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Posted By: Nikolas Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 07:46 PM
At various occasions, here in pianoworld, we've offered the name "Lady Gaga" to the public, many times as something negative, etc. Obviously her image helped towards that.

Well, I came across this video, which showcases the following facts:
1. She can sing (didn't detect any autotuning readily in her voice)
2. She can play
3. She can groove
4. She looks pretty!

And if we consider her previous images, I'd assume that we have in our hands someone with a strong personality, if anything.
Posted By: BruceD Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 08:10 PM
Which video is "this video" that you came across?

Regards,
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 08:15 PM
Well done Nikolas... grin

Here's the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISOBK0Zhrjw
Posted By: cathryn999 Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 08:25 PM
Hmn so I'm going to put this out there and don't shoot me for the comparison. I was struggling to think of contemporary artists who push the boundaries like Bowie did... always at the edge of what's possible. I don't *like* her music per se, but the only one that came to mind was Lady Gaga. There's plenty of other good musos on the contemporary music scene, but none that I could think of that transform (or at least attempt to transform) the current somewhat guileless contemporary pop landscape. Yes she can sing, yes she can play, yes she can groove, the fact that she looks pretty is irrelevant, she has a social conscience and she challenges social norms. My two cents worth.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 08:30 PM
Note: The part about pretty is in comparison to her previous images (which were as far from the 'norm' as possible).

I still find that she has a personality (And she is having fun with being famous...)
Posted By: laguna_greg Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 08:31 PM
She is one of the more interesting (of the very few) stars on the pop scene these days....and she can sing...
Posted By: JoelW Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 09:01 PM
She can sing, and her voice sounds really good in some contexts (see Tony Bennett duets), but her songwriting is bad and her shtick is idiotic.
Posted By: TwoSnowflakes Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 09:39 PM
Yes, I don't always care for her music, but she really does have musical talent and real vocal skills.

In the category of "pop star" there seem to be a couple of kinds of stars. The first one is group containing the Real Musicians who, in addition to being musicians first (whether they be spectacular vocalists or amazing songwriters, sometimes both), also were blessed to have enough of the other ingredients (looks, charisma) that make them pop star material. There is some wiggle room here: truly outstanding songwriters and vocalists might not have the "look" but still be successful because their music or their voice is just so captivating. On the other end of this group, the less outstanding ones need a little bit more in the way of looks, but in any case, the folks in this group are musicians first.

The second group are the ones that feel more like "manufactured" pop stars. For these folks, it almost feels as if the producers had an idea of a star first--say, they have a bunch of potential pop hits already written by professional songwriters--and then go out to try to cast someone to play that role. They just need someone who looks the part and who possesses enough basic singing skills so that a private vocal coach, a good sound engineer, and autotune bridges the gap.

I put Lady Gaga in the first category, along with other people who are both good at what they do and can also fill a stadium, like Adele, Bruno Mars, and even Taylor Swift (assuming she writes her own music because her voice is only so-so.) But I put people like Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber squarely in the second.

I think I might put Arianna Grande in the first category. I heard her sing on some late night show and I was taken aback. Before that I kind of just mushed her together with all the other nondescript manufactured teen bop fungible widget star-type generic products.
Posted By: Steve Chandler Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 10:36 PM
Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
But I put people like Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber squarely in the second.
I wish I could agree with you on this, but I remember when Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" was big and American Idol auditioners would fail miserably at trying to sing that song. It must be one of those songs that sounds easier than it really is.

But my real comment is in response to Nikolas. It's easy for classical players to dismiss pop players, but anyone who's tried playing piano and singing at the same time knows it's no picnic. Add in that this is a Stevie Wonder song (which always means it's tougher than it sounds) and the fact that Gaga absolutely kills it and I believe this video clearly demonstrates that she's a prodigious talent. Thanks for posting, that's a helluva performance.
Posted By: jjo Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 10:55 PM
I'm a Great American Song Book snob, and when pop stars like Rod Stewart try to sing those songs, I think they invariably suck. I listened to Lady Gaga's CD with Tony Bennett, expecting to come away holding my nose, but she totally surprised me. It's terrific.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 11:24 PM
Lady Gaga was just another noisy pop weirdo to me until I heard this at the BBC Proms, and thought that maybe there was something more to this lady other than being a bit, er, gaga wink (after all, if a classical pianist can play Gaga.....):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig51Guf5hjs

Since then, I've got one of her songs (one of very few pop songs, in fact) in my iTunes. This one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhLP7bbgBsY
Posted By: Miguel Rey Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/15/16 11:33 PM
She is definitely levels above Brittany Spears too bad she has to dumb down or maker her music more commercialized because she can sing but like many artists with talent they have to have that "Shtick" to get the big bucks. Of course the industry is well familiar with her talent, or she wouldn't have been invited to perform for the great Stevie Wonder. Not sure if Justin Bieber got is invite.
Posted By: drumour Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/16/16 10:55 AM
Does she do live stuff? To what extent is her product a result of engineering?


John
Posted By: Grandé Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/16/16 11:59 AM
I am not a Gaga fan but I respect her talent.
Yes, she does live stuff and, from the little I have listened too, does it very well.
Here she is performing alongside Tony Bennett -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIoyTlfUPPU
Posted By: WhoDwaldi Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/16/16 08:53 PM
She can sing with Tony Bennett, but could she accompany for him?
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/16/16 09:38 PM
Extra notes, as I r-ewatched the video tonight.

1. The backing vocals contain 1 pregnant woman (huge kudos for being there, both to herself and the production for allowing her) [2:;01]
2. Lady Gaga does, indeed appear to play, but in all honesty, we never see her fingers, and she frequently lifts her hands, but there's a backup keyboard player in her left side. Still, she's closely looking at her hands while performing, and her performance is stellar.
3. I still can't make out any autotune happening, though it's quite possible. Still her voice is trained.
4. Extra note: This is why Freddie Mercury stopped playing the piano in shows, because he felt it was keeping him from perform fully for the audience.

Her songs, no matter how 'pop' they sound, believe it or not, they are well made (which is why there's a lady gaga fugue in the internet, etc)...
Posted By: JoelW Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/16/16 09:48 PM
Nikolas,

Can you please provide an example of a well-made song by Lady Gaga?
Posted By: phantomFive Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/16/16 10:00 PM
Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
But I put people like Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber squarely in the second.
I wish I could agree with you on this, but I remember when Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" was big and American Idol auditioners would fail miserably at trying to sing that song. It must be one of those songs that sounds easier than it really is.

Miley Cyrus is definitely a case of massive potential lost by teenage stupidity
Posted By: JoelW Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/16/16 10:04 PM
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
But I put people like Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber squarely in the second.
I wish I could agree with you on this, but I remember when Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" was big and American Idol auditioners would fail miserably at trying to sing that song. It must be one of those songs that sounds easier than it really is.

Miley Cyrus is definitely a case of massive potential lost by teenage stupidity

She's really not that talented.
Posted By: izaldu Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/28/16 08:29 AM
I agree she can sing and that she can "groove" on that song. And i never really cared much for her music (or anything at all), but still recognized she could play and sing.

Her songs, though , are more of the same from the current pop music scene. Verse Chorus verse chorus and little more. Silly lyrics and more importance on the video clips than on the actual music. Nothing wrong with that, but does nothing for me either.


On the first video, look at the band playing along. She has what, 10 professional musicians behind her, keyboardist included? Anyone thinks the singers doing background couldn't do a great version of Stevie Wonder?

Even if i thought she's a "huge" talent (Bowie, Mercury, Marley, in pop music), which i don't, she would still be a huge talent doing pretty average stuff. We're setting the bar real low these days with pop music. The comparison with Bowie is beyond me , with all due respect. Bowie has countless classics that influenced the later generations bigtime, not just musically; Gaga has a couple pointless albums that sold a lot and a few good clips of her actually playing live on youtube. And she even got a lot of recognition for the famous Gaga fugue, which she didn't write.

Any classical concert gets murdered online for a memory slip. Gaga gets praised because she can actually play piano chords and sing (she does have a quite nice voice) at the same time.

I don't mean to sound bitter, but it s just that pop star singers should actually be able to sing and perform live without people considering them geniuses for it. Lots of struggling musicians wh can do it yet no one cares.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/28/16 08:40 AM
izaldu, a very interesting post and one that I disagree to, almost completely.

For me Lady Gaga represents someone who's been scolded a lot (in these very forums as well), and I wanted to bring a different side of her.

The pointless part of her music, is mainly based on the production of her songs and the image she has, I think, rather than the actual music itself.

I don't think we're setting the bar really low. I can provide various examples (maybe not in the mainstream pop), like Radiohead, or Eels or other bands that work brilliantly.

Lastly the 'struggling musicians' that no one cares is also a problem of themselves, with which I mean that maybe it's not the fault of those who are known, but of the struggling ones who are not doing what it takes... :-/
Posted By: izaldu Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/28/16 09:11 AM
Well i am not one to really engage in the "good music" vs "bad music" debate, because i don't believe in it. The joy that one person gets from a Katy Perry song can be even greater than the pleasure someone with a major in piano performance can get from a work by Bach or Beethoven. Snobbishness has played against classical music for a long time, but there are other factors.

When i said we re setting the bar really low, i meant that the music that seems to be most successful these days is musically quite irrelevant. You even hear it from people who only like rock, that the bands coming up these days aren't like they used to be in the 70s, 80s even 90s. There is little going on in the way of innovation. Very little.

I can think of a lot of singers, female vocalists from the 70s that could sing better than Gaga. They were pretty ignored in their time and a lot of them are somewhat forgotten now. Until Tarantino features one of their songs in a movie, or something.

At the end of the day, the comments towards Gaga are pretty much "wow, she can sing good, and play at the same time". Isn't she a singer? She 's making what 20, 30 million a year from singing and music in general. You go to a wedding or a hotel lounge and when there's a pianist playing the jazz classics, do people go like "wow, he can actually play all those songs flawlessly, amazing!". No they don't. That's his job. People take it for granted. People take for granted that they go to a classical concert and the soloist will be flawless, at least in execution.

