This is the Message Centre for Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

Setting a middle course in a sea of music styles

Post 1

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

Hi, Pierce.

I've been looking at the different kinds of music that radio stations play in the U.S. For instance, there are 1,088 that play Country music, 650 that play Blues, about 600 that play Classic Rock, 463 that play Adult contemporatry, and 195 that play Classical music. That by no means exhausts the possibilities. Here's a list of possible formats:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_music_radio_formats

It must be a headache for karaoke bars to put together a list of songs that enough people will know.

Now that I'm taking a break [perhaps a long break] from collecting recordings, I'm looking at ways to use what I've already got. A friend of mine runs karaoke sessions in my area. he came to a party I attended a few years ago, and I had a wonderful time. The thing is, though, that the only songs i knew were fairly old. I didn't know anything remotely contemporary. That's a major reason why I've been trying to update what I know. Radio stations don't seem to be part of the solution, though. A country station that broadcasts top country stars like Garth Brooks or George Strait probably won't air much Black Sabbath or Pet Shop Boys. And forget about Japanese artists like Dreams Come true, or Mexican stars like Luis Miguel.

Even if there are stations out there that broadcast a judicious mix of formats, I don't know how much work it would take to find them, and I don't know if they offer streaming audio on their web sites [that, plus waiting until April to get my next computer and a fast Internet hookup so I can even *get* streaming audio].

So, for now I'm using what I have as best I can. I like the classical station I listen to when I'm driving. There are maybe 150 CDs that won't load properly into my Bose sound system. I play them in a cheap combination alarm clock and CD player. When the new computer comes, I will likely get good speakers for it and play the Bose-unfriendly CDs in the computer. I might even convert them to MP3's. Then I will know how the sound compares. Sound technology continues to improve. I'm not worried about loss of frequencies, but if it turns out to be a problem, I have other options....


Setting a middle course in a sea of music styles

Post 2

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

One of the major advantages of storing your music on a hard drive is you can tell your computer's music program (I use iTunes) to play all the numbers in random order. You can of course decrease the source, so to speak. For instance I can tell iTunes to play all the numbers that have the word "love" in them smiley - smiley

smiley - pirate


Setting a middle course in a sea of music styles

Post 3

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

Is that by track or by album? I might not want to hear the third movement of a symphony followed by the "Dona Nobis Pacem" from a mass.
I would want to hear the whole piece.

Two or three years ago, when I found myself in an emergency room waiting for a hospital bed to open up, I had access to a music gadget that offered a very limited number of options. Under "Classical," it would offer Beethoven symphonies a movement at a time. Or a movement from one symphony and a movement from a different symphony. As if people heard music that way when the pieces were first premiered. smiley - erm

I get it that the 20th century was very nearly monolithic in its worship of the song. Songs have been around since the troubadours, of course, and numerous composers since then have sprinkled their cantatas with songs, not to mention all the arias in the operas, but still....

An unbroken diet of songs would leave me bored in very short order. smiley - sadface

I plan to take it one step at a time. I can write on the jewel cases of my CDs that certain ones will be played in the computer version. Assuming that the computer files sound better, which they very likely will, given better speakers and advancing sound technology.

Another option is to buy a Sony all-in-one unit that can record records and cassettes onto CDs. The CDs can then be played or downloaded into my computer. I still have some vinyl and cassettes that were never released in any other format. I'm a lot like you, except I probably have far less of those earlier formats.

The record labels have huge vaults full of recordings that they want to milk for cash. It's how they make their livings. Every 25 or 30 years they get a chance to release old recordings in new formats. New generations might buy them, or older generations will dump their old versions and replace with the new ones.

At least the digital technology between CDs and MP3s is similar. Vinyl
was analog, and CDs were digital. You could make some transfers yourself if you had the equipment, but every time you transfer a recording you lose some of the quality. The record labels would do a better job, maybe going back to the masters and rechanneling. The technology seems to get better and better. The "American masters" budget series of pop singers has fantastic sound.

Heck, I probably sound as if I really care about sound! smiley - sadface I used to worry that I would lose my hearing in my 40s and 50s. That does not seem to have happened, for which I'm grateful.


Setting a middle course in a sea of music styles

Post 4

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

Yes, smiley - grovel thank heavens for adequate hearing!

If you play at random like I decribed it will tear up symphonies and play them movement by movement with anything else inbetween smiley - erm

BUT: You can also choose a number of albums and play them one by one smiley - ok

The record labels don't have to pay royalties to neither composers nor musicians, singers et cetera after a certain amount of time, I believe 50 years? This makes some of the older material a veritable gold mine

smiley - pirate


Setting a middle course in a sea of music styles

Post 5

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

Playing albums one by one is fine.

Older recordings are more apt to sell if their sound is rechanneled using the latest sound technology. The Beatles have tweaked their recordings many times, with generally good results. There are "completists" out there who feel compelled to buy everything by their favorite singers or bands. These people often weigh in with user comments at Amazon.com. They invariably chide the record labels for not including enough iconic songs, but they *always* rave about the sound quality on newer releases.

In "20 feet from stardom," I learned that recording companies now have the ability to tweak the pitch of singers' voices so they won't sound flat. It's expensive to do so, but enough listeners care about pitch to make it worth doing.

[Now, if only they could tweak the lead singer of AC/DC so his voice doesn't sound so horrible smiley - winkeye.]


Setting a middle course in a sea of music styles

Post 6

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

Oh, I *so* agree on that last remark of yours smiley - ok

Never understood why anyone would want to listen to that kind of "singing" smiley - laugh

smiley - pirate


Setting a middle course in a sea of music styles

Post 7

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

I sit here listening to Paul Simon's "Rhythm of the Saints." Earlier I heard some of Johnny Cash's hits. Both recordings were excellent.

As I plan the transition to learning songs well enough to sing them at karaoke, I have been looking at sheet music. Cash and Simon both have reasonable songbooks. I find it easier to learn a song when I can listne to a recording while following along in the printed score.

Another great songwriter is Neil Diamond. "Sweet Caroline" is mentioned as great karaoke song. I found a good songbook for Diamond, as well.

I'm learning, I really am. As I listen more, I find some songs that I like a lot.

Billy Joel is another songwriter whose work is often found at karaoke sessions. "Piano Man" ranks fairly high, as well as "I love you just the way you are."


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