Discussion continued from "Would you give up your rock"

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Travelsong, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Travelsong

    Travelsong
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    As Bob requested, I have started a new thread to continue the discussion on music, it's inherent moral nature (or lack thereof), and it's ability (or inability) to cause one to sin.

    To briefly recap, I have been attempting to get the traditional only types here to tell me just exactly what sin I am engaging in by my enjoyment of all types of music. I don't expect I will ever get a direct answer, but I think we have at least made a good start.

    Enda's response is simply to pose another question. Can music make you angry? My answer simply put is no. Certainly music has the ability to affect your emotions, but it cannot force one to feel or do anything one is not willing to do or feel.

    Enda's next response was to cut and paste an article which I will not reproduce in it's entirety, but it can be found HERE.

    My objective from this point is to demonstrate that both enda and Aaron (who apparently is very fond of this article) have made serious errors in their application of Dr. Weinbergers findings.

    Consider first this statement which is used to set the parameters within which one is emotionally affected by music:

    I would expand on the former as it relates to the latter. The arousal potential of music is based on many factors: mood (of the listener), environement, and to what degree we desire to hear any given piece of music at any given point. It would be fair to say that the magnitude of arousal potential is directly related to the degree with which we desire to hear any given piece of music.Consequently, I would say that music is able to affect one's emotions only to the degree that one is willing to let it. Fair enough? Allow me to demonstrate further that Dr. Weinberger is only interested in illustrating the ability of music to affect those who are willingly receptive.

    In the first example we are told about silent films and the music which accompanies them. Dr. Weinberder then goes on to explain that the soundtrack which has become an integral part of movie making, is intended to directly reflect and convey the emotional message of the movie. But what about the audience? Can we not say that the individual watching the movie is actively engaged in the plot, in the character's actions and indeed the entire story of the film? Is not the movie theatre patron willingly receptive to the emotional message that the music is trying to convey? But what if the movie goer isn't enjoying the film? What if the acting is awful and the plot unengaging? In short, what if we don't give two whits about anything the film is trying to tell us? Does that sweeping romantic music have the same impact on us when we couldn't care less that two people just fell in love? Of course not. If one is sitting through a horrible movie, no amount of grand sweeping, or swirling music is going to affect one's emotions.

    Dr. Weinberger then goes on to site some studies conducted where the intent was to determine and measure whether or not people can correctly identify and "feel" the correct emotion presented in a piece of music. The participants who fully aware they are being studied, are told to identify the emotional state of the music. Notice that the particpants are, like the movie goer, willingly receptive to the emotion which the music conveys.

    Throughout this article, the conclusions of Dr. Weinberger are based on people who are willing to be emotionally affected by the music they are exposed to.

    I want to go into greater detail about the studies that were conducted, but it will be at a later time. For now I would just like to point out they they are by no means trying to establish that all people experience music the same way. The music selected is one piece played at four different tempos to reflect four emotional states. The participants are aware that they have to label each piece of music as either sad, happy, fearful, and angry. In the final test, anger is left out.

    Ok, I'm tired, going to bed, but I do have much more to say, I hope someone is willing to listen.


    ...I wonder what would happen if they threw in Hector Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique".
     
  2. DanielFive

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    Travelsong,

    I won't have much free time over the next couple of weeks, but I'll try to find time to read your posts. I'll respond when time permits.

    Enda
     
  3. DanielFive

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    I'm waiting. :rolleyes:

    Here's a link to the ORIGINAL THREAD
     
  4. Travelsong

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    Please read the post. If you don't understand it, ask questions. Don't act like I haven't provided a substinative argument which demonstrates that Dr. Weinberg is not supporting your view that music can make people feel emotion. One needs to be willingly receptive to the emotion that music communicates in order to be influenced by it, and I believe I have outlined this fact effectively. Care to address this argument or are you willing to concede the point so we can move on?
     
