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Did Ayn Rand bash folk music?

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In that essay Miss Rand referred to folk art as "essentially similar and excruciatingly boring." Why do you think this is a "point of contention?"

Well, I did not read the entire thread. I read it up till Tryptonique's first post (Jan. 18, 1:37p.m.) - the one right after WilliamB's first long post. (Jan. 17, 11.36p.m.) I had thought to provide more facts from which readers could make an evaluation, nothing more. I myself have no rock-solid view on folk music. Or even on the morality of the arguments made on this thread. In all honesty, I have not read it thoroughly.

I considered Ayn Rand's view on folk a point of contention because these two contributors had mentioned it in their posts and Mrs. Speicher had taken issue with their assertions.

In any case, what I remember her saying - and I'm still not sure if I'm correct [i'll have to wait a while to confirm this] - is that folk music does not say anything. It is intellectually contentless. She may have been talking about the lyrics. Although I do not recall her saying very much, she seemed to have said more than what you have quoted from "Global Balkanization." As I said, I may have the essays mixed up.

I will return when I have verified the source of my recollection.

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Well, I did not read the entire thread.

Neither have I.

I considered Ayn Rand's view on folk a point of contention because these two contributors had mentioned it in their posts and Mrs. Speicher had taken issue with their assertions.

Well, Betsy can speak for herself, if she even wants to, but I do not think what Ayn Rand wrote on folk music is much contended -- the little that Miss Rand wrote on the subject is quite clear -- but rather the contention is over some people's interpretation of such.

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It does have to, when WilliamB asserts that quote in support of his interpretation of Ayn Rand's view of folk music.

-Snip the rest, unread.-

Well...the quote is backed up by several others which provide a little thing called "context."

Impressive how you dropped the rest of my post which indicates WHY a direct "I hate folk music" quote isn't needed to acertain what Ayn Rand thought about it. :)

Pray tell..what OTHER friggin type of music could she be talking about when she explicitly refers to hippies and their music that is like the drumbeat of the jungle? I'm sure that hippies at the time that she was referring to when The Romantic Manfiesto was published were listening to OTHER types of music right?

Never mind that literature concerning hippies themselves mentions folk artists as the music types they listened to were experimental in nature and had overlap in several other genres like rock and psychedelic rock.Never mind the fact that she puts folk music in the same category as Phillip Rearden's OTHER hippie causes (and yes they are hippie...read the article as proof if you want a warrant for MY assertion). Lets close our eyes and say "tra la la la la I'm ignoring empirical evidence left and right" and pretend it's the same as a real argument.

You words indicate that if one doesn't have an explicit statment, one can't infer meaning from the way one talks about an issue in another context

Nice to know that I compare cheese something primal that is used by jungle natives and unrefined hippies. Nice to know that I can further and make extended comparisons about how only humble wretches indulge themselves on excruciatingly boring and uninteresting foods like cheeses, but unless I come right out and spell it out like a teacher talking to a third grade class we can't infer the simple abstraction that "Evan doesn't like cheese" without being labeled psychologizers or mind readers.

:):):dough::dough::dough:

You know what the irony is? I agree that folk music sucks. I don't like it and I agree with Miss Rand's opinion that it is excruciatingly boring. My problem is with the fact that pointing out that Ayn Rand DID have a pretty strong opinion towards folk music gets an unwarranted label of "psychologizer" or "mind reader" when such a label is hasty and unwarranted. Morever, it is blatantly wrong given that WilliamB's position has been backed up by a sizable body of evidence.

Also interesting to note that when Besty asks WHERE did Ayn Rand label folk music as redundant, repetitive, simplicity that WilliamB never said she DID in the first place! He actually said :"On the one hand, she could denounce folk music because of its redundant, repetitive simplicity, and feel, perhaps justifiably, that such music was beneath her since it offered no challenge to her intellectually, and caused in her a purely negative emotional response;"

Note the magic word, "Could."

