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The most musically talented musician of all time

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Guest bassman7755
On 06/12/2017 at 08:26, Japhet said:

 Popularity has never been any indicator of talent - you only have to listen to One Direction to prove it.

So tell me a better indicator of talent then.

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1 hour ago, bassman7755 said:

So tell me a better indicator of talent then.

Critical acclaim, influence on other musicians, longevity, adaptability to name a few.

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Guest bassman7755
3 hours ago, dyerseve said:

Critical acclaim, influence on other musicians, longevity, adaptability to name a few.

Critical acclaim - popular with people

Influence - popular with people

Longevity - popular with people

etc ... you get the idea

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OK; maybe the topic title needs changing to 'The most musically popular musician of all time'..? Apparently it's synonymous with 'talented', so... :|

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8 hours ago, bassman7755 said:

Critical acclaim - popular with people

Influence - popular with people

Longevity - popular with people

etc ... you get the idea

wow that's a stretch. One Direction are very "popular" yet not sure they have any critical acclaim, influence on musicians or longevity. You get the idea... actually maybe you don't...

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The Birdie song and Agadoo were extremely popular at one time. Esperanza Spalding on the other hand is virtually unheard of outside certain circles so must therefore lack talent. Just saying.

Edited by Japhet

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4 hours ago, Japhet said:

The Birdie song and Agadoo were extremely popular at one time. Esperanza Spalding on the other hand is virtually unheard of outside certain circles so must therefore lack talent. Just saying.

Bingo!

Indeed 99.95% of the people on this planet will have precisely zero idea who Jaco, Marcus Miller or Victor Wooten are. Therefore they are all useless nobodies with no talent whatsoever!

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20 hours ago, bassman7755 said:

Critical acclaim - popular with people

Influence - popular with people

Longevity - popular with people

etc ... you get the idea

This is such a stretch that it starts to resemble goalpost moving - deliberate or otherwise. I don't know whether joking is involved or whether this is to be taken seriously, and a any rate, I'm not gonna discuss this further.

Sparked by this post, however, allow me to talk about some concepts.

LONG POST WARNING: MOST PEOPLE SHOULD NOT NEED TO READ THIS. See, I already sense/understand that this post is gonna be way too long, and only part of that has to do with me struggling to be brief in a foreign language. My apologies. Also, I'm not writing anything that I do not assume is general knowledge. It's just that some posts in this thread make it seem necessary to remind some people of some things. Apologies, again.

 

Anyway, Bassman7755, in his very own words, said:

On 01/12/2017 at 10:03, bassman7755 said:

Your lack of social calibration is I guess the reason youve got it all so wrong.

In other words: he is able to judge that I lack social calibration. He's possibly right, and me defending myself is not why I use his text here. The point however is: WHY can he judge this? Because he himself is socially calibrated on a higher level. In his choice of wording, one of the unspoken premises in the whole enthymeme-like construction is that people have social calibration on different levels. Bassman7755 happily is one of the people who can judge that people like me (or me only) operate on a lower level.

Now, I'm fine with this. I'm just about resourceful enough to realise that I'm a far-from-perfect being, and my social calibration is mixed. I do not agree with his assessment entirely though, supported by my happy experiences in the area, but I do accept that at least I should've worded more carefully and empathetically.

BTW, when I used McCartney as an example, I honestly was unaware that that name was even mentioned already, and mentioned even by Bassman7755 in the same post I quoted. I naively used the name in expectation of people mentioning McCartney later. I'm truly sorry about that aspect of my post that Bassman7755 reacted to, and would have worded more sensitively had I remembered that Bassman7755 has used the name. I only had noticed him mentioning Kate Bush.

 

But at any rate, Bassman7755 himself seems to accept the very concept that is at play here:

Some people are better equipped than others in different areas. Some are better equipped than others to judge aspects about others.

My neighbour judged that I had no talent at football. He was right. But if I'd shown any talent, then we'd probably need someone else than my neighbour to judge exactly how far I could go in my football career.

In most or all aspects of life there are certain statistical distributions, and a startling amount of those distributions roughly follow the Gauss curve (standard distribution). This would for example mean that only few people function on a bottom level and very few on a top level - the easiest example being that few people have an IQ below 50, and roughly equally few have one above 150. Most people are less than a standard deviation away from average.

As to being musically talented, without going into theoretical debates about what it is and is not, but just going by the regular term as we tend to use it, those that are least talented musically, either just have no relationship to music, or they only like the least demanding forms of it, and more demanding forms of music are deemed to be noise or similar. That non-demanding music is still easy to judge by others who're higher up on the staircase.

The rest gives itself. The more advanced the music, the fewer people are able to create it or appreciate it. Theoretically, only one person at the top is able to appreciate all existing music and to create that stuff. In real life of course it doesn't work exactly that way.

Oh yes, I hear voices in my head, Bassman7755's voice amongst others, but bear with me:

What music can become very popular, and what music can become popular classics that we hear on the radio decade after decade? By definition it's the music that large groups in society can appreciate (not too demanding) and at the same time: that will not bore them easily. That last part is essential as it is there some of the quality lies.The quality does not often lie in the three chord harmonic development.

