Someone saves us from music

This is a discussion on Someone saves us from music within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by indigo0086 in fact since a lot of threads here (especially ones you happen to post in) end ...

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by indigo0086 View Post
    in fact since a lot of threads here (especially ones you happen to post in) end up being s*** throwing contests
    Yes. It's about me. *shrug* Moving on...

    I would have never imagined one short question would attract such negative attention.
    It's not the fact it's a short question, it's the question contents. And it certainly is nowhere close to being dramatic either. I'm chill, but I still claim the right to state that your question as you put it, without any effort to discuss the actual ideas, was (and still is) a clear sign you were ready to nitpick instead of argue.

    If you see that as a throwing contest, you are far too sensitive to participate on any debate where people actually happen to disagree and may voice their disagreement in any manner that may displease you. My advice in that case is... don't debate.

    ...

    Meanwhile I happen to disagree entirely with shawnt arguments. But I cannot deny he made me think on how to contradict them, because part of what he says is unfortunately reflected on the real world. So, that's what I'm doing; I'm thinking. It hurts but I can handle it.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #62
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    I was responding to you mainly going on a tyrade without him even responding. I was asking in response to...

    Quote Originally Posted by shawnt View Post
    I disagree. Intellectual capacity is a precursor to better taste. Here's why. Better taste = appreciation of higher 'quality' music (unless you believe quality is wholly subjective). Appreciation of higher quality music requires at least a subconscious comprehension of musical elements and characteristics. At the risk of gross oversimplification, many animals may react positively to natural sounds (such as rainfall, bird songs etc), but will interpret Norweigen Wood as noise.

    He goes on to link taste with intellectual capacity to base senses as the hearing of animals.

    First off, I don't believe taste has anything to do with intellectual capacity, nor do I totally buy someone claiming they have "better taste" than another. I think the quality of the music doesn't necessarily have to be linked with what a person likes. I love jazz, but sometimes I hear a solo by a famous musician or a song in general and generally don't like it, not because it's a bad song, but because I don't like what the song is composed of. SO from that I believe that a person's musical palate is related more to his statement of the basic instinct of liking the way something sounds than their overall intelligence. A lot of musicians probably couldn't read, write, or were trained in the liberal arts which some may relate to being intellectual, yet they had talent for music and could process music naturally than many people could from reading music.

    Basically, which comes first, a person liking a particular song because they are intellectual, or because liking a song which puts them in the intellectual box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indigo0086
    Basically, which comes first, a person liking a particular song because they are intellectual, or because liking a song which puts them in the intellectual box.
    Thats contradictory. If you don't believe 'intellectualism is a prescursor/criteria for better taste', then how can you make the claim that someone would ostensibly like a song to prove their intellectualism?

    Perhaps it might do well to place 'taste' in a macro context such as genre. Reason being that different genres are demonstrably and verifiably vastly different form one another, in terms of structure and ingredient musical elements. That a fan of a particular genre wouldn't like ALL songs in that genre is well accepted. My contention is that entire 'higher' genres will not appeal to some people since they do not have the innate 'intellectual capacity' to appreciate the level of information, detail, and rhythmic complexity that tracks of these genres entail.

    Finally, education definitely enhances intellectualism, but is not a criterion for the same. I thought that this would have been obvious. Theres a plethora of examples of highly intellectual people across the ages in many different fields who had little to no education.

    I'll try this again...

    Premise 1: 'Better taste' implies choosing more qualitative content (both musical and lyrical) over less qualitative content.

    Quality is measured in terms of the amount of information contained within a piece. Therefore, a piece containing two notes alternating over a four beat scheme is less qualitative than a sonata that blends the sounds of a myriad of instruments with multiple melodies co-existing on different levels.


    Now, an individual may still prefer a lower quality piece per my definition. This in my opinion, implies lesser taste.

    Extreme simplification: Animals 'appreciate' natural sounds such as flowing water, mother's call et cetera yet do not seem to appreciate even the simplest forms of human music. Why so? I believe it is because their brains cannot make sense of melodies, rhythm etc.

    Why is it that music for toddlers and young children is extremely simple in structure? Its because a child's brain is not developed enough to the point where s/he can process more complex music to the point that it makes 'sense' in the context of harmony.

    If an 'intellectual' person and a 'not so intellectual person' are made to listen to the same piece, they both receive the exact same information...the same continously modulating sound wave. However, it should be clear that both will process that information vastly differently. It is at this stage that a person with higher cognitive skills will be better able to organize and process the reductionist information contained therein thereby assembling a better holistic experience. As you up the ante and introduce pieces of greater complexity (i.e. containing more information => of higher quality), the ability of both individuals to appreciate that piece will decrease since their ability to process information contained therein is limited, concievably until such a point where a highly complex piece may even be percieved as cacophony.
    Last edited by shawnt; 06-24-2008 at 12:43 PM.

