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That Missing Measurement: The Musical Connection

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  • #16
    I have tried a few kinds of room distal correction
    they all seem to fix one issue and hurt many others
    maybe it's me liking it the way it is even though it's not correct
    I think there is not just measurements that is missing a d I do think we are more thN able to do so
    but what we do not know is how we interpit what we hear
    and add on some who have defects like me or sounds I am just not sensitive to as others maybe
    a tad of Echo is ok but put the group Ina chamber it drives me nuts while my small brain tries to lock onto each note

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Rust View Post

      Speak for yourself, I may be older but none the wiser for it.

      Some of the music that matters most to me was poorly recorded, miserably mastered, and indifferently manufactured. I'd still trade any dozen or two uber audiophile recordings for a single recording that means something to me, that has created a connection. Some things create a connection from sheer beauty. On the other hand, Nickelback is an only adequate rock band yet I find their song "Photograph" so very sad.

      I think if we are all honest about it, there are not all that many pieces that create a really intense connection.
      Don't you think part of it is our respective mood? Sometimes, I'm just not in the right frame of mind to engage in some long-form, mellow composition, and other times, I can get deeply involved in such music.
      One of the songs that has always moved me, despite the bad recording, is "Can't Find My Way Back Home," on the Blind Faith album. Stevie's plaintive wail, the filagreed acoustic guitar parts and the slow, shuffling pace just trigger something for me- it's been that way since I first heard the song when the album was released. Do I play it often- no. I probably hear it more often in the car when my wife has the "Classic Vinyl" station on satellite radio. (The best I've heard it is the UK first pressing Polydor, but the cymbals still sound like trash can lids).
      And, apart from emotional mood at the time of listening, I go through more gross shifts in interest- lately, I've been digging early reggae. Can I say that always moved me- nope, and I was immersed in it at one point for work (which may be why I stayed away from it for pleasure). I'm also enjoying a lot of UK folk from the late '60s-early '70s. Stuff that I wouldn't have paid attention to 10 or 20 years ago. That almost sounds mature, but on the other hand, I also enjoy some early proto-metal that I would have dismissed out of hand 20 years ago. My own aesthetic choices vary widely, so that first step- music that engages you- is really a wild card among different people, isn't it? The other criteria- level of musicianship and quality of recording are almost "objective" by comparison.

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      • #18
        I guess the more I get into music theory, the more I understand about emotion and music. It’s all about emotion whether it’s rock, classical or jazz music; it’s the piece being in major or minor key, the use of diminished (SCI-Fi movies for instance), augmented, 7ths, higher order chord structures (See Bill Evans), etc, tone colors, etc.

        But people in general and measurement oriented types aren’t comfortable with talking about emotion because they have no musical understanding, it can’t be measured or they just don’t experience the musical joy a properly setup system can impart. (Isn’t the ultimate musical emotional connection making someone want to dance???) But it’s a quality that can transcends price points. Take Arnold’s Symphony #5 on EMI. This is all about emotion as Arnold pays tribute to musician friends like Dennis Brain who died way too young. The piece’s second movement Andante con motto just defines emotional connection to the music.
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        • #19
          I've used some of those same Copland quotes in reviews. His book "What to Listen For in Music" is still in print.

          Copland's 'senuous plane' I tie directly to the switch between what I call analytic listening and limbic listening. And contra many reviews, including some of my own, it is at the limbic or intuitive level that we do much of our assessment. Reviewers - well really I should only speak for myself - attempt to explain what happens at the limbic level through analytic description using the now pat audiophile vocabulary: bass.mids, treble, dynamics, tonality, leading and trailing edges (decay), all the psychoacoustic stuff (soundstage W/D/H, dimesionality, etc.), etc. Then of course there's all the measurement stuff.

          I'm found of quoting Vladimir Lamm on this - he will tell you first that “It is important . . to know how the real orchestra sounds. We choose a reference point based on live music and compare to this point,” then, once so prepared, “the problem of sound-quality assessment is almost completely solved in the first 10-15 seconds of listening at the intuitive level.” This is paleo-mammalian brain stuff, lizard brain stuff - not reviewer brain. For myself, I interpret that this is where the musical connection happens. As an added bonus, our body encourages us: the non-cognitive experience of listening to music can trigger the release of endorphins - arriving at the limbic system's opiod receptors, satisfaction ensues.

          My experience suggests that we have a hard time willing ourselves into this senuous or intuitive mode, but listening can cause it. Go to a live music concert, unless you actively intend to think about the experience in audiophile terms, usually you don't. You 'get into' the music or at least the live experience - as much as I like watching muscians play, it's also fun to close my eyes. I find it easier to listen intuitively with eyes closed, which I guess is an analytic sort of observation.

          Of course the joy of the musical life is enhanced further by understanding the music itself and the people that created it. If you can read music, it's fun to look at the score and know the orchestration. Likewise the times, life and thoughts of the composer.
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