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91
African Music / Re: Objectivity of music
« Last post by soukousman on February 26, 2016, 02:48:07 pm »
This IS an interesting subject.  It seems there are two areas of judgment that are separate but often put together as one.  First there is your subjective feeling towards a piece of music.  You can love it or hate it or be somewhere in between but it is your personal reaction that no one can contradict.  If you love it, it IS good (to you). 
The second area of judgment is in the social sphere.  How do people in groups big or small feel about it?  Do they agree with you that some style or a particular piece of music is good?  The more that people agree, the "better" the music is (from the group's viewpoint.  The Emmys work this way.)  That's a numbers game, a popularity score.

In either case, it's still all subjective.  I don't see any way to objectively rate music the music itself -- only people's reactions to the music.

Now there is software that has analyzed successful pop music and can find out what things in a song people respond to.  It can almost write a hit song by formula.  Nevertheless, when you hear that song, it's what YOU think of it that is important, not some objective checklist.

    You've raised a serious aesthetic question here, Soukousman. Is there really any objective way to measure music (or any other art)? I'm not sure the answer is to imagine being in the recording studio with the artist. How would that help? I don't really see it. In fact, it might distract from the music itself.
    I have a slightly different theory:
    In time, some music continues to be revered by many while much else falls out of favor quickly. People as a group seem to be able to tell instinctively what is worthwhile and what isn't. Or maybe it's that the people who have the greatest capacity for musical enjoyment are the most passionate advocates of good music, and make sure it rises to the top of other people's consciousness. The people who only sort of like music and only sort of enjoy Top 40 pop don't really care that much about it and turn away from it to the next new fad while the true music lovers return again and again to the best stuff and keep it alive.
    So I guess I don't think there is an objective way to measure the quality of music per se, but there is a way to judge its quality by observing the behavior of passionate music lovers toward it.
    It's certainly not a perfect theory, I know. But I don't know if a perfect air-tight theory exists.

Objectivity of music exists if the individual discerns neutrally instead of using subjective extreme emotions, the objective metrics being used is music theory, by using these metrics, the individual is observing the various characteristics that completes the song as a whole instead of denouncing the song, this is the main difference between discern vs judgement. But again, how can music be "good" or "bad", when these are mental constructs that have no objective/impartial basis to it? Same with the term  "real music", the word "real" is just another construct, music is relative. Humans are pattern based creatures, so as music, music is highly based on mathematics, this could be the patterns of a birds chirping to a train riding on its tracks, even your heart pulse has a rhythm.

The social consensus may judge a song, but regardless of their perception, there is more to a song than "I like" or "I don't like it" by an using open-ended questions, such as what drew the individual to create this composition? What mood, environment or person influenced you? Lyrically wise, what point of view is this song based on? What vocal style is being used? Melisma? Appoggiatura? What vocal innotation is being used -- is it high or low? What chords are the instrumentalists using? Close-ended questions about music leads to the typical binary "yes or "no" while the open-ended questions goes in depth and multi-dimensional about the art.

As for the fad stuff and Top 40 contemporary stuf, this is the business aspect of music. Do you want to know how a label pushes a song to be a immense hit? The reason is called payola (https://www.techdirt.com/...r-label-songs-radio.shtml), Payola is when the music label uses lobbying to bribe the label to promote their artist' record for the listeners to elicit a response, but then the label advises the station that they should keep playing, cause the more plays, the more money goes to the industry -- corporate interest. There is an alternative route, the musician can go independent where they have more artistic freedom, but they are more liable for their own marketing, touring schedules, etc. However, as streaming online services become the norm, the payola tactic might decrease as musicians become more aware of this. But back to pop music, the 4/4 time signature is common in American music (Hip Hop, Rock & Roll, Metal, Disco, Soul) but in Caribbean Music (Soca, Calypso, Merengue, Champeta) and also African Music (Soukous, Mande, Mbaqanga, Benga,Ndombolo, African Rumba). 
92
African Music / Re: Rare musical gem from Togo
« Last post by Yovo on February 26, 2016, 02:03:30 pm »
I don't know who called him that.
But when you say "I am certain that very few Beninoise know who James Brown was" I think you are mistaken. Remember, we're talking about the 1970s. Many people in Africa knew about James Brown. It was Geraldo Pino who started singing James Brown influenced songs back in the late 60s and he was called the African James Brown
Beninois certainly knew who James Brown was, as per Vincent Ahehehinnou, singer and composer with Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou:
Quote
James Brown had an immense impact on the music of Benin. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo have done many tracks based on the influence we got from Brown... But in Fon. James Brown had more influence on our music than Fela. In the days there was no band from Benin who didn’t have something in their repertoire influenced by James Brown.
93
African Music / Re: Rare musical gem from Togo
« Last post by tutulu on February 25, 2016, 05:51:10 pm »
I have a problem when people use terms like

"James Brown from Lome"....

Who is calling him that moniker? I can bet my life it is not Beninoise that are referring him to that.
I am certain that very few Beninoise know who James Brown was.
It would be ok for me if that is what Beninoise refer to him.

