What musical features engage you?
Our era exalts the idea of mass approval, mass appeal.Â Â Yet even though we recognizeÂ Rodney Kingâ€™sÂ genial entreaty â€œCanâ€™t we all get along?â€ as nice in theory,Â itÂ does disappear in practice.Â Â
Making choicesÂ is notÂ a betrayal. When we get right down to what items are on any singleÂ listenerâ€™s playlist ofÂ favoritesÂ (â€˜canâ€™t-do-withoutsâ€™),Â there are all sorts of cut-outs operating to arrive atÂ those very selections.Â Â Â It can only beÂ a positive thatÂ composers and listeners possess a developed sense of self, even as they remain open â€“ wisely â€“ to explore within an infinity of options.Â Â
MyÂ personalÂ threshold is pretty high.Â But I know that if a piece misses my expectations inÂ basic waysÂ Iâ€™ll turn aside â€“ and fast.Â Â Â
What do I expect from a piece?Â Â
- It requires active, not passive, listening.
- It isÂ â€˜freshâ€™ in some way — let the composer spin convention, even if just aÂ littleÂ bit.Â Â Â Â
- It isÂ genuine.Â
- The music conveys,Â somehow, that the composer cares about the notes.
- And, preferably, the music does not give upÂ itsÂ entire essence on a singleÂ hearing.
What frames your listening?