Is art and music dying?

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Greta
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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by Greta » February 3rd, 2015, 2:31 am

Cogito ergo sum wrote:That's where we differ in our views. I don't see art as entertainment. That's what brought up this post in the first place. Art has become nothing more than entertainment and we have missed something in that perspective of it. We have entertainment and we have art, the two are distinguishable and at some point merged together. The point of this post was to determine the line between art and entertainment.
I would prefer not to draw that line - to be more open minded - but I agree. There is a difference or, more correctly, a continuum from the highest art down to economic rationalist enterprises masquerading as music. A drummer I used to speak with online once referred to Muzak as "synthetic music-like product", which I thought was an inspired description.

Passion is the difference. Late last year I gave up gigging with bands. I have dutifully played my part in various "juke boxes" for decades - entertaining drunks and dancers. Now it's my time! Every band I ever played in started out being musically adventurous but gradually mainstreamed as the feedback we received for certain songs shaped our repertoire. Every time the band would move towards the LCD, or would break up.

In the end I was frustrated with the ever-diminishing creativity (and parking and lugging hassles) so now I focus on jamming with an old guitarist friend and recording at home - raw and spontaneous music played with passion. When I press the record button we have no idea what we will play. It's invigorating. There's zero "hooks" and no intentionally danceable beats. Our only concern is that the music pleases our ears or amuses us. It's not high art but much more adventurous and experimental than the music the public would "allow" us to play. We figure that If we enjoy the music then others with similar tastes will too, albeit a vanishingly small minority :)
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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie » February 3rd, 2015, 3:09 pm

Logic_ill wrote:Note> The other day I was at a bar and saw a two year old girl dancing along to a music video she was watching. She had such rhythm and coordination that it almost seemed that she was born to do so...
Is not art and music structured after the rhythm and coordination of the human body? Therefore, it is not surprising that such a young child danced in such perfect rhythm, no?

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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by Cogito ergo sum » February 4th, 2015, 1:07 am

Is not art and music structured after the rhythm and coordination of the human body? Therefore, it is not surprising that such a young child danced in such perfect rhythm, no?[/quote]


I really like that idea and saying, but what "coordination" is modern art based off of and what rhythm is dub step based off of? I do understand what your are saying and completely agree that "art" is a coordination of the the individual being able to recreate what they see or feel via motar skills through a certain medium that is pleasing to the observer at a universal sense. No human being will say that the David is ugly or not pleasing, because to say that it is not pleasing would be to say that life itself is not pleasing.

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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by Greta » February 4th, 2015, 1:25 am

Logic_ill wrote:Note> The other day I was at a bar and saw a two year old girl dancing along to a music video she was watching. She had such rhythm and coordination that it almost seemed that she was born to do so...
GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:Is not art and music structured after the rhythm and coordination of the human body? Therefore, it is not surprising that such a young child danced in such perfect rhythm, no?
I'd imagine that Logic_ill came across a child with a rhythmic gift. Not all two year olds dance. Others might dance as though they have two left feet, and this trait will continue into adulthood.

I play drums. I have seen many people attempt to play drums and have idea what to do. The first time I ever sat at a drum I played the standard rock beat (money beat) immediately, presumably because I'd already been tapping furiously on household items and homemade instruments for years.

Yes, our music is reflective of our bodies, but don't overestimate our rhythmic instincts. They still require cultivation, even at the very most basic level of keeping a pulse going evenly. You will find this is less so in cultures where rhythm and music are more important, such as in Africa, South America and black subcultures of the US.
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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by LuckyR » February 4th, 2015, 1:36 am

Greta wrote:In the end I was frustrated with the ever-diminishing creativity (and parking and lugging hassles) so now I focus on jamming with an old guitarist friend and recording at home - raw and spontaneous music played with passion. When I press the record button we have no idea what we will play. It's invigorating. There's zero "hooks" and no intentionally danceable beats. Our only concern is that the music pleases our ears or amuses us. It's not high art but much more adventurous and experimental than the music the public would "allow" us to play. We figure that If we enjoy the music then others with similar tastes will too, albeit a vanishingly small minority :)

