Saturday, June 13, 2009

On feedback and critcism of music

There are very few good critics in the world. As someone who has been writing songs for a long time, I've gradually, and painfully, learned that not everyone has some thing to say that you need to pay attention to. These days I take postive comments about my songs with a smile, and I take negative comments critically. A person who says that your song 'needs more oomph' or 'is too flat' is not offering you useful feedback. They are just using unecessary words to tell you something you can see from their face: they didn't enjoy your song. If you try to imbue these words with meaning you are only hurting yourself and your pride in your work. Everyone who likes music wants to believe they have somthing useful to say about it. Unfortunately, that just isn't true. These days I only listen to people who can give me very specific pointers eg 'the title is in the wrong place', 'that phrase syncopates badly at bar 100', and so on. I will only accept what they say if they have some qualification to back them up - either academic or real world.

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