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Talyubittu
13-09-2008, 08:06
It's a part of the discussion in the Tatu Forum, where the thread went a bit off-topic. Please be cool with each other when debating. I know you are all cool, but just a little extra reminder. Yes?

and your comment is just enough for me to believe they don't. seriously... what the hell. I'm so sorry that i actually critique things and think about things that i like. You know i actually DO like the song. But yeah, i'm an artist so i THINK about them and if there's something missing i'm gonna say it. so yeah,

seriously out of line

Having a degree in graphic design does not make you an artist qualified to critique music on the professional level you're holding yourself up on. In your opinion it lacks something, of course you have the right to say it. And just for reference, holding a degree in art, as you stated earlier - does not make you an artist anyways. And the critique of someone who does not have outstanding professional credentials isn't going to be accepted as fact or even considered by some of us - especially since your degree is in graphic design. Anybody can think about a song, a concept and arrangement. Certain people like, certain people don't. Everyone has different tastes - your opinion isn't correct because you're a graphic designer, anymore than mine is because I'm a Starbucks Barista.

out of line? - if you're referring to RowerB's post then you make me giggle.

Argos
13-09-2008, 15:01
^^^
Some comments let me tear my hair. As a never-in-my-whole-lifetime-I-will-be-an-artist I want to say this...

1. Popmusic is entertainment and not arts. There is sometimes arts involved in some degree, but it's not popmusic's duty nor aim to be artistical. Cruel imagination that it might ever become like that. :rolleyes:

2. Music has no duty to make people shudder. It's no ghost train, where people have to expect something incredibly shaking at the next bend. If you look for something like that you shouldn't search for it in music, but run to the next amusement park and take the next rollercoaster. If you look for mindblowing excitement in music then you haven't got the very essence of music.

3. Form and structure: Oh gaaaaaaaawd! There were times in music history, when every composition which didn't have Haydn's classical sonata structure, was called inferior. Thank God those times are gone, but now some apostles of musical arts want a renaissance of this nonsense - :hah: What about freedom of arts (especially if it's not even arts!!!)? The greatest artists created their forms and structures themselves, only the less talented copyists elevated them to the level of a holy grail.

4. Whether pop music is good or bad is a matter of how it matches taste, memory and feelings of the masses, the artistical skills are rarely a deciding parameter. Think of a commercial hit which has it all: vocal skill of an opera singer, lyrics which can compare to highest standards of classical or modern poetry, a composition which gets wide acceptance from (classical) professional music critics, arrangements which make a conductor of a symphony orchestra pale etc. If you have found it, tell me! :laugh:

Y&I has all what it needs to be a hit and I seriously doubt that a major change in the direction of our experts and artists will make it more successful.

thegurgi
13-09-2008, 18:41
i've seperately discussed this with both persons in pms. i don't really think this thread is necessary. nor do i wish to continue this discussion at all. my opinions on this matter are too complicated, it seems, for me to articulate in any sort of logicial manner. so i'm just bowing out.

forre
13-09-2008, 18:44
i've seperately discussed this with both persons in pms. i don't really think this thread is necessary.
It's quite an interesting question I must say. Not really a private matter. We can discuss if pop is art or not.

thegurgi
13-09-2008, 18:48
It's quite an interesting question I must say. Not really a private matter. We can discuss if pop is art or not.
i guess... i'd just prefer be left out of it.
though i'd like to state for the record that i have a Bachelor's Degree in the Fine Arts with a Concentration in Media Arts ... not a "degree in graphic design." my education in the arts was not nearly that limited

nath
13-09-2008, 18:55
I think this subject is interesting, indeed, Greg:rose:

1. Popmusic is entertainment and not arts. There is sometimes arts involved in some degree, but it's not popmusic's duty nor aim to be artistical.


*What is Art ? it ‘s a very difficult and large question ….

There are some common points in those results that we are used to call “Art”…
1/Art has to be produced by a person called an artist.
2/An “Art piece” needs a Public….if you write poems in your room and that nobody reads them, by definition, they can’t be called “Art” ( I speak here about the rules, not about my own idea…) because Art has to be a Public thing.
3/This duo/complement Art-Public is necessary because something is called Art when it produces Effects as Emotions, infatuation, pleasure and when it produces an exchange of ideas, discussions…
4/Art has to refer too to the world, the society…

This is the common definition…which already bring some problems….

