Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Question.

I read on a forum today that math rock is "music for musicians," and in essence, that someone who doesn't know about notes and time signatures can't appreciate math rock, or even enjoy it, to the same degree as a musician. What are thoughts on this? I must admit that most of Shapes Like Dinosaur's friends on MySpace are other bands or members of bands. Like probably 85% of them. So it could be true, I'm not sure. I have musical friends who hate even the tamest math rock, and also ones who play no instruments that love Hella and Dilute.

Just something interesting to think about. I would say it's a lot like jazz in that there's a lot going on musically, but you can certainly enjoy it without knowing about it, even if you can't appreciate it in the same way.

Thoughts? Love.



Anonymous said...

Interesting question..

I feel that those who understand the mechanics of music are more easily capable of grasping the complexity of this genre. Though, like all forms of sound, this type of music unconsciously effects everyone in the same way.

That being said, I do feel that less musically inclined people (conditioned to standard tunings, simple time signatures, and "catchy" pop-like structures) are less likely to enjoy the math-y side of the spectrum.

Signs of Life said...

I am a musician but I do not understand time signatures and keys very well. Despite this I can still appreciate SOME math rock. Pretty much everything that you put up here I give a shot. Honestly some I can't handle but every now and then there is a band that blows me away (Tenebre and Pretend). For the average music listener I think that math rock is just noise to them because they do not focus on what's being done. But every now and then I don't want to have to focus either. Math Rock is music and it is made to be enjoyed. Not everyone likes every genre of music. So instead of making it sounding like math rock fans are some kind of elite just think about the fact that people don't like other genres too. There is no reason to say that you have to be a musician to enjoy it.

Sam & Tyler said...

I don't really understand where the "math" comes from, as if musicians sit in front of complex algebra problems before they start writing their music. Its not like its difficult to wack away at a guitar until you come up with something in an odd meter, without actually being able to count one or write it out. I guarantee that 90% of those who play "math rock" don't know any more about meters or notes than someone who plays pop/rock por whatever. They just get their fingers to play longer and odd time patterns by fucking around with the instrument long enough. Things get even easier when you start working with open tunings, because scale and chord construction don't have to be considered; you can just pedal on open strings.

I'm not hating on "math rock", i'm hating on the pretentious fuckheads that think the music they play is somehow more intellectual. Its not. Its just expression, and different people express themselves in different ways.

Sweet discussion post blogmate we should do more of these =]


Anonymous said...

It seems the general idea established here is that every human has the capacity to appreciate all types of music. Be it 'mathematical' rock, occultist avant-garde jazz, br00tal deathgrind or some post-rock lo-fi shoegaze... (fuck genre titles.. seriously)

And who really cares anyway, all music is art, all art is life, let's enjoy it!

...except Nickelback.

Sam & Tyler said...

Haha, I agree with you, but I also think that's the point here. Who's to say Nickelback isn't way better than Hella? I know toooons of people that would rather listen to Nickelback. Depends on what your criteria is, which I think is way different depending on if you're a musician or not, or what age you are, or if you drink wine or PBR, etc. etc.


Anonymous said...

That's funny because only a year ago I heard Shellac's Action Park and I couldn't understand what was happening. It was just undefined sound to me.
I've always been a huge music lover, always played music without much theorical knowledge, but still attracted to alternative stuffs as long as there's a melodic line, and my definition of 'melodic line' is extremely open.

In July someone recommended MMISL's Variation on Swing to me. First listen has been so painful. But it appealed me in a strange way. Like when you hear a foreign language: you don't understand it but it still has an interesting sound.
So I litteraly forced myself to listen to the album again and again and again. Until one day, the 'thing' happened: I was finally able to feel the music without thinking 'what the hell are they doing with their guitars?!'. I'll never forget that great sensation.

I admit it takes a little time to really appreciate math rock and if you don't want to make that little effort then you'll never get the thing...

But as Signs of Life wrote:
'Math Rock is music and it is made to be enjoyed.'

In life it's so stupid to say I don't like this or that, this is shit etc... You just grow up, experience things that open unexpected doors, all the time.


Liam said...

I'm not a musician, I don't play a single musical instrument, however 'math' is probably one of my favourite genres of music.
You don't have to understand all the technicalities of what the musicians are playing to appreciate it, I can just hear it with my very own ears. I feel that I am just as cabable of grasping the complexities of the genre as a musician would, I enjoy and listen to many genres of music, and to just hear the music in comparison to other songs I would listen to I can tell how complex their music is.
I'm not a musician but I know the time signitures aren't normal, I know a lot of the finger tapping a plucking they do is crazy hard, and I also know that a lot of math is awesome!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to post on this because weiner doo doo.

I was in high school when I started listening to math rock, and over the course of a few years I quickly figured out that if you didn't want to understand how complex and beautiful these things are, you won't. On the same note... discomforts people because as right side and left side brains try and grasp those concepts they either absolutely don't understand or they love it. It is music that really can bring some eccentric eclectic feeling out of you.
It changed my life. It made me a happier person.
That is why I believe some people don't like it though. Simply conditioned musical taste/right brain left brain. I just don't think we give credit to how complex the brain is. As we have different taste buds, our ear buds and brain prefer certain sounds.

I wont stop showing my beautiful sounds to everyone I can.

Other than that it could be weiner doo doos spreading weiners around and ruining it all for us.