He said [paraphrasing] based on Ayn Rand's intellect she could have legitimately come to X conclusion and labeled folk music boring, repetitive and stupid because it didn't challenge her intellectually.

Note that that never says that Rand DID label folk music in that manner. It says that given variable X...Y could happen. It never says that given variable X that Y WILL happen. Big difference.

Ah well...that is just one problem among many.

Lets take a look at the next one shall we?

Well, I did not read the entire thread.

Neither have I.<--Steven Speicher

I Don't mean to be Captain Obvious here, but reading selected bits and pieces and then debating certain parts while ignoring the arguments made in refutation that actually contain solid empirical data isn't a solid debate strategy. I also don't mean to be super obvious when I say that not reading the material (in this case the thread itself) isn't a great way to get a handle on what is actually being discussed.

It might make more sense to read the whole thread FIRST (it was only one and a half pages long with Steven interjected for pete's sake) before interjecting and once again proceeding to "not read." Call me old fashioned I guess.

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Pray tell..what OTHER friggin type of music could she be talking about when she explicitly refers to hippies and their music that is like the drumbeat of the jungle? I'm sure that hippies at the time that she was referring to when The Romantic Manfiesto was published were listening to heavy metal or reggae. Riiiiight.

1969. Sure. Black Sabbath, Cream, King Crimson, Led Zepplin (and yes, they were all considered metal at one point). The Doors and The Stones (whom I love) though not metal often fell into that description of jungle beats.

And, speaking of jungle beats, let's not forget Carlos Santana.

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1969. Sure. Black Sabbath, Cream, King Crimson, Led Zepplin (and yes, they were all considered metal at one point). The Doors and The Stones (whom I love) though not metal often fell into that description of jungle beats.

And, speaking of jungle beats, let's not forget Carlos Santana.

1) Black Sabbath's first album was released in 1970 and didn't go gold (500,000 records until 1971). You can verify this at www.riaa.com

2) Led Zepplin's first album went gold on 7/22/1969 and didn't go platinum until 1990. I doubt this was really catching Ayn Rand's attention especially since it wasn't exactly super popular immediately at it came out. It's following was wayyyy less than any folk artist of relative importance.

3) King Crimson's only album to even go gold didn't GO gold until 1977. Wrong time frame.

4) The Doors and The Stones? Possible. Carlos Santana is also possible.

Among hippies themselves though (which is the group referred to in the quote), those bands were pretty mainstream and not hippie fodder. Go look at the Wiki article. You won't see hippies characterized by Black Sabbath, Carlos SantanaThe Rolling Stones, or even The Doors.

What you also aren't accounting for are the comments made on folk music in her fiction works which were far before either of those artists.

Like...I dunno...Atlas Shrugged perhaps (1957) ?

Considering the fact that Ayn Rand already made it pretty clear that folk music wasn't at the top of her list, isn't it more logical to think that she was continuing to talk about that music? Ayn Rand understood the importance of concepts. That is why she didn't just label music "that one type of music that I don't like." She repeatedly used the labels "Folk music" "Classical music" and even pop music or "tiddlywink music."

Notice how that conceptual label would be missing if we just assumed that she was talking about heavy metal, or rock, rock and roll or even hard rock/acid rock/psychedic rock. The labels were around at the time to describe OTHER forms of music with jungle beats. Why didn't she use them? Either just wasn't simply knowledgable about them and just lumped them all together (which would have been a bit hasty and not in line with how consistent she was/is in her philosophy) under one big umbrella or we can assume that she quite simply put wasn't talking about those types of music. If she didn't have a specific label to work with (like heavy metal for instance) isn't it logical she just would have said "I don't like X group or musician" instead of just making a generalized statment characterizing a genre but leaving out the label?

