The science behind ''killing'' a song, when you overplay it

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by wegs, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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  3. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    I used to love this song


    and
     
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  5. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Aw, isn’t it interesting how we used to love certain songs and now we don’t? Like even songs I’ve heard for the first time this year seem to not interest me, anymore.

    We are a fickle lot, humans.
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well, that's the Holy Grail of musicians - to write a catchy tune that has legs, and isn't just a flash-in-the-pan.

    And it's not just music. Some books are simple, only to be read once. Some books - say, Lord of the Rings - are rich and complex enough to be timeless.
     
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  8. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    So true! If GoT had ended differently (the HBO series) ...it would be one of those classics to return to again, and again.
     
  9. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    perceptual attenuation & the biophysical nature of human irrationality

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  10. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-...much-sound-good-michael-bonshor-a7728156.html

    Dude, make more of effort to define "complexity" here. (Dude, here, being the author of the article--it's likely that Dr. Bonshor has (made the effort).)

    Here's three essentially single chord drone pieces, though differing very much in terms of "layers of harmonic, rhythmic and vocal complexity" and "musical content," yet all are comparably compelling--and enduring--in spite of a certain sort of simplicity. (No vocals in the Wagner piece, of course.)



    (This is actually five separate studio recordings of the song spliced together.)



    (An evolution of Tommy Johnson's "Big Road Blues" and Floyd Jone's "On the Road Again.")



    (Orchestral version with Wagner's piano score. I've never been able to track down a piano recording of the song, though here's <<< an organ version. I'm not sufficiently satisfied with my own interpretation to post it.)
     
  11. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    The article seems to be arguing--without any substantive evidence, I might add--that some sort of "complexity" is necessary for a piece to be lasting and compelling--“According to this principle, more complex music will have greater longevity, as it will be more challenging and retain the listeners’ interest for longer, whilst simple music may be sometimes be more immediately accessible, but may lose its appeal relatively quickly.” This principle? It doesn't really say what that is, apart from the bit about "the caudate nucleus in the brain (anticipating)" some vague "build-up" in a song. What?

    The whole complex v. simple notion isn't really elaborated upon in any meaningful way, though it's certainly worth keeping in mind that European music from ~1600-~1900 is quite anomalous with respect to all other music of the world throughout known history. Moreover, neither Frank Zappa nor Henry Cow ever received much in the way of commercial radio airplay.

    And, as regards this endorphin-releasing anticipation of some sort of "build-up"... Firstly, I'm not even entirely sure what that is--and music is my primary profession--though were I to speculate, I'd reckon it's got something to do with development, and development (again, that's in need of some defining) is something which an awful of artists, composers, and musical traditions explicitly reject. Yet this has in no way prevented these musics from being treasured by (lots of) people over (widely varying) periods of time.

    Both Stockhausen and Adorno harbor(ed) some degree of antipathy towards what they described, well, as musics characterized by varying qualities--repetition, periodicity, popular, and so forth. In the former's case, it got kinda racist: he considered musical traditions formed and favored by African Americans, for instance, as somehow "inferior." Of course, he argued, his objections were in some way ethically grounded--essentially, 'cuz the Nazis. With Adorno, even a cursory understanding of what he was getting at requires at least a few years intensive study of both musical theory and Continental thought. Either way, both were emphatically opposed to musics that many would describe as "simple"; yet both produced students (both literally and figuratively) who produced characterized by periodicity/repetition, quite, and absence of development (explicitly so, in the case of Can <<<.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I had similar reservations about the article.

    “There are two main reasons why music may become boring and fall out of favour,” he tells The Independent. “The first reason is overexposure to the song. Experiments have demonstrated that appreciation decreases once the novelty of a piece of music has worn off, and that we often become bored with a song that has become over familiar.”

    This first "reason" is essentially content-free - it's really just a restatement of the very thesis of the article. To-wit:

    "The reason overplaying a song makes you lose interest in it is because overplaying a song tends to make you lose interest in it."
     
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  13. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, I'm gonna give the cited "expert" in the psychology of music (Michael Bonshor) the benefit of the doubt here, and posit that his views on the matter were in no way accurately represented by the article. The idea that appreciation of a subject diminishes once the "novelty" has worn off cannot possibly be accurate--sure, he said it, but I'm guessing that he said something more substantive as well.

    Though, while the idea that people overwhelmingly favor--in terms of long-term appreciation--the complex and innovative to the relatively simple and straightforward is kinda silly (especially as concerns music), I will always be fascinated by those who argue that the former is somehow more substantive, worthy, elevated. I mean, in terms of the arts, generally, that sort of thinking fell out of favor nearly a century ago, but there are still those who cling to it. Of course, Adorno was writing nearly a century ago, but he's a Marxist/Frankfurt School thinker and so much of his writing on music seems almost wholly antithetical to his thinking on nearly all other matters.
     
  14. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    I tend to go through composers like I went through professors.
    I once described it as knocking a professor down and using my knowledge sucking straw suck him/her dry. then move on to the next professor.
    When I find a piece that I like, then I listen to as many directors/arrangements as I can and appreciate how some strengthen one part while others strengthen up other sections. The build is the thing.
    this rendition of Karelia Suite has the build done quite nicely.

    whereas this one starts out too strong and runs out of space for the build


    I've found that once I love a piece and have listened to it until i can play it back in my mind, then it is like the memory of an old lover.
    And, unlike a real flesh and bones human lover, sometimes, when I revisit it years later, i remain enchanted yet once again because it has not changed. Whereas, with a human lover who I meet on the street years later, I find that I much prefer the memories to the woman standing in front of me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  15. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    i have been theorizing for a few years about the cardio rhythmic attenuation of music to correlate to an emotional pre-coded state which is then socially queued.
    # the comment you make about the comment about, building anticipation to deliver an emotional suspense... etc.. general biological / genetic learning toward process and effect via auditory ques.
    most humans define a physical attack at the end of an increasing volume
    very very common psychological indoctrination in older generations.
    ... silence is only brought on by violent acts etc... (probably worth noting toward religious indoctrination and cult programming etc...)
    my layman's theory is that the vast majority of mainstream radio music is designed around pre-coded emotional group queuing to create group compliance emotionally to falsify a concept of emotional connection outside an intellectual advanced emotional ability to interact with varying and many different types of complex personalities.


    but thats all off the record

    note re undertones of nazis...
    i have wondered on occasion if woodstock helped introduce the complexity variation of African rhythm to western audiences via the epic drum solo and normalisation of things like floor toms bringing hand percussion into a main frame of relative familiarization and thus laymans conceptualization.

    The Beatles did their thing in India(cultural adoption, export & interaction/interpretation) introducing singular concepts of percussion into group participation inside the British psyche(?)

    South American rhythm ...

    passing thought
    the electric bass guitar and the development of modern western complex rhythms cross cultural awareness...

     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019

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