Your comment brings up my definition of the difference between an artist and an artisan. An artisan knows exactly what they will create before they start (as they are typically churning out products, albeit hand-made, with proven sales), an artist has little to no idea what they are going to create when they start.
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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by Cogito ergo sum » February 4th, 2015, 1:57 am

LuckyR wrote:
Greta wrote:In the end I was frustrated with the ever-diminishing creativity (and parking and lugging hassles) so now I focus on jamming with an old guitarist friend and recording at home - raw and spontaneous music played with passion. When I press the record button we have no idea what we will play. It's invigorating. There's zero "hooks" and no intentionally danceable beats. Our only concern is that the music pleases our ears or amuses us. It's not high art but much more adventurous and experimental than the music the public would "allow" us to play. We figure that If we enjoy the music then others with similar tastes will too, albeit a vanishingly small minority :)

Your comment brings up my definition of the difference between an artist and an artisan. An artisan knows exactly what they will create before they start (as they are typically churning out products, albeit hand-made, with proven sales), an artist has little to no idea what they are going to create when they start.

That definition suffices in everyday life and does not satisfy the philosophical definition. I find it hard to believe that you have walked into a bakery and have been "moved" by such a beautiful laof. I also find it hard to fathom that Michelangelo didn't know he was going to make a sculpture when he went to work on the "Pieta." I would say an artisan makes a premier product that serves a purpose to the consumer. That purpose could be food, clothing, housing etc. an artist makes a product that serves no purpose persay, other than making a connection to the observer that Cannot be expressed in any other way. It goes much deeper than that but that is why we must discuss such topics.

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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by LuckyR » February 4th, 2015, 2:17 am

Cogito ergo sum wrote:
LuckyR wrote: (Nested quote removed.)



Your comment brings up my definition of the difference between an artist and an artisan. An artisan knows exactly what they will create before they start (as they are typically churning out products, albeit hand-made, with proven sales), an artist has little to no idea what they are going to create when they start.

That definition suffices in everyday life and does not satisfy the philosophical definition. I find it hard to believe that you have walked into a bakery and have been "moved" by such a beautiful laof. I also find it hard to fathom that Michelangelo didn't know he was going to make a sculpture when he went to work on the "Pieta." I would say an artisan makes a premier product that serves a purpose to the consumer. That purpose could be food, clothing, housing etc. an artist makes a product that serves no purpose persay, other than making a connection to the observer that Cannot be expressed in any other way. It goes much deeper than that but that is why we must discuss such topics.

You are losing me with vagueness. Yes, I have not been "moved" by a loaf of bread, since bread is churned out by artisans, making the same loaf day in, day out. Exactly as I supposed in my post.

Similarly, Michelangelo knew he wasn't making a painting when he ordered that block of marble, but that proves... nothing, by my estimation. He knew what he was shooting for, but he likely made numerous changes, some large, some small along the way from a block to the finished artwork masterpiece. Consistent with my post.
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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by Greta » February 4th, 2015, 4:17 am

Lucky, I think CES raises a valid point in that artistry can be improvised or thoroughly prepared. An orchestral musician will effectively be "a cog in the orchestra machine" but there is artistry in rendition - the sensitivity and precision. An experimental musician friend tells me that if a work is intended to be art, then it is art. It may not be good art, and it may not induce any feelings in listeners, but it's art.

Artisans too have an artistic aspect to what they do. For me, it comes down to both intent and passion. Even then, it's theoretically possible for an elephant or chimp to paint something magnificent, yet intent and passion probably wouldn't describe their approach. Having said that, I've seen clips of dogs singing along with their owners and they seem pretty passionate, albeit taking the concept of naive art to another level :)
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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by LuckyR » February 4th, 2015, 5:43 am

