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WHAT IS GOOD MUSIC? BY OGUNLEYE OLUWAKOREDE

                                                          I really don’t have a clear definition for what ‘’Good music’’ is precisely about because this strong tool can only be made clear to individual listeners. Everyone sees or feels music in different ways. I will point out few ideologies of ‘’Good music’’ and there will be some scrutiny on these ideologies.
The question of ‘’what good music really is?’’ was asked by a friend of mine and it has drawn my attention to tackling this question. He saw ‘’Good music’’ as something with effective lyrical content. This is a good point of view but there have been songs that have used foul languages to give positive change. Let me break it down this way: Gangster Rap singles like in the late 90’s used obscure lyrics and bad video content to call for the attention of American government on the issue of racism and Anti-slavery. Merely using the name ‘’Gangster’’ can clearly address what I am driving at. It is widely believed that ‘’there is sense in nonsense’’. The nonsense of Rap music widely described by the majority of white in the 90’s has become a tool of revolution today. Even in African popular music, the legend, Fela Kuti does not actually possess much of poetic or literary application but he has been able to use inanimate substance to symbolise socio-economic change. Nigerian Music icon, Lagbaja jokingly uses funny object to direct social change and lyrical repetition to emphasize political change. Good music goes beyond solid lyrics but how far these lyrics can affect the listener and his surroundings.
A genre of music has a lot to do with content. Every music kind has its own soul and message. In essence, most RnB Artiste goes with content of love, heartbreak, hope and other related content. Afro pop will majorly give the drumbeat, beauty and pride. Reggae will always give hope, strength, and freedom. Some of the few instances I have given have gone through lots of experiences and their root has always been founded on these traits. Moreover, most listeners have a genre or genres that may seem appealing.
A ‘’Good music’’ can also have the ability to stay evergreen. Some listeners believe that ‘’Good music’’ has this particular trait. What actually makes a song stay evergreen is usually the intention of the message-bearer. Music is so powerful that your works today can cause a remarkable impact for generations even after death. Something spectacular usually makes music impactful for many years. It may not even be anything relating to Artiste message. It can be something special about the video or the effectiveness of such song during that period. Don’t get it twisted, this thought on ‘’Good music’’ is a great one but not solid enough because some ever green music still have a period where the shelf life will deteriorate.
Appealing and irresistible beat may likely make a ‘’Good music’’ but what about great songs that did not bother much on fascinating beat. Some are even accompanied with acoustic guitar and Piano. Great music symphony icons like Beethoven, Mozart did stress much majorly on rhythm, strong Orchestra and powerful opera singers.
Basically, it is generally believed that music is the combination of multiple elements of sounds that sounds pleasing to the ear. I still doubt if this general belief on music affects the phenomenon, ‘’Good music’’. Some deep readers believe that playing music while reading can be a bit distracting and may not be needed at that particular time. A good opera track can seem disturbing in a beer parlour. Tuface ‘’African Queen’’ may not be appreciated or pleasing to a congregation if played in a church. A ‘’Good music’’ can still be turned down in line with an individual’s mood and atmosphere.
A music listener even pointed out some key things about ‘’Good music’’ based on his thought. He puts it in these words ‘’A good music becomes good when you immerse into it; something that lifts up your spirit, a tool that makes you forget all worries and gives you goose bumps’’. This ideology is an interesting one but a bit controversial. I raised some questions from this ideology like: ‘’Does good music lift the soul always?’’, Does it relieve you off all worries?’’.
Every music has its own soul and every listener tunes his mind to feel this soul. When the soul is lifted, does it edify the soul or give bad effect to such listeners and his environ? It is no doubt music influences most listeners’ lifestyle, for example; violent music has exposed so many youths to homicide acts even at a young age.
If ‘’Good music’’ relieves listeners of all worries, I wonder why we have music that still gives us memory of bad experiences or music that shows emotions of heartbreak and many more like that
Good voice draws the attention of listener but with music evolution over the years, it is likely not a good determinant of ‘’Good music’’. Music professionals like ‘’Yanni’’ involves majorly musical instrument in his own works with limited voice participation. With the instance given, musical instrument can serve as a source of inspiration.
I agree with almost every idea I have come across lately, but I think there is still a vacuum in all these definitions that needs to be blocked. It is evident that every single individual’s perspective on ‘’Good music’’ is a subjective view but it needs to be reconsidered and redefined by individual listener.
 

By Ogunleye Oluwakorede

About Me  
Ogunleye Oluwakorede writes majorly on entertainment, history and socio-economic matters. He has previously released works like album reviews and content information. He is also a music critic and analyst particularly on Nigerian music entertainment.

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