Based on jungle beats alone we could make a random guess and say "Hey...she was talking about The Beatles!" The only thing is though is that The Beatles were predominantly characterized as rock and roll until Sgt. Pepper. Morever, her comments about folk music even in The Romantic Manifesto came before bands in spinoff genres (like grunge, metal, punk, acid rock, etc) became really noticable. If she was talking about one type of music, why not give it a label other than "jungle music?" S

If nothing else, that is a damn poor label considering that the time signatures and repetition in indigenous music enjoyed by primitive people are also utilized with great regularity in modern rock from Chuck Berry on to Nirvana. That would also include John Denvery, Bob Dylan, and folk artists.

Either she

-highlighted folk music because she disliked it even more than the other "jungle music" but also had a low opinion of other forms of music that shared similar if not identical elements that were just applied in different ways.

- she lumped all rock music and it's various spinoffs under the same umbrella and for some strange reason mentioned folk music by name and not any other genre of "jungle music" and just expected all of her readers to understand she was referring to a subject that had already been covered (folk music) .

-she lumped all rock music and it's various spinoffs under the same umbrella and for some strange reason mentioned folk music by name and not any other genre of "jungle music" and just expected all of her readers to understand she was referring to a type of music she hadn't discussed in any way shape or form up until that point.

- she didn't treat all rock music the same in her value judgments but didn't give us a relevent way to identify WHICH jungle music she was referring to when she mentioned a type of music that she hadn't really discussed before (assuming that she ISN'T talking about folk music).

This also makes us ask the question "If Ayn Rand didn't like Led Zeppin, Carlos Santana, The Stones, or any of those other bands for the reasons that they are jungle music, why would folk music be exempt?" Why can't we apply the same conclusions given the same basic formula and elements (but put together in a slightly different way)?

It also seems a weensy bit unusual for someone who placed a premium on precision and conceptual identification to just lump everything together if she didn't indeed think that most modern rock (in any form) was indeed boring and uninspired.

What else could it be? There are only so many options. No matter which one you take, you can't really get away from the fact that EVEN if she wasn't referring to folk music in that specific instance/quote, folk music does indeed share the similar elements...so why would it be except from her personal value judgment? You bite a bullet no matter WHAT your explanation is.

To give you an analogy it would be like me saying "All foods with lactose are horrible" in one book and saying "cheese sucks" in another books.

I might not mention yogurt...but do I really have to?

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I never understood completely what Ayn Rand meant about bad jungle music until last night, when I was at a coffee shop having an open mic and a group of people came in with various forms of drums and a flute. They started making the worst hypnotic African tribal music. I had to leave the coffee shop when that started. The worst part, the majority of the people there thought these people were really good.

I saw the musical version of minimalist art and it was ugly.

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Did she bash it, and go out of her way to put in a bad word for it? Obviously not. What else is there to argue about?

From the quotes above, and the others that I recall but have not been posted, I would say that she DID go out of her way to put in a bad word for folk music. But I suppose that depends on what you consider to be "going out of her way."

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Impressive how you dropped the rest of my post which ...

I have not been reading most of what you write here. Based on what I did read, your posts have been too long and rambling, and I did not appreciate your attitude, perspective, nor your interpretations. I responded to this one point because I saw my words right at the beginning of your post. Sorry, but if you do not like my replies please feel free to ignore my writings, much as I have mostly ignored yours.

[snip the rest, unread.]

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I know that it's not a formal rule of this board, but if you expect people to read what you write you had better do your darnedest to speak to the point and to make your thoughts interesting to others. I find many posts on this board to often be lacking in both respects. The fault lies not with the reader in cases like this but with the writer.

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Stephen,

I'm confused about what your disagreement with users like Tryptonique is.

At first I thought that, maybe you didn't read the beginning of this thread, and were unaware of the context in which it started. Yet your post is #6 here, which means you've been aware of the thread from the start. Moreover, in this first post of yours, you say nothing at all about folk music and instead recommend Rachmaninoff; from that post onward, you haven't expressed your view on the subject, and have only been criticizing users like Tryptonique when they have come out to against folk music. It took three pages of this thread for you to reveal your opinion, which in the end seems surprisingly similar to his. So where do you and him disagree? Merely in defining what music is, and why its folk variant is bad?

