Poll: Do you enjoy instrumental music?

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Hiya escapists.

I just felt like knowing if the people on here enjoy instrumental music more or less than its vocal counterpart.

Personally, I find instrumental music to often be more enjoyable than music with lyrics. It's purer, and I don't have to focus on trying to figure out what it is the singer is trying to say. I can more easily get lost in instumental music, the emotion it provokes feels stronger, and instrumental music normally has a higher technical and musical level.
Plus, pretty much all classical music (the symphonies. Disregard opera) is instrumental.

This has also led to the slightly strange situation that I really enjoy music with lyrics I can't understand. Particularly, then, Japanese music. It has the advantage of being born of a slightly different musical tradition so it's new and interesting, and due to my interest in anime I come across new artists fairly effortlessly. And I happen to find Japanese to be rather easy on the ear.

So how about you?

Note that for the purposes of the poll, music with vocals but not lyrics counts as instrumental.

Definitely. I tend to enjoy songs with lyrics more often but that's only because of number-crunching. I'll enjoy a song regardless of vocals.

Absolutely. I'd say it helps immerse me more into the song compared to vocals. That's not to say I wouldn't listen to a song with vocals, but I prefer instrumental over voice most of the time.

well...not nessicaryly instrumental..but i like music without vocals just fine

Vault101:
well...not nessicaryly instrumental..but i like music without vocals just fine

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How is music without vocals anything but instrumental?

If a song can tell a story or keep me interested for it's duration without vocals, then it is a better song than one that has vocals that fails at those things....so yes, I enjoy instrumentals.

The term "Instrumental Music" is excessively vague. It really depends on the track. I don't think I can even have a preference.

Jonluw:

Vault101:
well...not nessicaryly instrumental..but i like music without vocals just fine

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How is music without vocals anything but instrumental?

Electronic?....

on a somwhat related note bad lyrics can really ruin good music

case in point

Offworlder:
If a song can tell a story or keep me interested for it's duration without vocals, then it is a better song than one that has vocals that fails at those things....so yes, I enjoy instrumentals.

in some cases voacals can really limit how you can feel about a song

like if you have this really cool track...but its only about "partying at the club" then BAM..it becomes just as boring and shallow

but if it not then your imagination can go crazy with it..I think somwhere I read a quote by Deadmau5 talking about collaborating where he basically said he didnt want to ruin a songg by "making it about the club" which I totally agree with/respect

for me this mainly applys to "electronic" type stuff

Vault101:
like if you have this really cool track...but its only about "partying at the club" then BAM..it becomes just as boring and shallow

Subject matter is irrelevant. The finesse with which the subject matter is brought to life is what counts. Take Lil Wayne. The lyrics on his mixtapes tend to be nothing but talking about how awesome he is, but those mixtapes are so cherished because he talks about how awesome he is better than anyone.

Xartyve2:

Vault101:
like if you have this really cool track...but its only about "partying at the club" then BAM..it becomes just as boring and shallow

Subject matter is irrelevant. The finesse with which the subject matter is brought to life is what counts. Take Lil Wayne. The lyrics on his mixtapes tend to be nothing but talking about how awesome he is, but those mixtapes are so cherished because he talks about how awesome he is better than anyone.

In some cases I guess

I did say I liked rap (and obviously since so much of rap IS talking about how awsome oneself is..)

but often, as with the case of some "pop" music (or otherwise) theres not really much to keep me interested

Absolutely. Especially instrumental covers of songs that have lyrics to begin with, such as the work of this fine group.

I like a lot of purely-instrumental stuff too, like post rock and a little classical every now and then. And, of course, good old 8-bit music.

I enjoy them equally. The most important thing about music is how it sounds. Lyrics are secondary. The voice is just another instrument. What it says may be nice, but is not necessary in any way to make enjoyable music. Just as music is not necessary to make a statement worth listening to.

It's pretty much the only thing I listen to.

Listen to that. HNNNNNG.

Yeah, but i don't agree with the fact that instrumental is automatically better. A talented songwriter can add something to a song that the music can't achieve on it's own.

In the end i think it has a lot to do with what kind of music it is. Some genres wouldn't work at all without lyrics. But the opposite can also hold true, as a DJ/House fan i often get irritated when awesome dancefloor bangers gets a "radio edit" with someone singing over them to get radio to pick it up. In some cases this works, but most of the time they turn out worse.

There's an example in the spoiler box. This guys whiny falsetto puts a damper on the absolute bubbling insanity as the song builds up to the drop.

It really doesn't make any difference to me, because I view vocals as basically another instrument anyway. I rarely pay attention to lyrics anyway. A good singer can add to a song, but the lack of a singer usually doesn't take away from a song.

That said, I usually listen to stuff with vocals simply because there are very few instrumental metal groups.

Jonluw:

So how about you?

I actually own rather a lot of film soundtracks, some of which are among my favourite albums. I'm just as happy listening to them as a regular album. Does that count?

I have a really strong inclination towards Chinese and Medieval-esque instrumentals. I find Chinese instrumentals to be very soothing and peaceful (not to mention excellent music to write assignments to!), whereas the medieval instrumentals I enjoy tend to be more upbeat and lively.

Vocals are great when their sounds add to the music. They're even better when they manage to evoke a feeling that corresponds to the emotion provoked by the score. Also, vocals provide a sense of progression and movement, to me. I feel like the piece is going somewhere, and not just trying to be pretty or complex for the simple sake of being pretty or complex.