For example, Art is created by who has to be called an artist…so what to thing about John Kennedy Toole for example….was he an artist or not ?
His novel A Confederacy of Dunces got the Pulitzer Price…..but 11 years after his suicide…John Kennedy Toole was unpublished during his lifetime.
Does it mean he wasn’t an artist before his death, when his book was already written ?
If you follow the Art standard definition: no.

So, everything about the Art definition is very complex.

Moreover, even if you could be classed in the category “Art”, you have there several levels: Major arts as painting, minor arts as cinema for example…..
You spoke about Haydn….things are still the same: they obey to the Fashion of the Moment….more than Fashion ….it’s a kind of Rule which directs /imposes the standards of Art as the equivalent of Levels in the society….

Sorry , it isn’t so easy to explain for me here in English..
Let’s take an example: if you see 2 people: one is waiting to enter into a Britney Spears’ gig and another is waiting to enter into a Francis Bacon’s exposition, the present “standards of Art” would imply : the Britney’s one has less education than the Bacon’s one….the 1rst one is less intelligent than the 2nd one….

There is a kind of “Intellectualism” linked in a way to the desire to place itself in the Upper way of the society which is very present actually in the present area….and I suppose it was the same before…

On a personal level, I absolutely dislike this “Intellectual Attitude” because I think they are very good and very bad things in the Modern or Contemporary Arts as they are very good and very bad things in the Pop songs.


*To that: “4. Whether pop music is good or bad is a matter of how it matches taste, memory and feelings of the masses, the artistical skills are rarely a deciding parameter.”
I could reply by that : “4. Whether Contemporary Artist is good or bad is a matter of how it matches the recent newspapers critics, dictated by the (pseudo)Intelligentsia, that the people who want to have the Feeling to be Upper than others have recently read, the artistical skills are rarely a deciding parameter.”

I mean by “masses”, I have the feeling that you treat the “masses” people in a kind of condescending way.
“taste, memory and feelings of the masses,” does it mean that the “Masses” are so idiotic to not be able to make the difference between a song which translates in a correct form their feelings and some stupid and mysterious words put together which are supposed to translate their emotion?

Of course, we can deny the system of the marketing which is making a real “brains wash” by the intensive broadcasting of the same songs but I don’t think people are so stupid than this “Masses” implies… ;)


*1.Popmusic is entertainment and not arts.
I disagree with you here. Why it wouldn't’t be Art?
If we follow the traditional definition of Art, it is. A Pop song has a public, a Pop song creates feelings, reactions from its public, a Pop song has references to the society , the world which surrounds us…even if it’s just to speak about its broken hearts…

Because it looks “simple” may be?...
But “simple” doesn’t always implies “easy thing”…
Indeed, it’s very difficult to write a song which looks “simple” , “smooth”….and often the main fault of the young artists is to try to make too often “complicated” songs which just succeed in hurting the ears…

Let’s take the example of Dance:
Fred Astaire and Rudolf Noureev…..in the collective consciousness, Noureev is higher than Astaire…
Why? May be the explanation isn’t so far from what I was speaking above:
Fred Astaire is linked to the poor middle-class American housewives who were dreaming about the Charming Prince and who went to buy a Cinema ticket to try to reach their dreams…
While Noureev is linked (I speak here for France, not about the ex-soviet countries where the approach of classical ballets is really different) to people who had the Money, who were belonging or trying to belong to this Intelligentsia, who were from a very good, even hight social level ….just because to see Noureev or even a classical ballet , you need to spend not the price of a cinema ticket, but 50, 100 Euros or even more…

Fred Astaire was like Rudolf Noureev, passing hours of his life in repeating the same movement, having his legs , all his body aching just for his dance looks so easy and smooth…

I love both of Them but unfortunately , I don’t think they are “categorized” on the same level…

“Imagine”, “Yesterday”, “Chiquita”…..are Pop (or Ballads, or whatever…it’s almost the same..) songs…they sound as “simple”….
Can you really affirm there is no Art inside? Can you really affirm that Lennon, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulveaus aren’t artists?