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Impressive how you dropped the rest of my post which ..

I have not been reading most of what you write here. Based on what I did read, your posts have been too long and rambling, and I did not appreciate your attitude, perspective, nor your interpretations. I responded to this one point because I saw my words right at the beginning of your post. Sorry, but if you do not like my replies  please feel free to ignore my writings, much as I have mostly ignored yours.

Fair enough I guess. Consider it done and done. You can't have a debate with one party. Just so I make it clear, I don't like the methods you use (respond to the first HALF of a sentence and ignore the rest of a half-page and then admit you haven't even read the thread to begin with) because it is just bad debating. Note that the title of these forums is "debate and discussion."

What I don't understand is if you "haven't been reading most of what I write" or even this thread in general, why did you interject in the first place? That seems unconventionally juvenille. Like some punk kid at a party who walks in and starts yammering after missing the last 30 minutes of the conversation. Then when someone tries to logically say "You're wrong for the following ten reasons" the kid wanders off midsentence.

and have only been criticizing users like Tryptonique when they have come out to against folk music. It took three pages of this thread for you to reveal your opinion, which in the end seems surprisingly similar to his. So where do you and him disagree? Merely in defining what music is, and why its folk variant is bad?

I honestly don't think that the opinions differ at all. Maybe Steven likes folk music? I don't know. I don't think that is what is really being debated here. I personally don't like folk music, but the reason I don't like it has nothing to do with Ayn Rand's characterization of it or even her reasons. I don't have a problem with people who DO like folk music. My mom likes country and I like hard rock. My girlfriend loves classical and I prefer vocal music. Whoopee. It isn't like differences of simple opinions can't be reconciled.

This isn't Dr. Seuss with the people who like their toast butter side up going to war with those who like their butter side down. At least I hope that isn't what is going on.

What more or less happened is that WilliamB made a post and Betsy jumped in and labeled him a "mind reader" and "psychologizer." I said "hold up, based on the evidence you don't have to be a mind reader or a psychologizer to come to that conclusion."

Then Steven puts up a pretty weak defense based on one liners and not actually reading the discussion which also drew fire from me just due to the fact that it makes for crappy discussion and even crappier debate. Moreover, it is unwarranted tripe. He might as well be saying "tra la la la la snicker snash picker pash." It would have as much relevence.

Based on the fact that he doesn't give my post any respect by not reading it, I might as well be singing gibberish too. For all he knows I'm damning him to the infernal pits of hell or singing his praises to the angels on high.

We have what we call in debate "two ships passing in the night."

We don't have any clash, we just have talking and subpar attempts at arguments that were weak to begin with.

I think that is an overall crappy thing and I have no problem pointing it out to anyone. That was my problem with Betsy and that is my problem with Steven.

I don't think that Steven necessarily "disagrees" with the meat of my posts (or other posts) considering he didn't friggin read them.

I wouldn't waste this amount of time on a simple disagreement about whether or not folk music is good or not. I have actually said very little on that very subject (whether or not I think folk music is good or bad). I would and did waste my time trying to inject a level of reasonability and fairness when another user was labeled unfairly and Steven decided to flush actual debate and discussion down the toilet.

I'm thinking our disagreement happens to center somewhere along those lines (the fact that I pretty much have said all of the above in the last 2 pages).

Apparently he doesn't "appreciate my tone, perspectives, or interpretations" and thinks my posts are "too long and rambling."

That should give you somewhere to start.

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Stephen,

I'm confused about what your disagreement with users like Tryptonique is.