  5. DanielFive

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    Yeah, you better start by telling me what substinative means, I must admit I'm having trouble keeping up, I've got a limited vocabulary.
     
  6. Travelsong

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    You provide about as much relevancy to a discussion as Aaron. As if you didn't know the word I meant was substantive which is an adjective meaning "having or expressing substance". Let's see you try and express something substantive without cutting and pasting someone else's work (which you didn't even find on your own). I have yet to see you formulate a single argument of your own.
     
  7. DanielFive

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    Yes, I do know what substantive means, thanks.

    What you mean is, let's see you post your opinion and not back it up with evidence. I know you don't accept my opinion therefore I choose to provide evidence to support it, have you got a problem with that?

    And I have yet to see you formulate a single argument period. If you have anything to support your personal opinion here, I will consider it, if not, tell me now, I've wasted enough time.

    I suggest you go back and read the article again, if you wish to provide evidence that Dr Weinberger is wrong then do so, if you can't then be gracious enough to admit it.
     
  8. Travelsong

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    Then why split hairs over spelling? Yes, we both know it's an escape device.

    WRONG. You never gave any explanation of any kind. You simply ran to Aaron for support, and posted that article as though it was an affirmation of your beliefs. You didn't even make the slightest effort to show that it was.

    Try reading my post. I dare you.

    I don't disagree with that article. If you read my response you might pick that bit of information up. My disagreement is with your interpretation of it. You are wrong. So here we go one last time,I am going to break it down into one simple statement which you will either have to openly avoid or address so that we can cvontinue.

    Do you disagree that Dr Weinberg is drawing conclusions based upon people who are willingly receptive to the emotion communicated by the music they are listeng to?

    This distinction is pivotal to our debate for many reasons, and we both know this. If you are afraid to address my very valid point, admit it or consult Aaron. Whatever you do, stop stalling the debate. I will continue to hold your feet to the fire for as long as you do.
     
  9. DanielFive

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    Travelsong,

    For the purpose of summarizing the debate so far here's some quotes from the article.

    Originally posted by Travelsong:
    Now, just to be absolutely clear, are you saying that you agree with these findings?

    Once you confirm this I will proceed.
     
  10. Travelsong

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    For the most part I do agree with them.

    Your question was initially "Can music make you angry?" There is no indication anywhere in that article that music can make someone angry against their will! Common sense will tell you it's impossible.

    And for the record, all of Dr. Weinbergs conclusions are illustrated entirely by examples and experiments involving people who are willingly receptive to the emotions conveyed by the music they are listening to. Nowhere is it even remotely suggested that music can control or alter the emotions of the listener against his will.

    But please, feel free to proceed.
     
  11. DanielFive

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    The volunteers in these experiments choose to subject themselves to the possibility that they would experience some emotional effect by listening to the music. By placing a CD in a CD player you are exercising your free-will in the same way.

    What goes through your mind when you put a Bob Dylan CD in the CD player. Are you honestly telling me that you make a consious decision that you will NOT allow yourself to be emotionally affected by the music?
     
  12. Travelsong

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    No, the volunteers of these experiments were actively responding to the music.

    It's funny that you acknowledge free will. Are you saying one has free will to put a cd in a cd player, but once the music starts they lose that free will and fall under some magical spell which controls their emotional state?

    I don't let music affect me negatively.In other words, I make a free will decision to limit just how much music impacts my emotions. If I hear a sad song like "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right", I don't suddenly become a helpless blubbering mess lamenting my lot in life because Bob Dylan broke up with his girlfriend.I don't need to make a conscious decision for that either.

    As far as what goes through my mind, I suppose there are many things which can be summarized by an ability to appreciate artistic expression.
     
  13. DanielFive

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    Now that you've admitted that music can effect you negatively you must provide evidence that you are in total control of your emotions.

    Your ascertion is questionable in the light of the findings of Carol Krumhansl in the study detailed above.

