Most influencial musician of all time?
Jul 23, 2009 at 11:30 PM Post #46 of 82

jopagi

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I'll put in a plug for Al Jolson.

Here's a summary taken from Wikipedia (See the article for numerous references to back it up)

Aside from being immensely popular for 40 years (1911-1950), the first openly Jewish man to become an entertainment star in America, someone commonly dubbed "the world's greatest entertainer", someone credited as influential to a wide range of performers such as Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, and Bob Dylan, he has also been credited with single-handedly (!) introducing African-American music to white audiences.

In addition, his notable support of racial equality helped pave the way for many black performers, playwrights, and songwriters, including Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, and Ethel Waters.

Those are some pretty strong credentials in my opinion, although granted his influence was probably more U.S.-centric than worldwide.
 
Jul 24, 2009 at 10:47 AM Post #47 of 82

DrBenway

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMahler /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No musician who doesn't compose can have as drastic an influence as a musician who's composition have become the most explored music of all time.....


What about Sinatra? Massively influential, and to my knowledge he never wrote a thing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMahler /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Take Charlie Parker....I consider Charlie Parker a limited composer, but probably one of the 10 most important musicians of the last 100 years. Put his influence up against Stravinsky who is again one of the 10 most important composers of the last 100 years.............Ultimately I have to admit that Stravinsky's influence is a bit broader......


I think the bop musicians created a new form of composition. Their improvisations on pre-existing progressions often amounted to completely new works. I think Parker's improvisations on "Cherokee," for example, qualify as distinct compositions.
 
Jul 24, 2009 at 1:33 PM Post #48 of 82

zaphod373

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the most influential musician is, of course the one who has imparted the most influence to me. however the question is, or should be, what have i done with this influence, or how has it influenced me. I think its a question for musicians
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Jul 25, 2009 at 5:17 AM Post #49 of 82

DavidMahler

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DrBenway /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What about Sinatra? Massively influential, and to my knowledge he never wrote a thing.



I think the bop musicians created a new form of composition. Their improvisations on pre-existing progressions often amounted to completely new works. I think Parker's improvisations on "Cherokee," for example, qualify as distinct compositions.



Explain to me how Sinatra was massively influential on subsequent musicians besides his rat pack and few others.............i see his influence as minutia compared to his fame.
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 12:41 PM Post #50 of 82

DrBenway

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMahler /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Explain to me how Sinatra was massively influential on subsequent musicians besides his rat pack and few others.............i see his influence as minutia compared to his fame.


As a vocalist? His infuence is incalculable. Many successful pop singers have made a career of imitating him. Harry Connick? Michael Buble? Bobby Darin? Paul Anka? As divergent an artist as Patti Smith chose to pose as him on the cover of her first album, because she loves his music and considers him an icon of cool.

But if your view is that his influence is miniscule, I doubt anything I could argue would change your mind. Some people don't care for his work; that's what makes the world go 'round.
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 1:32 PM Post #51 of 82

ZephyrSapphire

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Bach as a composer.
Jimi Hendrix & B.B. King as guitarists.
The Beatles as a Pop/Rock band.
Radiohead & Dir en Grey as the bands of my time.
Michael Jackson as a Pop artist.
X Japan as the band of all time (Japan).
The Yardbirds & Cream as the bands of all time (UK)
Buddy Holly as the artist of all time (USA)
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 1:36 PM Post #52 of 82

indydieselnut

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sonci /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It would be better to ask, What is the most influent musician of your life, that would be easier to answer; for me Pink Floyd
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I like this perspective VERY much! For me, JS Bach...no question.
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 2:42 PM Post #53 of 82

mbriant

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As mentioned, since this is such a vague and subjective question, there is no correct answer. But if I had to pick I'd go with The Beatles. ( Yes, I realize they are a band as opposed to a single musician ) I say this because no other band/musician in history has ever inspired so many people to take up an instrument and become musicians themselves. Beatlemania spawned huge numbers of new musicians as well as record buyers and concert goers. Within a generation they massively enlarged the musician gene pool to the point where most popular musicians today, of all sorts of genres, amateur or professional, successful or obscure, were either directly inspired/influenced by The Beatles or by someone who was originally inspired/influenced by The Beatles. Certainly considerably more than were inspired by any other single musician or group.

While they were without doubt exceptionally talented, the timing of Beatlemania also had much to do it of course. The affluent, economic era that spawned the Beatles and those who came after, helped a lot . For the first time in history, the masses had the free time and money to be able to pursue their musical interests....both as players and patrons. Prior to the 60's, most people's time, money, and energy, was spent on survival.
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 2:53 PM Post #54 of 82

DrBenway

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mbriant /img/forum/go_quote.gif
As mentioned, since this is such a vague and subjective question, there is no correct answer. But if I had to pick I'd go with The Beatles. ( Yes, I realize they are a band as opposed to a single musician ) I say this because no other band/musician in history has ever inspired so many people to take up an instrument and become musicians themselves. Beatlemania spawned huge numbers of new musicians as well as record buyers and concert goers. Within a generation they massively enlarged the musician gene pool to the point where most popular musicians today, of all sorts of genres, amateur or professional, successful or obscure, were either directly inspired/influenced by The Beatles or by someone who was originally inspired/influenced by The Beatles. Certainly considerably more than were inspired by any other single musician or group.

While they were without doubt exceptionally talented, the timing of Beatlemania also had much to do it of course. The affluent, economic era that spawned the Beatles and those who came after, helped a lot . For the first time in history, the masses had the free time and money to be able to pursue their musical interests....both as players and patrons. Prior to the 60's, most people's time, money, and energy, was spent on survival.