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    Thus is explained why popular music is trash (since the masses are 'dumb') and thus shines through the 99-1 principle.


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    Quote Originally Posted by shawnt View Post
    Premise 1: 'Better taste' implies choosing more qualitative content (both musical and lyrical) over less qualitative content.

    Quality is measured in terms of the amount of information contained within a piece. Therefore, a piece containing two notes alternating over a four beat scheme is less qualitative than a sonata that blends the sounds of a myriad of instruments with multiple melodies co-existing on different levels.


    Now, an individual may still prefer a lower quality piece per my definition. This in my opinion, implies lesser taste.
    If I'm reading this correctly, you just said that if a person hears a piece arranged for a string quartet before he hears it played from an orchestra, that the arrangement is poor quality and he has poor taste for enjoying it. That's quite an insult to not only the people listening but likely the musicians themselves.


    The whole idea of what sounds good to a person is subjective which is why quality music is subjective. Composers are at their best when they [can] consider the sound of likely ensembles, the ability of their musicians, and their audience. This is why it's so hard for radio to figure out who deserves to be on the air because they need far-reaching appeal to stay around. Otherwise, people like Mario's little girl would just tune in to satellite or internet radio. I'm convinced the rush to find something the whole country likes and then broadcast it has effected all remotely popular genres.

    Music was a required part of my education for several years, and one thing that my teacher lectured about was good composition, which is probably what you want to talk about shawnt. Repetitive music probably isn't enjoyable because it doesn't keep listeners attention, that's it. Likewise, complex composition is also hard to listen to. If you get too clever listeners can't keep time and you lose some of the notes, nullifying the whole point of musical expression. It has nothing to do at all with intellectualism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen View Post
    If I'm reading this correctly, you just said that if a person hears a piece arranged for a string quartet before he hears it played from an orchestra, that the arrangement is poor quality and he has poor taste for enjoying it. That's quite an insult to not only the people listening but likely the musicians themselves.
    Thats not what I said. I was comparing the content of both examples and claiming the latter to be having more qualitative content.

    Quote Originally Posted by citizen View Post
    Music was a required part of my education for several years, and one thing that my teacher lectured about was good composition, which is probably what you want to talk about shawnt. Repetitive music probably isn't enjoyable because it doesn't keep listeners attention, that's it. Likewise, complex composition is also hard to listen to. If you get too clever listeners can't keep time and you lose some of the notes, nullifying the whole point of musical expression. It has nothing to do at all with intellectualism.
    Yes, good composition would be synoymous to 'more qualitative content' (as used by me). What you said about complex composition being hard to listen to is exactly what I was saying when I talked about "up[ping] the ante".

    I am not doubting that what sounds good to any person is subjective. Thats obvious. What I am saying that there are such things as poor taste, mediocre taste, good taste, excellent taste...that these levels are defined by the complexity of the piece (which in turn is proportional to the information contained therein)...and therefore individuals with greater intellectual ability (and hence the ability to process/appreciate the information) have better taste. Please re-read my previous posts as I feel you haven't picked up what I'm saying accurately and I feel I'm repeating myself. I already addressed the difference between 'preference' and quality here. I didn't quote but that post was directed at you.

    Finally, I very well realize that placing something as subjective as taste in a hierarchy is controversial. And then further claiming that that greater intellectual capability implies better taste makes it even more controversial. However, I believe I have provided sufficient justification for my claims...and these are my own personal opinions, so I'm not seeking any approval.
    Last edited by shawnt; 06-24-2008 at 03:42 PM. Reason: i hate typos

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    Well, I think I finally understand what you're saying, so there is some agreement. I'm glad 'good composition' means 'good quality'.

    The point about animals is pretty interesting. I've learned some of that before, but it's also expressed in a different way when we consider all the noise we humans make. A bird's song might be music to another animal, but that's in the context of their environment. When animals confront sounds not in their habitat they get instinctual and wouldn't react most of the time. You could train them to behave a certain way, but that doesn't reflect an animal's opinion. I wouldn't use their lack of human intelligence in attempt to prove your point, but the psychology here goes against your point.

    Still I understand what you mean. If an alien civilization shared with us its music, we may not appreciate it. We might also be intellectually inferior or superior, whatever best fits your theory. Interesting correlation, if a disheartening one.

    Quote Originally Posted by shawnt
    But seriously, preference is subjective...quality is not. Although I'm no expert in music, I don't have much trouble appreciating the immense qualitative gap and depth difference between say our preferred example 'thriller' versus soulja boy. Now if it floats the boats of throngs of teenage girls in middle america doing the 'superman' dance, hooray for them. Doesn't change the fact that on a hypothetical point system based on melodies, harmony, sequence, and percussion, thriller would score a 80+ compared to something like 18 for the afore mentioned travesty. We don't even want to go anywhere near Tchaikovsky vs Little Jon. AND this is not even considering lyrical content. YEEEEAH! WHAT?
    Convenient examples must die. I'll get to the point in a minute, but you should really try the titles I listed, if only to see if you like them. It might be nice to hear something that means something to a lot of people, or in one case, just me.