*2. “Music has no duty to make people shudder. It's no ghost train, where people have to expect something incredibly shaking at the next bend. If you look for something like that you shouldn't search for it in music, but run to the next amusement park and take the next rollercoaster.”
I doubt that this example fits to all the situations….I , personally, hate the “ghost trains” or amusement park…it would make me die but never fly.
Here again, you make a generalization of your own tastes…..for my part, yep, I’m not ashamed to say it, I love when some songs transport me , make me fly…..that the main cause which attracted me to Tatu: the bridge of “All the Things She said”……
You’ve said “it matches taste, memory and feelings of the masses,”…..may be you’ve underestimated the “romantic” side of the “masses”, even if it’s sometimes hidden under apparent surface.
For me, these “flying moments” are the ones where I can be in “interactivity” with a song: the osmosis becomes real when my own feelings can be mixed with the feelings of a song.

This is my taste. Other people want to find other things in the songs: some listen just at the music, others listen just at the lyrics, others just at the arrangement or the game of the guitarist, other are just sensitive to love, other are just sensitive to the society problems…..

The tastes are different , Argos….



*"If you look for mindblowing excitement in music then you haven't got the very essence of music."
Thank you, Master. :he:



*“in the direction of our experts and artists”
If I read your posts, I suppose that you are including yourself as “expert” here.



*“I seriously doubt that a major change in the direction of our experts and artists will make it more successful.”
Nobody would know it until it would have been tested :)

forre
13-09-2008, 18:56
i guess... i'd just prefer be left out of it.
I tried but I can't do better than that. Then, you can always defend your point of view. No harm here.

thegurgi
13-09-2008, 18:59
I tried but I can't do better than that. Then, you can always defend your point of view. No harm here.
i appreciate that... but it may be awhile before i'll be comfortable entering such a discussion.

I do however really love all of Nath's comments and pretty much agree with her.

don't forget popart people: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popart

Edgar
13-09-2008, 19:18
Art for me
Art can be anything but it must make you feel a feeling

If the pop songs aren't empty and stupid. That would be art

Joopy
13-09-2008, 19:37
A song like "The Fast Food Song" by Fast Food Rockers is entertainment, not art... or the "Touch My Bum" song by the Cheeky Girls... just pure fun.

But I consider like "30 Minutes" by t.A.T.u. to be quite poetic and full of thought. I think the lyrics and music were made carefully to make you feel sad emotions.

I think that "220" by t.A.T.u., for example, is quite an artistic pop song.

Pop can be anything these days.

Argos
13-09-2008, 20:57
Oh my, Nathalie, why do your posts have to have so long, with so many different arguments? A challenge to answer to them all!

Well, first of all, the intention of my above post was more to play the 'advocatus diaboli' than to attack Greg's (or any other's) critics. The statements were of course exaggerated and I was intentionally overinterpreting what people told.

To the definition of arts:

In my native language (German) the translation of the word is 'Kunst', which is derived from the word 'koennen', which means being able to do something. The word's main interpretation is therefore in the direction of skills and consequently the word is used regularly for any kind of special abilities. If we consider the interpretations of the word in different languages, maybe we can find so many different definitions that in the end there would never be consense.

My interpretation of arts is (I think) quite simple, because complicated things always make me puzzled. Arts is a special language which gives the creator of the artwork the opportunity to communicate with other people (sometimes even imaginary or even inanimate partners), to share the thoughts and feelings in a very personal way.

So, now pop as art:

Many styles of entertainment music like rock, jazz, blues...match strictly with my definition, but how's it with pop?
The singer-popstar: special vocal skills are not necessary, they sing regularly playback. Only a small fraction writes their own music and then frequently in inferior quality. Their 'artwork' is in many cases more random, rarely personal.
The songwriter: most stars have professional songwriters, who compose their songs/write the lyrics according strictly to rules and laws proposed by analysts, psychologists and other experts. He doesn't occupy himself with the emotions of the star or his thoughts. If the singer is picky the songwriter gets a catalogue of wishes or a general theme, that's all.
The arrangeur: another professional, who tries to bring the song into a shape which suits the popstar, is trendy and has both a high value of repetition of past elements (which the audience remembers and associates with) as well as some originality to avoid people being bored by an old concept.