Whereas in pop music, it's different. For Gaga to have the chops and the talent to sit at a piano and be able to move a crowd through her singing and playing, alone, that is a BONUS, not a minimum requirement,l like it should be for any performing musician. Because her envirronment in terms of audience etc is the same as that of the Britneys, Katys, Taylors ... who are ...well ... not really making breakthrough music. So when you find one that actually looks somewhat talented, she's one of a kind.I saw katy Perry in a concert on tv a couple years ago. She was totally out of tune. It was terrible. Maybe it was an off night, but she sucked, hard. Yet the audience was perfectly happy.

Again, i don't dislike Gaga. Good for her and she can play a decent song and sings pretty good. But come on.

As to the other bands you mention, i m not into pop music much . I ve listened to a lot of it in my life. But most of what i hear now sounds pretty unoriginal and repetitive to me. I think bands were much better 20, 30, 40 years ago because they were not shooting to be successful or cool. Now bands get more promotion from media outlets that deal with celebrities ythan with actual musical talk.
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/28/16 12:25 PM
Originally Posted by izaldu
You go to a wedding or a hotel lounge and when there's a pianist playing the jazz classics, do people go like "wow, he can actually play all those songs flawlessly, amazing!". No they don't.


Actually, people do say that. Quite frequently.

I am not the greatest pianist in the world by a long shot, but many times when I play in public somebody will come up and say something along the lines of "wow, amazing, how do you do that, etc".

ps...I don't play jazz or do weddings. laugh
Posted By: Plowboy Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/29/16 02:52 AM
Quote
There is little going on in the way of innovation. Very little.


I can't imagine anyone as innovative and outside the box as Captain Beefheart being recorded in this day and age.
Posted By: Orange Soda King Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/29/16 05:06 PM
I sometimes listen to Lady Gaga. I actually prefer Adele, though.
Posted By: argerichfan Re: Lady Gaga... - 01/30/16 06:23 AM
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
I sometimes listen to Lady Gaga.

I was a bit snobby about Lady Gaga until I heard some cuts from her album with Tony Bennett. Our local jazz station had a few of them on rotation, and I must say, I was quite impressed! thumb
Posted By: Hank M Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/08/16 11:34 AM
Did anyone hear her performance of the national anthem before yesterday's Superbowl? Further evidence, in case anyone needed it, that she can sing!
Posted By: malkin Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/08/16 12:33 PM
She did a great job on the Star Spangled Banner.

And I enjoyed Marlee Matlin too!
Posted By: Rerun Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/09/16 11:39 AM
Originally Posted by Hank M
Did anyone hear her performance of the national anthem before yesterday's Superbowl? Further evidence, in case anyone needed it, that she can sing!



Jeepers, she really belted it out ... best rendition at the SB in years imo. Glad she came out dressed stylish rather than the wild duds, etc., and her interview about doing the event was very good too.
Posted By: Orange Soda King Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/09/16 01:01 PM
I'm not a fan of when people add all sorts of riffs and stuff to the national anthem, actually... And some of her vowels sounded a bit interesting, but she does have a good voice.

If anything, it was still more exciting than the actual game itself.
Posted By: Nahum Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/09/16 04:02 PM
I saw Lady Gaga sings, but I heard someway Barbra Streisand ...
Posted By: PM7 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/09/16 07:50 PM
Pop music is bad enough itself, but Lady Gaga and alike performers are a distaster.

David Bowie, mentioned here before is a good comparision- with all respect to him (I bet that in different environment, the man had enough talent, intelligence and curiosity to become a good classical musician). The man was able to write songs that had some touch of higher musical advancement, and non-musical content that is often far above intelligence and knowledge of lots, if not majority of people today, therefore often incomprehensible for them. Also, his performing skills improved in time, from a crying rockman he turned into quite good singer (I wrote "quite" because, I'm not sure would he be able to perform very well in case of quick, rapid tone changes in big intervals?)
Still his compositions were simple, harsh, often somewhat infantile (as majority of pop compositions I suppose), though in case of Bowie it was probably a sensible artistic effect, still for me irritating these days, because I consider it reflecting some very bad state of mind. Still, I consider David Bowie as an artist, and rather skilled musician.

But Lady Gaga is a different story. Her songs are pointless, and compositions are simple like a wall made of wooden blocks.
Who cares if she can sing or not, there are lots of people who can sing better than she does, therefore it is unjust and irritating to hear blessings about somebody like her.

Neuhaus said that music can desribe the structure of world. What kind of world is that, the pop singers are able to see and show to us? I would be scared to be back at this state of mind. I never listened to things that bad, but 10 years ago I was close. About 5 years ago I started to listen to classical music a lot, and now I feel like I've escaped from a closed bottle, and have acces to entire Universe.
Posted By: JoelW Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/09/16 08:12 PM
To call Lady Gaga's songwriting mediocre would be a compliment.
Posted By: JoelW Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/09/16 08:46 PM
Originally Posted by Nahum
I saw Lady Gaga sings, but I heard someway Barbra Streisand ...

cursing
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/09/16 08:48 PM

It is a good thing anytime a piano, a big grand piano, is featured front and center for millions and millions to see.
Posted By: Toddler2 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 03:07 AM
I always find it annoying when people are derogatory about a musician's talent because they don't like their music. Saying she isn't talented or is a mediocre writer is just silly. I suspect she has more talent and motivation than anyone belittling her here, and I can't stand most of her music. I can still be honest enough to admit she didn't make it big in the music industry because she's a pretty blonde doing something easy. She's not blonde, what she does isn't easy, and she made it big because she's smart and exceptionally talented.

Oh, and Lady Gaga isn't her name. She's Stefani Germonatta. She started playing piano at 4 or 5, was writing and performing her own songs by the time she was a teenager, and she got into NYU's Tisch school. I remember Tisch because my sister was there at the same time as Idina Menzel, and I thought it was an interesting contrast, Menzel and Gaga. I think Germonatta had a band that played around NY with some success before she actually became "Lady Gaga", and then got discovered doing much more traditional music.

Her singing, song writing, and piano playing abilities aren't mediocre. She's eccentric and unusual, and she's writing pop stuff I hate, but she's talented and versatile. This is someone who had some success with Indy and more traditional singer songwriter performances, but somewhere along the way she realized she could probably make more money doing her performance pop art thing. And she did. Like I said, smart...

And since she's now popular and successful enough that she can basically do what she wants, my guess is we'll see her doing more complex and eclectic pieces. Or maybe she'll write a musical for Broadway. Who knows, maybe she'll even do something I'll like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ekj-08DR5p4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SagYW3-KNyc
Posted By: Nahum Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 04:37 AM
Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by Nahum
I saw Lady Gaga sings, but I heard someway Barbra Streisand ...

cursing
I have an advantage over you: I enjoy of both worlds , judging each its own laws. This is pluralism ; with totalitarianism I was familiar since childhood for 26 years ...
Posted By: JoelW Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 04:58 AM
Originally Posted by Toddler2
I always find it annoying when people are derogatory about a musician's talent because they don't like their music. Saying she isn't talented or is a mediocre writer is just silly.

Why is it silly? She's no McCartney.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 05:37 AM
Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by Toddler2
I always find it annoying when people are derogatory about a musician's talent because they don't like their music. Saying she isn't talented or is a mediocre writer is just silly.

Why is it silly? She's no McCartney.
This is not your original post, but I'll leave this part aside.

The idea is that YOU don't like her music is the main point, not that she's NOT McCartney.

Get it now?

Yes feel free to dislike anything you want though...
Posted By: JoelW Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 05:53 AM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by Toddler2
I always find it annoying when people are derogatory about a musician's talent because they don't like their music. Saying she isn't talented or is a mediocre writer is just silly.

Why is it silly? She's no McCartney.
This is not your original post, but I'll leave this part aside.

The idea is that YOU don't like her music is the main point, not that she's NOT McCartney.

Get it now?

Yes feel free to dislike anything you want though...

This is not up for debate. Gaga's songwriting is not in the same universe as Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Elton John, etc, in the same way that said musicians aren't in the same universe as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, etc. I know you appreciate Freddie. Are you telling me she can be mentioned in the same breath? I don't mean to be crass, but let's be real here. I'm not saying she CAN'T write "Somebody to Love" but she certainly hasn't written anything that's come even close. Keep in mind that I have virtually no bias whatsoever here. I'm not looking through any sort of lens. For the record, I'm not a fan of these pop stars' commercial schticks; I simply judge the music for what it is, and this includes Gaga.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 06:05 AM
Originally Posted by JoelW
This is not up for debate. Gaga's songwriting is not in the same universe as Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Elton John, etc, in the same way that said musicians aren't in the same universe as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, etc. I know you appreciate Freddie. Are you telling me she can be mentioned in the same breath? I don't mean to be crass, but let's be real here. I'm not saying she CAN'T write "Somebody to Love" but she certainly hasn't written anything that's come even close.
Indeed it's not up for debate, but you know why?

Because I don't care, in the slightest to brand people in a negative way. The way that you are (constantly) doing.

In fact I don't care to label people at all (regardless of the existence of this very thread, which I started, but I did so to stop the misconceptions about Lady Gaga).
Posted By: JoelW Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 06:15 AM
Forgive me for being a little irritated at the celebration and glorification of junk.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 06:27 AM
Originally Posted by JoelW
It's my opinion that today's music is the worst music ever made by man. Forgive me for being a little irritated at the celebration and glorification of junk.
I don't have to forgive you. I don't care to 'correct' anyone, nor I would be able to do so! grin Just keep in mind that you keep labeling people/things/music/etc.

