Jump to content

Blumenkohl's Rules for Good Listening


BLUMENKOHL
 Share

Recommended Posts

24 minutes ago, Blumenkohl said:

Never listen to music before having a serious listening session. Let the silence drive you mad with anticipation. Nothing tastes as good as water after being in the desert, and no music sounds as good as what you listen to after abstaining. 

 

Some of these rules seem a little wonky or specific, but I really wish venues would adhere to this one. Especially when there's multiple bands that are playing after one another, I get irritated when the venue has music playing over the PA between sets. C'mon, give us room to breathe! The presence of music from the performers is so much more powerful when there isn't constant musical stimulation happening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Blumenkohl said:
  1. Listen to good music again and again. Truly good music will only get better with repeated listens. 
  2. Don't listen to music all the time, you'll go numb. 

 

Those two are valuable tips. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Blumenkohl said:

 

  1. Fuhget about sound quality, sometimes the best recordings really are the older recordings with the terrible fidelity. 
  2. Take your streaming playlists, shuffle mode, etc. and flush them down the internet toilet. 

 

These two points contradict each other!

 

8 hours ago, Blumenkohl said:

 

  1. Older music is better for the soul: there is an optimism, even in its darkest moments, that propels you in your life. Newer music is too real for its own good. 

 

As opposed to fake older music?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with some of these rules. However, the only situation in which you can get "too analytical" to enjoy music... is when you are composing the piece! The distinction should be made between "useful" and "useless" analysis (= over-analysis, or trying to see/hear things that are not there). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sharky, humans have had access to “always-on” music for less than the lifespan of an average human. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. You’re looking at the rule very naively.  There are more benefits than just ritual and preciousness. 

 

Anyways, we can catch up in a few years when you can’t hear anything and have fucked up your dopaminergic system and developed a crippling inability to focus!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Blumenkohl said:

humans have had access to “always-on” music for less than the lifespan of an average human.

 

What?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Blumenkohl said:

Just because you can do it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. You’re looking at the rule very naively.  There are more benefits than just ritual and preciousness. 

 

Just because some cultural phenomenon is relatively young, that doesn't mean it's necessarily harmful.

 

You might be able to convince me if you were to present me with a metastudy on the supposed benefits of this mode of listening, or inversely the detrimental effects of divided attention.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Sharky said:

 

Just because some cultural phenomenon is relatively young, that doesn't mean it's necessarily harmful.

 

You might be able to convince me if you were to present me with a metastudy on the supposed benefits of this mode of listening, or inversely the detrimental effects of divided listening.

 

Burden of proof is on that which is newly introduced.  We'll see in a decade or two! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Nick Parker said:

Some of these rules seem a little wonky or specific, but I really wish venues would adhere to this one. Especially when there's multiple bands that are playing after one another, I get irritated when the venue has music playing over the PA between sets. C'mon, give us room to breathe! The presence of music from the performers is so much more powerful when there isn't constant musical stimulation happening.

 

I agree with some of these, less so with others, and several come down to personal preference more than anything. However, this particular rule reminds me of something else: I've always felt that the way DVDs (and now Blu-rays & Co) present a film to be seriously wrong. There shouldn't be music in the menus! Take your typical Star Wars DVD/BD, for example. The first thing you hear when setting up your play options, before the film ever starts, is the main title in a loop. Where's the spine tingling anticipation of sitting in a darkened room in total silence, seeing the Lucasfilm logo, and waiting for the sudden blast of the main title theme when the SW logo bursts on the screen?

 

(Granted, there are discs that don't *have* a menu and start the film right away. I hate those, because you don't get a chance to configure your playback and settle down before starting the film; you usually don't even know if it's the film that's starting or just some commercial stuff before the menu)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

I agree with some of these, less so with others, and several come down to personal preference more than anything. However, this particular rule reminds me of something else: I've always felt that the way DVDs (and now Blu-rays & Co) present a film to be seriously wrong. There shouldn't be music in the menus! Take your typical Star Wars DVD/BD, for example. The first thing you hear when setting up your play options, before the film ever starts, is the main title in a loop. Where's the spine tingling anticipation of sitting in a darkened room in total silence, seeing the Lucasfilm logo, and waiting for the sudden blast of the main title theme when the SW logo bursts on the screen?

