Thursday, May 31, 2012

What I Really Wanted to Say About Music Snobs

I am a music snob.  I have all the symptoms.  I like to follow the notes when I sing...most of the time. (If a seventh or a second sounds nicer in harmony than the boring DO they have written for the alto, I'll go for it.) I like when other people follow the notes, too. Because I really, really dislike missing an important chord in the sequence of chords, even if it is just one important note. And that is because I NEED to hear the pretty music that is meant to be heard here. I can get upset when they WILL NOT hit the right note. See? I got it bad.  I don't let you know that on the outside of course, because my mom taught me to be polite and kind.  But I long to have the song sung correctly to the point of losing interest entirely in the lyrics. This is a bad thing. I find myself hoping that in heaven, finally, they will sing it right! If there is bad or ugly music going; I really want to shut if off, now! Even if it is yours. It is very hard to be polite and bear it.

On the other hand, it doesn't go over my head when the congregation is singing a song they love and it is going well and everybody is tuned to the lyrics even if they aren't hitting the right chord.  I can lay it down and go for the song as a whole and enjoy it.  So there is hope for me.

Here is something good about us music snobs.  When we hear good music done well, we are supremely happy. All of our enjoyment gauges are just as far right now as they were left when it was sung wrongly.

There are two kinds of music snobs, however.  There are the music lover snobs who like to have it right. Then there are the folks who get so frustrated at us snobs and accuse us of all kinds of pride and things what we have never ever thought of.  I contend that you are a snob, too, when you make my likes and dislikes look so...snobbish, I guess. Nobody is perfect.


But please, I wouldn't want anybody to feel offended by my opinions/feelings about music. I work on not letting it bother me when the music is hard to bear. God gave you some likes and dislikes I do not understand, too.

Finally, I am confident that when we get to heaven and it gets to be singing time that nobody is going to mind either way about the notes or chords or instrumentation.  Whatever they've got there for choir and instruments is going to be the best. Out of this world wonderful, literally.





7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think almost everyone is a music snob. The people who don't enjoy music say, "it's just noise to me, I just have to have peace and quiet." One of L.M. Montgomerys characters described people who don't like cats this way, "They always believe there is some particular virtue in NOT liking them." People who don't care for some types of music often have the same attitude about it I think.

    But I think there are some kinds of music that are just wrong and if that's snobbery, sorry!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh no. You guys have it all wrong about being a music snob. Everybody thinks things about music in all kinds of ways and that doesn't make them the music snob. The music snob is one who enjoys singing and is very sure about the notes being sung right but on top of all that normal stuff they don't realize that they are monopolizing the singing/ music sphere. They think only certain ones can sing good enough to sing in special music groups and they snicker and make fun of people who are enjoying the singing for the lyrics and the memories and they act as though they are super embarrassed for who ever actually enjoys singing but doesn't do it good enough to fit there criteria. And therefore only certain people even get opportunity to sing with groups because the music snobs are so busy making such "beautiful singing". Trust me....I can pick out good choral music. But I give lots of room for going to listen to a group of people sing who are praising the Lord or for little kids who don't get it right. I give hardly any space to the one who has had voice lessons and then gets in front of a crowd and screeches out something that is supposingly perfect singing but sounds like arrogance. So that's a music snob and his symptoms! :) This is all from the perspective of a little mennonite girl and her little mennonite realm and the special singing silliness in the mennonite world! Recorded singers and music is another whole subject.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think I agree with Amy. You find a music snob in every choir practice. They will hold up the whole show for five minutes on account of a technical problem with timing or what ever it is. They don't do it just once but they will do it repeatedly. I figure if I opened my mouth once about a technicality that I should probably shut up and sing for the rest of the time. Oh, and if you listen close in church, you can pick them out. They'll be the once trying sing it right and they end up being out of sink with every body else. Actually I am probably guilty on all counts at some point. Especially singing with my family.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is fun! :) Not to call you snobs necessarily Clark and Amy, but lets just say that we're all very opinionated about how it ought to be! I think that either we are all snobs, or else we have too many definitions of music snob. So here's a few music snob types:
    1. The one who wants it done right, and whose inner being vibrates in protest when it isn't.
    2. The one who doesn't think anyone else can do it right.
    3. The one who thinks that any music other than the kind they enjoy is rubbish. This includes the people who say, "Sounds like somebody caught their finger in a screen door" when they hear classical music, and the ones who reject acapella singing as overly pious and priggish and just too boring.
    4. The one who believes that all music is 'noise', and just let them have quiet, thank you very much!
    5. Add you definition here.

    I think we all have a different definition of snob and we admit to being snobbish (in a good way) about our own preferences, but believe that the 'real snobs' are the ones who don't agree with us.

    Ah, that was fun. I don't hope to have offended anyone!

    ~GB

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had my share in creating you snobs. Harmony is what I listen for and like; my battle is hear the words and drink in their spiritual value because God hears my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My very musical sister and I have had a conversation or two that was probably revealing to both of us. It came as a revelation to me that in her mind she can hear all four parts in the harmony when she hears a single note. It probably came as a revelation to her that some of us don't sing poorly because we're too lazy to get it right but because our ears and voices just plain won't do what hers will. It's probably a fair question as to which of us enjoys music more, my sister who can get intense pleasure from well done music or me who can enjoy both the well done and the not so well done music but not with the same level of intensity. I also wonder if part of the reason some people say rock music is sinful and some say it isn't has to do with the fact that music does things to musically atuned people's emotions that it doesn't to those of us who are musically challenged.

    As for the snob thing, I'm doubt if anybody who is being polite and kind actually qualifies as a snob.

    ReplyDelete