But, btw, as I'm a composer TODAY, and making music TODAY, I do find your post a little insulting. wink

EDIT: A, A, a... wink

You edited your post, but someone got to quote you first! grin
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 06:39 AM
To explain a bit better...

As a publisher, who at the moment represents almost 70 composers (not visible at the website yet all of them, due to technical issues), you can understand that I have to evaluate continuously the works that are coming in. And there's plenty of works coming in in a weekly bases now!

As such, I'm forced to think past my own enjoyment as a listener, as a composer and as a pianist. There's tons of other issues to consider when starting to publish the works of any composer.

So in the rest of my time (which is very limited right now), I'm doing my best NOT to judge much. As a listener I enjoy tons of stuff, from Nu Metal, to contemporary classical, to Mozart to whatever you can imagine. So I just listen to whatever I like and as it so happens some of Gaga's songs I like. Same with Take That btw(!)

As a composer I have a rather extended freedom of expression, due to my dealing with the computer games industry, which gives me an opportunity to go very light on what to compose, and to be honest I don't necessarily miss my academia days, but it remains that I'm bound by my own limitations, some of which are constantly augmented, as I diminish others.
Posted By: JoelW Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 06:45 AM
I should have specified. Obviously I don't mean all music created today. I'm talking about the superstars. The standard for A list music acts as plummeted to an all time low.
Posted By: JoelW Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 06:49 AM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
And there's plenty of works coming in in a weekly bases now!

Glad to hear it. Are you going to have to expand to keep up?
Posted By: phantomFive Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 07:08 AM
Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by Toddler2
I always find it annoying when people are derogatory about a musician's talent because they don't like their music. Saying she isn't talented or is a mediocre writer is just silly.

Why is it silly? She's no McCartney.

Lucky her. Maybe she has a chance now of writing decent lyrics laugh


(like the Beatles said, "It doesn't really matter what chords I play or
What words I say"
)
Posted By: PM7 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 10:39 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88

It is a good thing anytime a piano, a big grand piano, is featured front and center for millions and millions to see.


I suspect, that there may be other end of that stick: ignorant people thinking that she plays piano as well as classical virtuoso, so that leads them to thinking that they do not listen to worse music, but just to different. Which is obvioiusly not correct.

Originally Posted by Toddler2
I always find it annoying when people are derogatory about a musician's talent because they don't like their music. [...], and she made it big because she's smart and exceptionally talented.

It's not about like or not like, just look at form and structure, and compare this to some serious music, pop is primitive, and since 80ties it's usually awfully primitive. It is an objective fact.


Originally Posted by Toddler2

Oh, and Lady Gaga isn't her name. She's Stefani Germonatta.

I've got one question: can this be treated in a way the word "gaga" was used in the past? Since she has lots of money, she should tell her fans that what they listen too is a bad joke.



Originally Posted by Toddler2

She started playing piano at 4 or 5, was writing and performing her own songs by the time she was a teenager, and she got into NYU's Tisch school.


Having skills doesn't mean that you can't do bad thinks in order to make money from people who have terrible perception abilities or taste, but at least at some point somebody should show them that world is a bit bigger than a bottle they are sitting in. Otherwise, people like Lady Gaga deliver stuff that makes next generations even worse. This may eventually lead even to serious crisis, because it may happen that it will be to easy to be "musician" and there won't be enough audience to keep high culture alive. Then somebody may make this awfull noise prohibited, considering it as satanic or something, and we shall become something like Saudi Arabia or worse. I know it sounds crazy, but crazy things are happening in history all the time, cultural revolution in China for example was a complete madness hard to believe when you read more about it.

Originally Posted by Toddler2


She's eccentric and unusual, and she's writing pop stuff I hate

Because media always look for sensation. Eventually we will get so tired and used to it, that some days we shall read such title: "Shock! An artist did NOT put her pants off at concert"

Posted By: Rerun Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 10:51 AM
Quote
This is not up for debate. Gaga's songwriting is not in the same universe as Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Elton John, etc, in the same way that said musicians aren't in the same universe as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, etc. I know you appreciate Freddie. Are you telling me she can be mentioned in the same breath? I don't mean to be crass, but let's be real here. I'm not saying she CAN'T write "Somebody to Love" but she certainly hasn't written anything that's come even close. Keep in mind that I have virtually no bias whatsoever here. I'm not looking through any sort of lens. For the record, I'm not a fan of these pop stars' commercial schticks; I simply judge the music for what it is, and this includes Gaga.



She's what ... 30? McCartney, etc. are in their seventies or dead. People turn corners. By their own admission, McCartney, etc. spit in sandwiches while working at a Heathrow cafeteria when they were younger. Maybe she's pulling it together like a lot of us have done.

Btw, while I haven't heard all of them out there, most national anthems are not particularly difficult compositions, not that she will be invited to compose one if PM7 discovers a pop free inhabitable planet. grin
Posted By: Mark Polishook Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 11:20 AM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
To explain a bit better...



Nicholas, you are clearly are drawn to the flame! Like you, I saw Gaga at the Stevie Wonder tribute and said "wow!" Like you I'm a former academic. Maybe escape from the academy is what it takes.

One thing I learned a long time ago was there are a lot of really talented people out there who simply do what they do. There are also a lot of people who critique them simply because they can (just a different case of doing what they do).

That irony is why NIcholas Slonimsky published the "Lexicon of Musical Invective" where you can see pretty much all beloved composers were, in their day, called (and their music as well) all sorts of unbelievable things! Criticism is by and large a blin, earless art and it has much more to do with the biases of the critic than it has to do with the qualities of the artist being critiqued.

Although there are always examples to that and it's also true that many of the more interesting critics at some point or another admit their biases and leave it at that.

Lady Gaga didn't write Bad Romance (is that what it's called?) hoping that someone else would turn it into a fugue. And Schumann did't compose leider with the hope that Sting would one day turn a few into pop tunes.

But when these sorts of things transfer easily from one genre to another they show us there's less rather than more that separates music in the world. Whether or not we choose to see or hear that is a different story. And it really doesn't make a difference.

Gaga, Schumann, and Stevie Wonder all have their audiences. It's up to us to decide whether to follow along or dismiss. Both are options. Except–you can probably see my bias. "Dismiss" something and it makes it harder to see and hear it. But that's an individual choice and that's simply my opinion, my observation, and how I try and approach things. But I have yet to like anything from Lana Del Rey but, who knows what's coming.

Anyway, just had to say: I saw Gaga doing Stevie Wonder and said "wow!" So, we will meet up in London sometime, yes?
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 11:24 AM
Mark: Of course we'll meet! I mean we HAVE to! I will be in the piano meetup next week. Will you be there?

But other than that, I still find that there's something about her music which is far more interesting than plenty of stuff. And to be honest, I find that pop today can be tons more sophisticated than most of you probably think it possible. I'm almost inclined to believe that pop today is the new classical music (though I have my pet peeves as far as recordings go, as some of you know).

Still, if I, and Mark, can go "wow" over a live performance of someone (BTW, she got the nickname Gaga (on her own I believe), because of Queen's Radio Gaga song! grin ), then there's something interesting happening, no? At least it's worthy of a thread in pianoworld! grin
Posted By: Nahum Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 11:44 AM
Originally Posted by PM7

It's not about like or not like, just look at form and structure, and compare this to some serious music, pop is primitive, and since 80ties it's usually awfully primitive. It is an objective fact.

If this applies to the course of musical form analysis , we should expect evaluation Unsatisfactory.
All the time I meet music lovers who want to replace forcibly G at K.
Posted By: PM7 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 12:50 PM
Originally Posted by Mark Polishook


But when these sorts of things transfer easily from one genre to another they show us there's less rather than more that separates music in the world.



I think it's is exactly opposite. You can make a wall or palace from the same bricks, but beatifully designed and finished palace is superior to 5 bricks placed extra on a wall. It can show much more different qualities than simple wall and it is far more difficult to build.

Originally Posted by Mark Polishook


Gaga, Schumann, and Stevie Wonder all have their audiences. It's up to us to decide whether to follow along or dismiss. Both are options. Except–you can probably see my bias. "Dismiss" something and it makes it harder to see and hear it. But that's an individual choice and that's simply my opinion, my observation, and how I try and approach things. But I have yet to like anything from Lana Del Rey but, who knows what's coming.



Theory of flat Earth also has it's supporters, as well as nazism or other nonsenses that have failture of reality recognition in common. Music itself is not dangerous, and listening to better or worse music is no guarantee of intelectual abilities, still pop is not equal to classical music in any way, and it is out of question that at least it is way easier to make and perform pop music, therefore listener should be aware that it's nothing special, as well as anyone's overall knowledge should be as wide and deep as possible, in order to avoid failtures that may be harmful to social living and development.

Btw. isn't that idiotic that pop stars are more rewarded than classical musicians? I support capitalism, but this is exacly one of it's major problems: prize still doesn't reflect quality. It's not very good, because some people get very large reward for very little work, while some work all the time and they often get almost nothing. It discourages.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 01:26 PM
PM7: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

People like you are the ones who create the notion about classical music that's filled with snobs and elitists to begin with. And other people create the notion that pop music is filled with idiots.

Why do we have to label everything, and as it so happens, stand in the corner of the winner always? Doesn't it seem, the bit odd that as it so happens not only classical music is a palace compared to the brick wall of pop music, but it also happens to be the music that YOU prefer.

lol

The rest of your post is filled with so many whatever moments that I won't post a reply. Suffice to say 'quality' is not the only thing that earns $$$$. I really can't see how you support capitalism and don't know that.
Posted By: PM7 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 02:01 PM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
PM7: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Totally disagree with such claims, it's like building a theory of everything, taking only 1 parameter into account. (Well, yes, I exaggerated a bit, but I hope my point is understandable)


Originally Posted by Nikolas

Why do we have to label everything, and as it so happens, stand in the corner of the winner always?