Secondly, why have I never heard a moniker like "Michael Jackson the Franco from US" "XYZ the Lucky Dube from London" etc?
94
African Music / Rare musical gem from Togo
« Last post by Yovo on February 24, 2016, 04:54:00 pm »
Just came along this one. Roger Damawuzan, AKA "James Brown from Lomé" doing a cover of the Average White Band's Pick Up The Pieces. I know not everyone on this forum is partial to afrofunk, but I tend to like it, especially if it is well done, like this one.

http://blog.superflyrecords.com/track-of-the-day/do-you-know-my-name/
95
African Music / The Repatriation of Kenya's Musical Heritage
« Last post by Yovo on February 23, 2016, 06:28:19 pm »
Hugh Tracey's 1950s recordings are returning to the communities in Kenya where these songs were made

http://thisisafrica.me/lifestyle/repatriation-kenyas-musical-legacy/
96
African Music / Re: New discography
« Last post by Douglas on February 22, 2016, 12:33:17 pm »
I'm glad you find the new discography useful.  If anyone has any missing album covers or data for missing album numbers, please send it on. 

Much of this discography came from my collection that I started in 1978 and continued right up to 1993 when they stopped pressing records in Nairobi.  Some of the artists you are unfamiliar with have songs on YouTube like Bobongo Stars:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CCQ9zIrSss&index=8&list=PLxpaucl43CEVBUlH09jLquEDyX26wm0B8.

Manana Antoine had Kenya's most popular single of 1983 with Amour Cherche Amour.  I think he was from Cote d'Ivoire.

Nel Oliver, on the other hand, was from Benin but had a nice album with some English language songs.

It was definitely an interesting time with some interesting music.

Doug Paterson
97
African Music / Re: Objectivity of music
« Last post by Douglas on February 22, 2016, 12:06:49 pm »
This IS an interesting subject.  It seems there are two areas of judgment that are separate but often put together as one.  First there is your subjective feeling towards a piece of music.  You can love it or hate it or be somewhere in between but it is your personal reaction that no one can contradict.  If you love it, it IS good (to you). 
The second area of judgment is in the social sphere.  How do people in groups big or small feel about it?  Do they agree with you that some style or a particular piece of music is good?  The more that people agree, the "better" the music is (from the group's viewpoint.  The Emmys work this way.)  That's a numbers game, a popularity score.

In either case, it's still all subjective.  I don't see any way to objectively rate music the music itself -- only people's reactions to the music.

Now there is software that has analyzed successful pop music and can find out what things in a song people respond to.  It can almost write a hit song by formula.  Nevertheless, when you hear that song, it's what YOU think of it that is important, not some objective checklist.
98
African Music / Re: Objectivity of music
« Last post by newfan on February 13, 2016, 10:53:43 am »
    You've raised a serious aesthetic question here, Soukousman. Is there really any objective way to measure music (or any other art)? I'm not sure the answer is to imagine being in the recording studio with the artist. How would that help? I don't really see it. In fact, it might distract from the music itself.
    I have a slightly different theory:
    In time, some music continues to be revered by many while much else falls out of favor quickly. People as a group seem to be able to tell instinctively what is worthwhile and what isn't. Or maybe it's that the people who have the greatest capacity for musical enjoyment are the most passionate advocates of good music, and make sure it rises to the top of other people's consciousness. The people who only sort of like music and only sort of enjoy Top 40 pop don't really care that much about it and turn away from it to the next new fad while the true music lovers return again and again to the best stuff and keep it alive.
    So I guess I don't think there is an objective way to measure the quality of music per se, but there is a way to judge its quality by observing the behavior of passionate music lovers toward it.
    It's certainly not a perfect theory, I know. But I don't know if a perfect air-tight theory exists.
99
African Music / Re: Relatively New Music Artist
« Last post by soukousman on February 07, 2016, 01:12:39 am »
The synth revolution, it's interesting how a piece of machinery can emulate a multitude of various sounds.
100
African Music / Objectivity of music
« Last post by soukousman on February 07, 2016, 01:10:39 am »
Usually when it comes to music, there's a lot of subjective metrics used to how we interpret or examine music, but does this do any justice? Who ever created with this binary construct of "good music" vs "bad music, does the concept of "good" vs "bad really exists or is this just a mental construct like a majority of societal expectations force fed to individuals? Just wanted to exercise your critical thinking skills, when it comes to critics, their criticism in disguised is based on subjective expectations, demands, and level of satisfaction instead of using objective metrics such as time signature, singing styles, song structure, beat per measure (BPM), cultural aspect, mathematics of fractal rhythms or rhythms used in the particular track, musical notes, pitch and the list exceeds. It's all relative, once you neutralize your interpretation and preconceived notions, you hear music in its holistically (whole) form instead of partiality (parts). Observe the music like you was seated in the actual recording studio, it may be difficult since playing an audio file is a secondary experience, but you get to jump in the artist's POV. Music is like a baked cake, there's many layers that constitutes its art form. Art in general shapes the world whether or not you consciously recognize from photography to the different hues/contrast you notice in the sky. Just a cogitation I had.
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