Do you consider rap to be "music"?
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wakeride74

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I figured with all the m&m bashing a few threads down I'd see how many people consider rap to be music.
Now before anyone gets all bent out of shape lets look at the definition. (taken from dictionary.com)

mu·sic n. -

1. The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
2. Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm.

The only instrument in most rap is a keyboard or synth set and a turntable (if that's an instrument) and maybe on occasion a bass guitar. The lead raps instead of sings and there are often not much in the way of harmony and melody (unless it was pulled from a previously popular 80's song or something). Not even a laymen knowledge of music theory is needed for rap.

I don't care to argue its impact on society or that it is a "art" form (if you so chose to call it that), I realize it is a form of expression, good to dance to and all that. Does it take talent? Yes, I believe it does and I know I could not do it. I just think it's more rhythmic than musical.

So is it just a rhythm to move to or is it "a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre"? Is rap different from every other genre because it lacks many harmonic and melodic elements that are similar in all others?
 
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Alu

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This really puts the war in flamewar.


But sure, it's music. Not a genre that I like listening to though.
 
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First of all, let's TRY not to let this degenerate into a nasty flame war.


Now...as for rap being music or not:

I won't say it's not music. Now, is it more noise than music? I'd have to say yes. It's no more music to my ears than if I were to kick over a series of china cabinets in time to a loud bass line.

So it's not what I think of as music...that doesn't mean it's NOT music, however.
 
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Masonjar

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Rap is absolutely without a doubt music.

I still don't understand the hate. Some of you seem to go out of your way to make sure the rest of us know how much you hate it. There are certain musics I don't care for, Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, Yanni, Kenny G, but, I don't have anything against them. Lighten up people.

-jar
 
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Aman

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This is just asking for a flame war


Rap, to me, fits the definition of music to an extent. In a recording studio, there are hardly ANY acoustic instruments used in the recording session. The sounds come from artificially-created digital drums and turntables. Turntables are hardly an instrument to begin with, though you can't dismiss it for not being one altogether.

While the rapper is not singing, they still are technically using their voice as an instrument - for a percussive instrument more so instead of actual "voice". The instrumentation comes from the ability to use the voice as a forward-attacking sound (that happens to be composed of words instead of just "sounds"). Jon Anderson uses his voice as an instrument of majesty and beauty. 50 Cent uses it as almost a "drum". It's one tone, moving to a beat.

However, because both definitions say that the music has to contain characteristics it states to "a degree", this could be argued that the technicalities are insignificant. Many/most rap artists do not follow verse structures nor do they have voices that could be considered "singing voices". Instead, the popularity of a rap artist's voice is based heavily on commercialism and lyrics. Even underground rap music, then, can be considered highly commercial and artificial genres of music.

And yes, you are right when you say that rap music is more of a rythmic composition than it is a musical piece. Again, it relies heavily on commercialist ideals and lyrics to become popular. Other songs rely on the controversy that they cause. And yet still some are only relying on their plain-joe catchiness and their ability to be danced-to. Most other forms of music have very different characteristics, and are appreciated for much different (and in my mind, better and more real) reasons.

There is no doubt that rap music requires tallent. However, I believe that not too much rap music today (and yes, even the "underground" stuff) can be considered "tallented" because of the actual song they wrote. Rap artists almost always cheat with words and make their own words to fit the song so that they rhyme. They seem to ramble often and don't follow formidable verse. Rap artists are successful due to their commerical and marketing abilities. To be able to both follow the style and set the path for new styles. Rap music is some of the most commercial music to exist. It has a heavy influence on clothing styles of the highest-priced brands and can effectively change the largest consumer market of the world.