Greta wrote:Lucky, I think CES raises a valid point in that artistry can be improvised or thoroughly prepared. An orchestral musician will effectively be "a cog in the orchestra machine" but there is artistry in rendition - the sensitivity and precision. An experimental musician friend tells me that if a work is intended to be art, then it is art. It may not be good art, and it may not induce any feelings in listeners, but it's art.
Good one!! Your orchestral musician vs composer is a great example. It is an easy call to declare a composer an artist. They created a new piece of art, in this case music. They may never actually perform the music, yet they are an artist. Is an accomplished musician who performs a well known piece in the standard fashion an artist during that performance? (Acknowledging that the same individual may also compose music, and thus be an obvious artist at other times) I would argue, no. Merely churning out a shopworn piece in standard fashion for the upteenth time, is not art to my mind. Technology is getting to the point where I could flip a few switches and also "perform" that music, even without musical training or talent, that would not make me an artist in my book. OTOH, if a jazz musician is jamming with his trio for the hundredth time (each time a little different in an improvisational way) is creating art each time. By the same token, if a Pops orchestra takes a classical piece and "makes it their own" by "popifying" it, well they are creating, that's art.
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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by Greta » February 4th, 2015, 8:17 am

LuckyR wrote:Is an accomplished musician who performs a well known piece in the standard fashion an artist during that performance? (Acknowledging that the same individual may also compose music, and thus be an obvious artist at other times) I would argue, no. Merely churning out a shopworn piece in standard fashion for the upteenth time, is not art to my mind.
I have mostly played rock music in groups since the 70s. I am untrained. These days I've broken out of the mould and finally playing something like the "arty" music that I listen to. It would seem wrong to think of myself as an artist while considering a highly skilled orchestral percussionist who is far more precise and skilled than me to be a mere artisan. There is artistry in execution. It's one thing to play the dots on the page, another to execute with feeling and a deep understanding of the role of the part within the piece, and how that particular part helps tell the story. The differences are subtle, but sometimes nuance makes all the difference.

If a musician is, as you suggest, churning out the music like a sausage machine then i agree, that's not art. Or at least lousy art devoid of feeling.
LuckyR wrote:Technology is getting to the point where I could flip a few switches and also "perform" that music, even without musical training or talent, that would not make me an artist in my book.
You'd be surprised how hard it is. If we disregard the cynical LCD part of the scene, there are musicians using sequencers to do astonishing stuff. They really are musicians, although their skill is mental and imaginative rather than physical. It's interesting to see the evolution, although I am mostly very "old school organic" in my tastes.
LuckyR wrote:OTOH, if a jazz musician is jamming with his trio for the hundredth time (each time a little different in an improvisational way) is creating art each time. By the same token, if a Pops orchestra takes a classical piece and "makes it their own" by "popifying" it, well they are creating, that's art.
The great thing about improvisational music like jazz is that players both serve the group and express themselves at the same time. It's a nice reflection of civilised society. Contrast with music where there is a composer and conductor leading the affair aided by "worker bees", almost a symbol of Taylorist specialisation.

By contrast there are experimental artists who explore anarchy and chaos in their pieces. In my experience most experimental artists are enthusiastic socialists and, while I can see the connection, I don't see why it should necessarily be so. Perhaps eschewing the visceral for the conceptual?

Pop music is sick, but music generally isn't dying, although the music scene generally is fragmenting into small independent units.
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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by Cogito ergo sum » February 4th, 2015, 9:26 pm

LuckyR wrote:
Cogito ergo sum wrote: (Nested quote removed.)



That definition suffices in everyday life and does not satisfy the philosophical definition. I find it hard to believe that you have walked into a bakery and have been "moved" by such a beautiful laof. I also find it hard to fathom that Michelangelo didn't know he was going to make a sculpture when he went to work on the "Pieta." I would say an artisan makes a premier product that serves a purpose to the consumer. That purpose could be food, clothing, housing etc. an artist makes a product that serves no purpose persay, other than making a connection to the observer that Cannot be expressed in any other way. It goes much deeper than that but that is why we must discuss such topics.

You are losing me with vagueness. Yes, I have not been "moved" by a loaf of bread, since bread is churned out by artisans, making the same loaf day in, day out. Exactly as I supposed in my post.

Similarly, Michelangelo knew he wasn't making a painting when he ordered that block of marble, but that proves... nothing, by my estimation. He knew what he was shooting for, but he likely made numerous changes, some large, some small along the way from a block to the finished artwork masterpiece. Consistent with my post.