Perhaps it is very difficult to avoid such situation. I've posted an opinion which I consider that may cause lots of controversies, still you accuse me of putting myself into a winner corner, while actually it seems that at least half of people here would disagree with me and I wouldn't dare to speak such opinion somewhere else for obvious reasons.


Originally Posted by Nikolas

Doesn't it seem, the bit odd that as it so happens not only classical music is a palace compared to the brick wall of pop music, but it also happens to be the music that YOU prefer.


I didn't say that pop is bad because I don't like it, I said that pop is bad because of objective facts about how it's made, and yes, I prefer things which are well made, that shouldn't be odd.

I suppose that if we ask a pop musician to write o sonata or fugue, and classical composer to write a pop song, the first one would be unable to do so, while the second would do the job, although he would be disqusted with it.


Originally Posted by Nikolas

Suffice to say 'quality' is not the only thing that earns $$$$. I really can't see how you support capitalism and don't know that.


Supporting some idea, doesn't mean thinking that the idea is perfect.
Posted By: Mark Polishook Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 03:27 PM
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 04:50 PM
PM7: I'm getting a strong vibe that I'm talking to a young... adult. I'm used in this lovely forum to getting much better arguments, rather than "He can do it, she can't, so he's better".

I mean the world is not black & white, and my father doesn't own a bigger car than yours. Sheesh...

BTW, you just came RIGHT into the whole point of Godwin's law. Teeheehee
Posted By: Keith D Kerman Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 05:46 PM
I know I'm a bit late to the party here, but the video referenced by the OP is fantastic. I didn't read through the whole thread, but I am guessing people have also mentioned her terrific performance of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.
I would say Lady Gaga is a rare talent.
Posted By: laguna_greg Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 07:07 PM
Originally Posted by Mark Polishook


Lady Gaga didn't write Bad Romance (is that what it's called?) hoping that someone else would turn it into a fugue. And Schumann did't compose leider with the hope that Sting would one day turn a few into pop tunes.



But isn't it funny that Sting is doing something like that, with his interest in early music, and his often successful adaptations of it? I think his favorite composer is really Anonymous.
Posted By: jdott Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/10/16 10:58 PM
PM7: Statements such as your "pop is not equal to classical music in any way, and it is out of question that at least it is way easier to make and perform pop music, therefore listener should be aware that it's nothing special, as well as anyone's overall knowledge should be as wide and deep as possible, in order to avoid failtures [sic] that may be harmful to social living and development." and like actions are part of the reason why what most younger people call "dead guy music" is so unpopular now. More often than not, when I become acquainted with people through the music I prefer (or they happen to-through their misfortune-hear me play) they assume I'm a snob or an elitist only because of my musical preference. It's not only younger people, either-many from my generation are no different. I'm not a pop fan, but I do recognize that Lady Gaga is very talented.
And this: "Btw. isn't that idiotic that pop stars are more rewarded than classical musicians? I support capitalism, but this is exacly one of it's major problems: prize still doesn't reflect quality. It's not very good, because some people get very large reward for very little work, while some work all the time and they often get almost nothing. It discourages." indicates that you are probably reasonably young and/or naive. Monetary rewards are dictated by the popularity of the product. Fact is, a lot of people like this music; also, the quality might not be very good by your standards, but I believe that a lot of people disagree with you, based on her popularity. It's extremely difficult to be successful in any field of music as a performer, and a lot of work. The brand of music I (and apparently you) prefer has, unfortunately, become increasingly unpopular over the years. When I was a child (chronologically) classically trained pianists were revered; now they're considered elitists, snobs, insert any other derogatory adjective here. This attitude was, to an extent, was created by some of our own. Consider some of the pianists from the early to mid-twentieth century. Horowitz, Rubenstein, and many others were pretty much snobs, and put people off. I always wanted to hear Horowitz in person, but he refused to perform pretty much anywhere in the US other than the east or west coast. I've never noticed music sounding any better at a lower altitude, and I've attended performances here by pianists who would actually play here such as Andre Watts, and it was incredible. Some of us did it to ourselves, but music is also constantly evolving: Music from the 1960s and 1970s is being called "classic" now-go figure. For me, music is to enjoy, and since this is mostly an audience of pianists, I must add that some of what we play is difficult to appreciate if you don't play the piano. How many people that don't play do you think have any idea how much work goes into mastering Chopin, Liszt or Rachmaninoff works? I prefer to enjoy playing and listening, and not listening to what I don't like. Cheers-and try to have more fun...
Posted By: wr Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 01:45 AM
I think that the popularity of performers like Lady Gaga has much more to do with image, stage presence, and marketing than actual musical ability. Note that I am not saying LG doesn't have ability, but that I don't think it is the main driver of her success.

There are many similar cases of performers who may or may not have a lot of musical talent, but who become famous (and often, wealthy) through very smart marketing of their image and their ability to entertain. Knowing how to entertain is somewhat different than musical talent, but is still a real talent, I think. What is a bit problematic is that the two get intertwined and mistaken for each other. It's not always easy to distinguish which is which, and sometimes they do seem to merge (e.g., highly virtuosic classical performance often has a distinct entertainment aspect (which is why some "pure" classical musicians love to express their disdain for it, I think)).


Posted By: Nahum Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 05:52 AM
Statements about marketing can not replace real MUSICAL criteria for such phenomena as Lady Gaga . This discussion looks more like war of social tastes at the level of reflection, without real argumentation .There is no need in thousands of words, smileys do enough ...
Posted By: argerichfan Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 06:18 AM
I was a bit snobbish suspicious of the popularity of Lady Gaga until I heard her album with Tony Bennett. Our local jazz station had several cuts on rotation for a while.

What can I say? I loved it!
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 06:25 AM
Originally Posted by Nahum
Statements about marketing can not replace real MUSICAL criteria for such phenomena as Lady Gaga . This discussion looks more like war of social tastes at the level of reflection, without real argumentation .There is no need in thousands of words, smileys do enough ...
That's probably because you really can't make a normal discussion without waging war to the other party.

Here's a smiley for you: grin
Posted By: Nahum Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 07:22 AM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
e]That's probably because you really can't make a normal discussion without waging war to the other party.


http://www.mediafire.com/listen/plsj2jfk4xjjdgj/3_singers.wav

wink
Posted By: jdott Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 04:54 PM
And I rest my case-some of them are among us
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 05:02 PM
Originally Posted by jdott
And I rest my case-some of them are among us
But of course.

But you know what they say. Don't feed the troll, so the person above us, doesn't deserve a reply! wink
Posted By: PM7 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 06:27 PM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
PM7: I'm getting a strong vibe that I'm talking to a young... adult. I'm used in this lovely forum to getting much better arguments, rather than "He can do it, she can't, so he's better".


I've already used some different arguments and get no answer containing arguments, apart from the one that I do a bad image to classical and accusation that I make a statement that classical music is better, because I listen to it. The first argument is rather an ad pesonam "argument", the second is not true and I find it insulting.

Originally Posted by jdott
Lady Gaga is very talented.

I already stated that talent and what is done are two different things. Lady Gaga may be very talented, this doesn't change the fact that she makes pop music, and perhaps not the best of (maybe because she targets people who do not like deeper or more sophisticated pop) . Which of course doesn't mean that she isn't good in musical business, but I do not mix judgement about music with judgment about ability of gaining popularity etc.
I don't understand why I get punished just because I voiced an opinion that cosist mainly of facts, and unfortunetly, somebody disagrees with it.

Originally Posted by jdott

indicates that you are probably reasonably young and/or naive. Monetary rewards are dictated by the popularity of the product.

There is no logical possibility to get into a conclusion, that if I say that prize that doesn't reflect quality is a problem, this means that I don't know that prize reflects popularity. You can't make such conclusion, because there is no information about it at all, so such answer is unjust.

I know very well about it and I consider that popularity-reflexion works terrific when it comes to physical producs such as food or industrial products, because prize carries information, how much should be produced. But it's a different story with intellectual work, sometimes the most magnificent acievement is not rewarded just because anly a few can recognize it.

Originally Posted by jdott

I believe that a lot of people disagree with you, based on her popularity.

And I disagree with them, because I know that there is no guarantee that even a large number of people, have right parameteres of judgment about something. So what? There is no argument.

Originally Posted by jdott

It's extremely difficult to be successful in any field of music as a performer, and a lot of work.


Fully agree. That is another reason why classical music is not very popular. Classical pianist for example has to excersise all days long, so one has no time to prepare a show etc. neither cannot allow himself to put on a dress made of meat.
A fact that show would not match such music, is another affair...


Originally Posted by jdott

elitists



Originally Posted by jdott

elitists, snobs, insert any other derogatory adjective here. This attitude was, to an extent, was created by some of our own. Consider some of the pianists from the early to mid-twentieth century. Horowitz, Rubenstein, and many others were pretty much snobs, and put people off.

I believe it both takes and creates a specific chacter, to spend 8, 10, or 13 ours a day practicing, and obviously not talking to other people. Also, harmonies unusual or rare for pop music and often heard in classical music, combined with polyrythms etc. have strong effect and require some strong emocional states, I'm not sure isn't that accusing them just doing their job, which has some side-effects.

Btw. if "elitist" become a derogatory adjective, this means that something bad is happening to people, I've noticed some time ago that anythig which is above average level, often meets malevolence.

Originally Posted by jdott

Music from the 1960s and 1970s is being called "classic" now-go figure.

I guess that classic and classical are two different meanings. Surely, age and historical status, cannot turn pop music into classical composition, otherwise there is a misconception.

Originally Posted by jdott

How many people that don't play do you think have any idea how much work goes into mastering Chopin, Liszt or Rachmaninoff works?


