Author Topic: How do you hear  (Read 1265 times)

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Gamblour.

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How do you hear
« on: June 09, 2005, 10:54:29 PM »
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My friend and I, while listening to Kings of Leon, Ted Leo, or The Decemberists, have noticed that we naturally hear very different things in music. I've been a musician for about 8 years, so I basically focus on each instrument, like I'll listen to the drums, move onto bass, then guitar, or whatever's available. If I've heard those a million times, I'll listen to the lyrics. She, on the other hand, primarily listens to the lyrics with no real regard to the instruments.

You could say she feels it out, while I listen for the technical stuff first, of course, I let go and just hear the song. I try to feel what the music's doing. If I really care, I'll go look up the lyrics.

Are there some of you who focus mainly on the lyrics and their meanings? Case in point, in the Sufjan Stevens thread, BigIdeas asked what the last verse meant. To be honest, I hadn't listened to word of that song, except near the beginning. I was listening to the music.
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Stefen

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How do you hear
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2005, 11:07:02 PM »
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It's actually very rare that I ever listen to the lyrics. I listen to the instruments always. It's the reason I have such a hard time getting into singer/songwriters. Songwriting to me is overrated, while playing an instrument well is underrated. Any chump can write a song, not very many people can make beautiful music.
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Ghostboy

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How do you hear
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2005, 11:13:20 PM »
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I don't often hear lyrics literally, but it's that I'm not listening for them, and it's not necessarily out of preference for instrumentation or lyricism or vocals - it all blends together as, simply, music. Sometimes I'll be listening to a song I've heard a million times before and think I know like the back of my hand - and suddenly I'll hear the words being sung for the first time and it will be rather shocking and wondrous in a strange way.

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How do you hear
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2005, 11:34:24 PM »
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I like to feel the music, I like it all to play as a piece.

That's why I really like Bjork and Tom Waits... their voices become instruments in the songs, and all the instruments harmonize into a fine piece of music.

You can never stop feeling a song, in my opinion, but you can get tired of hearing one.
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Sleuth

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How do you hear
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2005, 12:56:10 AM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
I don't often hear lyrics literally, but it's that I'm not listening for them, and it's not necessarily out of preference for instrumentation or lyricism or vocals - it all blends together as, simply, music. Sometimes I'll be listening to a song I've heard a million times before and think I know like the back of my hand - and suddenly I'll hear the words being sung for the first time and it will be rather shocking and wondrous in a strange way.


Gamblor, earlier you asked about how I listen to music and it's like that.  Thanks for asking.
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Gamblour.

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How do you hear
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2005, 11:30:33 AM »
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I did? When? But you're welcome.

The idea of lyrics blending into the music is important, especially, for me, with non English speaking bands. Like with Sigur Ros, my friend and I often either sing how it sounds or English equivalents for the sounds. Svefn-g-englar, for instance, the chorus sounds like "It's you" and we'll croon that over and over, even though I don't know what they're really saying. And I kinda don't want to know.

That being said, maybe some of you that speak Icelandic could answer this question: for the song Staralfur, do those lyrics seem goofy to you? I mean, the topic of a staring elf doesn't seem like it could be sung very well in English.
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