At first I thought that, maybe you didn't read the beginning of this thread, and were unaware of the context in which it started. Yet your post is #6 here, which means you've been aware of the thread from the start. Moreover, in this first post of yours, you say nothing at all about folk music and instead recommend Rachmaninoff;

Being "aware of the thread" does not imply that I have read all the posts in thread. In fact, after glancing at the first post I had no interest in the subject until redfarmer mentioned Stephen Siek's lectures on Rachmaninoff, and it is to that subject that I spoke up.

from that post onward, you haven't expressed your view on the subject,

and have only been criticizing users like Tryptonique when they have come out to against folk music.

Any criticism I have expressed in this thread had nothing to do with any poster's own view of folk music. WilliamB made an initial post which I found offensive, but I stopped reading the post at that point and just ignored it. Betsy properly criticized WilliamB for (among other things) his mind-reading and psychologizing towards Ayn Rand, which was a major part of what I had found so offensive in his post. Tryptonique chimed in and compounded the offense, justifying WilliamB's inappropriate behavior. I couldn't care less what view about folk music these two posters (and two others here) have, but I do care about their attributing to Ayn Rand thoughts and feelings that she never expressed, and bizarrely interpreting her words in support of their mind-reading. As I said to Tryptonique, I do not appreciate his attitude, perspective, nor his interpretations.

It took three pages of this thread for you to reveal your opinion, which in the end seems surprisingly similar to his.

I have no idea what "opinion" you think I revealed, but in the issue which concerned me I have no similarity with his.

So where do you and him disagree? Merely in defining what music is, and why its folk variant is bad?

Again, I have absolutely no interest in these people's view of music, but I do care about what they misattribute to Ayn Rand.

Free Capitalist, I have answered your questions (which I otherwise would have ignored from most others) because I hold some respect for your judgment. However, I do not want to spend my time on this forum explaining and justifying myself.

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But later on,  Ayn emphatically denounces what she calls "modern music", and says that she is objectively certain that such music is NOT music. There is a reference to "non-periodic vibrations", and as examples of these she cites sounds like traffic, coughs, sneezes. There are no other examples, so what she seems to be denouncing under the umbrella of "modern music" are compositions which include these non-musical sounds, or noises. I agree, noises, in themselves, do not constitute music; but non-musical sounds can often be incorporated into musical compositions with great effect. Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture is a prime example, which uses cannon-fire to augment the power of the music; Mahler's Sixth Symphony has the famous (or infamous) "hammer-blows". I wish she had gone into greater detail about what she labels "modern music". As it stands, the term as she used it is lamentably vague, and one can only speculate as to what she might have thought of the various different kinds of experimental music, whether it be orchestral, electronic, or what.

I have always worked under the assumption that when Rand said "so-called modern music" she was referring to the modern classical music era starting in the late 1800's & on into the early 1900's up until the 1960's when she wrote the articles in The Romantic Manifesto.

Although she does not specify composers, her references to random noises & "non-periodic vibrations", etc. are in line with the practices of atonal, serial, musique concrete and aleatoric ("chance") composers like Stockhausen, Cage, Schoenberg (later stuff, not earlier when he had a vestige of tonality), Berg & Schaeffer.

Atonalists (historically "Expressionists") like Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg organize the materials in sections and whole compositions to be as harmonically and rhythmically disturbing as possible. Their own explicitly stated purpose was to avoid tonality. Tonality, however, is the fundamental premise upon which anything called music is built. Serial, musique concrete and aleatoric ("chance") composers like Stockhausen, Cage, and Schaeffer are also representative of this same situation. One of the primary problems with these types of "modern music" is that they erroneously assume one narrow concrete element of music and/or sound should be used as an abstract principle.