You see, real arts (by any different definition) is not imperatively necessary for pop music, but it does not mean that there are no artists among the popstars, songwriters and other people in the business. There are numerous examples of very successful pop song with almost no noticeable artistical value.

Pop and the masses:

My choice of this word has nothing to do with debasing people. It is meant as different from an intellectual/artistic/monetary...elite versus the common people. Pop muisic aims at the common denominator of the people, things which 'everybody' likes, because they are part of all peoples' world of experience and emotions. With all it's laws and rules pop music is even a form of arts on it's very own, but completely different of any usual definition of arts. You can't create good pop music if you don't perfectly understand the rules of the genre and press as much as possible 'body' into this strict corset. The composer of 'You And I' Ed Buller, is a perfect example of it, he has carefully studied it before beginning his career as a composer.

Of course pop music is an easy victim of media manipulation, it's music for the whole people after all, but in the end the manipulator has to obey the same rules as the songwriter or the star. No money on earth, no advertizing campaign can make bad music (in the sense of not accetable for the majority of people) popular.
“Imagine”, “Yesterday”, “Chiquita”…..are Pop (or Ballads, or whatever…it’s almost the same..) songs…they sound as “simple”….
Can you really affirm there is no Art inside? Can you really affirm that Lennon, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulveaus aren’t artists?
Well, The Beatles would nowadays be called rock musicians not pop, and ABBA - they were in a certain way the creators of European pop music. As I told before, there are artists in pop music business, quite a lot of them, but they are the raisins in the cake, most stars are not even capable of reading and singing notes from the sheet.

thegurgi
13-09-2008, 21:31
see in my view... it's all Art. It represents a culture in some way. To me the question is... is it good art? Is our pop music how we want our culture to be viewed 1000's of years from now. Are people going to be learning about Britney Spears in Culture classes in the year 3,000 (if our culture survives that long). The testament to great art and masterpieces is that it spans decades afterwards. I doubt this genre of music is good enough to make it that far. In fact i have a hard time imagining what the music of these years will be capsulized into even 50/100 years from now.

but i do believe that Pop Music is an art form. A heavily commercialized art form, but art none-the-less.

The word "Artist" and the term "Art" is reserved for Picasso, Mozart and other people considered to be in the "high art" classification. this includes that term "Artistic" (plus i hate that word)

However all Art is subject to criticism... from a Simple Pop Song by Tatu to the Design of a New Toaster for GE or a College Student's Poem about the Laws of Thermodynamics. And no one has to be an expert in any of those things to have an opinion on any of it.

Argos
13-09-2008, 22:04
Is our pop music how we want our culture to be viewed 1000's of years from now. Are people going to be learning about Britney Spears in Culture classes in the year 3,000 (if our culture survives that long). The testament to great art and masterpieces is that it spans decades afterwards. I doubt this genre of music is good enough to make it that far. In fact i have a hard time imagining what the music of these years will be capsulized into even 50/100 years from now.
Quite interesting question here. What remains from the music of the late 20th century and the time being? On the other hand - what do we know of music common people liked in the 18th century. They hardly sung Bach in the streets! What remains from popular arts at all during the centuries? Maybe it was never really acknowledged and perhaps it will never be. Perhaps exactly the 20th and 21st century turn the view with it's very diverse and creative entertainment music. Who knows?

but i do believe that Pop Music is an art form. A heavily commercialized art form, but art none-the-less.
Arts was always a commercial product. Formerly an elite paid the artists, made them produce artwork for them, today in democratic times it's the whole people. In the old times the sovereigns made competitions between artists for public amusement like the famous one between Haendel and Scarlatti. The rulers of the hundreds of princedoms of those times advertized their artists and they bid huge amounts of money to get an artists exclusively in their country. We don't have numbers, but I wouldn't be surprised if the sums were comparable with the sums of today.