 

(Granted, there are discs that don't *have* a menu and start the film right away. I hate those, because you don't get a chance to configure your playback and settle down before starting the film; you usually don't even know if it's the film that's starting or just some commercial stuff before the menu)

 

First world problems!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Sharky said:

 

Just because some cultural phenomenon is relatively young, that doesn't mean it's necessarily harmful.

 

You might be able to convince me if you were to present me with a metastudy on the supposed benefits of this mode of listening, or inversely the detrimental effects of divided listening.

 

 

 

 

Oh and hearing loss is cumulative, and above 75 decibels, you start to get accumulation over time. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Where's the spine tingling anticipation of sitting in a darkened room in total silence

 

Are you sure it's "spine tingling"? Not "hair raising" or "pulse pounding"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While many of Blume's dicta are frankly bromidic, reading like excerpts from a muso edition of Joan Crawford's My Way of Life, a few of the less dogmatic rules are spot on. Humming along as a method of ear training and strengthening audiation, listening to good music over and over, exploring music of the pre-Common Practice era, and most of all--just listening to less music.

 

We're now saturated with music left, right and center, to the point where it's sapped of all meaning and significance, and become objectified in the Marxian-Adornian sense of commodity fetishism. For that reason I can't stand background music in stores, DVD menus, phone muzak, adverts and royalty-free music in Youtube vlogs. It's truly soul destroying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Life should be a Jim Jarmusch movie?  Dibs on Broken Flowers.  I wanna smoke weed with the Ethiopian dude next door who's chill as hell, listening to Marvin Gaye and Mulatu Astatke.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Sharky said:

 

I find him very hit and miss, although I liked Only Lovers Left Alive.

 

One of the few of his I've been able to see in a movie theater (since they usually get extremely limited releases).  It was a joy and a pleasure.  His movies are unique sensory experiences.  John Hurt as wise literary vampire was brilliant casting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 22.5.2018 at 12:02 AM, Blumenkohl said:
  1. Listen to good music again and again. Truly good music will only get better with repeated listens. 
  2. Don't listen to music all the time, you'll go numb. 
  3. Don't listen to good music while doing other things. Listen to it when you can really listen to it. 
  4. Don't listen to dark music on sunny days and don't listen to cheery music on rainy days. Heighten the experience by matching music to the weather. It'll take you to another level. 
  5. One album listened to intensely for a week is better than 12 albums hopping from album to album and with half your attention. 

These are 5 great tips to bring the best out of the music you're listening to!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Friends, if you are so inclined, please join me tomorrow, Sunday January 5th, for a 30 day fast from all music written after 1900. We can listen to modern music again on February 4th. 

 

On 5/21/2018 at 6:02 PM, Blumenkohl said:

17. Older music is better for the soul: there is an optimism, even in its darkest moments, that propels you in your life. Newer music is too real for its own good. 

 

I guarantee your spirit will thank you for it in this dark world of ours! 

 

@Stefancos I challenge you in particular! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish I could bring myself to join right now! I was thinking about musical fasting the other day. But I've got several musical projects that I'm deep into right now and the timing doesn't feel right. But yes, music after a time without it is glorious. I wish you well on your quest, @Blumenkohl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
8 minutes ago, BLUMENKOHL said:

Updated with rules 24-30. 

 

Rule 27 essentially describes any "favorite short musical moments" posts I've ever made here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Bellosh said:

 

Rule 27 essentially describes any "favorite short musical moments" posts I've ever made here.

 

Yep, when you go back, you’re like…hmmm…it’s good…but not that good! Caffeine has tricked me too many times. But still it’s fun! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 22/05/2018 at 12:02 AM, BLUMENKOHL said:

Don't listen to dark music on sunny days and don't listen to cheery music on rainy days. Heighten the experience by matching music to the weather. It'll take you to another level. 

I don't entirely agree on that one. In general, it makes sense, but the music you choose doesn't necessarily have to be straightout supportive of the situation the listener is surounded by. The opposite strategy, for example, can also lead to high intensity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

If I decide to follow these rules, I could probably start listening to music after my retirement.


People who DON’T follow these rules don’t retire. They work to the bone and lose their savings the day after they retire!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.