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E2K
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As far as musicians go, the word 'genius' is thrown around an awful lot, sometimes undeservedly so. In the history of music, there could be arguments made for so many people that they're geniuses. Whether you agree or not, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan etc could be legitimitely described as geniuses, and while classical music ain't my bag, the likes of Mozart and Beethoven could also be described as such.

 

Here's my question; all of the people I've mentioned there are dead. Which musicians who are still alive and well would you consider to be a musical genius and why?

 

For me, there are two: Prince and Eminem.

 

Prince, in my opinion, is undoubtedly a musical genius. He can play pretty much any instrument you care to name; he writes, composes and arranges all his own songs, and on his early albums, he played all the instruments too. He's been responsible for some great music over the past almost 25 years as well, and has also written for others (Nothing Compares To You, for example, was written by him).

 

Not everybody will agree with me on Eminem, but his genius lies in his lyrical dexterity. I'm amazed by his lyrics quite frankly. I know of no other rapper (with the possible exception of 2pac) with such a special ability to twist and manipulate words, and make them so musical. He's extremely poetic, and has a wicked sense of humour that really comes out in his songs. His social commentary is also spot-on.

 

Arguments could also be made for others, such as Bowie, Dr. Dre, Michael Jackson, etc. I'll let y'all decide

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Eminem :lol This guy does no way deserve to be known as a musical legend. Putting that man in the same catagory as Bob Dylan and Bob Marley spits on what they achieved.

Eminem is not musically talented really. Ok you say he writes good lyrics (something i dont agree with) but does that mean you are gonna start calling all songwriters legends? Anyone can write good lyrics. You need a full package to become a legend. I personally dont consider John Lennon to be a Legend, he was popular the same as Elvis. Not fantastically musicaly gifted. Eric Clapton is amazingly gifted, he can write good lyrics and is one of the best guitarists of any generation. Has Eminem got a good voice? NO he hasnt he talks, call it Rap if you like its not its talking. I am a vocalist so my favourite musicians are naturally gonna be good vocalists. Chris Cornell, Kelly Jones, Layne Staley, Sebastian Bach. All great vocalists all great songwriters ALL musically gifted.

None of whom are worthy of being called legends (at this stage, Cornell will probably become 1) so if they arent why should Eminem?

 

My personel living legends are........

 

Bob Dylan

Jimmy Cliff

James Hetfield

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No spiritchaser i disagree. Because you prefer Dylan and Marley it doesnt make them better.

Eminem is very talented on the mic and his writing talent is bar to none. Well except 2pac. When on the mic I would personally say early Snoop Dogg (Chronic & Doggystlye) is better than Eminem but now he is porr. Overall Eminem is a brilliant musician.

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Eminem This guy does no way deserve to be known as a musical legend. Putting that man in the same catagory as Bob Dylan and Bob Marley spits on what they achieved.

Eminem is not musically talented really. Ok you say he writes good lyrics (something i dont agree with) but does that mean you are gonna start calling all songwriters legends? Anyone can write good lyrics. You need a full package to become a legend

 

None of whom are worthy of being called legends (at this stage, Cornell will probably become 1) so if they arent why should Eminem?

 

First off, I wasn't talking about musical legends, I was talking about musical GENIUS, and there's a difference. You aquire legendary status over time, whereas genius you're born with. Genius changes the way we look at things, genius shakes things up, it makes a diiference. Eminem has extraordinary, god-given talent, and in my opinion IS a musical genius. Now that's my opinion Sharpshooter, and I'm entitled to that. But you obviously don't think he is, so let me try to expand on what I said earlier so I'm not laughed at again.

 

Eminem’s talents are enormous. Start with the writing: the attention to detail, the musician’s ear for the rhythms of exactly how people talk, the way it can take you by surprise and make you laugh out loud, often at something horrific. Beyond the words are the beats. Who do you think comes up with those then? Being so closely identified with Dr. Dre, I suppose Eminem’s own natural musicality has been hugely underrated. On his third album, the tour-de-force "The Eminem Show", Dre produced three tracks. Eminem produced or co-produced 12, and the album is amazing.

 

And beyond his talent are his balls. His stuff was political, if not politically correct, from the start, because his main subject was poverty and what’s more political than that? But the mini-Armageddons that officially ushered in the new millennium have blown us back to the late 60’s. America is "at war," whatever that means, with a corrupt and idiotic president who seems to think he can do what he wants. Someone has to remind everyone that we still have freedom of speech here, that it’s the bedrock of everything else the country claims to be and stand for, and that questioning the government-or using profanity-is not unpatriotic.