I was not trying to be vague, I was trying to to get the point across that its not the intent or lack there of, that makes it art. There are two sides of art, the first is the creator and the second the observer. When i said you have never been moved by a loaf that a baker made, I was trying to say that, even if he went into the shop and had the intent to make french bread and somewhere along the way changed it to sourdough that would hardly make it art. In the same way that according to all accounts of Michelangelo, and by Michelangelo, he knew and saw exactly what he was going to make before setting chisel to marble. Now look at the "Pieta" and you will be feel more than when looking at that sourdough loaf that was supposed to be french bread. And of course he knew he wasn't going to be making a painting when he ordered the marble just like an artisan baker knows they wont make a car when the order flower. Hence why your definition suffices in everyday life but not a philosophical one.

This brings us to modern art. According to your definition of art it would appear that modern art would be the pinnacle of human expression. Not only is most modern art created in such haphazard and whimsical manner but it has become the spectacle, back story and shock value that is more important and this could be from the lack of artistic ability or boredom of other mediums. For example, Millie Brown, whom starves herself for two days, drinks liters of colored liquid and vomits on a canvas in front of an audience. These "paintings" that she creates would be complete rubbish in the eyes of everyone if they didn't see the spectacle or hear of the back story. It has come to a point where the artist has become finery and must win approval for their art through humiliating and grotesque means. To go back to Michelangelo's "Piata" one would find it hard to imagine that it would make any difference how he made it or if he sculpted it naked in the middle of Venice for "shock value". His art speaks for its self and the modern artist speaks for their art.

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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by Greta » February 5th, 2015, 1:10 am

Cogito ergo sum wrote:I was not trying to be vague, I was trying to to get the point across that its not the intent or lack there of, that makes it art. There are two sides of art, the first is the creator and the second the observer. When i said you have never been moved by a loaf that a baker made, I was trying to say that, even if he went into the shop and had the intent to make french bread and somewhere along the way changed it to sourdough that would hardly make it art. In the same way that according to all accounts of Michelangelo, and by Michelangelo, he knew and saw exactly what he was going to make before setting chisel to marble.
The issue here is that the intention to make a loaf of bread or other workaday task is not the same as intending to create art. The making of bread can be artistic, but it's not the norm:

Image
Cogito ergo sum wrote:This brings us to modern art. According to your definition of art it would appear that modern art would be the pinnacle of human expression. Not only is most modern art created in such haphazard and whimsical manner but it has become the spectacle, back story and shock value that is more important and this could be from the lack of artistic ability or boredom of other mediums. For example, Millie Brown, whom starves herself for two days, drinks liters of colored liquid and vomits on a canvas in front of an audience. These "paintings" that she creates would be complete rubbish in the eyes of everyone if they didn't see the spectacle or hear of the back story. It has come to a point where the artist has become finery and must win approval for their art through humiliating and grotesque means.
Then it is just art that includes an ugly performance component that is probably aimed at proving some point (world hunger or whatnot). I see no problem.

It is a generalisation to say "the artist has become finery and must win approval for their art through humiliating and grotesque means". The range of art has grown to include such "shocking" aspects, but only a minority of edgy artists explore it. Any excessive focus on such art is just a matter of novelty, like people looking at car crashes. If grotesqueness becomes everyday then people will look for more fresh ideas.

-- Updated 05 Feb 2015, 00:16 to add the following --

Oh, another point I wanted to make is that art that lacks visual appeal, like chunder-as-art, tends to fade away once it's done. It's almost as if the art world checks it off as something that's been done. If another artist attempted the same concept they would be less successful unless they could add to it.

People may explore different forms and ideas but usually consumers of creative works look for beauty, stimulation and complements to their lifestyles.
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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie » February 5th, 2015, 1:26 pm

Cogito ergo sum wrote: I really like that idea and saying, but what "coordination" is modern art based off of and what rhythm is dub step based off of? I do understand what your are saying and completely agree that "art" is a coordination of the the individual being able to recreate what they see or feel via motar skills through a certain medium that is pleasing to the observer at a universal sense. No human being will say that the David is ugly or not pleasing, because to say that it is not pleasing would be to say that life itself is not pleasing.
Well, don't you know, that life is suffering? I bet you find suffering pleasing, don't you, you naughty girl you.

