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Song Appreciation--Your Thoughts

Posted by - 06:15 AM on 08/28/08
Do you feel like someone has to fully understand a song to fully appreciate it? For example, if a song has intricate meaning behind the lyrics, can someone who takes them at face value and relates them to something completely different than the intended topic appreciate it on the same level as someone who knows the precise meaning of the song and its intentions?

Submitted by Flags of Dawn
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 92
06:22 AM on 08/28/08
easy goes
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WordsAndFears's Avatar
I think that while some songs have specific meanings, that the artist (or otherwise) know because they wrote it, or just totally understand its meaning, I think that songs are interpreted differently by each person. Even though one person relates to it in one way, and one person relates to it in another, I don't think it changes the appreciation level of the song.

Interesting idea to pose though. I never really thought about it like that. :)
06:23 AM on 08/28/08
i kissed a drunk girl
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MixedwithBlood's Avatar
i dont think so, alot of bands have really complex lyrics with hidden meanings or whatever but you can still dig it. you can like the singers voice, or seriously enjoy the music itself. Who cares about meanings anyways. Music is ripped apart waaaaay to much now a days anyways. All these stupid sub genres and such. Super lame.

just fucking rock
06:24 AM on 08/28/08
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thePenguin1955's Avatar
I feel that somebody can definitely relate to a song even if they don't know the exact meaning behind it. As an English major there is a theory I have come to love and respect and that is once a piece of writing, whether it be a poem, novel or even a song, leaves the writer's hands it is now in the hands of the public. People are going to take somebody's writing to mean a million different things and it is not for other people to judge how they see somebody's writing.
06:25 AM on 08/28/08
music is music
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To reach the full appreciation potential of a song, I guess it's better to know the real meaning behind it, but since you don't usually know that, you just go on appreciating it as much as you normally would, so it's like full appreciation in your opinion if that makes any sense, so either way, the listener feels like they fully appreciate the song so it does not matter. I don't think there is a case where people don't appreciate any part of a song, then if they knew what it meant they appreciated it fully, it's either you go from a little to a lot, or maybe even more to less. I don't even know if that made sense.
06:27 AM on 08/28/08
Creeping Death
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Chuck!'s Avatar
good songs are like good literature, in that there are often themes and concepts that resonate universally, whether or not the author's intentions are entirely clear.

that said, i always strive to understand a song's backstory, because that's the only way you can FULLY appreciate a song, at least imo
06:27 AM on 08/28/08
Hi, I'm Andy Hull.
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ManchesterOrch8's Avatar
You can enjoy the music while not completely understanding it, point in case, Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, and Kevin Devine,

(they're all best friends/my favorites, it works lol)

They all have songs with lyrics that make you scratch your head, because you don't know what exactly they're talking about, though you can still pick out certain verses and you can relate to them so incredibly much,
06:28 AM on 08/28/08
i kissed a drunk girl
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MixedwithBlood's Avatar
as kids we listen to music and unless we were extremely smart as children we had no idea what the hell people were talking about, but you bet your ass we all had favorite songs at 6 or 7...Music is always relatable. With or without meaning
06:29 AM on 08/28/08
Good News Everyone
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tomgreen680's Avatar
No. If someone has their own attachment to a song, regardless of the actual meaning of the song, than I think the song was successful in that someone has made a connection. I mean, a lot of the music I listen to, I actually enjoy the instrumentation much more than the actual lyrics (ex. Saosin). Guitars are there for a reason. I also try to not read too much into the lyrics. Some I just don't understand.
06:33 AM on 08/28/08
i kissed a drunk girl
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MixedwithBlood's Avatar
good songs are like good literature, in that there are often themes and concepts that resonate universally, whether or not the author's intentions are entirely clear.

that said, i always strive to understand a song's backstory, because that's the only way you can FULLY appreciate a song, at least imo

how can you say that. i respect your opinion but at the same time i think its super wrong. I have loved music for as long as i remember and when i was young i was more dumb then shit so i had no idea what they were thinking.

Perfect example. I love every time i die. alot. they are probably my favorite band. Their lyrics are so damn insane and complex it took my years to understand. It didnt help that i started listening when i was 16 but i still loved their music. The brutality is amazing and you dont need to understand to get that feeling. It certainly helps but you do NOT need to understand the song completely to enjoy it or connect with it.
06:34 AM on 08/28/08
We're On Our Way Home.
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doyouhas?'s Avatar
i think so. i think if you are able to understand everything the artist is trying to get across on a cd, that artist isnt doing such a great job. has classical music (or post-rock, to the AP world), which has no lyrics at all, not had significant meaning to people through the years? in most cases, with the exception of bands like metro station or katy perry, the artist has a message theyre trying to get across, but its ultimately up to listener what they take away from the music.
06:35 AM on 08/28/08
Hagysaurus Rex
We yell like hell to the heavens.
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Hagysaurus Rex's Avatar
No. Although I'm sure it has added effect if you "get" the meaning that the artist put into the song, one of the marks of a great piece of art or music is that you can find your own meaning to it.
06:36 AM on 08/28/08
We never met, you and I
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awakeohsleeper's Avatar
I definitely feel I can connect with a song more if I know the thoughts and stories behind them, especially if the lyrics aren't that obvious to begin with or the meaning is quite subtle and hidden.
However, in some cases I believe you can take lyrics at face value and still get something out of the song. I mean, that's what music is... something to inspire and stimulate. One song can mean something to the writer and something totally different to each and every listener.
06:38 AM on 08/28/08
Student, photographer, etc.
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imtimwhoareyou's Avatar
Art, by default, when observably placed in the community, whether intended or otherwise, is apt to be (and justifiably) critiqued in any way that can be corroborated by the art itself. "Intended" meaning is only necessarily legitimate for the artist, and the community has its own say. In fact, just the act of placing into the external (observing) community invites critique and, consequently, individualized interpretation. So unless art is internal (either to the artist or to the "community"), it is impossible to and unfair to limit interpretation based on the evidence or subject matter.

Of course, in nearly all cases the intended meaning or interpretation is more fulfilling and complete based on the subject matter, but in no way does that specifically limit the critique of the art.
06:39 AM on 08/28/08
Regular Member
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Jason_Merch's Avatar
I think that's the beauty behind music. I think that if you had 10 people listen to the same song, there's the chance that they all get the exact same message out of it. There's also the chance that all ten of them could get something totally different out of it. Then there might be half that get one thing and half the other. Then again, you could have one person listen to a song, and they get a certain message out of it. You could have that same person listen to that song a year later, and it could mean something completely different to them. I think that while musicians have a certain message for each song they write, it's about what they feel. They want for that song to mean something else to everyone who hears it. It's what sets us all apart.

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