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Is Computer Audio bad news for appreciating Classical Music?


Norton

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I listen pretty much 100% to orchestral music.

 

Now I'm listening via SMB shares or DLNA, controlled from the sofa by the appropriate apps or browser, I'm finding that I'm "surfing" music much more than with LP or even CD, where I'd tend to let a complete work play, even if I didn't like all of it on first hearing.

 

An orchestral movement is presumably meant to be heard in the context of the complete work, while for me at least an appreciation of Classical music is very much about gradual acquired familiarity via repeated listening with pieces that may not appeal throughout on first hearing. I wonder if I would have the same tastes today, if I had had access to computer audio 20 years ago, and whether CA is entirely healthy for acquiring an appreciation of Classical music?

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I certainly have some form of OCD and love zapping around in my library with the remote app, but I'd in 90% of the cases not interrupt an Oeuvre in between movements.

 

So my answer would be yes it is healthy.

 

On a positive side: you can actually listen to longer works that would have exceeded the capacity of a CD (or even worse LP) without having to change anything.

 

Plus at one click I can compare versions of the same work by different conductors.

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I certainly have some form of OCD and love zapping around in my library with the remote app, but I'd in 90% of the cases not interrupt an Oeuvre in between movements.

 

So my answer would be no.

 

+1

 

On a positive side: you can actually listen to longer works that would have exceeded the capacity of a CD (or even worse LP) without having to change anything.

+1

I find it extremely nice to be capable of playing Mahler's 3rd symphony or operas uninterrupted.

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norton,

 

must say CA, re: site and hobby, has allowed me to re-discover classical music…

 

site:

- systems now good enough to re-appreciate classical music. easily, conveniently.

- discover/discuss good classical albums.

- short-list albums that are good/worthy of purchase.

 

hobby:

- learn more about classical music on net

- read up on composers, orchestras, soloists, etc, on net.

- find great albums online that are not available in stores.

- “instant” gratification (mostly) - buy, download, listen.

 

that said, understand surfing urge.

strangely, only tend to surf with pop, rock and electronica.

seldom with classical, jazz or any live concert recordings. will usually listen to whole album… unless run out of time.

 

still, urge to surf is just one’s personal urge, no?

 

cheers.

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I listen pretty much 100% to orchestral music.

 

Now I'm listening via SMB shares or DLNA, controlled from the sofa by the appropriate apps or browser, I'm finding that I'm "surfing" music much more than with LP or even CD, where I'd tend to let a complete work play, even if I didn't like all of it on first hearing.

 

An orchestral movement is presumably meant to be heard in the context of the complete work, while for me at least an appreciation of Classical music is very much about gradual acquired familiarity via repeated listening with pieces that may not appeal throughout on first hearing. I wonder if I would have the same tastes today, if I had had access to computer audio 20 years ago, and whether CA is entirely healthy for acquiring an appreciation of Classical music?

 

Two answers:

 

- I love serendipity, so as background I often like to put my music collection on shuffle play and just enjoy whatever comes on. In that context, you're absolutely right, classical pieces really lose something as separate movements disassociated from the larger work.

 

- When I actually do sit down for a listening session, then the variety of choices immediately available, easy searching, and of course the sound quality make for a lovely experience.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

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I listen pretty much 100% to orchestral music.

 

Now I'm listening via SMB shares or DLNA, controlled from the sofa by the appropriate apps or browser, I'm finding that I'm "surfing" music much more than with LP or even CD, where I'd tend to let a complete work play, even if I didn't like all of it on first hearing.

 

An orchestral movement is presumably meant to be heard in the context of the complete work, while for me at least an appreciation of Classical music is very much about gradual acquired familiarity via repeated listening with pieces that may not appeal throughout on first hearing. I wonder if I would have the same tastes today, if I had had access to computer audio 20 years ago, and whether CA is entirely healthy for acquiring an appreciation of Classical music?

