Monday, January 31, 2011

How I define good music

Music is a controversial topic. If you've ever been to any discussion forum that has a music board, you probably already know this. Some people are ready and willing to argue about it for days, weeks or even months if given the opportunity.
I don't find discussions about which band is better all that annoying, though. Sure, it's all subjective, so good or bad music is just a matter of personal opinion, but what certainly isn't a matter of personal opinion and preference is the question of what is and isn't music. I've seen many people who claim to be neutral and who also claim to realize that taste is a subjective thing say that black metal or "techno" isn't music at all. This, frankly, scares me. I guess it could be sort of fun, actually... if it wasn't so damn stupid, that is. I've seen people say things like "if it doesn't have a melody, it's not music".
It's simple, people. Music is organized sound that someone - whether it be its creator or the people who listen to it - considers music. Really. As soon as you start to tighten, narrow your definition of music, there will always be someone disagreeing with you.
And good music? Good music, in my opinion at least, is organized sound that is either intended to be enjoyed by its creator or is enjoyed by the listeners despite not being intended to. Good music is music that someone derives pleasure from - because how else would you define "good" than "fulfills its purpose"? And what else would music's purpose be than to inspire feelings of joy, sadness or any other from the entire wide spectrum?
Nothing, that's what.
I wish people would stop being so close-minded about music. I could understand people having these views three centuries ago, but today? Music is simply evolving too fast for it to be possible to use narrow definitions on it.

There will be quite a lot of music-related posts in the future, so keep an eye out for them. I enjoy music of many kinds, even though I think I like my music a bit more bleepy-bloopy than most.
Also, you should definitely follow me on twitter! You can see my latest tweets in the column to the right. They're obviously a lot less wordy than my blog posts.

Obligatory introductory post

"Murray Rothbard" is a pseudonym that I have picked for a very concrete reason. Well, several reasons actually. The first one you can see for yourself to the right of this text. The man just looked like a person you could trust, a person you could form a friendship with but who would still remain firmly neutral in his judgment of you and could be brutally honest when need be.
The other reason is that I just sympathise with his economical views and teachings. He was a free-thinking anarchist who despised central planning and condemned the way the governments of today work. His work is the foundation of today's libertarian and anarcho-capitalist movements.

By now, my worldview should be awfully, almost painfully clear to you. I believe in freedom - freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of trade. I believe that even though the western world owes today's relative peace and comfort wholly to capitalism and competition, the so-called "powers that be" still hold too much sway over what happens and what does not; capitalism and the freedom it represents is being pushed back in the name of safety and peace, both of which are, to put it simply, better provided by an ebbing variation of competing forces in the private sector than a single, all-powerful and despotic state. Companies and citizens alike are being oppressed and taxed, the state's (in my namesake's words) "compulsory monopoly of force" prohibits growth and efficiency.
Despite how it might seem, however, I don't devote much of my life to fighting the wrongs of the world. I listen to music, I make music, I read books, I watch films, I do sports; I live and love my life to the fullest. But I always remember that it is thanks to capitalism that I can do those things without having to worry about hunger, without having to work all day and most of the night for a pitiful pay. In a way it is as some people say - capitalism (and science) is the religion of today. Maybe.
In any case, you are going to be seeing a lot of posts from me in the following days, weeks and months. I have been quite internet-quiet so far, but that is about to change. Expects posts related to economy, music, literature, film and history. Expect a terribly bad grasp of the english language, for I am not a native speaker. Expect blogging.