As usual, your comments astonish me. And even though I admit that it’s a bit odd to be asking music listeners the kinds of questions that music makers ask themselves, I stand by the effort, since who knows, some of you might discover a whole new band or even a world of music that had previously been difficult for you to get into. Mainly though, it’s just profoundly surprising and fascinating for me to learn more about how you all experience music. So thank you all for that!
In any case, Glenn Gould made an analogy that pertains here. Paraphrasing Gould: it’s not necessary for me to know exactly how my car works in order for me to feel that it’s either tuned up fairly well or that it needs some work. Similarly, music listeners don’t need expert knowledge (of the architecture of music or the critical perspectives of the kind that musicians use) in order to determine whether they like something or not.
The fact that musicians need that expertise (and mechanics do, too) doesn’t mean that such expertise is at all relevant to listeners.
Ok, so I’m wondering what y’all think about that. Specifically, though, I’m interested in the exceptions to the rule: what expertise do you have about music that benefits you as a listener? And in a tangential request, what music do you think the rest of us really ought to be exposed to, that you think we might not have been?
And lastly, if you have those kinds of expert suggestions, doesn’t that imply that you, too, have your own critical radar?
Play on, playas.