    Have you ever listened to a song which brings back memories of things that have happened in YOUR life? Sometimes music can remind us of people or events, we are powerless to control this.

    Are you telling me that your brain is immune?
     
  14. Travelsong

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    I assume you've reached a dead end with respect to your "Music can make you *insert emotion here*" argument as you have neither Scripture or science to draw such a conclusion from. If I'm wrong feel free to correct me. I'm sure you have a wealth of knowledge to draw from, and not just that one single irrelevant article.

    In any case it is obvious you are incredibly stifled, and I can sympathize. Especially considering that the next logical question poses even more of a monumental conundrum for those on your side of the argument.

    How do you determine if the emotion conveyed by music is inherently sinful or righteous?

    Humans communicate meaning through symbolism. In other words, we express meaning through the language of words and gestures that are unconsciously recognized as symbols which represent something else. Music does not fall into this category because it is limited to expressing emotion. So I wonder, without the context that symbolic language like words provide a piece of music, how can you possibly assign a moral nature to music? I look forward to watching you try and dance around that one.


    Edited to say I just saw your response there and I will return to it as soon as I get back from work. I should have guessed you still felt the need to beat this dead horse. Expect your argument to be finally put to rest so we can move on in approximately 10 hours.
     
  15. DanielFive

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    In the same way that music can remind us of past events it can cause feelings of anger which lie dormant within us to resurface. If I hear a piece of music which I associate with a bad experience in my life it can rekindle the feelings and emotions experienced at that time.

    These feelings of anger exist in our sinful nature, wheather music is morally neutral is irrelevant.
     
  16. DanielFive

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    I can't wait, any chance of you finally providing some evidence (scientific or scriptural) to support your views?
     
  17. Eric B

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    This illustrates the circle that is being gone around in here. The original contention was an attempt to prove that "rock" is bad, and classical or traditional is good. Studies are taken to try to prove that the beat makes you sin, but all they really show is that they affect our emotions. Then it's insinuated that the bad emotion is the sin, but first of all, that is not necessarily the case (being sad at a funeral march, etc). Now we have gone way off the issue of style to an influience any kind of music can have on anyone. Classical or church hymns can give you painful memories of a past event. (precisely why so many have rebelled against it!) Contemporary can give you pleasant memories.
    But what about the "one style is inherently morally bad while the other is good"? I think you need to admit that that dichotomy is not real (without bringing in various other factors; often ignored in the citing of studies), as you are grasping at air trying to find an argument.
     
  18. Joshua Rhodes

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    Eric, well said. I was trying to think of a way to say that, and can't add anything to what you said. Thanks bro.
     
  19. DanielFive

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    Eric,

    I take your point, but the fact is that we are to become new creatures when we get saved. I didn't listen to hymns before I was saved, I listened to rock music.

    Listening to rock music NOW reminds me of events that occured prior to my conversion, it can also induce the feelings of anger, depression etc that I felt as a worldly sinner.

    Listening to hymns doesn't evoke these memories, hymns can remind me of times of blessing etc which occured after I got saved.

    This point is valid to the debate.
     
  20. Joshua Rhodes

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    Enda,

    As much as I greatly respect the fact that this music from your past affects you negatively, I have to question your motives. You are condemning something (Christian rock) because it gives you a negative emotional respnse. I tell you that (no matter what the studies say) I am a Christian that has very fond memories of Christian music (Gospel, Rock, Contemporary) from since I was a child. I associate good times, fond memories, and blessed people and events with some songs. Emotion or not, it is the lyrics that evoke these emotive responses in me. A song like "I Can Only Imagine" has lyrics about Heaven. It's a glorious vision of what Heaven might be like. I've heard it sung at funerals three times now. This does not make me think of death when I hear the song, but rather life in Christ.

    I see the point you are trying to make, I just feel that it is incongruent with the points we are trying to make as listeners of Christian music. Just my humble opinion. [​IMG]
     

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