I believe that mature persons are aware that work must be extensive.
Arogant bastards which I remember from primary school, cosidered their music shitty.
I know from experience that classical music surprises with level of challenges that have to be faced during performance or composition. I love it for it's richness of expression and respect for difficulty. Please don't force me to admire music of somebody who is good at image creation, show making, business, perhaps is even very talented musician, but makes pop music.
I believe that people who consider classical musicians and listeners as snobs, would not consider them as snobs just for their connection with classical music, if they were also listening to it, feeling it and understanding it. I actually consider that mixing character with music is a misunderstanding. Character is character, motivation is motivation, music is music, nothing more, nothing less.
Posted By: BDB Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 06:39 PM
Originally Posted by PM7

I guess that classic and classical are two different meanings. Surely, age and historical status, cannot turn pop music into classical composition, otherwise there is a misconception.


As far as I can tell, age and historical status did, in fact, turn pop music into classical composition!
Posted By: PM7 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 06:41 PM
Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by PM7

I guess that classic and classical are two different meanings. Surely, age and historical status, cannot turn pop music into classical composition, otherwise there is a misconception.


As far as I can tell, age and historical status did, in fact, turn pop music into classical composition!


But after being recomposed by a composer, I mean, that a pop theme is used to make composition.
As someone said, composer is not the one who invents melodies, but the one who treats melodies.
Correct me if I'm wrong, be we consider music a classical since Bach, and it must be sophisticated and in proper form, which indicates that if even changes are made, they are made by somebody who already mastered orthodox methods.
Posted By: phantomFive Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 07:35 PM
Originally Posted by PM7
Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by PM7

I guess that classic and classical are two different meanings. Surely, age and historical status, cannot turn pop music into classical composition, otherwise there is a misconception.


As far as I can tell, age and historical status did, in fact, turn pop music into classical composition!


But after being recomposed by a composer, I mean, that a pop theme is used to make composition.
As someone said, composer is not the one who invents melodies, but the one who treats melodies.
Correct me if I'm wrong, be we consider music a classical since Bach, and it must be sophisticated and in proper form, which indicates that if even changes are made, they are made by somebody who already mastered orthodox methods.


Bach was playing music in the popular forms of his day. He took the operatic styles and applied them to a religious setting.
Posted By: Steve Chandler Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 07:46 PM
PT Barnum once said, "No one ever lost money underestimating the taste of the American public." The fact is the reason pop music is relatively unsophisticated is because only elites buy sophisticated music. That isn't to say that appealing to a wide audience doesn't take both work and talent. Lady Gaga has shown she's very talented with her duets with Tony Bennett and her national anthem at the Super Bowl was pretty darn good too.

Regarding the amount of work required for success, if there's any thought that pop stars don't work hard please disabuse yourself of that opinion. Classical artists have to practice a lot and we all know that's hard work. Pop artists practice (though probably not as much as classical artists) and perform almost certainly much more. Very few classical artists perform as often and as long as pop artists. Bruce Springsteen was renown for giving concerts that lasted 3-4 hours every night in a different city for months on end and he's not alone. The average pop musician will perform three 45 minute sets in a night if they're the only act (usually playing covers or other people's music) and get paid maybe $50 (maybe a bit more). Of course if the club stays open until 4 in the morning (hello NYC) then you play however many sets are needed to fill the night. A band playing original music will play one set (45 minutes to an hour if they're lucky) and get often paid nothing (they do it for the exposure). Set up and take down is at a minimum your own equipment, but cover bands usually bring their own sound system and lights and someone has to load in and out, set up and take down as well mas their own personal musical equipment. Don't tell me about the hard work of practicing piano until you've lugged a several hundred pound rack of power amps and 4 large speaker arrays, 4 stage monitors and a lighting system into a club and onto the stage and played the gig (as well as sound check). The music may not be sophisticated but the work is plentiful and hard.

I also enjoy the richness of expression and sophistication of content of classical music. But I feel denigrating the efforts of others is short sighted. Pop musicians strive for excellence as much as as anyone else, but they measure it differently. Did people get up and dance, did they get positive comments after the show, and did they get hired to come back? Is the composer who strings some notes together working as hard as someone who regularly tests their music on a live audience? Hard to say. The risk is the same, nobody will notice or care. I've composed for both audiences, I know (and yet I keep writing, how silly of me).
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/11/16 10:32 PM
PM7: You are really just stating your opinion (classical music is better) ad hoc... there's no reason to provide a counter argument to that, because that would be my opinion, and I really don't care to label any music, or any person, etc.

Having music that is more complex, more bizarre, more rich, more sentimental, more... everything doesn't make it "better". Why is this so difficult to understand? It's better for you and tons of others, but worst for tons of others too. There's room for both.

Complaining about the popularity of something, or dissing people, or whole branches of art, means nothing really, rather than a sour person behind the dissing. :-/

For the rest, really... whatever...
Posted By: laguna_greg Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/12/16 02:17 AM
Originally Posted by argerichfan
I was a bit snobbish suspicious of the popularity of Lady Gaga until I heard her album with Tony Bennett. Our local jazz station had several cuts on rotation for a while.

What can I say? I loved it!


Of course you did! The girl can really sing, and those are very good songs.
Posted By: laguna_greg Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/12/16 02:31 AM
Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by PM7

I guess that classic and classical are two different meanings. Surely, age and historical status, cannot turn pop music into classical composition, otherwise there is a misconception.


As far as I can tell, age and historical status did, in fact, turn pop music into classical composition!


Some of it, yes. But I don't think Brahms was copying pop tunes when he wrote his late piano pieces, not that he wasn't influenced in other ways before then. And while Chopin made some money publishing the waltzes which were all original, it was nothing compared to the popularity of his paraphrase from Robert le diable, a major operatic pop hit of the day. Nevertheless it was Meyerbeer who really made out like a bandit then, even if Chopin made some cash from it as well.

Then again, that kind of adds fuel to our cultural dispute here, because RLD is never put on these days just because it's a really bad opera. And for the same reasons, I really don't think we're going to see a revival of most of Andrew Lloyd Weber in 50 years. Big commercial success, mediocre and trite tunes, incredibly poor dramatization, nothing at all interesting or skillful in the harmony, bad text settings, a hack job on all the stories. Not to mention that public taste, a fickle thing if ever there was, will have moved on and nobody will want to hear the "Old Music", just like it happened to Bach!
Posted By: BDB Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/12/16 02:56 AM
The Robert le diable paraphrase was by Liszt.

But my point was that many of the people we consider classical composers now were pop artists, as much as the times would allow, of their time. They only were considered classical artists after time had polished their historical status. The ones that were not as good tended to drop out of sight.
Posted By: PM7 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/12/16 10:04 AM
Originally Posted by Nikolas


Complaining about the popularity of something, or dissing people, or whole branches of art, means nothing really, rather than a sour person behind the dissing. :-/


I'm sorry, but such opinion is against my education, but since you do not provide argument about it, I shall not either, since it would take a lot of time to explain
I understand it as you Sir wish to insult me, and if not, you certainly did. But before I quit from this discussion, just let me remind your original post

Originally Posted by Nikolas
At various occasions, here in pianoworld, we've offered the name "Lady Gaga" to the public, many times as something negative, etc. Obviously her image helped towards that.

Well, I came across this video, which showcases the following facts:
1. She can sing (didn't detect any autotuning readily in her voice)
2. She can play
3. She can groove
4. She looks pretty!

And if we consider her previous images, I'd assume that we have in our hands someone with a strong personality, if anything.


Lady Gaga's abilities acutally applies to LOTS of people. You said many times that you do not want to label any people, but you just labelled her at the end of your post, which actually is perfectly ok, because that is how human thinking simplifies things in order to proceed with next steps of thinking. Answering to primary statement: some people are displeased with Gaga's works such us "Poker Face", and some have some more reasons than just "I don't like it" coming from nobody knows from opinion. So do not be surprised about offering name "Lady Gaga" as something negative, since she choosed to make some extremely simply music for wide audience, and to promote it with shocking image and showing off with pretty body. I would understand one situation: that labelling some musician with "Gaga" name, in negative way, would not exactly match to someone who for example gets audience thanks to appearance, image, and showing off, while one's executions are worse than some of others, because Lady Gaga may execute her music perfectly, but still, there must easier to perform pop music than classical music, so is this really such a not accurate labelling? Simply, what you want to do is nothing more or less than introducing some sort of political correctness into music discussion. I would rather stay with facts and different opinions around, than with censorship.

Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
That isn't to say that appealing to a wide audience doesn't take both work and talent. Lady Gaga has shown she's very talented with her duets with Tony Bennett and her national anthem at the Super Bowl was pretty darn good too.


Oh, okay, never denied her talent (again saing this), still, that fact that she is talented, doesn't mean that one has to be talented to be succesful pop musicians.
There were and perhaps are some very popular pop musicians who are almost talentless in music, or just very unskilled, and they were or are succesful.
Besides, I feel like people in general overestimate talent. Paderewski said that talent is only 10%, rest is work and a little bit of luck.

Originally Posted by Steve Chandler

Don't tell me about the hard work of practicing piano until you've lugged a several hundred pound rack of power amps and 4 large speaker arrays, 4 stage monitors and a lighting system into a club and onto the stage and played the gig (as well as sound check). The music may not be sophisticated but the work is plentiful and hard.


Work is hard, but since when carrying powers amps has anything to do with music itself? They power the sound, that's all, nothing more.
And the audience is so retarded that they have to carry the lighting systems you've mentioned, because they wouldn't appreciate the music unless the stage is flashing, vocalist is pretty, ang guitarist is handsome (sic!)

I'am critisizing only music, not physical or business work behind it. I have huge respect for physicals worker's work, we can live without music, but we would be dead without farmers.
But also, I think you underestimate pianist's work, practicing is more mind demanding, and physical work is also extensive, and it is very easy to damage your body during practice. Also, if classical musicians wishes to be popular, one is in very difficult position, because if organizing anything makes ones performance worse, because one is not practicing.


Originally Posted by BDB
The Robert le diable paraphrase was by Liszt.

