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Music Appreciation and The Depreciation of Music

Updated on May 7, 2012
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Quick Definitions:


1. Appreciation = To recognize with gratitude; be grateful for. Be fully aware of; realize fully.

2. Depreciation = To lower the value of something. Loss in value.

3. Cover = A new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song.

4. Empathy = Understanding and entering into another's feelings

My Own Drawing of Music

[Figure 1]. A picture I drew to express my personal love for music.
[Figure 1]. A picture I drew to express my personal love for music.

MY OWN HAIKU POEM ON MUSIC:


Music is the key,

The key that unlocks the soul,

Listen and you’ll see

Music is a tree,

Like the passion that spring brings,

This tree blossoms love

Music is fire,

Like the greatest summer heat,

It sets hearts ablaze

Music is water,

When autumns decay creeps in,

Music still bears fruit

Music is the peace,

Just like the calm winter snow,

Music relieves pain.

MUSIC APPRECIATION

To appreciate is to fully realize and accept, but what is music? “Music is an outburst of the soul” (Frederick Delius). Music is possibly the strongest and purest form of creative expression. A drawing cannot move, a sculpture cannot speak, the words in writings can convey emotion but they do not react. Music, on the other hand is the opposite; it is vivid, active and in a certain sense it is very much alive. The advancement of musicianship is often ridiculed due its difference, an easy example of this is shown all throughout the progression of Rock n Roll, and more specifically in the birth and growth of Rocks' famous Sub-genre: Metal.

History and Ridicule of Metal Music:


Many people disapprove certain genres of music simply because they cannot relate to the message it is conveying. They cannot see that a persons internal and emotional reaction to their life and/or situations are usually externally channelized into their music. Music like that, that is pure and uncensored, music that truly is an outburst of the soul is to be valued regardless of its deviation from the previous method. It must be recognized that all music is an interpretation of a personal truth, so those individuals who reject it have no empathy for the artists making that music, in other words they cannot relate to the truths that apply to those musicians. Therefore these people cannot fully feel through music and/or appreciate it.

GENRES AND STYLES OF MUSIC

Within the realm of music there are many genres (Examples: Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Rap and etc). And these genres breakdown into specific sub-genres (See, Figure 2, below for an example). Also, within these sub-genres each musician usually has their own personal style.

Example:

[Figure 2]. Metal is a heavier, and more aggressive form of Rock n Roll. This is a short genealogy of the Metal genre and the following sub-genres.
[Figure 2]. Metal is a heavier, and more aggressive form of Rock n Roll. This is a short genealogy of the Metal genre and the following sub-genres. | Source

Each of these groups ride under the banner of a certain genre and sub-genre, but the pioneers of these genres and sub-genres are always subject to a significant amount of credit. "Every Metal band owes a debt, musically to Black Sabbath, they were the original". The musicians that make a noticeable progression in a genre are praised due to their creativity, but as stated before a substantial amount of credit is due to the original innovators of that genre and/or sub-genre. Many musicians will cover a song of one of their predecessors but incorporate their own style into it. This is usually done to pay homage to an earlier band or as a tribute to an earlier band (look below for an example).



Anthrax - I'm Eighteen - Cover

Example:

The band Alice Cooper is widely known as one of the very first significant innovators in the sub-genres of theatrical and pop rock. They are also very well known for one of their breakthrough songs "I'm Eighteen".

The band Anthrax was one of the early innovators of the sub-genre known as thrash. Anthrax is one of bands that make up "The Big Four" in thrash, this group was named this because all four bands are widely regarded as the sculptors of thrash metal. In Anthrax's first album, they covered the song "I'm Eighteen".

Alice Cooper - I'm Eighteen - Original

DEPRECIATION OF MUSIC:


Many people (myself included), believe that the originality and creativity in music are steadily dwindling. Styles; more often than not are being replicated. And this replication is not in the sense of covering a specific song, but more so in the fashion of duplicating another’s style and/or sound. Usually when an artist covers a song they take the original version and simply rerecord it while incorporated their own style into it, but these days one artist will almost fully copy another artists style and not think twice about it. And the listeners of this music will usually not think twice about it either. This can be seen in many of the genres of music, but the most noticeable occurrence of this is in the genres of both rap and pop. (See below for a perfect example).

Examples:

  • In the first video there are a total of 36 songs that all use the same chord progression.
  • And in the last two videos; the two instrumentals are from two completely different producers, and also they were used by two completely different rappers, but as you can see they nearly sound exactly the same.
  • The people performing on them don't seem to care or notice and neither do many of the people listening to the songs.


Many musical artists find it easier to replicate the style of others than to create their own. This is either the result of a lack of creativity, or just simply a lack of talent. The creative musicianship and (in many cases) the ability to even sing are both decreasing in the music of many artists. This is most commonly seen in the over-use of “AUTOTUNE” or other voice effects, low quality lyrics and also in the staggering similarities found in the melodies of several songs.


I myself make music as well, but I have my own personal style of doing it and for the most part it is exclusive to me. People always ask me, “Saleel, what style of beats do you make?” (Referring to another producer such as: Timberland, Johnny Juliano, Scott Storch, Darkchild etc). and I always reply with the same simple answer, “I make my style, if you’re looking for someone else's music then you’ll have to go to them to get it”. Many people don’t even understand what I mean by that, which lets me know that the depreciation of music is going unnoticed to a lot of people.

CONCLUSION: Expand Your Horizon

It must be recognized that all music shares a common origin, and a common goal. “After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music” (Aldous Huxley). That common origin is the soul, and that common goal is the expression of the soul. As stated earlier many people disapprove certain kinds of music because they lack the empathy to understand the message that the music carries. Lack of creativity is perpetuating throughout each generation, because lack of "taste" is also perpetuating. To ridicule music or to exclude a certain type of music from what you listen to prevents you from being able to fully appreciate music as a whole. This type of exclusion is why many people cannot recognize the depreciation of music when it is right in front of their eyes; they cannot see it because it is all that they know. If a person only knows one kind of music then when they express themselves through music it will only show one kind of music as well (which is why many musicians sound like they're ripping off the sound of a different musician). In order to rid the music world of this depreciation all the "music fans" must learn to listen to and to love all the genres and sub-genres of music, then and only then will they attain “taste” and be able to fully enjoy it. Also if the musicians can do the same then they can also maintain creativity in the music they produce. If this trend begins to perpetuate just as the trend of recurrence has in the recent years, then I theorize that we will soon see the value in music increase.

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    • KrystalD profile image

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      This is am excellent hub on music! I think having an open mind with music can make for an enjoyable life. It even makes having good conversations with a wide variety of people possible. I enjoyed every aspect of this hub! Bravo!

    • Saleeln18 profile image
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      Saleeln18 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you very much. I agree with you there as well, music is such a beautiful thing, life itself would be dull to me without it. Much appreciated.

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