Monday, January 19, 2009

Mind, Body, Conscience, and Dance Part 1

A little background here.

A few weeks ago BigFred put up a post about rap and gender relations. Fred mentions the misogyny that has permeated today's rap music and he also touches on dance music vs. conscious music. While talking about the difference between dance music and conscious music the topic of lyrics are brought up. Fred specifically says this:

There's always a question of how important lyrics are for a song. There's a question of did the beat influence you first or was it a combination of the lyrics and beat.

I know its been a few weeks since this conversation started but I would like to go on a bit of a tangent and talk about lyrics, beats, and influences.

To answer Fred in the above quote I would say that the answer is going to vary. Some of the variables involved are going to be what group of people you're talking about which will in turn influence what genre of music you're talking about and on top of that one would need to consider the emotional state of said group of people.

People pick music that matches the energy/tension they are feeling with the intent of enhancing their current physical, mental, or emotional state. People pick music that contrasts the energy/tension they are feeling with the intent of altering their current physical, mental, or emotional state. People pick music that will make them think. People pick music that will make them get up and dance. Countless motivations and countless choices.

In part 2 I'll go into some specific examples of these various states.


BigFred said...

Interesting post. I curious to see where you take part 2.

I know most people need some amount of lyrics, as instrumental music doesn't seem to sell as well. How much is difficult to quantify though. I think there are a lot of subliminal lyric listeners out there. I think these are the ones who say "I just listen for the beat," even though, they wouldn't give the song a chance without lyrics on it (and particular lyrics at that). They may not be able to repeat the lyrics back, but without lyrics they wouldn't listen to the beat. Then there are those who have to know every lyric. They're on the opposite end.

I'll post something on gender and rap again soon. You seem to be covering the topic on lyrical influence here, so I'll try to not overlap with you too much.

Danny said...

I have you to thank for getting me to think about lyrical influence. I've always had a hard time picking learning the lyrics to songs and I'd often get frustrated when I tried and failed...but then out of the blue every once in a while I'll learn a song almost perfectly.

After years of doing this your questions have prompted me to at least try to find out why some songs are next to impossible to pick on while others seem to fall into place.

I'm currently looking for specific songs to examine for part2.