But my point was that many of the people we consider classical composers now were pop artists, as much as the times would allow, of their time. They only were considered classical artists after time had polished their historical status. The ones that were not as good tended to drop out of sight.


It cannot be only their historical status. There is too big difference in average complexity of classical works, and modern pop works. Of course, the galant style has been created because complicated polyphonic pieces become perhaps too demanding for audience, and brillante as well, to meet unpolished tastes of middle class, but I think that classical cannot be simplified more than to Satie's level, or even above for most occasions, because after going under some level of simplicity, you practically cannot make something really original (apart from bizzare arrangement, which will also be worn out some day), and you loose so many basic things such as even dynamics.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/12/16 12:05 PM
Originally Posted by PM7
Originally Posted by Nikolas


Complaining about the popularity of something, or dissing people, or whole branches of art, means nothing really, rather than a sour person behind the dissing. :-/


I'm sorry, but such opinion is against my education, but since you do not provide argument about it, I shall not either, since it would take a lot of time to explain
I understand it as you Sir wish to insult me, and if not, you certainly did. But before I quit from this discussion, just let me remind your original post
Apparently not, since you keep offering a negative opinion on millions of people (if not billions).

The rest follows:

Quote
Originally Posted by Nikolas
At various occasions, here in pianoworld, we've offered the name "Lady Gaga" to the public, many times as something negative, etc. Obviously her image helped towards that.

Well, I came across this video, which showcases the following facts:
1. She can sing (didn't detect any autotuning readily in her voice)
2. She can play
3. She can groove
4. She looks pretty!

And if we consider her previous images, I'd assume that we have in our hands someone with a strong personality, if anything.


Lady Gaga's abilities acutally applies to LOTS of people. You said many times that you do not want to label any people, but you just labelled her at the end of your post, which actually is perfectly ok, because that is how human thinking simplifies things in order to proceed with next steps of thinking. Answering to primary statement: some people are displeased with Gaga's works such us "Poker Face", and some have some more reasons than just "I don't like it" coming from nobody knows from opinion. So do not be surprised about offering name "Lady Gaga" as something negative, since she choosed to make some extremely simply music for wide audience, and to promote it with shocking image and showing off with pretty body. I would understand one situation: that labelling some musician with "Gaga" name, in negative way, would not exactly match to someone who for example gets audience thanks to appearance, image, and showing off, while one's executions are worse than some of others, because Lady Gaga may execute her music perfectly, but still, there must easier to perform pop music than classical music, so is this really such a not accurate labelling? Simply, what you want to do is nothing more or less than introducing some sort of political correctness into music discussion. I would rather stay with facts and different opinions around, than with censorship.
Actually after offering some facts (making sure it's bold enough to know that it will stand out and offer some further ideas on the matter) I said that we have someone with a strong personality.

I don't see that as labeling, nor I find it negative.

YOUR facts mean nothing to MY facts. Why is this so hard to bare? I'm not saying anything negative for classical music (in fact I'm ready to bet that I do tons of more to promote classical music in every way possible (since my living and whole life practically depends on that)), why do you have to compare in the first place?

This whole thread came in to prove exactly one point: Not everything is as it seems. And you've seen plenty of people admitting that they thought something very particular about Lady Gaga, yet with the recent events (Bennet, National Anthem, the video posted here) they've come to realize that they're not dealing with what they thought they were.

You don't want that, by all means.

________________________

Let me draw a small analogy for you:

I publish and compose contemporary music. The kind that seems off putting for most musicians, including classical musicians.

I do NOT go around saying how shity (!!!) Mozart, or Beethoven, or Bach is in order to gain ground. I don't need to.

I do, however, proclaim how wonderful my music is and the music that I publish.

Think about it.

And with that, I'm also out of this discussion cause you think I'm politically correct, but nothing's further from the truth as far as that is concerned.
Posted By: laguna_greg Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/12/16 05:03 PM
Originally Posted by BDB
The Robert le diable paraphrase was by Liszt.

But my point was that many of the people we consider classical composers now were pop artists, as much as the times would allow, of their time. They only were considered classical artists after time had polished their historical status. The ones that were not as good tended to drop out of sight.


Chopin had one too, as did most every traveling virtuosos of the day. It was never published, which is why there is no score available today. He complained in some of his letters that it seemed as if that was all the public ever wanted to hear from either his fingers or his pen.
Posted By: laguna_greg Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/12/16 05:19 PM
Originally Posted by wr
I think that the popularity of performers like Lady Gaga has much more to do with image, stage presence, and marketing than actual musical ability. Note that I am not saying LG doesn't have ability, but that I don't think it is the main driver of her success.



You're quite right. That's how the pop music business works. It's about sales and marketing. Their awards are all about sales, not artistic "quality", which we've seen is a largely abstract concept.

Although, there are a few objective distinctions one can draw. Pop music is quite unsophisticated compositionally, and not demanding vocally. I think part of its general appeal is that it lacks that kind of artistic sophistication. And I think that's why a genre like jazz is not more widely appreciated, and commercially successful. The relative compositional sophistication of even simple jazz tunes makes it less appealing to most people.

consider also that we now know that LG has a very beautiful, lyric soprano that's at least as well trained and technically able as Julie Andrews. So there's a lot she can do vocally. But in her best selling music, she doesn't sing like that. She, or her managers, all think that kind of sound won't sell as well. So she doesn't write songs that show off what her voice can really do for strictly commercial reasons.

Now PM7 made a claim earlier that many pop stars are as talented or developed musically as LG. I really don't believe that's true. First off, people like Madonna (who really can't sing at all), Justin Beiber or Brittany Spears can't sing like that because they've never been trained at all. They can't even scream on pitch consistently. If you did train them, I don't think you'd uncover the same beautiful lyric sound. They just don't have those kinds of voices. But it doesn't matter, because they sell like hot cakes and that's all they and their management care about.

I would imagine that LG is going to get bored at some point, and try to do something that actually stretches her artistically. I mean, how long can a sophisticated person like that play/sing I-IV-V-I in one of three keys and not feel some repetition? Of course sales will be affected, but I remain hopeful that she won't care about that. It might be interesting!
Posted By: PM7 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/12/16 07:18 PM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Apparently not, since you keep offering a negative opinion on millions of people (if not billions).


Confirmed. I have a bad opinion on lots of people, including many aspects of my own abilities and character.

Originally Posted by Nikolas

Why do you have to compare in the first place?

Nobodys takin'g part in any competition, I assume that importang thing is, what the one says, not who he is and what one is doing, because that may change.

Originally Posted by Nikolas

This whole thread came in to prove exactly one point: Not everything is as it seems.

I think we can finally fully agree on the subject. Still allow me to be displeased with some of her earlier doings, I do not have my opinion about people that bad, to presume that it is necessary to create pieces such as Poker Face, or Bad Romance, to gain popularity. As far as I remember there were some pop hits which weren't that pointless, and were musically more satisfactory.

Maybe my mistake is also to get irrytated by her popularity, just because I recognize that lots of people have similar skills, talents and other good points, but they are not as fortunate.

Originally Posted by laguna_greg


Now PM7 made a claim earlier that many pop stars are as talented or developed musically as LG. I really don't believe that's true.


No, I didn't and if I did, it's my mistake. I claim that there are lots of people with similar skills and talent, and some pop stars do not have skills because they don't need to- we agree at this point.

I mean, I've heard a lots of people with similar skills, who never made big or any career at all, and though I am extremely non-social person, I'm sure I met some people who had similar skills, and it wouldn't really be a problem to find 10 such persons weekly in one average sized city, since there are lots of people who finish music academies of popular music and do not have job in music, not to mention people who do not have formal education, but spend lots of time and money on learning from proffesional musicians and they do have skills.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/12/16 07:26 PM
PM7: Yes there are tons of other people who are not equally 'successful' or 'rich', etc. There's a hug list of factors into play for becoming famous. Some people get it and other people don't. Apparently I don't, since I insist on dealing with classical music, which isn't exactly the industry to become rich and famous! grin

As I've said from the very beginning, you are more than welcome to be displeased with anything you like. But it doesn't necessarily mean that those who disagree with you are going be happy about it! grin

And to think that I'm Greek and political correctness is the last thing I care about, and I compose contemporary classical music, which I also publish. I mean I'm definitely not your casual pop fan by miles! grin
Posted By: wr Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/13/16 01:15 AM
Originally Posted by laguna_greg


Although, there are a few objective distinctions one can draw. Pop music is quite unsophisticated compositionally, and not demanding vocally. I think part of its general appeal is that it lacks that kind of artistic sophistication. And I think that's why a genre like jazz is not more widely appreciated, and commercially successful. The relative compositional sophistication of even simple jazz tunes makes it less appealing to most people.



Although some of the most MOR pop music may lack sophistication in composition, it's an over-generalization to say that is true of all pop music. There is, in fact, a wide range of sophistication in it. Even a relatively successful pop composer like Burt Bacharach sometimes consciously added a level of sophistication to his music that went beyond the norm for pop.

There is quite a lot of fairly sophisticated pop music, it seems to me. For example, the prog rock genre makes a point of being "brainy" in composition. And then there was Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - some of the stuff they did is looks almost like Charles Ives on the page. To my ear, Steely Dan seemed to get pretty sophisticated harmonically. Etc., etc.- there are all sorts of examples.

Posted By: argerichfan Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/13/16 05:14 AM
Originally Posted by laguna_greg
That's how the pop music business works. It's about sales and marketing. Their awards are all about sales, not artistic "quality", which we've seen is a largely abstract concept.

I generally agree with you here. However, must go OT for a moment.
Quote

consider also that we now know that LG has a very beautiful, lyric soprano that's at least as well trained and technically able as Julie Andrews.

Not sure about that. But as I haven't experienced LG's acting, I wonder if she could ever match Ms. Andrews in, say, 'Victor Victoria' where IMO Ms. Andrews was superb.