Some people may take the idea that rap music is simply poetry put to a beat. And this, I believe, is a justifiable belief that I think is valid. Rap music, while to many/most who oppose it don't believe so, is techincally a form of poetry. They are words that are bundled together for the significance of promoting a meaning, theme, or message. Even though in my opinion the lyrics are far from the beauty that good poetry in my mind has, there is no doubt that it is indeed poetry. On the other hand, people who oppose progressive rock music also often call it badly-written poetry to very complex music - often times it is. And often times the lyrics are awful. However, just like in any form of music, there are those who shine and stand out. There are acceptions to every rule and generalization in this matter. Sure, I believe that the overwhelming majority of rap music I hear doesn't even deserve to be published -- but I cannot detest the fact that I admitedly have heard some semi-well-written rap lyrics that could get away with being published as real poetry.
 
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wakeride74

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My intention here is not to get nasty or offend anyone. I just think that it falls short of the definition of music as defined by the dictionary and is maybe closer to a "rhythmic form of expression" or something.

BTW I love all music and even have a couple rap CD's. I'm also a big country fan and am always getting worked for liking that twangy thang
 
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Err... except for maybe a discussion if it's 'sound' (well if someone hears it
), an argument if it's 'music' is the least arguable, no?

Is anyone for instance (using the above definition) willing to debate rap doesn't usually have rhythm (at the bare minimum)?

I don't see the question here.
 
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rap is not only music, it's better music than Country! How's that for a flamewar!?
 
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Sure, rap is music. I don't like it, and don't listen to it (except when I am with those who do). It gives me a headache.

It would be a bit wrong-headed of me to assert that a genre of music isn't "music" merely because it meets with my opprobrium.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jahn
rap is not only music, it's better music than Country! How's that for a flamewar!?



LOL, good one. And correct.
 
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viator122

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Man you really are asking for it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wakeride74
Now before anyone gets all bent out of shape lets look at the definition. (taken from dictionary.com)

mu·sic n. -

1. The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
2. Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm.



So you're saying that because rap lacks melody and harmony it's not music? From my reading of the above definition rap still qualifies as music because it possesses rhythm and timbre. However, if you read the definition to say that a form of music must have all four traits (melody, harmony, rhythm and timbre) then someone singing solo without accompaniment would not be producing music because it lacks harmony and rhythm, right? But no one would say a solo singer is not producing music so either you're reading the definition too narrowly or the definition is off.

But my problem with this discussion is the choice of the definition of music. I don't think it's as simple as the dictionary.com definition. Take a look at this from the music entry in wikipedia: Quote:

John Cage is the most famous advocate of the idea that anything can be music, saying, for example, "There is no noise, only sound," though some argue that this somewhat fascistically imposes the definition on everything. According to musicologist Jean-Jacques Nattiez (1990 p.47-8,55): "The border between music and noise is always culturally defined--which implies that, even within a single society, this border does not always pass through the same place; in short, there is rarely a consensus.... By all accounts there is no single and intercultural universal concept defining what music might be."


So if you accept this definition, music is whatever a culture or society says it is. Our society certainly believes rap to be music, so therefore it is.
 
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wakeride74

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jahn
rap is not only music, it's better music than Country! How's that for a flamewar!?



Yes, I especially like the quality lyrics... that's good clean fun for the whole family!
BTW - thanks for taking this downhill
 
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wakeride74

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Quote:

Originally Posted by viator122
Man you really are asking for it.

So you're saying that because rap lacks melody and harmony it's not music? From my reading of the above definition rap still qualifies as music because it possesses rhythm and timbre. However, if you read the definition to say that a form of music must have all four traits (melody, harmony, rhythm and timbre) then someone singing solo without accompaniment would not be producing music because it lacks harmony and rhythm, right? But no one would say a solo singer is not producing music so either you're reading the definition too narrowly or the definition is off.

But my problem with this discussion is the choice of the definition of music. I don't think it's as simple as the dictionary.com definition. Take a look at this from the music entry in wikipedia:So if you accept this definition, music is whatever a culture or society says it is. Our society certainly believes rap to be music, so therefore it is.



Thank you, that is the intelligent argument I was looking for
 
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Of course it is music, anyone who says different is an elitest snob.

Just because you don't dig someone else's musical taste doesn't mean you have the right to insult it.
 
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Does the American society at large really believe rap is music? ... or only a sub-class of it?

Anyway, rap isn't music to my ears.
 
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