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Is music an essentially solitary experience ?

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Showing 1-25 of 51 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Nov 2013 15:02:40 GMT
Sparky says:
Most of the time - actually all the time more or less - that I spend listening to music is on my own. My partner has different tastes and anyway isn't that interested in spending too much time listening. Even if we were more musically compatible and liked the same artists/genres there's no guaranteeing that we would both be hankering after the same genre at the same time - that would be crazy talk! So it becomes mostly solitary; now I'm not saying that I don't enjoy it of course, but the idea of being completely in tune with someone else sharing a listening session does seem very attractive - No, scrub that, - nice. Perhaps this is what makes live performances (which I don't go to very often) so enjoyable and memorable - sometimes. What do you think.........Are you a lone listener ? Is listening to recorded music, alone or otherwise, only a very poor substitute for live music anyway, as I saw recently suggested on another (Jazz?) forum?

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 15:51:21 GMT
interesting points, sparky. shared listening hardly ever happens in this house, mostly due to disparate tastes and general intolerance. the only time this happens is in the car, but that becomes mrs ts' domain - i drive, i choose - fair enough if it's the smiths, new order, antony and the johnsons, whatever, but when she's on a radiohead kick, a drive across town can last for days. so i am a solitary listener, and have been for plenty years. i am fine with this.
a live performance is a vastly different pursuit than listening to recorded work, and if everyone behaves within expected parameters it is a joyful communally shared experience. however, my living room is rarely full of loud, beer spilling/swilling, intoxicated, tuneless, intrusive d***heads, which can seriously interupt this spectacle. so, both have their place equally for me. neither a poor substitute for the other. mibbe it's different for jazzers (nice)

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 16:21:15 GMT
FDJ says:
Go away i'm listening to my music!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 16:35:51 GMT
CHEEZE says:
Listening to music alone? Brilliant! Really get into it, & let it flow through your very being.

Live music? Now that's another kettle of fish. I can't do it, as to me it's like eating out alone, or the cinema alone, or the pub alone.
I need somebody there to share the experience, & bounce off with, & strangers aren't the same as a mate/mates.

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 16:36:25 GMT
I would say a bit of both, as although my wife and I have differing tastes to some degree, we share quite a large common ground. However, she never uses any form of headphones at all, so all of her music is audible to me, whereas I use head & ear phones quite a bit, well every day!!
Over the years (that's over 40) what we have disagreed upon more than anything else is the volume at which the music is played. Since my wife retired 7.5 years ago, my floor-standers rarely get the chance to really sing!!!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 16:38:36 GMT
CHEEZE says:
Have a yes vote mate. ;-)

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 16:46:53 GMT
Red Mosquito says:
Never listen to music with Mrs M in the house, sometimes do in the car but I've never, in 41 years of gigging, been to one by myself.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 16:52:58 GMT
Sparky says:
Tech - do you know nothing about car maintenance! Before every journey check oil, water and tyres and remove all traces of Radiohead from the vehicle ;-)
(Actually I like 'em so let me know when your next shopping trip is)

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 16:53:40 GMT
TheFoe says:
Mostly listen to music alone but did enjoy my 2 years at college living in a shared farmhouse with about 6 other people listening to music together, we had similar tastes fortunately. The nice thing about this was buying a new album and sharing the listening experience, I do miss that.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 16:56:08 GMT
only once have i gone to a performance alone - be 16/17, and had tagged along to blackpool on holiday with parents, to find that the rich kids were playing there with the slits in support - great gig, weird experience. well, ah wisny gauny drag them along, was i?

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 17:01:32 GMT
RABB says:
I quite frequently go to gigs by myself. Meeting ransoms is half the fun for me.

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 17:03:27 GMT
Sparky says:
Mrs S doesn't share my affection for all things Irish so I did go to see a band called Comus (there may be more than one) on me todd at Hammersmiff Oirish Centre. Bl00dy great they were, I'm sure Andy Irvine was in the line-up and they had a tremendous fiddle player and guitar player as well. It was like the folk equivalent of shredding at points though, a tad too quick - and I would have enjoyed it more with company.

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 17:08:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Nov 2013 17:18:02 GMT
Is music an essentially solitary experience? - Yes, I think so.

No matter how very close or on the same wavelength that you might think that you are with someone - I find that it is still often a very unique and personal experience when you are listening to something. The lyrics in particular can really touch me inside and connect with a memory or an aspect of my inner self that only I have known. It can be very hard to try to explain to somebody else exactly why this is so? - as often you just simply feel it.