Quote
...people like Madonna (who really can't sing at all)...

I have always felt that Madonna's outrageous success was only possible thanks to the ultimate triumph of marketing, a hip and titillatingly ambiguous sexual energy, an unfailing instinct for self-promotion, and most important, some rather catchy material.

But I never thought her voice came close to the other stars of her generation, Anita Baker, Cindi Lauper or Whitney Houston for example.

Whatever. As a member of the Millenium Generation, I missed the heyday, so perhaps you had to 'be there'.

Posted By: TheHappyPianoMuse Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/13/16 09:32 AM
I have to chuckle a bit here. I was roped into a "Super Bowl" party and have no interest whatsoever in Football ... or pop music. But I have to agree .. the game wobbled on for hours and Lady Gaga did indeed offer a bright moment. I normally cringe when I hear the Star Spangled Banner swamped with trills and leaps and flourishes ... but Lady Gaga does have the voice to hit those flourishes. And I admit for me she was the star of the show. On the other hand Beyonce was unbelievably vulgar ... twerking and twitching all over the place. Lady Gaga has some claims to the "lady" ... Beyonce not a shred.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/13/16 09:45 AM
While I'm quoting both wr and Greg, I'm not actually referring to these two.

Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by laguna_greg


Although, there are a few objective distinctions one can draw. Pop music is quite unsophisticated compositionally, and not demanding vocally. I think part of its general appeal is that it lacks that kind of artistic sophistication. And I think that's why a genre like jazz is not more widely appreciated, and commercially successful. The relative compositional sophistication of even simple jazz tunes makes it less appealing to most people.


Although some of the most MOR pop music may lack sophistication in composition, it's an over-generalization to say that is true of all pop music. There is, in fact, a wide range of sophistication in it. Even a relatively successful pop composer like Burt Bacharach sometimes consciously added a level of sophistication to his music that went beyond the norm for pop.
The thing is that there doesn't need to be any kind of sophistication in pop music, because the main medium is the recording.

Why on earth try hard, when you know you can do whatever you want in the recording studio, and actually in a live setting as well (autotuning, etc).

Why would anyone try hard, to accomplish something, when it can be done very easily with today's technology?

And remember that this is nothing new, and I do think that Ligeti also thought of things this way: Why bother with the magnetic tapes and the endless hours in the studio, when you apply the same techniques in a live performance, and have the performers bother. wink

You seem to be forgetting the effort it takes to actually produce a well written pop song. To come up with the right sounds, right frequencies, etc. There's myriad documentaries up on youtube on how, for example, the prodigy came up with fire starter, etc. If you take a look you'll see that the use of the equipment and software require quite a bit of sophistication.

And that's what's refreshing in the case of Lady Gaga. With her recent endeavors she proved, beyond reasonable doubt I find, that she can do the things that others do in the studio, live. Give her a piano and she's off.

Same goes, btw, with some other notable pop 'stars' (even of a very smaller size) that suddenly you go: "WOW!!!! I didn't know she could do that!"

All that's because you know that recordings are SO tinkered that there's no reason to be impressed about anything in a recording anymore. (Actually the same goes for most classical music, but we like to kid ourselves that we're better... Remember Richters Prague shows? teeheehee).
Posted By: Rerun Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/13/16 10:36 AM
Having listened to some pop since the 50s, it appears to me that the evolution of it has more to do with what artists are doing differently with rhythm/catchy beat than say one artist out-singing or playing an instrument better than another even tho I guess outrageousness is playing a part in it too.

Btw, just because that's what appears to me doesn't mean anyone else is required to believe it. grin

Posted By: laguna_greg Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 04:40 AM
Originally Posted by Rerun
Having listened to some pop since the 50s, it appears to me that the evolution of it has more to do with what artists are doing differently with rhythm/catchy beat than say one artist out-singing or playing...



WRONG!!! Too bad, and of course it's not true. If you actually listen to the aggregate of the oncoming wave of pop material being pumped out indiscriminately over the decade, ALMOST EVERY SINGLE THING is written in 4/4 with a very minuscule few things written in 3/4, just like it has been over the last 30 years. There's no innovation there at all; The Strauss brothers would have been very proud. But then again, that supports my central contention that the simpler, less sophisticated things composed have greater appeal, and sell better. While there is a nominal variety in their rhythm patterns, none of them exploits the same seductive and all-powerful mastery of rhythmic/metric tension in the weakest of the 40-odd mazurkas Chopin wrote, who is arguably the greatest master of that kind of melodic tension along with Bach and Josquin, or even any tango by Piazzola. Not one single person today in any genre is fit to lace up their shoes on that score.

So please, don't attribute greater rhythmic ingenuity to these contemporary pop artists. Everything they have been doing rhythmically, has been done before many times. For them it's about sales, not about art. There's nothing new there.

What you find personally attractive is the driving rhythmic element in the their recordings, which has little to do with their compositional methods and everything to do with their performance/stage manner.

Oh and by the way, Elvis did that kind of performance style thing better in the 50s! Talk about a perfectly natural musician, making a lot of truly pedestrian material sound interesting by personality, sheer musical charisma and expression/rubato alone...

Something to consider...
Posted By: laguna_greg Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 04:54 AM
Originally Posted by Nikolas


The thing is that there doesn't need to be any kind of sophistication in pop music, because the main medium is the recording.



Nicolas, I I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU SAID THAT!!!

You know that if you give a bad performance of any music, or if the music itself is written badly, there's absolutely nothing the engineer can do to fix it. All they can do is to make it "sound" better. But a bad song remains a bad song, no matter how much they sweeten the sound.

The value of the performance is one thing; the value of the actual composition is another.

Please let's stick to compositional skill and values, because that is the only thing we can discuss with any objectivity or useful values. And don't say anything so disingenuous or distracting again. I have a lot of respect for you, your taste and and your abilities. Please treat your own profession with the respect it deserves. I certainly try to.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 06:31 AM
Greg, I think you misunderstood my post... grin

First of all I'll start with a little joke video:



I think it was pretty clear that I did choose the word "sophistication" poorly, but also that I was talking about the performer mostly (with all the examples I mentioned).

Thing is that pop music is being carried to the audience through a different medium than classical music: that of the recording and we tend to bypass that, assuming it's the same (PM7 posts are a prime example of that). It's not! And we need to finally realize that in the studio even the worst kind of material can end up dressed up so nicely as to sound "interesting" somehow. Obviously this is a rather superficial layer of things, but think of Spice Girls for a minute!

It requires sophistication, but that of a different kind.

Billy Joel is one thing, Arianna Garde is another.
Posted By: Rerun Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 11:42 AM

Quote
WRONG!!! Too bad, and of course it's not true. If you actually listen to the aggregate of the oncoming wave of pop material being pumped out indiscriminately over the decade, ALMOST EVERY SINGLE THING is written in 4/4 with a very minuscule few things written in 3/4, just like it has been over the last 30 years. There's no innovation there at all;



Good morning Laguna ... so rhythm boils down to 3/4 or 4/4. Ok. Your ears categorize music as either classical/something else ... waltz/not waltz. At least your ears are keeping it simple. Thanks for the masterclass. grin
Posted By: PM7 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 03:39 PM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
that of the recording and we tend to bypass that, assuming it's the same (PM7 posts are a prime example of that). It's not! And we need to finally realize that in the studio even the worst kind of material can end up dressed up so nicely as to sound "interesting" somehow.


I am not sure do we have an understanding.
I am well aware that in the pop recording, any mess can be fixed up in studio (with classical work that is impossible).

Whatever I think about, I make a very pure distinction beetwen separate things, so for example I do not mix quality of composition, quality of composer, quality of performance, etc. each is a separate, different thing, though I recognize life performance and studio recording very much the same, because both are an execution of musical idea, and both create an effect that we can hear.
Because studio can fix up mess in recording, I have more respect for classical performers, as well for good musicians of any genre, who can perform well, without digital handicap, though I would probably have a feeling that sound either well performed, or either well recorded and fixed up, are both nice, though I cannot remind myself second situation being satisfactory for me in recent years, since I become more experienced in music, and I simply cannot remember any pop music that contained every single quality that is present in average, well performed classical composition.

One more statement I would like to make in general: Three years ago I've started piano lessons with proffesional pianists, who keeps me surprising, showing me thigs which are and should be present in music, but I often didn't know they even exist. No I think that I'm just beggining to see major qualities, and my impression is that, if one is not a proffesional, classical musician or at least an experienced classical listener who knows musical terms, then, one cannot talk about sophistication in music, because one don't, what music can consist of, and how much is lacking when something one doesn't even know about, is missing.

I have such impression every time when I try to listen to something popular, and I had a very strong impression with something I used to like very much in the past. In my youth, I liked Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" very much. About a half year ago, I was listening to the album again in order to have some less demanding music in a background, while working on something else. Although I enjoed some parts, I had something about every two minutes, a though like "Oh, dammit", and sometimes even "what a mees". This doesn't mean, by any means, that I would be able to come up with something better, I simply felt that some things were lacking, as a listener.
I think that most common problem with pop to me are boring oversimplified form, lack of dynamics, lack of interesting harmonies and bad phrasing.
Also, another reason why I have disrespecting though toward pop, is that lots of pop music doesn't have any ending (just volume down while repetition), and endings were exactly one of major problems to me, when I used to compose music without proper preparation.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 03:53 PM
Originally Posted by PM7
Originally Posted by Nikolas
that of the recording and we tend to bypass that, assuming it's the same (PM7 posts are a prime example of that). It's not! And we need to finally realize that in the studio even the worst kind of material can end up dressed up so nicely as to sound "interesting" somehow.


I am not sure do we have an understanding.
I am well aware that in the pop recording, any mess can be fixed up in studio (with classical work that is impossible).