The word "Artist" and the term "Art" is reserved for Picasso, Mozart and etc and other people considered to be in the "high art" classification.
That's because authorities and specialists decomposed artwork in it's components and found...oh, what did they find? Something where they could give school marks, from excellent to dilettante. Fortunately an artist doesn't need experts to create his artwork, who tells him how he has to do it , sothat it's artistically valuable.

thegurgi
13-09-2008, 22:17
hat's because authorities and specialists decomposed artwork in it's components and found...oh, what did they find? Something where they could give school marks, from excellent to dilettante. Fortunately an artist doesn't need experts to create his artwork, who tells him how he has to do it , sothat it's artistically valuable.
it's not nearly as black and white really. Sure critics deconstructed artworks but art criticism isn't dictated by tastes it's dictated by answers. The great artists were deemed great because they had a reason and answers to the questions they were asked. Poor artists have no answers... just pieces. Jackson Pollock always had an answer for why he did what he did. As did his wife Lee Krasner. It wasn't just that they were abstract or "trendy" it was that they had reason. When in a class critic and someone asked me "why did you do this?" and i had no answer... i understood that it needed to be removed or changed. High Art Criticism is all about answers and questions. Not trends and dictation. And we usually criticise art when it's apparent there is no reason, it wasn't created as a solution to a problem. i sometimes call it "fluff" ...

nath
14-09-2008, 00:14
My interpretation of arts is (I think) quite simple, because complicated things always make me puzzled.
The definition of art which I gave you is the "official" definition which occurs in the majority of the countries.
It's a very current subject in Philosophy, History of Art, Science of Education so I don't think this definition is the specificity of the French government.
It isn't my personal creation neither, I'm not an artist, and I don't fully agree with it.

So, as you were commenting about this subject on a such determinate way, I've supposed that you were referring to the "official" norms of Art.

"Arts is a special language which gives the creator of the artwork the opportunity to communicate with other people (sometimes even imaginary or even inanimate partners), to share the thoughts and feelings in a very personal way."

This is Your definition of Art. If I follow it strictly, I don't see why Pop songs wouldn't be art.

After you add some other elements:
Many styles of entertainment music like rock, jazz, blues...match strictly with my definition

The singer-popstar: special vocal skills are not necessary, they sing regularly playback. Only a small fraction writes their own music and then frequently in inferior quality. Their 'artwork' is in many cases more random, rarely personal.
Could you give me the title of a song written by Ella Fitzgerald?
But she has a great voice, I concede it and I really consider her as a huge artist, don't worry.

If a pop singer has no voice at all, he/she will make one album or may be two but certainly not a full career.

You speak about playback.....in the 70's, 80's the majority of the singers were singing in playback at the TV for example...it's just about 15 years ago that the return to "live" songs was required there...

Now , in the gigs, a lot of singers are using playback , it's true because shows become more and more important, because the system of dance was included into those gigs too....
So if I’d play the Devil advocate as you did, if we declare that Madonna or Spears aren't artists because they sings playback or "semi playback" during their gigs , at least, what about the idea to consider them artists as dancers?

And does it mean that they aren't able to sing, really?

I understand your point of view but may be it's a too big generalization that you've made about Pop music...
"Absolute Made groups" or "Made singers" exist, it's true....but I'm not so sure that it's the majority of the Pop singers.

At the radio, we seldom hear Jazz tunes (except on the specific radios which have a very few audiance)...
If Jazz songs were broadcasted more often of the radio, they would have to adapt their format too to a precise timing.

By the way, we usually consider Jazz singers, Opera singers as Artists without any discussion.
But how to explain that they are almost never broadcasted on the main radios?
Don't they fail, in a certain way, in communicating with the large audience?
The communication doesn't work but in your definition you categorize without discussion Jazz as art.
And I don’t even discuss here about the Modern Jazz…

At least if the pop singers aren’t artists, their arrangers and authors/composers seem to be artists because it works and it’s what is sold.

I don’t believe to the Rules of Art.
I really think that each one has its own tastes and so its own vision of what it’s convenient to be called as Art for itself.
The definition of Art seems to me absolutely subjective and the main thing is to feel free about the way we personally think about it, without any pressure of the rules, of the fashion, of the money.
For me there are good and bad songs in the Pop Music as in the Jazz as in the Rock....
It isn't a question of style of music, it's just a question of songs.

I wrote here in a pushed way too but it was just to react to your affirmation, Argos: “Pop music isn’t art” which was, from my point of view, a little bit too hard and unfair but which has the right to be your reality, as tastes are different.