I really enjoy instrumental music that is able to have that sense of movement; when it feels like it's going somewhere. However, it is hard to find instrumental music that can do that. I would assume this is usually because the artist is so fascinated with how complicated, artistic, edgy, technical, etc. ad nauseam, they can make their music that it feels more like they're masturbating than trying to communicate anything.

Take Jazz for instance. I don't like it, but then again, I don't think it's actually for me. As I understand it, Jazz is usually music for musicians. It is meant to be technical, complicated, and difficult. I'll take Ronald Jenkees over any Jazz legend you care to name.

One dude at a keyboard/synthesizer that's there to have fun, and whose music demonstrates that beats out a Jazz orchestra full of people trying to prove how good they are (no matter how good they might sound).

Explosions In The Sky and Mogwai are two of my favourite bands. The former are entirely instrumental and the latter primarily so. They're both fantastic, though, and I highly recommend listening to the first two EITS albums and Happy Songs For Happy People and Mr Beast my Mogwai.

A little less than I do vocal music. I'm a singer, so I like to have words to sing.

I have always said, "if music had no lyrics, then I would listen to literally anything." However, insturmental is on the same level as lyrical to me.

I love the likes of Pelican, Explosions In The Sky, 65daysofstatic as much as any other bands. However, I will say that live, I prefer music with lyrics. Instrumental music can struggle to stay interesting live.

Yeah, instrumental music can be brilliant. Some of my favourite songs are instrumental or mostly instrumental.

I do enjoy it, though a bit less than I enjoy music with lyrics. I enjoy singing along.

I just love great music. Whether it has lyrics or not doesn't matter to me. I certainly wouldn't say I enjoy either type more or less than the other. If it's good, I'll listen to it.

Well I have a strong preference towards classical music. I also have a strong dislike of electric guitar solos. 80's music is just unbearable to me because of how the synth+electric guitar combined to make that horrible noise back then. I don't know if classical is instrumental in your book but in mine it is so i'm going to say yes.

I do, and often more than music with vocals. If the vocals are good, that's fine, but bad vocals are a really good way to ruin a song for me. It doesn't even have to be bad singing or stupid lyrics. Sometimes I just don't like the singer's voice or style. There's so many times I've listened to a song and thought "this would be a great if it didn't have the vocals".

I do like some music that has vocals, but I'm really picky about what the singing should sound like.

I prefer music with vocals without lyrics, and then instrumental music. Don't particularly like music with lyrics. Vocal music provides the beauty of the human voice, without the subtitles. I prefer to be immersed in the theme that the music gives me rather than it tell it to me. To those who know of her, it should be fairly unsurprising that I fangirl over Yuki Kajiura.

I like both instrumental music, and music with lyrics. Explosions in the sky is an awesome band.

Jonluw:
Hiya escapists.
Plus, pretty much all classical music is instrumental.

Hm. Nope. Instrumental classical music is instrumental but "classical music" includes:
Opera
Oratorio
Masses
Requiems
Troubadour song
Lieder
Chant
Choral Music
etc.

There is a *huge* amount of classical music with vocals.
Now, you are using the phrase "classical music" to mean "art music of the classical period, 1750-1820...that is also the time when some of the most popular works were opera rather than symphonies.

Also this idea that instrumental music has a higher "technical or musical level" is completely subjective and is based on covert and casual values that are not universal. West African Singing/Drumming tends to be much more advanced in terms of rhythm. Modern popular music tends to be much more advanced in terms of timbre. Music with lyrics clearly have a higher level of lyrical skill and vocal skill than music without it. Jazz (including jazz vocalists) tends to be much more advanced in terms of improvisation. There are many different musical parameters. Instrumental classical music values some over others, but that doesn't mean those parameters are the most important to making good music. Nor is the value "more complex" actually better than "more simple."

As a start, I'd recommend reading the article, "Covert and Casual Values in Recent Writings About Music" by Janet Levy, in the Journal of Musicology, Vol 5, No 1 (Winter 1987), pg 3-27. It is available on JSTOR if you are attending a university that subscribes to JSTOR, if you don't, you could probably just drop by the music library of your local major university.

To answer your question, I like both instrumental and vocal music. I prefer vocal music slightly over instrumental music (the voice is one of my favorite instruments for expressivity), but I like them both.

Definitely.

Vocals usually either make or break a song for me, and by "make" I of course mean "make it decent enough to listen to without impaling myself on a well-sharpened pencil".

I find that I love music with lyrics, but I also love instrumentals aswell.

I do find that I prefer the instrumentals more than the music I have that has lyrics, but that's not because I dislike lyrics or rather don't like music with lyrics as much but that the instrumentals I have and listen to regularly are so freaking awesome.

I unfortunately don't have too many instrumentals, since the ones I do have are just the occasional song by various bands I have the albums for, though I would probably listen to more if I knew of more bands that did more instrumental based albums.

My favourite two genres are hip-hop and classical piano (Romantic), so I guess you could say that I like both, one being focussed almost solely on lyrics, the other on the instrument.

Although it's noteworthy that I do also like hip-hop instrumentals. So I guess I swing slightly towards the instrumental end of the spectrum.

Yeah, mostly videogame soundtracks though to be honest. Just lately I've been listening to Gyakuten Meets Orchestra (Ace Attorney!) and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

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