Whatever I think about, I make a very pure distinction beetwen separate things, so for example I do not mix quality of composition, quality of composer, quality of performance, etc. each is a separate, different thing, though I recognize life performance and studio recording very much the same, because both are an execution of musical idea, and both create an effect that we can hear.
Because studio can fix up mess in recording, I have more respect for classical performers, as well for good musicians of any genre, who can perform well, without digital handicap, though I would probably have a feeling that sound either well performed, or either well recorded and fixed up, are both nice, though I cannot remind myself second situation being satisfactory for me in recent years, since I become more experienced in music, and I simply cannot remember any pop music that contained every single quality that is present in average, well performed classical composition.

One more statement I would like to make in general: Three years ago I've started piano lessons with proffesional pianists, who keeps me surprising, showing me thigs which are and should be present in music, but I often didn't know they even exist. No I think that I'm just beggining to see major qualities, and my impression is that, if one is not a proffesional, classical musician or at least an experienced classical listener who knows musical terms, then, one cannot talk about sophistication in music, because one don't, what music can consist of, and how much is lacking when something one doesn't even know about, is missing.
I'll start from bottom to top, just in case...

You might not know this, because you're not a regular here (or you're new anyhow), but I happen to hold a PhD in music composition, own a music publishing house dealing with contemporary classical music, and definitely know what I'm talking about.

Just in case.

Now, what I'm trying to explain is exactly the thing you're describing, but from the other way around. You should not distinguish the composition, the orchestration, the form, the technique, the lyrics, etc, in any composition. The total is what makes it what it is. Otherwise if, for example, you reduce Dvorak's 9th symphony, into a solo piano work, I'm ready to bet that it will lose A LOT. In a similar sense if you take the moonlight sonata and orchestrate for orchestra it won't work.

I mean even the very decent and notable examples of Mussorgsky's Pictures of an exhibition (orchestrated by Ravel, and others), seem to be missing something from the original piano version.

So orchestration plays an important part.

It's the same in pop music, when we're talking about orchestration, production, sound production, etc. You can't take that away and talk about a composition, in a similar sense as you'd talk about a Beethoven sonata. It simply doesn't work this way.

That's what I mean when I keep repeating myself that you can't compare the two. There's no superior, or inferior. They are simply different.

And, btw,

Quote
I am well aware that in the pop recording, any mess can be fixed up in studio (with classical work that is impossible).
It certainly can happen with classical music recorded in the studio, or even in a live setting, when recorded.

ANY recording can be fixed afterwards! Period! (To what extent and if we want this, is a different story, but...)

Originally Posted by PM7
I have such impression every time when I try to listen to something popular, and I had a very strong impression with something I used to like very much in the past. In my youth, I liked Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" very much. About a half year ago, I was listening to the album again in order to have some less demanding music in a background, while working on something else. Although I enjoed some parts, I had something about every two minutes, a though like "Oh, dammit", and sometimes even "what a mees". This doesn't mean, by any means, that I would be able to come up with something better, I simply felt that some things were lacking, as a listener.
I think that most common problem with pop to me are boring oversimplified form, lack of dynamics, lack of interesting harmonies and bad phrasing.
Also, another reason why I have disrespecting though toward pop, is that lots of pop music doesn't have any ending (just volume down while repetition), and endings were exactly one of major problems to me, when I used to compose music without proper preparation.
EDIT on your edit.

But this is YOU realizing certain things, rather than the universal truth being revealed to you. What applies to you, doesn't apply to anyone else, and as you say being disrespecting towards pop reduces that art form, when all you have is your own truth and nothing more.

This is getting a bit too philosophical, but... :-/
Posted By: malkin Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 04:16 PM
Even though pop stars are called "recording artists" they are entertainers. They aren't about making art.

If you don't like the product, just admit that you aren't the audience for it and move on.
Posted By: BDB Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 04:19 PM
Entertaining is an art. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart... were all entertainers.
Posted By: wr Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 04:26 PM
Originally Posted by BDB
Entertaining is an art. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart... were all entertainers.


But it is a minor art.

And I wonder how those guys would feel about your characterization of what they were doing - Mozart might be the one who would be the most comfortable with it, the other two - well, I have some doubts.
Posted By: BDB Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 04:39 PM
As opposed to major arts that do not entertain?

All of those guys would have had other jobs if they did not entertain!
Posted By: wr Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 04:45 PM
Originally Posted by Nikolas

That's what I mean when I keep repeating myself that you can't compare the two. There's no superior, or inferior. They are simply different.



For most practical purposes, I agree, mostly.

But I also think that the currently fashionable deconstructed view of culture that holds that everything is somehow equal even while different is just as questionable as the old hierarchies. After all, if there's no superior or inferior, why would saying so have any more weight than saying the opposite? They are all the same. Your point of view and PM7's point of view are equal in value, just different. Right?



Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 04:53 PM
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Nikolas

That's what I mean when I keep repeating myself that you can't compare the two. There's no superior, or inferior. They are simply different.



For most practical purposes, I agree, mostly.

But I also think that the currently fashionable deconstructed view of culture that holds that everything is somehow equal even while different is just as questionable as the old hierarchies. After all, if there's no superior or inferior, why would saying so have any more weight than saying the opposite? They are all the same. Your point of view and PM7's point of view are equal in value, just different. Right?
Can I really judge my opinion vs PM7's opinion? Not really.

But I see what you mean and you know very well that I'm forced to constantly judge the music that's been sent to me for reviewing reasons... And get my own music, and the music that I publish judged and critic by others.

So... I do hope that what I'm offering has some value. But not compared to anything else (which is why I don't publish the works of Beethoven, or Mozart, or Czerny (for crying out loud)).
Posted By: wr Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 04:55 PM
Originally Posted by BDB
As opposed to major arts that do not entertain?

All of those guys would have had other jobs if they did not entertain!


As opposed to arts that don't have entertainment as their primary goal.

And my point wasn't about whether you think they entertain, but about whether they saw what they were doing as entertainment. I know that Bach and Beethoven both wrote some music that they may have seen as falling into that category, but I still doubt that they saw most of their musical output as being entertainment.
Posted By: PM7 Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/14/16 11:19 PM
Originally Posted by Nikolas


But this is YOU realizing certain things, rather than the universal truth being revealed to you. What applies to you, doesn't apply to anyone else, and as you say being disrespecting towards pop reduces that art form, when all you have is your own truth and nothing more.

This is getting a bit too philosophical, but... :-/


That answer surprises me, since I though that it should be, that if the work doesn't have a beggining and an end, well integrated, it is simply not finished. I almost see how the structure should develop or gradually change into something alse, but then it seems that a creator ran out of ideas/skills, and decided to volume down something promising, or to mix it by force with beggining of next work. There are maybe some pieces which work well their purpose anywhere, but sometimes it's so dissapointing, or simple volume down is so unnecessary.

Speaking of philosophical point, I recognize music as highly objective matter, since it an physical events strictly organized, described in mathematical language. Is one able to recognize and judge things, is another matter, but I really doubt that is possible to disconnect music from objective criteria entirely, the major/minor system seems too logical for that.
Posted By: Skyscrapersax Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/15/16 06:35 AM
She's doing a Bowie tribute tomorrow night; quite appropriate. I dug her Sound of Music at last year's Oscars, and her Tony stuff is great. Perhaps she blossoms into an actual Jazz singer?
Posted By: jdott Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/15/16 11:06 PM
I believe what we've all been dancing around, is that pop performers main impetus is to make a living, not a work of art. Happy Valentine's Day to all
Posted By: Steve Chandler Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/15/16 11:20 PM
Originally Posted by jdott
I believe what we've all been dancing around, is that pop performers main impetus is to make a living, not a work of art. Happy Valentine's Day to all

Please don't ever get the impression that as a composer I prefer to work for free. I much prefer getting paid.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/15/16 11:53 PM
Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
Originally Posted by jdott
I believe what we've all been dancing around, is that pop performers main impetus is to make a living, not a work of art. Happy Valentine's Day to all

Please don't ever get the impression that as a composer I prefer to work for free. I much prefer getting paid.
Very much so!

Why should an artist not being paid, or not care to eat, or earn a living? I don't think that jdott means exactly that, but...

BTW, I should note that I find that classical musicians tend to have this general feeling, when it comes to performing and composing, but not teaching, which is rather unhealthy, I find.
Posted By: argerichfan Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/16/16 12:07 AM
Originally Posted by Nikolas

BTW, I should note that I find that classical musicians tend to have this general feeling, when it comes to performing and composing, but not teaching, which is rather unhealthy, I find.

We do? Not me!

I am very heavy on the organ substitute circuit for Protestant churches in the Seattle area, and I will NOT accept a gig which does not pay a certain amount which I think fair. (This was the case for the service I played last Sunday.)

True, I have a daytime job (so take it or leave it), but this is a matter of honour and worth. Hire me and pay me for my experience. End of negotiation.

wink
Posted By: wr Re: Lady Gaga... - 02/16/16 02:05 AM
Originally Posted by jdott
I believe what we've all been dancing around, is that pop performers main impetus is to make a living, not a work of art. Happy Valentine's Day to all


Well, FWIW, I've often heard of pop musicians who have day jobs to make a living, and do music because they love it, but I have not heard of so many classical musicians who do that. Of course, that may be partly due to lack of opportunity for the classical ones, but either way, I do know there are lots of pop musicians who aren't really in it for the money.

But what you said did get me to thinking of something that distinguishes classical music from pop music, and that is how, for the most part, the classical performer is not seen as a co-creator of the music in the way that pop performers are. The roles of performer and composer don't work in quite the same way in the two genres. It's not unusual in pop music for the audience to be unaware of the composer of the music, if such an individual can even be said to exist. There can be so many layers of collaboration and contribution that it is not easy to identify who really wrote the actual music being heard. That kind of thing almost never happens in classical music (not counting the experimental stuff).
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