I like complex music

As the post title says.  I like bagpipes with 3 kinds of drums, picking the different rhythms and types of drums.  Mozart (yay), not Haydn (boo).  Not Chopin or Debussy, ew.**  Handel hella-yes, Bach hella-yes!  Fugues and Baroque music yes.  Rap music, yes.  Patter songs.  MC Frontalot, Salt N Pepa, Macklemore (sorry, I know he’s Wacklemore*).  My brain finds it interesting.  Things that are too simple allow my mind to wander towards my worries; things that are complex allow my mind to relax.  It’s interesting to think about.

I’m with Dr. Crazy that Dark Horse is a weird song and yet, I have memorized all the words to the rap section of it.  Although the lyrics are problematic, I find wordplay amusing.  I like to listen to a song I’ve heard many times before and find something new in it.  I also find it so useful how rappers usually announce their name in the song, so that if you like it, you know who you want to listen more to!

#2 has also been wanting to write a post about how much she likes patter songs, which, of course, includes a lot of rap.  Though only the not-misogynist stuff, of which there is a lot (though man does she miss the girl rapper groups of the 90s).  #2 hates techno because the repetition is boring and hurts her brain.  #1’s not much on techno either.

*#2 likes Thrift Shop but finds Same Love to not be that clever, although it may be well intentioned.  Still…


**#2 finds Chopin to be complex, and also likes Debussy in moderation.  Pretty pretty.  Though with classical, #2 is really a Romantic at heart even though that’s separate from patter.  Now she has Rossini stuck in her head because patter is awesome.

Tell us whether you like complex music and if so, what we should listen to!  Esp. female rappers.

21 Responses to “I like complex music”

  1. saucy Says:

    Speaking as a fellow lover of complex music and a big fan of Haydn….I have nothing to say. Mozart does complexity beautifully, but Haydn does it profoundly.

  2. plantingourpennies Says:

    Have you tried listening to mash-ups? I download each year’s mash-up album from http://bootiemashup.com/bestof/ and get my dose of pop-music and complexity, which I really only like when running all out. But I highly recommend the 2009 album, if for nothing more than the mash-up of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” with the theme song from the Andy Griffith Show. I want to skip every time I listen to it.

  3. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Note: This was written before Mackelmore’s latest gaffe.

    Opinion on that: I’ve seen more people saying that we shouldn’t be outraged than saying that he should apologize better… really yoisthisracist is the only place that’s been like, dude, that’s whack, and your apology is whack, stop being whack. Probably because Judiasm tends to get the short end of the outrage stick and because white male rapper privilege.

    White heterosexual men get points for trying when any other group would get shot down for not being perfect.

  4. Bardiac Says:

    I find 20th and 21st century art music more complex and difficult to listen to than classical music. So I tend to like classical music better, but work to appreciate Shostakovich and the later folks, because when I get there, they’re amazing.

  5. chacha1 Says:

    My personal favorites within the classical genre are the Romantics, particularly Tchaikovsky (from whom I have yet to hear an unpleasant bar of music) and Gilbert & Sullivan. You want patter? G&S gots patter. :-) I also like Mozart and Bach.

    If you like Bach, there is a Latina pianist who we saw/heard at the Hollywood Bowl who did an album of Bach with improvisations. I can’t remember her name right now but will make a point of looking it up.

    I do like complicated pop music, but to me that excludes a lot. You don’t really find complex time signatures or orchestrations in most pop, and the lyrics are not often really noteworthy (Leonard Cohen excepted, and in his case melody and lyrics are often all there is; the arrangements can be painful, and his voice is … unique). One of my favorite rock/pop albums ever is Jethro Tull’s “Songs from the Wood.” I choose most pop music based on two factors: is the voice good to listen to, and/or is it danceable. So I have a lot of Diana Krall, k.d. lang, Michael Buble, and standards. The current taste in Top 40 pop voices (high, nasal) is not mine. I like Lady Gaga’s voice but her songwriting doesn’t go far with me.

    I don’t like much improvisational jazz, as the whole one-instrument-at-a-time-noodling-for-ten-minutes-each wears thin very quickly, nor “smooth jazz” because alto and soprano saxophones give me a headache.

    Some of the rap I’ve heard qualifies (to me) as music, a little as poetry, most only as noise. Techno is like listening to an unbalanced washing machine.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      *everybody* likes G&S!

      (The first play I ever went to was the HMS Pinafore. I had the music memorized before I went from listening to my parents’ D’Oyly Carte records over and over.)

      • chacha1 Says:

        I starred as Mabel in a local production of “The Pirates of Penzance” when I was thirteen. LOL all-child cast. It must have been freakin’ hilarious.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Oh yes, it’s Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-a-a-aaaa- bel
        Oh sisters deaf to pity’s claim, for shame…

  6. chacha1 Says:

    p.s. “Salsa Celtica.” :-)

  7. Rosa Says:

    do you like Jean Grae? She’s not a throwback to the 90s girl groups but she’s awesome. I haven’t listened through this whole list but it seems like a start for newish woman rappers:


  8. kt Says:

    I like some complex music. World music a lot when I was younger. Now I like a lot more pop music, including older Lady Gaga. I think her music is “complex” in that there was a lot of economic decision-making going on in some of that songwriting!

    Angel Haze is amazing; I found her on Youtube/Soundcloud a while ago and she is just better than anyone else. Jean Grae is cool and was very funny on the radio show “Wits.” Giving away my geographic location, Dessa is good (check out Dixon’s Girl), Maria Isa has some good summer jams (Caramelo), and I loove some of Lizzo’s stuff, with it’s crazy wacky lyrics. “Batches & Cookies” is very catchy. Her work with Grrrl Party is a lot of fun, too; “Wegula” is funny although perhaps not enduring :)

  9. Thisbe Says:

    Oh are you a piper or drummer? Or an enthusiastic observer?
    I’m feeling excited because we’re just committing to trying to make it to the Worlds next year. We’ll see if it actually happens but it’s fun to think about.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      One of us is an enthusiastic observer! Neither of us plays.

      • Thisbe Says:

        That is great! I think I could count on the fingers of one hand the people I have met who enjoy the complexity of pipe band music but don’t play. There are lots of people who enjoy the theater of it (which is also fine of course) but are totally indifferent to the coolest things about the musical forms.

  10. First Gen American Says:

    I don’t like complicated classical music. I want it to lull me into a certain mood, not jerk me around and take me on an emotional ride up and down some roller coaster.

    I just got a new PC and started listening to my music collection again from my college days. It’s amazing how dark everything was I listened to back then. Was my life still so dark and depressing then I wonder? It seems I should have grown out of it by then but didn’t.

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