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Forever
July 8th, 2011, 01:23 AM
Most of the time music without lyrics don't usually make it into the charts. Why do you think this is so? Is it that people need lyrics in order to appreciate a song? Or is it that the majority of people prefer music with lyrics?

As for you, can you listen to songs that have no lyrics often? If you can, is it because it's from an anime or a game, something which you can associate content with and therefore easier to like it? Or can you just basically look up music on Youtube or iTunes or whatever without lyrics and instantly fall in love with it? Is that because you feel that the music itself is enhanced when you can create your own meanings and interpretations of the song?

If you can't do that, why? Do you think that music without lyrics generally have less of a meaning than music without lyrics, or that you can't really draw any type of meaning from those types of songs? Or is there another reason?

When it comes to me, most of the time if a song starts off with really nice music I feel that by having lyrics, it's kinda ruined. And really, I can enjoy songs straight through with just music and no lyrics and generally it's harder to get bored of a song then too. :x

Lashh
July 8th, 2011, 01:40 AM
While I am a metalhead (Up the Irons, thumbs up if you what band that references), I find myself listening to quiet, soothing instrumentals when I want to fall asleep or when I feel like meditating. So yes, I can listen to lyric less music often.

However, while I do find it easier to appreciate a song with a good set of emotionally/conceptually driven lyrics that make it much easier for you to interpret the songs meaning while being a door to the artists mind, instrumental tracks great for open interpretation, which could even help you explore your mind a little more. In my opinion, at least.

But there is this one style of music that I listen to that rarely uses lyrics, but samples of speaking tracks more so, the style being dubstep. While that genre of music is most often associated with the raving scene, I like that style of music because of how hard it hits through sub woofers. It's not really thought evoking through, it's more for partying.

However, that style of lyric-less music is pretty left field compared to soothing instrumental tracks.

shenanigans
July 8th, 2011, 05:19 AM
Because so many people that listen to only straightforward mainstream music in the charts think that the singer is the only part of the song. Imo that's one of the most wrong misconceptions in music. ):

Most of the music I have listened to recently has no lyrics in it at all. I find I get bored of music much more slowly without lyrics. As far as meaning goes, I'm not too sure. I really don't listen to music for its meaning because I take the "if it sounds good then it's fine" approach, so I don't really know where I stand there.

Hikamaru
July 8th, 2011, 06:40 AM
I'd enjoy the song whether it has vocals or not.

Esper
July 8th, 2011, 08:26 AM
I like instrumental music and I have it mixed in with my other music. I like to use it as background music or to inspire me and sometimes help me focus. It's hard for me to focus too long when there are too many lyrics to songs. It gets distracting and I end up hearing the words and not the music.

The charts usually follow pop music (like straight up pop, r&b, etc.) which has always been lyric-heavy. It's easier to get certain ideas and messages across with lyrics ("baby I was born this way"). Without them I don't know if you could really communicate many ideas, maybe just feelings and some images (in the poetic sense, not the stage persona kind of image). Mostly ambiguous stuff like that is hard to sell to people. Instrumental music usually demands more of your attention, but even when it doesn't (like with dance music) it's still kind of lacking those easily accessible messages.

Gold warehouse
July 8th, 2011, 10:34 AM
Whether vocals are there or not, it has no impact on whether I like the music. I can appreciate a simple song with little to no instrumentation, and vice versa.

As for it's lack of success, pretty much what Scarf said. People like catchy lyrics, and ones that are broad (so everyone feels like it applies to them in some way). Music without lyrics portrays emotion rather than meaning, and not everyone is into that.

Alley Cat
July 8th, 2011, 11:14 AM
People tend to enjoy music with lyrics, because they can relate to them. You tend to enjoy something a lot more when you can relate to it. I know that I like a lot of my songs because of the words and what they say. For instance, I won't let go by Rascal Flatts, is one of my personal favorites. I love the message that it conveys. Rise Against's Make it Stop speaks a powerful message about all the recent gay suicides. But I also love the music behind all those songs as well. The music has to flow together with the lyrics too, or it just wont be that good of a song. They both make the song what it is. So, people like lyrics because they can relate, or say something cool and exciting.

Songs that don't have lyrics aren't catchy, they don't have anything to remember them by. Like... Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones, it has the whole "Hey, Ho, Let's go!' Thing that everyone is ever so familiar with. The songs with just music are hard to describe and remember. It's like how people go the song goes "do do do duhhhh doodooo" or something like that. It just doesn't implant in the head as well as words.

Mr Cat Dog
July 11th, 2011, 10:50 AM
I guess conditioning plays a part in it, especially for people of my generation. If our primary music experiences have come from radio, we've been brought up to not only listen to the lyrics but expect their presence in a song as a prerequisite. From that, the music we buy and request on the radio has to have lyrics in it, impacting the charts and what appears on the radio... and the spiral begins again.

Stopping the spiral by getting kids interested in non-lyrical music would certainly be a step in getting instrumental music back into the popularity it once had. Although I don't envisage people forcing babies and strapping them in place to listen to Mozart or Chopin or something...

hyperblast81
July 25th, 2011, 08:50 PM
Oh lord, for some reason that made me think of this one person my friend knows who's totally oblivious to anything that isnt radio pop and then something about her mentioning Led Zeppelin having 'a good voice'.

Anyway, back on topic: Yeah, as a hardcore Metal fan i can honestly say that instrumentals are still thriving and doing well along with regular vocal stuff. As a matter of fact, my favorite song right now is a pure 9 minute instrumental.

Jake♫
July 25th, 2011, 09:01 PM
I love instrumental music. Oddly for me, the first thing that comes to mind for purely instrumental music is John Williams, the composer for Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc. Those films have astoundingly good soundtracks and honestly I love his work. On an entirely different front, I can listen to a single piano playing any piece all day every day. Same goes for finger picking on an acoustic guitar.

Barney.
July 26th, 2011, 05:31 AM
To a certain extent, a lot of my favourite songs are instrumental. The instrumentation is by far the most important part of any song and when it's raised higher than any vocals it shouldn't really matter. Plus I create instrumental music myself and have a real passion for it.
So yes, whether it's electronic instrumentalists like Four Tet or Pantha Du Prince or elaborate post-rock like GY!BE or Maybeshewill, I enjoy instrumental music a lot.

Banjora Marxvile
July 26th, 2011, 05:54 AM
I actually quite like instrumentals. The UK charts did actually have instrumentals on them in the 80s and earlier, with songs like "The Return of the Los Palmas 7" by Madness, or "Al Capone" by Prince Buster and "One Step Beyond" by Prince Buster (eventually covered by Madness), all of which are my favourite songs of the moment.

Gymnotide
July 26th, 2011, 11:26 PM
I feel that the majority feels that non-lyrical songs are harder to relate to because they don't directly spell out what they mean. On the other hand, they are also somewhat open to interpretation as a result... But also detached from a human voice (in a good way?). I have a couple non-lyrical scores in my iTunes, though.