 

Take "White America," for example. That's a pounding punk/metal anthem that blasts open the album. It's a thundering rant defending freedom of speech. Referring to the F.C.C.’s aborted effort to fine a radio station for playing his music, Eminem gloats, "And now they’re sayin’ I’m in trouble with the government, I’m lovin’ it, I shoveled shit all my life / and now I’m dumping it!" Great rock stars have been pushing the envelope for 50 years now, but I can’t recall anyone with Eminem’s popularity getting more of a kick out of giving the world the finger. But "White America" is more than just a verbal Molotov cocktail. The song is also an astute self-assessment of who Eminem is in the culture, how he got there, who his fans are, and why he’s a threat.

The fact is that, for me and a lot of others, like it or not, Eminem, is the most compelling figure to have emerged from popular music since Dylan, Lennon and Jagger. "The Eminem Show" was Eminem’s third great album in 40 months - an astonishing output comparable to the peak creative bursts of the Beatles, the Stones and Dylan.

 

That album could well have been a disappointment. At that point Eminem was the biggest star in music, his first movie "8 Mile" about to be released, and he had more money than all of his ancestors put together had in their whole lives. History tells us that all of these could've be working against Eminem, dulling his rage and his wit and his connection to the griminess of real life.

But the great thing is that, despite all of his good fortune, Eminem is still pissed off. His greatest joy is his ability, as he says on the album, to get "under your skin like a splinter."

 

What Eminem is doing isn't just music, it's art. And that art is a great sociological work-in-progress. Eminem isn’t interested in being perfect. Our best artists are never perfect people, and so we must deal with the duality-or in Eminem’s case, the plurality of personae. Yes, he’s a misogynist, AND he has valid things to say. Some people complain about Eminem’s relentless self-obsession, but they miss the point. Translating what it’s like to be him into the metaphors he can communicate to the world is exactly where the art comes in. The more personal he makes his work, the more universal it becomes.

 

There’s such a variety of musical genres and such a barrage of verbiage on an Eminem album that it takes a helluva long time to absorb it all.

 

Take "Stan". Has there ever been, in any medium, a truer portrait of a deranged fan? How about the intensity of Eminem’s delivery? That's from "The Marshall Mathers LP" which has a brilliant five-song examination of celebrity - "Kill You," "Stan," "Who Knew," "The Way I Am" and "The Real Slim Shady" - that may be the greatest kickoff of any album ever. But its predecessor, "The Slim Shady LP," was equally impressive in the way it showed the numbing pain of poverty

 

The point I've tried to make here is that Eminem's music is more than just another brand of disposable crap, which I'm sure is how some people see. But at the same time, it IS music, and damn impressive music. It makes you nod your head along, sing along, dance along, it can scare you, make you laugh, make you think.

 

One more thing. Like I said, it's just my opinion. But I think it's unfair that you can make statements like that about talented people without giving them a chance. I'm sure that you've listened to all Eminem's stuff and decided he was crap. But on the off-chance you haven't - buy the cds and LISTEN to them.

Edited by E2K
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Hmm. I don't think much of Eminem at all. I think E2K, although I respect your being entitled to your opinion, that you're portraying social commentary as musical genius. Eminem may write lyrics that have appeal, as did Bob Dylan in his prime. That doesn't make them musically gifted. They should be poets really, except that most people don't read poetry anymore. They may have something to contribute, but musical genius? Producing some beats and rythms I don't think qualifies, as they are only producing something and adding lyrics, which anyone could do. The content of those lyrics may be superior to what most people would produce in his stead, but that's to do with social commentary and poetry again rather than musicianship. I know what you're saying about rythm and delivery and it's a valid point, but when your duties are to deliver the vocals and produce most of the recordings, I don't think that suffices to be labelled as a musical genius, at least that's my view. If he were a drummer or a bass player then the rythms comment may be more valid I think, but not without playing an instrument. I know vocals are an important part of songs where they are present (as they don't always have to be) and that their delivery has to be right, but anyone in principle can do them without having to overcome difficulties (generally speaking, before anyone labels Gareth Gates a musical genius!) such as timing issues, dexterity or fluidity that would occur in the playing of an instrument. Anyone who can speak, technically, can do what he does in a musicianship sense. In terms of his commentaries, yes, that's different, but that's not about music, at least I don't thik it is. It depends on your attitude about music. I think that music should be its own form of expression without the need for agendas contained within lyrics. If you listen to the music and rythms (including those of the vocals) without thinking about what the lyrics are, does it suit the objectives of the song? In that kind of music I don't think it does a lot of the time ('The Way I Am' would be an exception there but that's about it I think), as you wouldn't know from the music and sounds what is being expressed in the song, without paying attention to what is actually being said. There's no 'mood' to it, if you see what I mean. That's just my view. Production is another talent, but playing in front of a live crowd, showcasing his music, he's just going to be performing it and not producing it, so I don't think that is valid in arguing his musicianship as at the most basic level of musical communication, it doesn't apply.

