Written by Logan Welliver. Digital Media by Cassandra Rieke.
It’s no secret to everybody who attends Greenville college that there is a lot of music that lives here, many aspiring artists that are refining their craft and a large collection of potential audio engineers. To accompany all of that, almost all people enjoy music; some enjoy it more than others, but there is a place for music in all of us. And if anybody attends Greenville, it’s good to know your way around some of the terminology and ideas that surround music, music quality, genres and various other topics any serious musician/listener/audiophile will bring up. So I bring to you, Logan’s Guide To Surviving The Music Scene in Greenville.
1. Know your place.
It’s easy to get mixed up in all the terminology and professional jargon, just whatever you do don’t try to fake it. People are nice enough, if you don’t know what it means, ask questions. Musicians love talking about their craft and for the most part enjoy talking about, regardless of who listens. Don’t try to pretend to know something you don’t. Learn from it. It’s not a bad thing to be in the audience.
Post-rock, post-hardcore, post-metal, psychedelic rock, shoegaze, neo-soul, indie folk, political rap, drone, black metal… These genres and many more will come up in conversation with any avid musician at Greenville. I guarantee you, the average reader, you will not know all of these. Again, that’s okay. In any immediate situation, smile, nod your head and listen. No one is forcing you to listen to these. No one is saying that if you listen to them that you’re going to like them, but for the love of peace don’t try to argue. People have different tastes because we’re all individuals. You listen to pop, and I can’t get enough of post-rock. Music is meant to be enjoyed. Try some new music out if you’re brave, but if you don’t feel like it, no one is faulting you.
3. Music File Quality
To the average listener of music, this will make almost no difference to you. MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC, the only thing that matters to you is “how many songs do you think I can fit on my iPod?” In terms of digital music on a scale of horrific to “really, pretty good” this is how it goes:
-MP3-that file you download only if there is no other option or you’re not willing to dish out money.
-AAC- you get it from iTunes, not good, but not horrible.
-WAV- if you’ve got the CD, you’ve got WAV.
-FLAC- possibly 24-bit, 96 kHz, an audiophile’s standard.
There are more formats, but these are the ones I see most frequently. And also know that the only things better than these are if someone has the TAPE or Vinyl of an album. Vinyl is the god of all music listening experiences to an audiophile.
4. Secondary Dominants, Parallel Fifths and BeethMozBach’s SeventyFifthHundred SymphoRequieMass.
If there is anything a non-musician won’t understand, it’s music theory and the fascination with picking a part every piece of classical music literature in history. DON’T mention that you like to listen to Pharrel or that you LOVE Hillsong Worship music to a Piano Major. Again, it’s not bad if you like them, just for the sake of peace, don’t bring it up. Simple chord progressions and shallow lyrics do NOT fly with this group. Everything MUST be excellent and complicated on at least some level. And that’s not to say that these people aren’t fantastic individuals, they are, but sometimes the best way to relate to people is to listen, even when you don’t understand. Chances are they have Beyonce and Psy on their music players anyway.
5. More Reverb
With music and with practically anything in life, it should never be shameful to ask questions about things you don’t understand. Some people may scoff at you for not knowing, but I think for most they see it as an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge on a subject. You boost their confidence and at the same time expand your knowledge of life. Stop arguing and start listening. That’s how the world functions and when someone asks for more reverb, just give the man some more gosh darn reverb.