 

I still prefer to browse through my CD (physical) collection but thankfuly have yet to be infected with that ill-fated "zapping" disease.

My CD player sounds better too, but unfortunatelly it's 2000km away along with my discs...

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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I don't surf.

 

I put together a playlist and set the controller pad aside with the "playing now" window visible. It is the same system I used for vinyl records. I would pull out the records, clean them and play them. Only now the set up takes minutes instead of half hour.

 

I usually concentrate on one composer, or period per night. I think about it off and on throughout the day so when I actually sit to set up my playlist I'm pretty certain of what I want.

 

For the past few days, I've been stuck in a Barber - Korngold - Ysaye violin mold for some reason. Tidal has really helped me expand my musical horizons. Sounds like a cliche, but it true.

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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I listen pretty much 100% to orchestral music.

 

Now I'm listening via SMB shares or DLNA, controlled from the sofa by the appropriate apps or browser, I'm finding that I'm "surfing" music much more than with LP or even CD, where I'd tend to let a complete work play, even if I didn't like all of it on first hearing.

 

An orchestral movement is presumably meant to be heard in the context of the complete work, while for me at least an appreciation of Classical music is very much about gradual acquired familiarity via repeated listening with pieces that may not appeal throughout on first hearing. I wonder if I would have the same tastes today, if I had had access to computer audio 20 years ago, and whether CA is entirely healthy for acquiring an appreciation of Classical music?

 

I would say that CA is not only healthy for acquiring an appreciation of classical music, it actively encourages it. Many of the best concerts I have attended have included mixtures of different works. Sometimes different works by the same composer, and sometimes different works by different composers, in the same program.

 

CA allows this opportunity for anyone, and an easy way to realize it. My wife and I will often alternately choose a composition or even a single song to listen to. David Bowie to Pa-Pa-Pa-Papagena. :)

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I mostly listen in "random" mode, but I exclude classical music from the definition of "random" - b/c it just doesn't work in that mode.

When I want to listen to classical, I find a piece and play it all it all the way through.

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All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I personally don't have this jukebox behaviour and generally play entire albums.

 

Concerning music files, what is bad for classical is when the playback device (which is not a PC) doesn't support gapless playback.

 

For some time, I used to play files with an Oppo 93 Blu-ray player, which does not support gapless playback. When I bought this album with the Rachmaninov Paganini Variations, I had to stitch together the 26 downloaded tracks from the variations (using foobar2000), to make the composition playable on the Oppo without a one second interruption between every variation.

 

eClassical - Rachmaninov - Symphony No.3

 

The labels should think about not strictly replicating the track structure from the disc release when it comes to downloads. Nobody is just buying one variation from this composition.

Claude

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The vast majority of my digital music files are rips that I have made from my LP's and tapes (about 10,000 albums, almost all classical). I tend to be a lumper, rather than a splitter, so I will rip an entire side and keep it in one file if it is one piece. If a piece (or an act of an opera or ballet) stretches over more than one side, I will join them together in one file so I can play one act within one file. I will often do this for pieces with multiple movements that go for more than one side, joining them into one file. Most of the time, with pieces like Mahler's Symphony 1, I will preserve the LP side divisions, Movement 1-2 on one file and Movement 3-4 on another file. Since I categorize by Label and Catalogue number, when I load the files onto a playlist, the movements play consecutively. Having digital files makes it much easier to search for a particular piece, or different versions of a piece, important when you have collection as big as mine. If we are going to a concert, we often listen to the piece the day before we hear it live. We heard the fine young Sitkovetsky Trio play last week, including the Brahms Piano Trio Op8. It was wonderful to hear the Suk, Starker, Katchen version (on a ripped Decca recording) the day before.

 

The stitching of digital files is also very helpful when in relatively rare cases, the length of the LP side requires a split in the middle of a movement, and I can make the movement whole.