In atonal music, for example, the single concrete goal is to create mentally unintegratable patterns of dissonance; integratable consonance is apparently not allowed. In serial music, the goal is to use every chromatic tone before you can repeat one of the tones regardless of context. They sometimes referred to this as a "democracy of notes". This is in complete contrast to a primary aspect of tonality: one note (the root of the home key) is in fact more important than all the others (in a whole piece, section, melody, theme, etc.), the fifth of the root (the dominant which helps clarify the home key) is the next important. There is a heirarchy of importance relating notes in music. The techniques of atonal composers deliberately avoid organizing information in a way that might simply sound good (not to mention consonant with the nature of the human mind & ear). There is always some bizarre rule or set of rules that gets in the way of going straight to the questions a composer should ask himself: "Do I like the way it sounds? Does it fulfill my intention?" The serial composer's first concern is not "Do I like how it sounds?," but rather, "Did I use all the notes yet?" The atonal composer's first concern is to avoid consonance, thus, immediately, before he even starts, certain harmonic possibilities are "off limits" to him. Consonance and dissonance are simply tools that the composer should always have at his disposal.

When I have been in music theory classes that dealt with these modern composers the teachers spend a great deal of time talking about how "amazingly organized their self-contained system is". In a sense, it is; they did work very hard on their systems & compositions. Unfortunately, they are supposed to be played by musicians on musical instruments. It is as if they took the English alphabet & used the letters to form some incredibly complex code that doesn't refer to any known configuration of English words or sentences.

Years ago I played & recorded some "modern compositions" on my piano & put them on a tape. I also interspersed them with some of my own "off-the-cuff compositions in the same vein" (i.e. I banged & tinkered around on the piano at random). I played them for some of my private students & teachers of music theory. No one could tell the difference between the formal "compositions" & my nonsense.

Chance music and musique concrete are based on sounds and notes occurring randomly, thus, immediately the "composer" can have no deliberate intention of how his "composition" will turn out. As to Tchikovski's cannons, they are deliberately integrated rhythmically & thematically. There are many other examples; the note-specific taxi horns in the intro to Gershwin's "American In Paris" is a great one. There is, however, a whole school of aleatoric music that has as it's explicitly stated premise to include auditory events that are not integrated or thematic. They want "some sounds" in their "music", they just don't want a result that resembles anything a rational mind would invent or consume & enjoy (except possibly as a joke).

I think Rand's assessment of these auditory events as "not music" is very accurate. I, personally, would go so far as to say they are ANTI-music.

Christopher Schlegel

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[...]

I am sorry to piggyback on Christopher's post here, but I previously missed this reference to "Ayn" when I stopped reading WilliamB's post midstream. I would like to remind WilliamB, and other posters here, that to refer to Ayn Rand by the familiarity of solely her first name is extremely presumptuous and disrespectful of one of the greatest geniuses in history -- certainly THE greatest genius of our time -- and should only be done by those who were, in fact, on a first-name basis with Miss Rand (and, even then, only in the proper context). We show our respect by referring to "Ayn Rand" or "Miss Rand," as is done throughout the proper Objectivist corpus.

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[...]

I am sorry to piggyback on Christopher's post here, but I previously missed this reference to "Ayn" when I stopped reading WilliamB's post midstream. I would like to remind WilliamB, and other posters here, that to refer to Ayn Rand by the familiarity of solely her first name is extremely presumptuous and disrespectful of one of the greatest geniuses in history -- certainly THE greatest genius of our time -- and should only be done by those who were, in fact, on a first-name basis with Miss Rand (and, even then, only in the proper context). We show our respect by referring to "Ayn Rand" or "Miss Rand," as is done throughout the proper Objectivist corpus.

And so my point is proven again.

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ChristopherSchlegel,

Marvelous post. And I agree: these "auditory events" are anti-music. Their equivalent in the visual arts is the meaningless modern garbage that we are all, unfortunately, too familiar with. Literature has been reasonably immune (so far) from these extremes, as modern writers still need letters to create words, and words to create sentences---they haven't yet been able to figure out a way to "liberate" themselves from the tyranny of these rules.

What I marvel at are the legions of pseudo-intellectuals that will go and listen to an orchestra play this garbage. I have to believe that they are going to for the primary purpose of being seen, and being seen as an aficionado of the most current and cutting-edge "art". I also think that one can corrupt or at least dull the innate appreciation of coherent art and music sense by continued exposure to anti-art and anti-music.