Are those popular classics written by highly talented people? Very often: yes. Sometimes: no. Burt Bacharach and The Beatles are certainly highly talented, but others exist as well who just are not.

Are they written by the one, single most musically talented musician of all time? Not very likely. Why not? Because that person very likely showed talent at an early age, and got this talent developed. That person would experience popular music as demanding little, and also as giving little, and would turn his/her brain to other music - music that is not only food of love, but also food for brain.

Mozart at an early age could write much more well-constructed, well-flowing and error-free music than most of us can ever dream of, and since he only developed upwards despite his life style and general lack of Bach-like driving forces.

In all likeliness, the one single most musically talented person of all time, unlike the many highly talented people of more regular shape who write popular classics, is in the group of people who are somewhere in that ivory tower that many people hate, where new concepts are created, and the borders of what can be art are moved. Bach conservatively stayed within that old baroque music, but at the same time let it go on paths where no music had gone before. If you know your stuff, the gap between Bach and Vivaldi is enormous! (I may earlier have written about how Bach and Vivaldi react differently when a certain chord/voice sequence brings the music to steeper, narrower paths with higher danger level.)

 

As an example of what I'm on about: In the eighties, I heard two interviews. One was with a highly respected Norwegian folk music player. The other was with B.B. King. Both in all essence said the very same thing:

"People always ask me what music inspires me, and what rocks my boat. But at my level, what I love, and what inspires me, is not the same stuff that the people who love my music love, and when I answer, they always respond: "But that isn't even blues anymore" / "That isn't even folk music anymore!". But it is blues/folk music! It just is more demanding, and it's appreciated by the likes of me - not by the masses who love my music."

There!

B.B. King said it, so it must be true even though I said it too. :D

 

I'm sure I wrote some unnecessary stuff and forgot some essential stuff, but I'm quitting now. Again, I apologise for the length and for the low speed in the thought development area. I know some people on BC could have said the same in one sentence. I can't. I've started and deleted an answer many times, and have also thought many times I'd delete the whole thing written above. But I didn't. I just hope it's of service to one or two people.

 

Edited by BassTractor
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On 30/11/2017 at 11:00, ambient said:

 Delia Derbyshire from the BBC Radiophonic workshop, and composer of the doctor who theme.

Not quite - Ron Grainer was the composer, Delia was the arranger.

Not to belittle Delia's contribution in any way - her work on Doctor Who alone is of colossal importance, truly astounding. There should be statues of this woman.

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Surely popularity must have relevance. If one person in the World thinks I am the most musically talented musician of all time, then that would be nice, but my mother might be biased.  If millions of people thought I was the most talented then there might just be something in it. Again, popularity, influence and longevity must come into it. People have to have heard your work to have an opinion, but it is easier today with the technology available than it has ever been to listen to both old and new stuff. So to disregard musicians simply because they were or are popular has to be wrong. Popularity, longevity and influence are my measures.

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Can't answer the question because I haven't heard them all. ;)

I don't like the premise tbh because I sort of object to the idea of a creative artform being reduced to something akin to a point-scoring competition. Fortunately "talent" is unquantifiable to start with, and reading through the thread, we don't even seem to be able to decide what it actually is!

Fwiw I'd say Prince was an enormously talented (according to how I'd personally define it) and prolifically creative artist, whose music I found utterly uninteresting and unappealing on any level.

 

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Some good shouts there.
Devin Townsend is ferociously talented at many aspects of making and recording music. He hasn't always hit the mark but I'm convinced he's one of the most talented musicians I've seen or heard.

I'd say Prince was up there also.

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16 hours ago, Bassassin said:

Can't answer the question because I haven't heard them all. ;)

I don't like the premise tbh because I sort of object to the idea of a creative artform being reduced to something akin to a point-scoring competition. Fortunately "talent" is unquantifiable to start with, and reading through the thread, we don't even seem to be able to decide what it actually is!

Fwiw I'd say Prince was an enormously talented (according to how I'd personally define it) and prolifically creative artist, whose music I found utterly uninteresting and unappealing on any level.

 

Yep, but its not who IS the most talented, its our personal opinion of who WE think it is.  Its not important or a pop at your opinion, or other musicians,its a bit of fun. Dont know why people take it so seriously. :D

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Fleabag is an immense talent. It must be nice to pop along to Sainsburys and not get mobbed

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1 hour ago, fleabag said:

Fleabag is an immense talent. It must be nice to pop along to Sainsburys and not get mobbed

I only avoid doing it when I see you as I dont wish to start a trend.  :biggrin:

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Ok ok,,,I stated the bloody thing lol,,,and your all valid,, my personal shout, after all this, is a guy who could write basic songs with a single instrument, which could be re arranged by orchestras and enjoyed by millions, who inspired, probably because on a basic level they are simple to learn, nearly everyone who started to play,,but hit home every time, and became classics, copied by everyone from the Beatles to the Stones,,,even carried it through to nu wave ( Blondie covered and played these chord progressions to death)  still valid, , was part of the birth of rock n roll and popular culture, , talented and popular, many imitators, many hits, for me it’s Buddy Holly...

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