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Old 11-14-2014, 02:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Definitely! I mean, Mahler's 3rd Symphony is like an hour and a half or more, and it's a classic of symphonic repertoire. It's not at all repetitive.

Honestly, I think that monotonous yet interesting pieces, at least in my experience, and in the reactions of others, tend to go for interesting timbral and "mood" choices, rather than interesting melodic lines or harmonic progressions. There's a limit to how long a fantastically noodly woodly bebop alto sax can hold your attention for, but that same sax, playing with tone and extended technique and drones, and subtle harmonic tensions, can keep me and apparently many others entertained for a long time.

I think the difference is that something like a melody or chord progression requires constant, vigilant focus to make sense, to be interesting. If you come in half way through a measure, it sounds confusing and wrong. If you tune out for a bit, you loose your context and sense of place within the form.

With a more consistent, monotonous piece, you can come in anywhere and get the "right" experience, so tuning in and out and drifting away, and then focusing on the changing tone colour, and then vegging out again, and then chatting a bit, and then tuning back in, you can maintain the ambiance and immersion in the artistic cohesion of the piece. (Does that make sense??? I'm not sure...)

I forget who said this, some towering figure of Tunisian Núba, I believe, something to the effect of, "Our music should be like a garden, everything is beautiful, nothing offends, nothing startles, nothing surprises, I can look at it when I want, and then look away, I can view a part of it or not view it, but every part should be similar and beautiful, so that wether I am looking or not, the garden will be enjoyable."

I butchered what he said, and I forget who it was, but you get the idea. Traditional Núba (kind of like halfway between a suite and a highly structured program) could go on for hours. Like, six or more, I believe. (Though they are generally shorter in common practice.)
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Found that quote, about long forms of music and gardens. As advice for how to appreciate Núba, Manoubi Snoussi compared the music to an Arab garden, and said,

"There I will stand and look around. I may turn to this side or that and the view will be the same. There is nothing irregular, nothing disturbing my mind. And ... everything comes towards me. I am able to allow it to come or not, according to my mind, I can accept or refuse. There is nothing disturbing or alarming me. Thus it is with our music."

To me, that's the key to a successful loooong piece of music. Or at least, one key.
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 11-26-2014, 02:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Yeah it's really about how the song can keep you interested throughout I think.
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I love listening to long songs and very short songs it really depends, listening to something like the behemoth that is The Seer by Swans does not feel like a chore but rather a soundscape that I become emotionally invested in, the same goes for The Disintegration Tapes which last last nearly an hour but never get boring possibly due to the unconventional presentation of the song itself. Whereas I feel in a case of conventional linear pop songs I feel there is a limit of about 7 or 8 minutes before something needs to end.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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... does not feel like a chore but rather a soundscape ... Whereas in a case of conventional linear songs there is a limit of about 7 or 8 minutes before something needs to end.
Yes. That.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I love post rock and drone. Often I want a piece out music that can envelop me entirely for an extended period of time.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Mondo once showed me a song that lasted like ten years or something crazy like that. I can't remember the song or artist though. Frown may know.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm sure it was this Bull of Heaven

Their song that's 343000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 years long is where it's at.

Gotta love their genre list from wikipedia:



They're actually cool though. They just have all these puzzle pieces made from a continuous generation of noise that are like millions and trillions of years long. They do genuinely have some good stuff in there.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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LOL. I said ten.
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