 

I think musical genius should apply to those who have enhanced music in their field through musical excellence (not social or political stances). For me that takes away a lot of 'icon' figures like John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley (even though I like him), Jim Morrison and many others. Sorry Sharpshooter, but I would also discount Eric Clapton. No offence to anyone who likes him, but I find that he uses a reputation gained years ago to hide behind and bash other guitar players while also attempting to make it sound like he personally is on some sort of crusade to maintain all that is good about guitar playing. He is phenomenally overrated, hides behind the blues as an excuse to peddle the worst kind of wine bar, slushy, middle-of-the-road, pretentious, dad rock cack and have it acclaimed as genius, while using his 'Slowhand' moniker to avoid having to do anything to live up to his baffling reputation as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Not everyone has to shred, but Mark Knopfler can still play laid back music with some real skill in it, Hendrix could do it, many others could do it. He doesn't. Going on about 'feel' is all he does. A solo should sit right in a song, but shouldn't always be pentatonic bore 'blues' (an easy excuse for keeping it simple for a lot of guitarists I think) or always be slow. I wouldn't have a problem if he was easy going and just got on with it, but he uses his reputation to preach about how good he is and has been and how other guitarists aren't doing this or that right. If he's going to be sanctimonious about everyone else, he should at least be proving something himself. Quite frankly, I don't think he is and don't really think he ever did once Hendrix appeared in the spotlight.

 

I've gone on a bit so I'll just suggest some names of people who I think, based on what I have said, could be said to have musical genius.

 

Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson (and his genuine blues predecessors whose names escape me now), Ritchie Blackmore, António Carlos Jobim, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Entwhistle, Jennifer Batten, Billy Sheehan, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Hank Marvin, Bob Marley, Prince, Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, John Bonham, Ludvig von Beethoven, J. S. Bach, Niccolo Paganini. I could name more people but those ares ome off the top of my head. If anyone wants to query them (as I have with previous suggestions) then I'll write what I think about them if it gets to that, as this post is long enough already. :P

Edited by MillionLiraMan
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Some outstanding points there MLM. I suppose, like you say, it all depends on how you view your music. I think what Eminem does is outstandingly musical. The thing is, I think a lot of people aren't into rap in the first place, or don't even get it, so I knew he'd be a controversial choice :P Thanks for answering the thread so well by the way :xyx

 

As I said at the start, who ALIVE today is a genius. Well, if we were to include people no longer with us, I'd also include Hendrix.

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"Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson (and his genuine blues predecessors whose names escape me now), Ritchie Blackmore, António Carlos Jobim, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Entwhistle, Jennifer Batten, Billy Sheehan, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Hank Marvin, Bob Marley, Prince, Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, John Bonham, Ludvig von Beethoven, J. S. Bach, Niccolo Paganini. I could name more people but those ares ome off the top of my head. If anyone wants to query them (as I have with previous suggestions) then I'll write what I think about them if it gets to that, as this post is long enough already."

 

 

I agree with most of them, except a few, of course its all opinions mind. I never thought Jimmy Page was a great guitarist in fact, very average, but his producing and especially his arranging was fantastic, so he'd get in for that.

 

However I do disagree with Vai, Satch, Malmsteen, Batten. When I think of genius I think of someone who's exemplary in their field, done something never been done before, immediately recognise them, and while those 4 are phenomenol guitarists, they didnt change the way you look at guitar, or how u play it, like Hendrix, or EVH, or even Blackmore. They just made u realise wow thats pretty impressive. So for me, I could never call geniuses, cause they never really did much which either cud never be replicated in the same way, or didn't set the bar. I mean if you include them, ud have to include Gilbert, Dimebag Darrel, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa, Nuno Bettencourt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Randy Rhoades etc etc. All who are fantastic guitarists, but not to me geniuses.

 

And another person, I'd add to my genius list, is Stevie Wonder.