    While we would agree here I doubt that is an objective scale; it can't be. Preference entirely determines how you build the hierarchy of quality music, and people's preferences usually change when they mature. I'm sure you realize this, by the way, it's just that your starved for something your ear can appreciate. I can sympathize with that. You're welcome to share your best music with anyone and foster a similar desire in them, but try not to be disappointed if they go their own way. I wasn't gonna stop you from the beginning, hombre.

    That's all I had to say.
    Last edited by whiteflags; 06-24-2008 at 04:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen View Post
    Well, I think I finally understand what you're saying, so there is some agreement. I'm glad 'good composition' means 'good quality'.

    The point about animals is pretty interesting. I've learned some of that before, but it's also expressed in a different way when we consider all the noise we humans make. A bird's song might be music to another animal, but that's in the context of their environment. When animals confront sounds not in their habitat they get instinctual and wouldn't react most of the time. You could train them to behave a certain way, but that doesn't reflect an animal's opinion. I wouldn't use their lack of human intelligence in attempt to prove your point, but the psychology here goes against your point.

    Still I understand what you mean. If an alien civilization shared with us its music, we may not appreciate it. We might also be intellectually inferior or superior, whatever best fits your theory. Interesting correlation, if a disheartening one.


    Convenient examples must die. I'll get to the point in a minute, but you should really try the titles I listed, if only to see if you like them. It might be nice to hear something that means something to a lot of people, or in one case, just me.

    While we would agree here I doubt that is an objective scale; it can't be. Preference entirely determines how you build the hierarchy of quality music, and people's preferences usually change when they mature. I'm sure you realize this, by the way, it's just that your starved for something your ear can appreciate. I can sympathize with that. You're welcome to share your best music with anyone and foster a similar desire in them, but try not to be disappointed if they go their own way. I wasn't gonna stop you from the beginning, hombre.

    That's all I had to say.
    Now you're understanding my point better. To summarize:

    - the animals example was a crude, yet accurate one. yes, habitat and environment/culture are huge factors in determining 'preference'. the point I was trying to make was that animals wouldn't even recognize human music as music, let alone like/dislike it.

    - again, preference is subjective, hence doesn't have a scale. quality is objective, hence has a scale, for reasons aforementioned.

    I will check out the titles you mentioned. A music thread may be a good idea

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    I'm just seeing a huge cultural bias with regards to your statement. Not all forms of music are classical music, so comparing one song in a different genre which can be primarily composed of simple structure somehow implies that a person who likes has less taste and therefore less intellect than a person who likes classical music? I believe Preference is the measure of a songs quality, so it is subjective. A person prefers what they consider quality. Otherwise who holds the scale?

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    Quote Originally Posted by indigo0086 View Post
    I'm just seeing a huge cultural bias with regards to your statement. Not all forms of music are classical music, so comparing one song in a different genre which can be primarily composed of simple structure somehow implies that a person who likes has less taste and therefore less intellect than a person who likes classical music?
    In an oversimplified way, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by indigo0086 View Post
    I believe Preference is the measure of a songs quality, so it is subjective. A person prefers what they consider quality. Otherwise who holds the scale?
    I disagree. A child will prefer a nursery rhyme to bach, because s/he only has the capacity to appreciate the former and not the latter. Nursery rhyme < Bach in quality, whence quality (per my previous definition) is proportional to the amount of information contained within the piece.

    I think the use of the term 'quality' is confusing my message. I use the term as defined in the paragraph above, and not as the usual meaning (i.e. measure of preservation/retention of original content).
    Last edited by shawnt; 06-25-2008 at 10:29 AM.

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    So is Jazz, Rock and Roll, Blues, Fusion, Latin Cultural Music, traditional Native American song, african drums < classical simply because they are or can be "simpler" in structure.

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    I would argue that a lot of Jazz and Fusion could be at par with a lot of classical, but yes.

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    I said this earlier but that position is arrogant and offensive. Native American throat singing, African drums, and other examples - a lot of good music is saved by the fact that it's culturally relevant. It's well composed, and by definition good quality. The rest is your preference or opinion.

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    I'm not saying Native American music/African music is low quality or 'bad'. What I am saying is that generic examples of the aforementioned genres will contain lower complexity and information than generic examples of classical music. I don't think anyone can argue with that. As such, a higher degree of processing ability (intelletualism) is required to appreciate the latter.

    I already mentioned that I am aware these ideas are controversial. Since I have provided sound explanation in support of this position, I think your arrogance accusation is a misplaced, emotional reaction. I do not mean for this position to be offensive. It just comes accross as such. You reactions are up to you.

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    I've read enough to disagree completely.

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