 

I agree with Claude about the importance of gapless play for (SA)CD's and downloads, where the pieces are broken up into little bits, like each variation of the Paganini Rhapsody, unless you only like the 18th variation and set it on automatic repeat :-).

 

Larry

Analog-VPIClas3,3DArm,LyraSkala+MiyajimaZeromono,Herron VTPH2APhono,2AmpexATR-102+MerrillTridentMaster TapePreamp

Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacificMicrosonicsModel2; Dig Play-Lampi Horizon, mch NADAC, Roon-HQPlayer,Oppo105

Electronics-DoshiPre,CJ MET1mchPre,Cary2A3monoamps; Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR

Other-2x512EngineerMarutaniSymmetrical Power+Cables Music-1.8KR2Rtapes,1.5KCD's,500SACDs,50+TBripped files

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I haven’t thought of it in those terms, but it’s really true that computer audio has brought about an ease of sampling (‘surfing’, if you will) one’s library that wasn’t possible before. I’ve always been guilty of buying and accumulating more CDs (and before that, LPs) than I've had time to listen to them, and the same is true for me with music downloads. Unfortunately I can’t devote as much time as I’d like to simply listen to and enjoy music, what with work commitments and “home life” in general. I’m lucky these days to get even one hour every evening (and a little more over weekends). So, I find myself listening to snippets (and sometimes even whole movements!) of works in my library pretty regularly. Occasionally I’ll be swept away and I’ll listen to whole albums at a time—my recent discovery of the wonderful DSD downloads of the Bruckner 3rd, 6th, and 8th symphonies with Van Zweden on Challenge Classics is an example—but by and large, I’m listening in bits and pieces.

MacBook Pro 2020 16” (16MB RAM, macOS Big Sur) > Audirvana Plus  > Pangea Audio USB-AG > Sony TA-ZH1ES > Nordost Heimdall 2 > Audeze LCD-3

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- I love serendipity, so as background I often like to put my music collection on shuffle play and just enjoy whatever comes on. In that context, you're absolutely right, classical pieces really lose something as separate movements disassociated from the larger work.

Shuffle by album? I actually cheat a bit with albums with more than one piece of classical music and re-tag the name of the album to the name of the individual piece. Then I can shuffle the "albums" around while maintaining the coherence of the individual movements.

I've found CA enormously helpful with classical (and other) music. I frequently hear a performance I like on the radio, find it, purchase it and have it downloaded in less than an hour. Not to mention reading a review and listening to a sample of a piece immediately.

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

- Einstein

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I think that a love of classical music, or of any other genre for that matter, is completely independent from the medium by which it is reproduced, be it vinyl, CD, computer audio, or what not. But as others have said, the ease with which one can listen to entire works that otherwise required shuffling records or CDs is certainly a plus, and the ease with which one can "shuffle" among different works or different versions is also a great plus with computer audio. I love that ease, but it's not because of it that I love classical music (and jazz).

 

Regards,

 

Guido F.

For my system details, please see my profile. Thank you.

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When the house is busy I find myself surfing, usually rock or jazz. When the house gets quiet I will play an entire album (usually in DSD128 through HQP) where I set the controller down in its cradle and leave it alone until the piece is finished.

 

Just finished listening to Copeland's Appalachian Trail, someone reminded me about this tune from another thread :)

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

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For me, CA has been the good news for my Classical listening and acquisition.

 

Like others, I usually program a series of works, often by the same composer and sometimes compare different performances of the same piece. I rarely shuffle or jump around with the remote. The best thing for my collection has been the discovery of Murfie.com where Classical prices are very very low, often $1 per CD with FLAC download. This has allowed me to fill in many gaps in favorite composers and affordably collect complete works, e.g. all the Haydn string quartets.

John

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Many thanks.

 

I was totally unaware of this website, which looks great.

