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Topic: Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

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  1. #1

    Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

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    Recently I was thinking about the absolute diversity in musical taste exhibited by people.

    So many styles of music. So many different artists, each with their own following. The Internet highlights the issue and makes it apparent when you see all that's out there.

    It struck me that in any given genre, most of the good pieces are perhaps favored only by an actual minority of all the listeners of that genre...perhaps with the exception of a very few absolute "classics".

    I mean, when you buy an album of a favorite of yours, how often do you truly love every piece on it, or even the majority of the 12 songs or so??

    And if it is true that even a very popular piece of music is actually liked by less that half of all the listeners, then why would we ever feel badly when a given person doesn't enjoy our newest composition when they hear it!

    Perhaps that's to be expected!

  2. #2

    Re: Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    So many styles of music. So many different artists, each with their own following. The Internet highlights the issue and makes it apparent when you see all that's out there.
    I interpret this as a good thing.

    And if it is true that even a very popular piece of music is actually liked by less than half of all the listeners, then why would we ever feel badly when a given person doesn't enjoy our newest composition when they hear it!

    Perhaps that's to be expected!
    I'm tempted to quip that perhaps you've felt the sting of rejection recently, but any active composer/songwriter has. So why do we bother if most people won't enjoy the fruits of our labor? I seem to recall saying more than once that I don't do it for others I do it for myself. Yeah, BS! It's nice to be appreciated and it doesn't happen as often as I'd like.

    Thanks for posting.

  3. #3

    Re: Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

    pantonality,

    I don't worry about "rejection", really. I did earlier in my career, of course.

    No, I was mainly just kind of fascinated by the idea that even famous popular pieces are rejected by a majority of listeners.

    I don't know if that is true. I don't know how you could ever prove it. But I suspect it is true.

    Take, for example, the song, "Layla", by Eric Clapton.

    Play that for 250,000 people and ask who thinks it's a great song. My guess would be less than 125,000 people.

  4. #4

    Re: Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

    How are you determining what pieces of music are "good" or "great"?
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  5. #5

    Re: Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHannifin
    How are you determining what pieces of music are "good" or "great"?
    Sean,

    I'm not making that determination.

    I was talking about what any given audience would say about a piece they hear.

  6. #6

    Re: Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

    I think I see what you're saying... the Earth's population has such diverse tastes in music that there is no majority, but rather many minorities?
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  7. #7

    Re: Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

    Sean,

    Yes. That's a really good way of putting it. The world is composed of many minorities.

    Maybe it's the mainstream organizations (symphonic music directors, music industry executives, entertainment industry marketing organizations) who create a myth of a majority...a majority that should purchase only what they sell!

    But when you pay attention to the Internet and look at what's happening out there you see the "many minorities", as you put it.

    So when we compose a piece of music and offer it, the odds are that it's "audience" will be a minority of listeners.

    And that's not a problem. That's just reality, perhaps.

  8. #8

    Re: Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

    However a single person can only hear a very small minority of music in the first place, and each piece of music can only be heard by a small minority of people...

    Interesting idea...
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  9. #9

    Re: Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

    What about music people just adore? Do you suppose there is more or less agreement on those pieces?

    As a composer, it might be nice to be universally recognized as a genius. If that hasn't happened yet, which matters more: many people liking a piece, or a few people loving it?

  10. #10

    Re: Most pieces are disliked by the majority?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Blankenau
    What about music people just adore? Do you suppose there is more or less agreement on those pieces?
    Well, I DO think there are some pieces, in any genre, that gain "classic" status. They are adored by many, and liked by the majority.

    But I suspect this universal attraction happens very, very rarely overall.

    I am thinking of "Yesterday" by the Beatles, for example.

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