"I'm with Ron on the fact that great art is always simple to understand."
~ Always? I completely disagree with your usage of an absolute. In fact, great musical art, is more than not, imo and many others, more difficult to understand, otherwise all of those kiddie songs I sung in Kintergarden are the "Piccassos" of music.
"The greatest things are those things that are so simple that someone *should* have thought of it before but no one did. I mean... Cage, 4:33."
~ Not necessarily simpler, but an idea that after expressed, seemed so easy that it was right there in front of all of us, which is not the same meaning as merely "simple music."
"People rag on Philips Glass and his minimalism, saying it's simple, mindless, pop-influenced repetition. And that's true to a certain extent..."
~ I have not yet heard of any one person "rag" on Mr. Glass. I don't know any person who has ragged on Mr. Glass.
"Being musically challenged does *not* mean complexity."
~ Not always, but speak for yourself. Let's "keep it simple" shall we? I hear Ms. Spears or any rap song, and other forms of popular music...I don't know about you, but me, I understand it right away. I could hum the song mostly after one listen or two...simple melody, simple beat - this does not challenge me and it is, imo, lousy music written for the masses who want instant gratification. As I said before, so be it, enjoy what you want to, I have no qualms.
But when listening to, oh, say a song by Liquid Tension Experiment or the 1st movement of Tchaikovsky's 6th...after listening, I don't get it...right away, but I know that there is something about the music that makes me want to go back and listen to it again, and again...and when it finally HITS...and I understand what the artists were intending, I feel good and I also know it is great music.
If I played April Ethereal by Opeth for people, I am almost certain to get from the overwhelming majority of these people, replies such as this....
2. Devil music.
3. How can you listen to that crap?
It took me quite some time to be able to understand that entire cd (My Arms, Your Hearse), but now that I do - I know in my mind just about every note and can hear every melody.
Great music isn't always complex, in fact, like you said, it can be so simple in its complexity or vice-versa, that I one could say "It is so easy, How come no one else thought of that?"
"In fact, even in the case of Mozart, his music is not exceptionally complex. What Mozart had was an impeccable melodic sense and a strong hold over the masterful use of dissonance."
~ To me, you are equating Mozart to pop music stars of our time. There is no comparison. Mozart is calculus compared to our today's pop star's addition & subtraction.
"So, I think there is some truth to the argument that when the masses make something popular, it's for a reason."
~ Yes. Mostly, dumb-downed simple dance or toe-tapping music created by the media and record company execs to make heaps of money.
[This message has been edited by Opeth (05-21-2003 07:58 AM).]