 

I should have noted that with the Murfie Gold membership ($25) you get a discount of $1 per CD. In my case it's been totally worth it since I have bought nearly 300 CDs in the past year. Without the Gold membership, the CDs I see at $1 may be showing as $2 disks. Murfie really is a Classical bargain hunter's paradise. My experience with the speed, efficiency and quality of their friendly service makes me a real fan.

John

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Many thanks.

 

I was totally unaware of this website, which looks great.

 

Maybe I'm at disadvantage (being both old and English) but had a look at this site and I couldn't quite work out what was on sale in terms of CD vs flac. For example, when you opt to buy a member's copy are you buying a physical CD or flac? On my iPad at least, I couldn't see any filters for format for example.

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Maybe I'm at disadvantage (being both old and English) but had a look at this site and I couldn't quite work out what was on sale in terms of CD vs flac. For example, when you opt to buy a member's copy are you buying a physical CD or flac? On my iPad at least, I couldn't see any filters for format for example.

 

The FAQ https://www.murfie.com/faq may have the answer for you... they provide download in various formats of your choosing, including FLAC.

 

"When you buy an album on Murfie, you're buying a real CD or vinyl record that's stored at our headquarters. We make the files from the album available in your online account to stream and download for free. That's in addition to owning the physical disc. You can store the disc at Murfie, or order shipping. You can also send in CDs and vinyl records from home to be ripped and uploaded to your online collection with all your other music, available to stream and download. "

John

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I should have noted that with the Murfie Gold membership ($25) you get a discount of $1 per CD. In my case it's been totally worth it since I have bought nearly 300 CDs in the past year. Without the Gold membership, the CDs I see at $1 may be showing as $2 disks. Murfie really is a Classical bargain hunter's paradise. My experience with the speed, efficiency and quality of their friendly service makes me a real fan.

 

Thanks, never heard of Murfie either.

 

Larry

Analog-VPIClas3,3DArm,LyraSkala+MiyajimaZeromono,Herron VTPH2APhono,2AmpexATR-102+MerrillTridentMaster TapePreamp

Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacificMicrosonicsModel2; Dig Play-Lampi Horizon, mch NADAC, Roon-HQPlayer,Oppo105

Electronics-DoshiPre,CJ MET1mchPre,Cary2A3monoamps; Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR

Other-2x512EngineerMarutaniSymmetrical Power+Cables Music-1.8KR2Rtapes,1.5KCD's,500SACDs,50+TBripped files

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Murfie is a great service. I bought a CD on their site last night, asked them to rip it for me, and ten minutes later I got an email from them saying my FLAC download was available. Note that once you request a download of a CD, you can no longer resell it.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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The FAQ https://www.murfie.com/faq may have the answer for you... they provide download in various formats of your choosing, including FLAC.

 

"When you buy an album on Murfie, you're buying a real CD or vinyl record that's stored at our headquarters. We make the files from the album available in your online account to stream and download for free. That's in addition to owning the physical disc. You can store the disc at Murfie, or order shipping. You can also send in CDs and vinyl records from home to be ripped and uploaded to your online collection with all your other music, available to stream and download. "

 

Thanks, I was wondering how this stood from a legal pov, but looks from another post in this thread that a member can only sell a CD once, either as physical CD or rip.

If I read it right, you can buy vinyl rips too?

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Thanks, I was wondering how this stood from a legal pov, but looks from another post in this thread that a member can only sell a CD once, either as physical CD or rip.

If I read it right, you can buy vinyl rips too?

 

Yes, you purchase the CD that goes in your collection and you can stream it (mp3) anytime. You can request a download of the rip which means that it stays in your collection but you cannot resell it.

 

Everything I've downloaded has been 16/44 FLAC which I assume is from a CD. I've never seen anything specially identified as a vinyl rip. Murfie does have a rip service for vinyl -- i.e. you can send them your vinyl and they will rip it for you but I'm not sure about the details of that. If you send them a message I'm sure you will get a reply within one business day.

John

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