I agree completely with your reasoning, but I have one minor quibble. While unprecedented affluence was crucial to the rise of the Beatles, I would date the beginnings that phenomenon to the 50's, not the 60's, at least in the US. That's when TV invaded the American living room, and Elvis established the template for the kind of pop-culture explosion that the Beatles found themselves at the center of.
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 3:19 PM Post #55 of 82

mbriant

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I see what you're saying DrBenway, but IMO, while the 50's definitely was the beginning of, and laid the groundwork for musician/music mass interest/popularity, with Elvis being the most notable of course ... and I am sure there are many who would cite Bill Haley, Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and others as their inspiration to become musicians and/or music lovers ... IMO, none of them inspired anywhere near the sheer number of people as the Beatles. Perhaps the baby boom population contributed to this phenomena but it wasn't until the 60's that we saw the regular massive outdoor festivals and arena/stadium concerts. Prior to this, despite their huge popularity amongst young record buyers, you'd have the likes of Bill Haley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, etc., touring small venues together in one bus. I'm certain that sales figures from Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, etc. would also show that by far the biggest jump in new musicians occured post-Beatles. World-wide record sales would also back this up. We're on the same page but splitting hairs here of course, as it's all been an evolving progression. The boom didn't officially start on Jan. 1, 1960. Even the Beatles' roots go back to the late 50's. But once the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan, I'd say the most notable change ever in music history occured. Prior to The Beatles, the majority of kids taking music lessons were conscripted by their parents ... after Beatlemania the majority of kids picking up an instrument and/or taking music lessons did so voluntarily.
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 3:29 PM Post #56 of 82

jsaliga

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMahler /img/forum/go_quote.gif
But composing is one of the most essential parts of being a musician.


Interesting. By what logic do you arrive at that assertion?

It seems to me this also implies that you don't regard someone who doesn't compose as a musician. Can't say that I agree with that. What about someone who composes but doesn't play an instrument? Is a songwriter a muscian? What about an arranger?

I just think you are on a slippery slope of sorts.

--Jerome
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 3:32 PM Post #57 of 82

robm321

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMahler /img/forum/go_quote.gif
But composing is one of the most essential parts of being a musician........ No musician who doesn't compose can have as drastic an influence as a musician who's composition have become the most explored music of all time.....


Not true at all. Andre Segovia didn't compose, and he is simply known for his musicianship. He did take other works and adapt them for the guitar, but that's not original composition. He had one of the biggest, if not the biggest impact on a single instrument of all time.

Musician and composer are two totally different things. Most musicians of classical music today don't compose at all, but they have a big influence and keep the genre alive and fresh.
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 5:20 PM Post #58 of 82

DrBenway

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mbriant /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I see what you're saying DrBenway, but IMO, while the 50's definitely was the beginning of, and laid the groundwork for musician/music mass interest/popularity, with Elvis being the most notable of course ... and I am sure there are many who would cite Bill Haley, Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and others as their inspiration to become musicians and/or music lovers ... IMO, none of them inspired the sheer number of people as the Beatles. Perhaps the baby boom population contributed to this phenomena but it wasn't until the 60's that we saw the regular massive outdoor festivals and arena/stadium concerts. Prior to this, despite their huge popularity amongst young record buyers, you'd have the likes of Bill Haley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, etc., touring small venues together in one bus. I'm certain that sales figures from Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, etc. would also show that by far the biggest jump in new musicians occured post-Beatles. World-wide record sales would also back this up. We're splitting hairs here of course, as it's all been an evolving progression. The boom didn't officially start on Jan. 1, 1960. Even the Beatles' roots go back to the late 50's. But once the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan, I'd say the most notable change ever in music history occured. Prior to The Beatles, the majority of kids taking music lessons were conscripted by their parents ... after Beatlemania the majority of kids picking up an instrument and/or taking music lessons did so voluntarily by request.


Again, I find nothing to disagree with here (Leave it to me to agree with someone while appearing to argue.) The real explosion in youth/pop culture began in earnest in the mid-60s, and the Beatles were prime movers, possibly the prime movers in that tumultuous era.

All I'm saying is that certain pre-conditions were well underway in the 50s. By that I mean a massive expansion of the middle class, the concept of leisure time as a right, or at least an expectation, and the postponment of adulthood well into one's 20s. I think all of these social conditions were necessary to what followed.
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 7:19 PM Post #59 of 82

DavidMahler

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Quote:

Originally Posted by robm321 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Not true at all. Andre Segovia didn't compose, and he is simply known for his musicianship. He did take other works and adapt them for the guitar, but that's not original composition. He had one of the biggest, if not the biggest impact on a single instrument of all time.

Musician and composer are two totally different things. Most musicians of classical music today don't compose at all, but they have a big influence and keep the genre alive and fresh.



I just emphatically disagree with this. Musician and composer CAN be two totally different things but a composer is ALWAYS a musician in my book.......... and my comment from before regarding most explored music of all time is implying that of Beethoven's, Mozart's, Bach's, Schubert's, Schumann's, Haydn's, Stravinsky......no mere musician can impact music to the same degree as a composer whose music changed the world. Composition is ALWAYS at the forefront of impact and influence long before any interpretive qualities a musician may bring along on any instrument.
 
Jul 25, 2009 at 8:15 PM Post #60 of 82

robm321

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David, I don't think we are that far off in our belief. First of all, the thread may as well have been titled "most influential composer". By having musician in the title, I think many of us immediately put musicianship first and it's influence. But overall, I do think composition is what's most important if that's what the OP really meant.

I think the only place where we disagree is in your statement that "the most essential part of being a musician is composing". That's simply not true in classical where the best players are not composers but play all of the great compositions of others, and I used Segovia as an example. He influenced and was probably the best guitarist of all time without being a composer. I realize this is probably more the exception than the rule and splitting hairs which is why I don't think we really disagree overall.
 

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