Music that is dead: What does that mean?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Scott Miller, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. Scott Miller

    Scott Miller Member

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    Jazz is dead.
    Blues is dead.
    West African Big-Band Highlife is dead.

    What does "dead" mean for a musical genre?

    Nobody plays it anymore?
    Nobody produces recordings of it?
    Nobody reissues old recordings of it?
    It sounds just like it did a year ago? Five years ago? 500 years ago?
    It's not popular music any more?
    You can't make a living at it?
    Its original social context is gone?
    It's uncool?

    It's a term that puzzles me.
     
  2. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

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    Dead means folks at TGP talk about it WAY too much.

    :hide
     
  3. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    It means that the person making the statement isn't interested in it any more.
     
  4. fender753

    fender753 Member

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    its seems to be a bit of everything you listed above. It doesnt mean that its bad music, or that there is not anyone performing it anymore. It means that it is no longer a popular genre of music. Its not where the "scene" is at I guess. To me some music is more dead than others. Hear any gregorian chants lately? But theres still plenty of life left in jazz, blues and etc.

    -Steve
     
  5. HurricaneJesus

    HurricaneJesus Member

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    I think I've decided to make 'dead' mean 'cool'. Kinda like 'bad' is, in fact, 'good'.

    Led Zep is dead, brotha!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  6. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

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    Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny...
     
  7. Peeb

    Peeb Member

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    :rotflmao
    Pretty accurate!

    BTW, this thread is dead to me! ;)
     
  8. darth_vader

    darth_vader Member

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    More often than not, I think people use it to mean that /insert favorite genre here/ isn't selling well any more. It's a stupid corporate term of 21st century. Pick any genre of music, and I'm sure that at least one person somewhere in the world still listens to/plays/enjoys it, so it's not dead.
     
  9. DøøG

    DøøG Member

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    Well, there's these guys.....;)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL89st1UqMo

    I hear some in modern metal, maybe that band "Dead can Dance, IIRC".

    Just sayin....
     
  10. YoungAmerican

    YoungAmerican Member

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    It means exactly nothing.
     
  11. auraelux

    auraelux Member

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    I don't think music dies, today people that say that kind crap just say it because the stuff they're criticizing doesn't show up on myspace music.
     
  12. jtm622

    jtm622 Member

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    Was "West African Big-Band Highlife" ever alive???
     
  13. jammybastard

    jammybastard "I'm losing my edge, but I was there..."

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    Usually it's used in the context of sales.
    To say something is "dead" is to say it's not selling.
    Again, this assumes you care about about sales, and judge the validity of a genre of music by how much it sells.
     
  14. le_plastique

    le_plastique Member

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    A good friend and I used to have an argument about punk being dead about every other week when we were in high school. I would say when a genre has certain criteria that seem ideologically essential and the arguer feels that that criteria isn't being met by the majority of artists who say they are performing that genre, that it entitles high schoolers and record store employees to argue about if it is dead or not. For instance, "The blues used to be a cathartic experience for rural black men and had great spiritual significance, now it is an electric guitar wank-fest for a bunch of 20 to 40 something white boys who grew up in the burbs." or "The punk malaise ideally has great contempt for what it perceives as conformity, yet all these so-called punks coming out of Orange County sound the same."
     
  15. seiko

    seiko Member

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    Well, Latin is refered to as a dead language because it isn't adding or assimilating new words or phrases, unlike English or Mandarin, say, which add many many new words a year.

    So I assume that people use the word "dead" about a musical genre they mean that the lexicon of that style is no longer growing. We could definitely say this about certain subsets of the jazz and blues genre. For instance, I don't think any one has really reinvented Django-style swing although there are many skilled interpreters of that style.

    That would be my functional test of whether a genre is dead or not: Is anyone adding to the vocabularly of that style? This might mean adding new phrases, rhythms or textures or pulling in ideas from other styles.
     
  16. Scott Miller

    Scott Miller Member

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    Hell yeah. Great stuff, but pretty much killed off when James Brown hit Africa. But, you can still buy West African Big-Band Highlife CDs, so it's not dead yet.

    There's some validity to that. Like, not a lot of new Baroque stuff being written. Dead as far as new composing goes, but still being performed like crazy. Possibly not dead when it comes to interpretation.
     
  17. brooksrocco

    brooksrocco Member

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    To me anyway, it means the initial spark that created the music, the excitement, the novelty, the sense of being on the cutting edge, is dead.

    When people say that Punk Rock is Dead, they're not saying that the music doesn't exist anymore, or that people aren't playing in that style, they're saying that the foundational energy that launched the scene, that sense of unbridled anger and frustration, or the need to challenge musical acceptability that spawned the music's initial attitude either no longer exists, or is no longer relevant and honest, and therefore all 'new' music in that style isn't either.

    It will be tough to label Jazz 'dead,' as the definition of jazz is so loose that there are so many avenues resembling the initial spark of jazz to be explored into eternity. It's hard to label any music dead, because any honest movement will echo into forever. Even Tropicália is still relevant, though the conditions that created it are past. Aren't they?
     
  18. chrisr777

    chrisr777 Member

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    Jazz is Dead is a really cool combo with interchangeable members that have included Jimmy Herring, Billy Cobham, Alphonso Johnson, Rod Morgenstern, Jeff Pevar and always includes T Lavitz. They do fusion covers of complete Grateful Dead albums. Always a good time when I saw them.
     
  19. Guy from Idaho

    Guy from Idaho Member

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    "dead" means you can only find it on public television specials.

    Doo-wop, for example. Lawrence Welk reruns, for another.

    GFI
     
  20. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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