 

And I agree with all, Eminem is a fantastic lyricist, but he doesnt do anything musical, so he cud never be a musical genius.

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It all depends on how you define 'musical genius'. People seem to be listing gifted and talented people as genius and in my view thats not really the same. Sure, Led Zeppelins drummer could play the drums like no mans business but a genius?

 

Personally, the word 'Genius' would refer to the song writing side of things, and thats something you're born with I feel. Sure there is a craft to it much like learning an instrument but it's not the same. I fear I am not getting my point across all that well but there you go.

 

I'm going to go with the norm of people such as Paul McCartney and Ray Davies. Not only talented musicians but great songwriters. Thats something you can't learn. I'm also going to say Noel Gallagher and risk getting ripped to pieces. You could argue that the music is too simple and too ripped off but you can't write arguably two of the best albums of a generation and be nothing but a cackhanded ripoff merchant.

 

Of course genius is always going to come down to personal preference no matter how hard all of us try to look at things objectively.

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A few comments.

Eminem is a very talented rapper and lyricist. Anyone who says that anyone can write lyrics and rap is frankly an idiot. As for Eminems 'talent's as a producer or more correctly, guy who tells a proffesional programer what to do, he realy sucks. I am currently studying a degree in Music Technology (i.e.production etc.) and I handed in a track that sounded like 'My Band' or some of his other stuff I would proberbly fail the assignment. The guys production is WHACK! The best produced track he ever did was My Name is and thats just a massive sample!

 

MLM. GET OUT OF THE 80's! The music world is different now. This Idea that you have to play an instrument to be a musician is just crap. I've played Guitar for about a decade now and I just don't get why people are so precious about how the sound was created. Music is all sound and what comes out of the speakers is whats important. Also Malmsteen! What are you on! The guy can play megafast but a genius?

 

I agree though that a genius should be some one who creates something new and changes how people regard music. Glad to see Price getting a mention because he is a genius. No question.

 

I'm going to throw Aphex Twin into the mix. AKA Richard D. James. Arguably the inventor of the concept of 'inteligent' dance music, he was one of the first people to make techno to listen to rather than take drugs to. Over the last 10 years he has concistently challenged and exploded peoples concept of dance and electronic music. He is one of the few people who make music that is consistently original and does not sound like anyone else. His music ranges from insane breakcore e.g come to dady to the truly beautiful e.g. Girl/boy to the frankly silly e.g. most of his Bsides.

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Jung said: "However I do disagree with Vai, Satch, Malmsteen, Batten... if you include them, you'd have to include Paul Gilbert, Dimebag Darrell, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa, Nuno Bettencourt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Randy Rhoads etc etc. All who are fantastic guitarists, but not to me geniuses".

 

The thing is, I would include most of them (and Stevie Wonder)! Looking at the ones I specified, Vai, Satriani, Malmsteen and Batten, they may not have invented something new but they 'raised the bar' if you like (which you probably don't!). When people saw Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix or Ritchie Blackmore in full flow they probably thought that the pinnacle of guitar playing had been reached, but in terms of execution and expression of technique, ability and expanding upon the use of techniques pioneered, invented or popularised by them (since I don't want to get into the Eddie Van Halen didn't invent tapping/Django Reinhardt/ZZ Top discussion), the likes of Malmsteen, Satriani and Vai did surpass what had gone before them. I'm not sure you could say the same about Dimebag, who doesn't really surpass Satriani and operates in a more limited area of music in comparison with Vai (just metal rather than various styles), but from those guitarists expanding upon the techniques of Hendrix, Blackmore and Van Halen, could you really see anyone raising the standard after the likes of Vai and Malmsteen? I don't. I've yet to hear anyone do it thus far at any rate.

 

I'm a bit of a rock idiot so I don't know as much about musicians from other mediums. However, looking at Jennifer Batten as one pioneer of eight-fingered tapping, you could also point out the importance of Stanley Jordan in that regard. That's innovative and shows musical genius in my view in taking what were essentially piano techniques and making them work on the guitar where others had not done this previously. If there are ever more reruns of an old eighties music show called 'The Tube', check to see if Stanley Jordan's fantastic solo guitar rendition of The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby is there as he does the two handed chrod tapping technique quite a lot on that performance. Anyway, while you could argue that someone else would have done it even if Jordan or Batten's 'Flight Of The Bumblebee' adaptation hadn't been brought to people's attention, I look at those two as having championed something that hadn't been done before in music, hence I consider them to possess musical genius.

