I love music, especially pieces that are rich in content and meaning.
To create music filled with substance, composers must first craft a beautiful melody to serve as the backbone of their compositions. They then have two options: they can either infuse the music with poetic lyrics to convey their emotions or skillfully orchestrate instruments to evoke the audience's emotions and thoughts.
Considering this, it becomes apparent what kind of music I enjoy or dislike. I'm not fond of music without a prominent melody, such as rap, even though I acknowledge it as a fashionable music style. However, I believe that excessive lyrics cannot compensate for the absence of a compelling melody.
Likewise, I'm not drawn to songs with overly simplistic or obvious meanings, which unfortunately includes many pop songs. For instance, the kind of songs that older folks may dance to in the evenings.
On the other hand, I'm also not an enthusiast of ancient classical music, predating composers like Mozart or Beethoven. Partly because those composers were still experimenting with musical structures back then, and also because musical tastes have evolved significantly over the centuries. It's challenging for me to fully appreciate music from such distant times.
Now, let me share the scenarios in which I derive the most enjoyment from music:
Firstly, when I'm at home, I relish listening to classic music on a high-quality sound system, undisturbed, and in solitude. Ideally, I'd listen to a symphony conducted by a renowned maestro to experience the enchanting blend of sounds from each instrument. Though it might be challenging to grasp a new piece initially, the excitement comes from discovering deeper meanings behind the notes. Just like savoring a fine tea or wine, the initial taste may be bitter, but with each subsequent listen, it grows on you. Classic music possesses a beauty that cannot be found in pop songs, which are like soda, giving you quick rushes of happiness that fade away and are forgotten over time. Among classical composers, my favorite is Antonín Dvořák, particularly his No. 9 symphony, which is simply incomparable. His talent lies in creating numerous marvelous melodies and bringing the essence of folk music to the world.
Secondly, I find joy in sitting at a quiet bar with friends, listening to folk musicians telling their stories through their own songs. In recent years, I've noticed an abundance of talented independent Chinese musicians who craft songs in their unique folk styles. Their music stands apart from the commercial pop songs, as it features simple yet memorable melodies and unconstrained lyrics. Due to a lack of commercial promotion, their works may be lesser-known to the public. I believe that these folk songs are a perfect fit for quiet bars where the musicians can rely on just a guitar and a microphone. Through their heartfelt performances, they share their life experiences with the audience, creating a profound and intimate connection. One typical example is Lei Zhao and his representitive song of Chengdu. But indeed there are many of them and most of them less known.
Thirdly, I thoroughly enjoy the experience of being in a nice restaurant and listening to live Jazz performed by skilled saxophonists or pianists. The allure of Jazz lies in the fact that each rendition of a piece is unique, creating a direct emotional expression from the musician to the audience. A talented Jazz musician possesses a profound understanding of chords and rhythms, allowing them to create the most captivating sound effects. Personally, I am a huge fan of Kenny G, the legendary saxophonist, and as a fellow saxophone player, I've tried to emulate his style, though I know I still have a long way to go.
Fourthly, there's nothing quite like immersing myself in the cinematic experience, enjoying a beautiful soundtrack accompanied by stunning visual effects, ideally in IMAX format and a Dolby sound theatre. One such example is the movie "Avatar," which is an exceptional fusion of extraordinary visuals and sound. The original soundtrack (OST) of "Avatar" was composed by James Horner, one of the most renowned figures in film music and one of my personal favorites. To me, OSTs represent the modern continuation of classical music. Both forms of music serve the purpose of entertainment, and over time the rise of film industry encourages more composers to create film musics. There is even once a time when orchestras play live beneath the screen during movies. Clearly, OSTs have become more accessible and understandable to the audience. There's no need to speculate on the composer's intentions because the answer lies directly in front of our eyes, aligning with the plot of the movie. A well-crafted piece of OST can make a dramatic moment in the film truly unforgettable. Take, for instance, "Lighting of the Beacons" from "The Lord of the Rings." The steadily rising melody coinciding with the scene of beacons being lit one after another symbolizes the breaking of barriers between mankind and the uniting of the mid-earth to confront darkness. It's a powerful and moving experience that stays with the audience long after the movie ends.
"Music Sheet" collects my formated saxophone music sheets. It is really hard to get such sheet musics for saxophones. Expert saxophonists don't care to follow music sheets, but sheets of some masterpieces are really helpful for beginners. I encourage more people prepare and freely share music sheets for saxophones.
"Music list" lists several music lists I made on netease music. Favorite music is a quick peek of what kinds of music I like.