When is Music genuine?

All that glistens is not gold… The modern electronics make it feasible, that appearances are deceiving.

Music, a part of the infinite world of oscillations, follows mathematical rules and allows computerized generation of versatile variations of sounds. It’s a special capability and accomplishment of audio-engineering. The usage of audio electronics and samples could be seen like a photo collage. Good photos and the artistic arrangement result in a new appearance. In order to impress the viewer, it’s mandatory to select convenient photos and create a meaningful fusion of the collection as a new unique picture. Prerequisites are artistic ideas, talent and skills, which are exclusively characteristics of the artist, to be expressed by his/her art. With the composition of electronic music it behaves similarly: The music-creative must succeed to make his/her musical ideas and feelings authentically with the selection of suitable sounds and samples for a piece of music, to be impressively audible to the listeners. The singular individuality of the musician should speak from his/her works.

In the case of handmade music automatically the individual character of the "player" results with e.g. guitar, trumpet, piano..., since the personal "tools" like hand and finger, mouth and voice let hear, which talent and which practice is behind it. Without electronics acoustic deceptions are nearly impossible. Only the musical proficiency of the artist is relevant. On a live-show, e.g. with guitar and singing, the musician stands "naked" in front of his public. The listeners will relentlessly realize the presentation and the general impression of the appearance critically. If the artist succeeds in converting his/her feelings and mood in music passionately and convincingly with voice and instrument, one can count on the fact that "the spark" of enthusiasm inspires the listeners.

Of course, music is a question of taste, but nevertheless the listener appreciates still the artist, if the music is the result of talent and mastery of the artist’s "tools". How often one can hear: "Although the song is not my thing, but the guitar play is skilful."… "I do not like aria, but the voice is unique."…"Classical music is not my favourite, but he/she masters the piano."… "Well, the sound effects are not bad, but those do not fit somehow."… "In the track the “red thread” is missing"… "Someone has jumbled samples."

All these comments of listeners betray, that for public-effective music a set of musical "facts" must be taken into account: the genre of music, conviction, authentic presentation of the artist with his/her presentation and the sound electronics.

Something similar applies also to the combination of electronic and handmade music. Here determined "weaknesses" can be however laminated (e.g. with electronic voice effects). The trained human ear cannot be deceived thereby also. Musical effects are effective only, if the listener wants to hear them again and again.

As in all arts specials, outstanding skills and uniqueness in line with the musician’s live appearance are relevant. Authentic music survives, even if it is not the taste of everybody. There are a lot of music pieces on the market, which have survived temporarily controlling music directions (e.g. out of Rock, Jazz, Blues, Classical Period, etc.).

 Volker Zdunnek aka Philos60 – 14.12.2004 – Bergheim/Germany