ABBA - they were in a certain way the creators of European pop music. As I told before, there are artists in pop music business, quite a lot of them, but they are the raisins in the cake, most stars are not even capable of reading and singing notes from the sheet.
So be pleased: Benny Andersson was never able to read music...he doesn’t know the notes….he always played everything by ear.

Oh my, Nathalie, why do your posts have to have so long, with so many different arguments?
Just because it’s my way to write. Sorry.

Argos
14-09-2008, 01:38
...This is Your definition of Art. If I follow it strictly, I don't see why Pop songs wouldn't be art...
...Could you give me the title of a song written by Ella Fitzgerald?
But she has a great voice, I concede it and I really consider her as a huge artist, don't worry.
Of course Ella is a great artist and strictly according to my definition.
Arts is a special language which gives the creator of the artwork the opportunity to communicate with other people ..., to share the thoughts and feelings in a very personal way
Her artwork is the performance of the voice with which she communicates with the audience in a very artistic (skilled) manner.

Now a pop singer at a concert - playback. If you are lucky he can even manage to move the lips synchronized, the composition is from somebody else, who hardly knows the artist, the arrangement is made by somebofdy else, again with no connection to the 'artist'. Just an extreme example, but in today's pop music not unusual. Of course he communicates with the audience, but is it always really his own language or is it something superimposed, unnatural? My point here is - while most other forms have to be artistical, in pop music it is not necessary. You can be successful even without artistical (in some stricter sense, regardless which definition you use) values.
And does it mean that they aren't able to sing, really?

I understand your point of view but may be it's a too big generalization that you've made about Pop music...
"Absolute Made groups" or "Made singers" exist, it's true....but I'm not so sure that it's the majority of the Pop singers.
Let's see an example, tatu era one. Can we call them artists? Weak singers, whose recordings of the hit songs were a pain for the crew until they finally got it. Performances completely trained, playback. Was there anything that they gave from themselves? And then compare now, singing live (of course with some playback help here and there), their movements improvised, every performance different. They may not be masters of the genre, but it's themselves, not artificial figures. The successful tatu was considerably less artistical (in my own view) than the current one. Some proof that arts and pop music don't terribly need each other, but anyway, completely without artistical talents and skills no pop starlet can survive. That was one of my oversimplifications and generalizations.

By the way, we usually consider Jazz singers, Opera singers as Artists without any discussion.
But how to explain that they are almost never broadcasted on the main radios?
Don't they fail, in a certain way, in communicating with the large audience?
The communication doesn't work but in your definition you categorize without discussion Jazz as art.
I've been in operas, classical concerts and jazz concerts, and if you ask me for my personal feelings after the concerts - opera singers and jazz artists have always touched me much more than anything else, although I'm more into other music. The communication worked (stunningly!). An artist doesn't have to communicate with a large audience, even if it's just one person, it's still enough to 'hit' the target.

Now you could counter with an example like: a child makes some handicraft for the birthday of the mother. Is this arts then, even if it's clumsy and ugly? - In any case! It's personal, it's communication on a very intimate level, and - if you look into the mother's eyes, the message is clearly understood and produces great emotions.
At least if the pop singers aren’t artists, their arrangers and authors/composers seem to be artists because it works and it’s what is sold.
In a consequence it would mean that every song which is successful is a piece of artwork (and unsuccessful ones are pieces of amateur work, regardless how skilled and sophisticated they are: in his time J.S. Bach wasn't well known as a composer. Is he then not to call an artist?). Unfortunately that seems to be true in pop music. You are a great artist if your songs sell and you can afford a huge villa in California from your royalties.
I don’t believe to the Rules of Art.
I really think that each one has its own tastes and so its own vision of what it’s convenient to be called as Art for itself.
The definition of Art seems to me absolutely subjective and the main thing is to feel free about the way we personally think about it, without any pressure of the rules, of the fashion, of the money.
True word, but don't discuss this with professional arts critics! :laugh:
So be pleased: Benny Andersson was never able to read music...he doesn’t know the notes….he always played everything by ear.
He could read the notes on his music instruments, so he doesn't fall into my 'dilettantes' category. :)