As I was cleaning up my home office, I came across an article which I had printed out with an intent to write a counterpoint white paper. The text of the article can be found in this URL:
Maybe you've seen this article or at least are aware of this thinking. I would guess that most people on this forum wouldn't find much credibility in this article - even the original author admits some imbalance in the paper and suggests that his own previous conclusions were wrong.
Even so, this kind of thinking prevails in some circles and I wonder if it's widespread. Do any of you still hear statements like:
"Rock Music is Carnal because it makes you want to dance and move"?
"Rock Music is disharmonic and therefore wrong or harmful to your psyche"?
"A study on mice proves that certain music can cause nerve and brain damage"?
There are a lot of things wrong with this broad-stroked article and it's supporting material, not the least of which is the idea of blasting mice with music 24x7 and then killing them to study their brains.
But that's where I stop. Anyone want to comment? I'm curious if this is mostly a dead issue or if there are still some circles of thought where this is prevalent. If it's still out there, do you think is there any validity to it? Should we take some of this to heart? Should we reject it outright?
It might be more helpful to stop and look at how we handle the things we use: do we use them carnally and in a way that's harmful or helpful?
People have always like to make up 'ban the thing' rules, sometimes for apparently practical reasons and sometimes for mystical ones. I'd have taken this more seriously in the 1960s, but now it's a non-issue, Westboro baptist church excepted.
Personally, I would say it is an almost-dead issue. I'm 64; I rarely hear any of that noise from contemporaries like I did in the 70's. Whole parades of Christian rockers with good Christian lifestyles have presented excellent, tasteful music with rock beat now for over 40 years, and most of the power-generation (the people in charge of things now) grew up on rock music (no matter what they played in church, the vast majority listened to it at home or with friends.
As a youth, I myself didn't like Rock -- I found it harsh and disturbing, and found my home in classical music. But having taken up all styles of music as a church musician, spending four or five years with too-loud Christian rock, and working a lot with youth, I find I hvae absultly no brane dammij (just a worker's claim for hearing loss that my employer suggested).
The biggest problem, I would say, was not about the music itself, but by such vitriolic articles driving a wedge between Christians, creating a generation "gap". Music is supposed to unite, not divide. If rockers, classicists, country boys, bluegrassers, Minnesota Lutherans, or whoever get to insisting that their music is "better", they will, they will find someone who "backs them up" with "facts."
We have so many more important things to do with the days God has given us than to stew over "jungle rhythms."
I would add that one of the problems I find with the article is the broad brushed stroke. To say, "Rock music is bad for you" is to leave me asking the question, "which rock music?" If you're talking about heavy and hard acid rock, that's one thing, but heavy metal can actually have more in common with classical music while good ole Americana style music like The Band is even different still.
Good thought, Stevo. There are a few who know all the genre terms (internet has made us more aware in this area), but generally the term "Rock" seems to be applied to Elvis to Beatles to Metallica and Styx -- in short, anything that has a guitar, bass and/or drum and features a singer who doesn't do bel canto or croon.
Rock-hate criticism typically hits against something they call the "back beat", which I presume means the syncopation hitting just before the mid-beat of a measure (ONE two AND three FOUR). This syncopation is common in classical music as well as in almost anything Latin, as well as a typical Rock beat.
That would raise the spectre of rejecting ALL music except polkas.
I appreciate Classic music, which I learnt for years studying piano, but if I heard it 24/7 I would be suicdal like most music played over and over. Like chanting over and over has a mystical brain numbing drug.
Honestly, if YOU don't like it then don't do it, don't just force it on others for that reason alone.
Last year I visited a C3 church and the music team finished their songs ALWAYS on a minor key. When asked why, they said it makes you want MORE of it ( to sing more), as the song seemed unfinished, but others said it left them down, feeling negative or sad.
Everyone sees things differently.
Bill Gotthard used to say that songs which ended a certain way were carnal - if they never resolved or if they didn't end completely or whatever.
I've heard a similar argument about classical being healthier to listen to because chord progressions and cadences tend to be the perfect type (V-I), and that rock music and its preference for plagal cadences (IV-I) are inherently tense and stressful and never "properly" resolve. Never mind the issue mentioned above where the repeated three chord grooves have to fade to avoid an awkward resolution. I think the plagal thing has to do more with the ease of playing IV-I on the guitar because of the strings being tuned to fourths, rather than fifths on a bowed instrument. Of course the orchestral instruments are more adult, while the electric guitar is more adolescent and less serious. Everyone knows that, right?
Whoever put out that argument must have never taken the time to listen to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde overture, which never resolves until the last chord, or Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (Space Odyssey 2001), which never resolves, period (just floats away between C and Db), or twelve-tone music, which is intentionally discordant, or for that reason, Mozart (who was criticized for harsh atonalities), or Bach, with his endless cascades of diminished chords. I do admit, though, that virtually all classic-period music ends with V-I, with lots of V-I throughout.
The seventh chords of blues would tend to be friendly towards making the circle of 5ths run backwards (say, in F, F7 > Bb, Bb7 > Eb). This is all curious, thinking of Plato, who found only Dorian and Aeolian to be proper modes, neither too bright or dim, and what we call "major" to inspire mania and excessive frivolity. He would say we are so used to being manic that it seems normal to us.
I find the Dorian mode very stubborn, always insisting on that flatted 7th when it could be more melodic. Or then there's the Mixolydian mode, trying to be clever and rebellious by flaunting its own version of the b7th, though achieving only petty nonconformity, like intentionally mismatched socks. :D
Of course, people will alter any mode to make music happen. The named mode, like all musical concepts, is only a description, a generalization, of something that has previously happened. Thus, raising the 6th in a minor key is "Dorian-ness"; crossing 6/8 and 3/4 may be "Celtic-ness". Neither is pure Dorian or pure Celtic, because such entities do not really exist, except in the minds of theoreticians.
People made chords for centuries before they were codified into a guitar mini-tab and became part of our common music culture -- and if you start with the chord to make music instead of music to make the chord, you will end up with less than the possibilities of chordal music.
Ha ha. That's good! And that old Locrian, so unstable and dark.