If we are composing to express ourselves we shouldn't care too much if anyone else listens. If we are composing to make money, well then... see what people like, put a little (not too much) twist on that and head to the bank with your check.

It all seems so simple.

Unless we a composing with the hope that someone will validate our feelings (with praise and/or money). If so, we are at risk. I can think of no performing or composing musician that I know who has not put themselves at this risk.

Personal (artist) joy... or public (however small) praise. Probably keeping our goals simple and clear to ourselves is the answer to finding some measure of joy in composing.

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egw
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

For me, the point where other people's opinions of the music comes into play is when it is going to be performed. A performer is giving something to the audience, so it makes sense to consider whether they will like it.
Just as when you give someone a gift, you want to give them something they will like, but at the same time something that is uniquely from you, that they woudn't have thought to get for themselves.
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LSDreamer



Joined: Oct 10, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is probably everything that everybody else just wrote,
just a little paraphrased:

What brought me into generating my own work,
was the vision I had in my head and the desire to express it to others,
(others on my same level and who think more or less like I do).
And this works well because I am hand-picking my audience.
While staying with this criteria, I don't set myself up to get my feelings hurt.
Basically, I have a story to tell, there is a certain type of mind-set out there who I think will appreciate it, and I had fun creating it.
When it expands beyond that...well...see the above post with the big red smiley fingers.

If it is created for personal consumption, go all the way,
but realize that something so personal does not lend itself easily to dstribution.
If distribution is what you want, but would like to stick with your unique expression,
then stand behind your art with all your strength and above all, believe in yourself.

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opg



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

For me, it ALWAYS start with a very personal emtion that I want to express through music. I'm a child of the 80s, so I like adding sounds that remind me of my experiences in that decade. As everyone knows, there's a big mess of websites and TV shows dedicated to every weird little thing about every fad or product in every decade. On that alone, I am able to connect with an audience. But then comes the way I design my songs and what the focus of that decade becomes apparent to others. Most people would say "video game sounds." So then, I've got a smaller 80s audience who likes video game sounds in music.

Then, it's my choice of what style of music I want to create that focuses on 80s video game sounds. Do I go acoustic folk with random Nintendo samples? Do I go with synthpop with vocals? Micromusic? Experimental ambient electronic? Each choice made will decrease the size of your audience. If, when observing that micromusic, for example, is very popular but you can't stand to see yourself changing your music to fit this, you'll end up at the question that was originally asked: Music that pleases myself or others?

Luckily, I have a friend who is a music snob snob

He likes music from Genesis to The Police to John Coltrane to Tito Puente, and he is not afraid to tell me exactly what he thinks of my songs - not the "This is weird and unpopular" opinions, but rather, "this is boring, or too repetitive" or "You should have gone this way with the melody" or "Where is the bassline?" People like that are good to have around.
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illuminated



Joined: Jun 19, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Edited
Last edited by illuminated on Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ryansupak



Joined: Sep 13, 2005
Posts: 15
Location: Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've noticed that when I play for an audience I play differently, I can't say if it's better or worse -- but different things tend to come out.

The main pitfall, to me, of playing for audiences, is that the audience will respond positively to some things and negatively to others. I can imagine a scenario in which a performer stops using their "true voice" and instead develops a set of tricks designed to please an audience.

I think the important thing about making music is the act itself, and I think the modern way of doing things puts an artificial emphasis on "the track" (this didn't exist until about 50 years ago). I think there are a lot of things about "the track" that funnel people into the "trained poodle" way of approaching music.

So, yeah. There are some random thoughts about it.
rs
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Mot Juste



Joined: Dec 15, 2005
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Location: Highland Park, New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

who is the best judge of the merits of a musical composition? history has demonstrated that the most brilliant composers don't always recieve the acclaim for their works, that posterity gives to them.

Bach had two sons who were more notable composers in his lifetime than he was. Now of course he was employed to compose so he was given credit for doing what he did, but how did everybody miss the fact that he was more brilliant than just about anyone, including his sons. but this example is paradoxical because it just goes to show that the future will interpret history in different ways, and my assessment of bach as brilliant may just be the trend and that in 100 years his son will be considered more brilliant and people will be amazed that i didn't see it.

is the composer the best judge of the work? Tchaikovsky did not consider the Nutcracker to be his best work, but the public seems to think that.

the truth is, is that there is no absolute objectivity in music. only when we agree that we're all going to prescribe to one set of rules can we then measure how well each piece comforms to those rules, ie. traditional tonality.

i think that you must compose for yourself only and never shape your music to fit what you think others may like. but that doesn't mean scorn all critics. i think that you should try to achieve a level of objectivity, but that doesn't come in the actual process of composing, but in your own exploration as to what elements of music you naturally like. find out what you like and try to figure out why you like it. observe it from all directions, challenge yourself to like something you don't like, to possibly see what others see in it. the real work of the composer comes in the analysis of other music, and the perfecting of your own personal taste. not adopting other peoples taste, but developing your own taste, and not being satisfied with saying "i just like it"

there is no true objectivity but if your understanding of music is expansive your personal expression may consistently come close to an objectivity that other devoted music appreciators will be able to recognize.
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seraph
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Mot Juste
welcome to electro-music.com

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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Mot Juste



Joined: Dec 15, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

howdy, thanks for the welcome
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