 

Satriani? Has taught players from various musical disciplines - Vai would be the most notable I suppose, but he has also given lessons to Jung's absolute favourite guitarist Kirk Hammett (just joking mate!) and others such as Jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter. He also covers different styles - the differences between three albums like Not Of This Earth, Flying In A Blue Dream and Engines Of Creation are quite pronounced. I would see him as having musical genius, especially if the criteria involves songwriting more than ability, as his ability to adapt to different mediums distinguishes him from many other great players who do not do such a thing.

 

El Selecta wrote: "Also Malmsteen! What are you on! The guy can play megafast but a genius?"

 

I was thinking about the fusion of classical styles with metal and harder rock when I thought of Malmsteen. I freely admit that his style has not adapted one bit since around 1984, but initially he was a pioneer of that new style. Randy Rhoads was starting to do it but he wasn't able, sadly, to finish the job that he had started. Malmsteen did bring it to fruition. Some people will not be best pleased that I have thought of Randy Rhoads, who is highly praised, alongside Malmsteen, whom it is fashionable to ridicule these days, but that's what I think. In short, Malmsteen did pioneer something new, even if he hasn't adapted at all since that time. I can see why people don't like him, plus I find a lot of his songs to be awful as well, but he was important I think and does possess musical genius.

 

El Selecta also wrote: "Eminem is a very talented rapper and lyricist. Anyone who says that anyone can write lyrics and rap is frankly an idiot."

 

That's not really what I said, or at least meant. I said that anyone technically could do it, yes, but made the point that most people would sound much worse and horribly bad doing it. Think about the number of people at concerts or in clubs who join in with the lyrics of rap music. I've seen some of my friends doing it spot on when they've been hammered (and I've been sober, before you start!). I didn't say that anyone could do it well, or as well as Eminem. I just said that technically people could do it to an extent and make it sound like a rap, even if it was awful. People can repeat Eminem's lyrics in time once they know them. Conversely, if someone knew how to play guitar like Yngwie Malmsteen, then attempted to do it, in the vast, vast majority of cases it would sound awful not because of doing it with a poorer delivery but simply because of not being able even to attempt it, full stop. This, I think, is because what Eminem does isn't very musical. It might even be genius, mentally, socially or politically, but I don't think it can be classed as musical genius. What people like Hendrix, John Bonham or Stan Getz (for another non-rock name) do is musical and these people in my view do possess musical genius.

 

El Selecta also wrote: "MLM. GET OUT OF THE 80's! The music world is different now. This idea that you have to play an instrument to be a musician is just crap. I've played Guitar for about a decade now and I just don't get why people are so precious about how the sound was created. Music is all sound and what comes out of the speakers is whats important."

 

While the state of music is as it is, I have no real love for most current music. I will listen to new things and give them a chance (more than one listen, incidentally), but most of it is horrible, disposable, style-over-content dross. A lot of music from the past has also been like that. However, I find it harder these days to seek out what is good. Maybe it's just me, but there seems to be less of it available. The line "This idea that you have to play an instrument to be a musician is just crap" is also something that deeply saddens me. Not the statement in itself, but the fact that these days, in most people's eyes, it's right. Think back to classical music you've heard and how complex it is. Musicians like Bach and Paganini could do incredible things with what was at their disposal. Had they listened to most new music of the sixties, seventies and eighties they would perhaps have despaired at the comparative lack of musicianship within it. However, at least people still played musical instruments and had some grasp of music theory, musical ideas and their interest in making music was motivated largely by their love of music. Now though, with music being made on computers by people with no grasp either of music theory or interest in music other than to be famous or make money, we have just about reached rock bottom. People in the past wanted to make money from music, be rich or famous, but they had to make an effort musically and take a real interest in music. Now, they don't. Get a computer software program, make yourself look good and you're good to go.

 

In about one hundred years time at the most, I think music will cease to exist. Musicianship and emphasis on actual musical ability has reduced consistently since classical music became unpopular, barring a few exceptional cases in each generation, a trend which I think will continue even though music has sunk very low in particular during the last ten or fifteen years. Before long there will be virtually no-one musically minded and only very limited genres of basically made music will continue to circulate, which is a situation actually beginning to happen already when you think about it. The next stage after that is for music to die off altogether, which I think eventually it will and no-one at that time will care less about it.

Edited by MillionLiraMan
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Dude, I'm sorry you are just wrong. As a self proclaimed 'rock idiot' you clearly have no idea about electronic music or the process of producing it. I agree that there is a hell of alot of shit being pumped out for profit (both electronic and rock music for that mater) but scratch under the surface and there is a huge amount of interesting and challenging music being made.

