Wednesday, January 29, 2014

[qbvjlqig] Music

Many people really like music, but very few feel inspired to make music, i.e., compose.  This seems unique among art and hobbies.  Why?

Maybe they don't actually like the music but more the community of people who also enjoy the same genre of music.  A game theoretic coordination game.  But this argument could be applied to any other art.

Maybe composing sets the bar too high.  Many people play covers on musical instruments (including karaoke), DJ, assemble playlists and curate libraries of recordings.  All these are derivative works contributing to music as an art form.

3 comments:

Russ Williams said...

The premise confuses me. Most people are artistic consumers rather than creators, regardless of whether we're talking about music, painting, literature, film, computer animation, etc. It takes time and effort to become good at creating anything like that, so I don't see music as being particularly special or unusual in this regard. Am I misunderstanding?

Ken said...

The key idea is the "really" in "really" like music.  Those who would, for example, follow a band on tour or otherwise significantly organize their life around the music they love.  Yet most such people never compose or even try.  In contrast, I claim for most other artistic hobbies, e.g., sports, literature, film, most such people don't just consume, they tend at least to dabble in amateur creation (amateur sports, writing blogs or fanfics, home movies).

Russ Williams said...

Hmm, OK. I guess the obvious explanation is the initial barrier to entry is lower in those others, i.e. most people grow up having learned to play amateur sports with friends, writing a blog is easy, doing amateur video at the level of a typical youtube amateur home video is easy... our typical experience and intuition are pretty good guides for doing something at least rudimentary level in those activities. But making a guitar or piano sound pleasing, instead of like random nonmusical noise, when you first try is rather difficult. (Or maybe that's just me.) :)