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And so my point is proven again.

Well, the point that you don't know how to use the quote function is quite clear.

However, could you please articulate your point more clearly (without reference to your earlier post which I have already had the unfortunate experience of reading)? Do you have something against proper respect towards someone such as Ayn Rand? How is this cult behaviour? I need a detailed account of this, because I am really baffled as to your reasoning here.

Actually, I lied, I'm not baffled at all, but thought you'd want to support your charge.

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And so my point is proven again.

This is the second thread that I've followed where I've seen you make unfounded generalizations against the Objectivists on this forum. On the first thread, the tsunami thread, I had to practically drag it out of you why you were making such gerneralizations. As it is, your posts sound as if they're emotional outbursts with no basis in reason.

Please, make sure you can support your emotional reactions with reason if you're gonig to express them. So far, you've made no intellectual addition to the thread.

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Christopher, great post.  What do you think of today's rap music?  I find it unbearable.

Thanks. I am glad you got some value from it.

Rap qua rap is not music. It's closest relation to any exiting art form would have to be poetry. This is my estimate based on the facts rap & poetry share the common attributes of specifically selected words from a given language spoken in structural framework of rhythm & candence. Granted much rap would have to be (in my estimation) bad poetry, but poetry nevertheless.

An aspect that frequently confuses the issue of "Is rap music?" is that fact that most modern rap "songs" have some musical data in them. But this merely serves as a background, or baseline rhythmic standard by which rappers gauge their timing, phrasing, etc. It is not the main focus of attention. And even if one argued that this background musical data is to a degree integrated with the rapping it still doesn't change anything.

Rapping does not contain melodic information. Therefore it cannot contain harmonic information. It only contains linguistic & rhythmic information. Therefore rapping per se is not music.

On a side note, friends of mine with more interest in rap (hip-hop, rave, etc.) have informed me there are in fact identifiable standards by which one can judge the respective skills of various rappers. And there is an increasingly blurred line on what any given genre/style of music is or what aspect it contains. Some "rap" songs have sections with actual singing in them; some musical songs (i.e. primarily focused on a sung melody) have rapping in them. The people involved in the creation of these styles are frequently clever, imaginative manipulators of digital samples of others songs, pieces of songs and/or repeated sound samples but they are primarily interested in linguistic, rhythmic & sectional structure. They use the simplest of melodic devices (if at all). Harmonic content (i.e. a goal-directed harmonic progression) is of little to no serious value at all to them. Perhaps a better name for this type of thing is Poetry Set To An Audio Soundscape.

I am not necessarily denigrating this stylistic approach, I am merely saying that certain aspects of it are not music. Of course, in my experience, much of the content of their art is irrational, primitive & sometimes explicitly evil. This, of course, gets no sanction.

Friends & acquaintances have also informed me there are rappers & hip-hop artists out there that do project rational (or semi-rational) content. That very well may be. & I wish them well, but don't really care. I also find much of this stuff unbearable to listen to long enough to evaluate. I will listen to just about anything once just to be fair.

OK, too long-winded here (as usual!), but...

There is so much potential for beauty in the art of music. Sometimes it is disappointing how banal, pointless, vulgar, etc. much of current pop culture's music is. Even when I hear an artist that does actual music I frequently find myself bored to death. If you can find any artist with a good sense of life & decent musical aspects to their work (i.e. melody, harmony, rational form) it should be cherished & valued.

Christopher Schlegel

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Marvelous post. And I agree: these "auditory events" are anti-music. Their equivalent in the visual arts is the meaningless modern garbage that we are all, unfortunately, too familiar with.

Thanks. You make good, relevant points about the other arts as well.

What I marvel at are the legions of pseudo-intellectuals that will go and listen to an orchestra play this garbage.

That is quite a spectacle. I have heard some unbelievable crap from otherwise (potentially) intelligent people in regards to their justification of attending such events. Or supposedly enjoying such "music".

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