Listen to any record by Venetian Snares and it is quite obvious that it has not been made to sell well; somthing like being drilled through the brain and bellieve me it takes years and years of learning your craft to make music that brutal.

Most people make the assumption that making music on a computer is just a mater of stringing a bunch of samples together or they have seen/used Ejay or Music or one of those other pieces of shit programs. Nothing could be futher from the truth. Learning a proper music program requires years, yes YEARS of dedicated learning much like any 'real' instrument. Increasingly, music software is advancing so users can customise the program and even write their own programs or create new virtual instruments. It is getting to the piont where people are using laptops live as instruments, being played live.

Somthing I hate is the assumption that you do not need musical talent to make music on a computer. Like the pissed up wannabe rappers you talk of, if someone with no musical talent tries to make a tune on some real software it will inevitably be shit. Out of all the producers I know, ALL of them play at least one instrument to a reasonable standard. Infact, alot of the producers I know are talented multi-instrumentalists with very good knowledge of music theory. You should try some Squarepusher. He combines some of the ruffest jungle around with amazing virtuoso jazz/fusion bass playing as well as having recorded a couple of jazz records (where he played everything).The thing I have come across over and over again with musicians and producers is that they are bored with traditional styles of music and using technology is the only way to do somthing new and original.

You seem totaly fixed in the western classical tradition and in todays world I don't think it is relevent. Music like all other art forms must evolve to stay alive else people will grow tired and music will die.

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A couple more things.

Classical music has never been popular. The most popular music around the world in every culture is simple music that is acessable to everyone usualy for dancing or telling stories. What gets called classical music has always been the music of European elites and academia. Due to this it has always been documented. In fact the has not realy been much change in popular music, only its sound and technological advancement.

If Bach heard alot of the music being made now he probably be amazed by what it was posible to do with a computer.

I do love a bit of shredding , but most of the people you cite as being genius' are rock guitarists who may have pushed the limits of rock and virtuoso guitar work but that does not make them genius'. Flogging the same, reasonably interesting idea for 20 years definatly does not qualify as genius. Also Malmsteens own songs are rubish; break out the crakers cause thats a hell of alot of cheese.

P.s. Vai records all his stuff on computer.

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Music will just do what it always does, go round in circles and cycles. And of course classical music has been popular selecta, u can't make a bold statement, cause its blatantly not true. I mean if its not, then why would BBC have like a big classical festival in one of London's biggest park's each year if it wasn't?
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I think classical music was popular, but then with none of us being around during previous centuries to witness its development, none of us can really comment with authority on that. However, other remnants of popular and not just élite culture from previous centuries has been documented, so I would be surprised if other music was instead popular but became lost in time. I kind of know what you mean, it was the élite classes who financially were able to attend performances, but that's not to say that classical music was unknown or unpopular at popular level. In fact, I think (could be wrong but so I believe) that the term 'suite' was used to describe a composition consisting of several movements to which people would dance. The idea was that people could dance to that sort of music at that time. In that sense, it was meant to connect with people, even if in a lot of ways the ruling classes were the ones best suited to make that connection.

 

I agreed earlier that a lot of Malmsteen's stuff was awful. However, he was someone who came along with a new fusion of styles when he first made an impact, which was why I cited him. The fact that many people went on to copy that style doesn't take anything away from him, plus the fact that a lot of his songs weren't very good doesn't detract from the musical ability he has.

 

Vai records his stuff on computer. So does Satriani. So do Metallica. So do lots of people. It's the whole recording technology, Pro Tools or whatever else people use. The difference is that they record instruments, that is to say that they play instruments and record what they play onto a computer. They write compositions. They don't use computers to steal someone else's songs, which a lot of modern 'musicians' do have the habit of doing. How you record something is completely different from what you actually play to put the song together in the first place. When I saw Vai play less than a month ago, he had a band consisting of himself and another guitarist, a keyboard player/guitarist, a bass player and a drummer. He wasn't sat behind a computer with a microphone and a sampling program. That's what I meant.

 

I made my suggestions, put some of my views forward and I stick by them. Selecta, if you disagree then fine and I respect your own views even if I don't agree with them, but I'm not going to apologise for what music I like or what I like about music. Unless something particularly attracts my attention after this post, then I'll end my contribution to this thread, because I get the feeling that we, rather than the music business(!), are going round in circles.

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