Philosophy of Bass (guitar, not the fish)

“The bass takes music beyond the mental, transcends melody, and finds its rest in the emotional. There is a big difference between music you simply listen to and music you can actually feel.

Bass notes can literally bring to recollection a real experience and attach it to the lyric of a song, thereby bridging the barrier between cognitive ascent and physical memory. Mid’s and treble tickle the ear, but only bass can rumble the heart.”

– A. Baker (legendary bass philosopher)



Filed under General Observations, music

10 responses to “Philosophy of Bass (guitar, not the fish)

  1. roy cavender

    Spoken by a deep thinker and thumper.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. wow – I feel like I have to defend the keyboard and vocals (my thing) but I have no deep insights – unlike you I just play and sing – I feel so inadequate

  3. Thanks for being a legend.

    Also, well said.

  4. Nice BLOG!!! ADD my BLOG too!!! Kisses ❤ ❤ ❤

  5. Very True
    The bass as it sounds is really like a foundation laid to build whatever on. It’s like a glue between rhythm and melody. Hence if it’s not there then it isn’t complete.

  6. I’d say bass is more libidinal because you can physically feel it resonate those ‘loose’ parts. And it’s often ( but not exclusively) rhythmic.

    A philosopher named jean-Francois Lyotard wrote a seminal peice called “the postmodern condition” basically he’s the guy who popularized the term postmodern and defined it for us, even though everyone misinterprets the word postmodern in popular and general meaning.

    Anyways, he talks about two forces in existence, if I can be kind of overly simple and general. One is pulsating and the other is accentual. One is like a constant rhythm that people attach themselves to and are more prone to be attached to; this is typically understood in the context of tradition so far as a cultural critical theory. The other, which he sees as an aspect of change or what is not stable, are the accents.

    Though he’s not talking about music nor even really Art, it’s not that difficult to take his description as it analogous to music.

    And we can kind understand why there has been certain types of music that really only have a beat and then maybe a baseline, and we can also see perhaps why what we could generalize as rap or poetic kind of talking to music, might have gained popularity.

    And you could Chyna also see why jazz and classical music has kind of been marginalized at least we could say there is a reason why pop music is called “pop” music: it’s because it’s popular.

    Classical music and jazz music and improvisational music in general tend to have more to do with accents, which we could generalize and say amor heady more intellectual more transcendental mode. If you think about classical music as variations on simple themes, and jazz as improvisation on routine themes. Popular music can be seen as straight repetition. In popular music the variation on the theme are the individual songs; in popular music the variation on a theme doesn’t really occur within a particular song but over the genre in general.

    I appreciate you actually putting forth a “philosophy of bass” because so often if you look into philosophy and music everyone’s talking about music theory how notes go together how chords are constructed how do we classify different types of sounds. To me that’s a different type of philosophy of music then I think about when I think about philosophy of music.

    So thanks I dig your lines.

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