What I said was not at all abstract. Tempo literally arises from the beating of the human heart. And the individual sub-beats are in congruence with human feet movement patterns. If you hear a steady metronome, you will begin to automatically feel as though one beat is greater in volume and leads the other, even if both are the same volume. Many high energy pieces drum beats are sexual in nature, mimicking the human sexual motion.

The melodies are too sexual in nature, the notes mimicking the mind of one in total and submissive pleasure, the words she feels, and speaks, while her mouth is closed, are no different than the pitches of many a common melody.

As for dubstep, I'd say they base it on alarms and racket noise! :D Although I imagine the wubby sine waves have something to do with the rate and flow of endorphins in the endocrin system, and they are massage-y in nature.
Greta wrote: Yes, our music is reflective of our bodies, but don't overestimate our rhythmic instincts. They still require cultivation, even at the very most basic level of keeping a pulse going evenly. You will find this is less so in cultures where rhythm and music are more important, such as in Africa, South America and black subcultures of the US.
I think you've answered your own question! :D How many times is an American child slapped on the hand and told not to bang on things? This interferes with their natural abilities, stunting their growth. Then the parent pays them money to play ketchup in highschool in order to compete for lost growth that was stunted by the parent's original actions! What idiocy indeed.

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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by LuckyR » February 5th, 2015, 4:07 pm

Well, we are all in agreement that a portion, in my opinion a very large portion, of what goes into the definition of art is in the mind of the art's audience. The audience already knows what is in their mind, they don't need help with that from me (or you). I am addressing the issue of coming across a piece in a store, gallery, museum, or home and retrospectively evaluating the "creator" of the piece.

If the piece is original and the viewer decides it is art, then the creator of it is an artist.

If the piece is one of thousands of similar/identical pieces and the viewer decides it is art, then the artist is the person who made the original model from which many artisans copied, including the piece being viewed.

Similarly, in the music discussion:

If an audience decides that a particular piece, either because of inherant beauty or specific skill/quality of the performance is art then the composer is an artist regardless and perhaps the player (often the composer) is also an artist if the perfomance was part of the audience's decision.

OTOH, if a piece is considered art by an audience purely because of the beauty of the piece, yet the perfomance is mediocre, uninspired etc, then the composer is an artist and the performer is an artisan.
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Re: Is art and music dying?

Post by Greta » February 5th, 2015, 5:17 pm

LuckyR wrote:OTOH, if a piece is considered art by an audience purely because of the beauty of the piece, yet the perfomance is mediocre, uninspired etc, then the composer is an artist and the performer is an artisan.
I guess, though that's an awful blurry line. Bear in mind that "mediocre" and "uninspired" are subjective terms. There are times when I think my own efforts have been inspired and high quality, yet I know other musicians who would consider every single thing I ever played to be mediocre because I'm untrained and have limited scope. Obviously I'd disagree :)

I do get what you're saying, though. A Leunig cartoon nicely described the difference. A husband (sax) and wife (drums) duo were playing at a wedding function and a drunk guest has walked up to the stand and said "Play the Golden Wedding again" ... and the sax player has an expression of browbeaten existential despair and defeat on his face. There you have an example of an artisan. Usually we start playing music with passion and grand dreams of playing fabulous music to informed and appreciative audiences. Then the reality of most white people's painfully dumb music taste hits home :wink: ... but the bills still need to be paid.

A real life example. When I was young and unemployed I picked up a job selling paintings door-to-door. The paintings were mass produced, and if there is one thing that separates art from cynicism it's mass production. For the record, I sold no paintings and lasted one day, most of which I spent being force-fed wine by a nice couple who instantly recognised my plight and tool pity on me :)

-- Updated 05 Feb 2015, 16:18 to add the following --

Sorry or the overuse of emoticons. The devil made me do it!
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