The physical variation in sound waves received by each person will be solely based on their quality of listening device and any hearing loss they may have. All of those questions are just a handful of the potential physical aspects that can affect the subjective nature of a live listening experience without taking into account what the mental and emotional state each audience member is when they arrived at the performance. So then, what does music mean? You can expel as much energy and effort as you like to try and create the environment, but some nights those audiences just cannot be won over. The meaning of musical works will interact with any personal philosophies and views a person may have, and never fail to bring an experience of music to an understanding of that music to which they are listening. In many cases, each instrument is recorded separately in a way that allows them to isolate every hit, strum, and pluck and construct only the sounds that they want you to hear. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The Subjective and Objective Experience In Music, Net Neutrality Posts | Sound ReasonSound Reason, Subjective Standards | Sound ReasonSound Reason, Facial Recognition: Your Image Unlocks Your Civil Liberties, Ask for Comments, Ye Shall Receive Comments. Each person that hears the track will hear the exact same thing every single time it’s played. We use music to create the environment around us based on what we want it to be, but the recorded music will always be objective based on what the artists and producers wanted us to hear. Perhaps you are more inclined to hang towards the back or side trying to take in the whole stage experience? It is worth noting that the anchor standard includes two things that interpretation is to reveal: intent and meaning. Analysis can be done for specific elements. When we search for what a musical work means, we must first look inward, to discover what of our inner being it has touched, moved, and communicated with. Music certainly rises even above the expressive potential of poetry, which in turn rises above the potential of prose, for being a vehicle for this kind of expression. We each prefer certain musical styles, artists, or themes, but the fact remains that music hits deep in each one of us. How can we know for sure what a composer’s expressive intent was? Let’s take a look at the very different ways that a listening experience could potentially change in the live performance world. The intended tones will be identical from music player to music player. Things like fast movement, increased heart rate, even sweaty palms are all stimulated by rhythmic structures that are likely universal. In this theory, music itself is subjective - because it depends on what value of complexity you value - but there is objective fact in why you like a style of music (because we can find the complexity of the music by reducing it to binary form and measuring it). Are you trying to set just the right mood for an evening alone with that special someone? But other aspects of music can be objective. Music is part of the general human condition. Music is an created thing. Music certainly can be this “avenue for empathy and understanding,” but it cannot be reliably so because no listener can be sure that what feelings are elicited in the music are in fact what the composer was feeling at the time he or she wrote that musical work. Music brings to the surface a deep experience that can share with our consciousness the navigating of our innermost selves through realities we cannot otherwise approach. This is where the community of students in a music class is so valuable. Whereas prose resonates with our intellect, music, as McLachlan points out, resonates with the spirit. Music brings us closer to ourselves in that it pulls up emotions that might otherwise remain hidden to our awareness, or repressed by choice. Music is a way that we have expressed ourselves, shared information and mutual emotions as a part of that experience. Regarding meaning, we must be careful to ask the right question. It is well known that Beethoven wrote his cheerful sixth and seventh symphony while in the midst of deep depression and sadness over his deafness and overall quality of life. © Robert Adams and Mr. A Music Place, 2017, 2019. The feelings that a melody will stimulate will vary from none to extreme depending on the musical experience and culture of the listener. Is it communal and welcoming or overcrowded and uncomfortable? We need to know, through a composer’s writings perhaps, that he or she was feeling the way the music cam out in order to know that the music is indeed that “avenue or empathy and understanding.”. First, music communicates what we as humans feel, and it communicates it in a universal way. These can include phrase structure, use of a given musical element, harmony, melodic motifs, and so forth. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The part that might escape your average listener, though, is that from the perspective of those producing the recorded music we all listen to, they are after a completely unified and objective experience. For something so subjective a lot of science and engineering goes into planning how each song will ultimately play out. While evaluation is often at least partially subjective, holding to the criteria keeps the subjectivity to a minimum and makes the task largely objective. Such a meaning of music will be objective, and at the same time modifiable by personal philosophies and views. Where are you in the space? Once recorded, mixed, mastered, and released, it will be yours and the way you want it to be forever more. For those songwriters, producers, and musicians out there that are thinking about each of your songs as you process this, know that when you’re performing the song live you will lose control of that environment and be subject to whatever your audience is going through. Rhythm tends to be more universal in this respect than melody. Since its inception, it has become that as well as a place to explore technology and government policy, the non-technical issues facing the AV industry, and the relationship of the music industry and the providers of the technology that allow people to experience it, and for some fun content - the general nerdery. Yet they know by experience that interpretation of musical meaning is … How is the crowd that night? Are you celebrating something with friends? What is intent and what is meaning of a musical work. Can’t music mean different things to different people? The meaning of musical works will interact with any personal philosophies and views a person may have, and never fail to bring an experience of music to an understanding of that music to which they are listening. But what about interpreting a musical work? Are they drunk or high? After that it will be in the hands of. At the end of 2015 a more personal section was added to discuss issues that weren't of an AV, music, technology or nerdery. Is it an indoor or outdoor performance? In so doing, students can find a sort of classroom universality whereby they discover not just a personal meaning, but a common, shared meaning that comes close to or hits the mark of what the music truly means. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The more agreement there is, the more objective that meaning becomes. If music has any meaning at all, it must be the same across individuals of a given culture at least, if not across multi cultures, in the same way that a red octagon means stop to a motorist, no matter in what language the word “stop” is written within it. The acoustics of the environment will already alter drastically from indoor venue to indoor venue, but if you’re listening to the music in an open air space that alters it even more. Is it a group that is there as a status symbol to say they were there? What are Antecedent & Consequent Phrases in Music? They contain the same data (1’s and 0’s) that allow the music to play on all our phones, tablets, and computers in the exact same way. I have many times experienced a surge of emotion, sometimes to the brink of tears, from a musical phrase that gushes beauty and emotion. Then, we need to be aware of what others have found similarly looking inward responding to the same musical work. Even just a photograph of the newborn child melts the sternest of hearts like water, and this feeling is quite out of our control. Are you listening to the song in a large or small venue? We use music to create the environment around us based on what we want it to be, but the recorded music will always be objective based on what the artists and producers wanted us to hear. ( Log Out /  Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. That sounds like a largely subjective thing. Listening to music performed live is nothing but a completely subjective experience because it can be different for every single person at the event.