For example?...One of those songs for me is Piano Song by Erasure - it connects with me the coming to terms with becoming disabled and with the private grief that I experienced over the sudden loss of my previous life. For me, the other person referred to in the song is the me that I no longer am anymore. Other people will surely relate to it over other great sadnesses in their lives.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 17:22:57 GMT

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 17:25:31 GMT
Sj Brooke says:
OR 'randoms' RAB? :)

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 17:26:10 GMT
so, you make the 'drops' in a gig situation, rab? leave a shopping bag full of used tenners in the bass drum?

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 17:28:41 GMT
My younger son and I share very similar tastes in music, so we can listen to stuff in the car. My eldest is into some sort of stuff that I can not really listen to.. Mrs W is a Michael Buble, Cliff sort of listener and thinks my stuff is durgesque, bordering on and frequently being truly kite. So, I am mostly solitary, thank you.

Gigs are hard to enjoy on ones own. However I have found that if I am photographing a gig that I am concentrating on getting the photo to the point where I don't even hear the music, so having someone there would be a real downer for them as I would ignore them most of the night. I have left gigs not knowing if certain songs have been played.......

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 17:33:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Nov 2013 17:36:31 GMT
Brass Neck says:
I seem to have my missus better trained than most of your partners plus she works longer hours at her place of work so I DO get to fire up the hi-fi at quite unsocial volumes at breakfast and in the late afternoon and listen to 'What's this cr@p' music without disturbance for an extended period. When she comes home the volume gets reduced a notch and I might pick something more likely to approach the small overlapping part of our musical Venn diagram of taste (rawk). By 6pm the music's off and the telly's on and I rarely bother to put headphones on as we do share similar tastes in goggleboxing. She never seems to want to put any music on even on the rare occasions I'm out and she's in whereas if she goes shopping I decline so's I can crank out a couple of cds. She's happy to listen to her emo stuff in her car or on an iPod nano which is just dandy with me.

Given the distances to go to gigs from the east coast paradise that is Grimsby/Cleethorpes we usually go together especially if it's a rawk gig like Rush, Black Crowes, etc and she'll tag along for stuff like North Mississippi Allstars but there's many a gig I've passed up where I've wished I knew someone with the same tastes. I'm glad that we've replaced her car so she trusts it to get to places so she's off to 30 Seconds To Mars or some such emo nonsense this weekend in Manchester with her sister; bonus!

I've been to a couple of gigs on my todd but it's a strange experience in the time before and between the bands, especially if you've driven and are stone cold sober. The last gig I attempted to go to alone was Tame Impala at Sheffield Leadmill, it was the last ticket online so I bought it on impulse. I set out on the 160 mile round trip, arrived, presented my ticket which wouldn't scan and then we noticed ...... it was the previous night!!! A top evening's waste of time and petrol full of self-recrimination.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 17:33:51 GMT
Brass Neck says:
You haven't seen his courtship technique; kidnap and ransom's about right!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 17:35:54 GMT
Brass Neck says:
A bloke at work goes to both days of the Waddington Airshow in Lincolnshire which are essentially the same programme; the first day's for photographing, the second's for watching and enjoying.

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 18:02:24 GMT
Lez Lee says:
I've always preferred listening on my own. My husband liked sitting in his 'office' in the small bedroom, ostensibly working but actually listening to the footie on Radio Bloke. I bought all the stereo equipment and all the music in whatever format prevailed at the time.
We did have mostly the same tastes in music, mainly because he always asked me to play something he'd like.
He'd bought 6 LPs before he knew me but didn't have a record player and could only play them at his cousin's. He could manage a cassette-player but never even touched a CD. The only times we went anywhere together was to see Jake Thackray with some friends in Sheffield and to the snooker a couple of times.
Since my teens I'd always gone everywhere on my own and it's only since meeting up with my Scots friends that I've started to enjoy the whole social thing. I find it hard to have people I know seeing my reaction to things.
Still a loner at heart. ;-)

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 18:47:44 GMT
RABB says:
Smitty, Techy, Brassy (noticing a theme here....):

Ah sod it I can't be bothered.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 18:48:53 GMT

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 18:50:23 GMT
RABB says:
Looks like I forgot SJ(y). Humble apologies.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 23:39:11 GMT
I know exactly where he is at ;-)
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Discussion in:  music discussion forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  51
Initial post:  22 Nov 2013
Latest post:  26 Nov 2013

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