Talk:Outsider music

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Psychedelic folk[edit]

I've never before heard Syd Barrett described as "Psychedelic folk", that's absolute rubbish. Most people agree that he is a pioneer of Psychedelic Rock. I never saw him on stage morris dancing or featuring an accordian in any of his sets. Can anyone justify this with some citations DarkShroom

He did pioneer psychedelic rock. Have you ever heard his solo music? Barrett or The Madcap Laughs? Although psychedelic folk isn't incredibly intuitive, I think it fits that description more than any other. What would you call Tim Buckley, particularly Starsailor? Mczuba

Outsider musicians[edit]

"Outsider musicians frequently have no formal training and/or significant compromising behavioral or psychological conditions" means that outsider musicials have no formal training and no significant compromising conditions. Does the author mean that they have no formal training but do have a compromising condition? If so, then the sentence needs to be fixed. Kingturtle 07:53 May 5, 2003 (UTC)~

Does Harry Partch really belong here? His music is strange, true, but he was a trained musician and his rejection of conventional Western tuning was a conscious decision and carefully researched. He knew what he was doing; he just happened to be doing something really weird. Gwalla | Talk 22:02, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The problem, I think, is that people use the term "outsider music" to mean such different things. If you take it to mean "people making music in a naive, 'unaware' way" then for sure Partch does not belong (neither does, say, Tiny Tim for that matter); if you take it to mean "people making music outside of the normal musical conventions and institutions" (be they classical, popular, whatever) then Partch certainly belongs (and Tiny Tim might); while if you take it to mean "musicians who are social outisders" then Partch probably belongs (and Tim I'm not sure about). All of these definitions are used in various places by various people, I think, but none of them is the definition of what "outsider music" is, which makes the whole subject rather tricky to write about. Personally, I hate the term, and the less I have to do with the article, the better ;) Good luck--Camembert
Not sure. The term "outsider music" is just so tricky. I would like to (and maybe this is something you can help me with) find a surefire definition of the term that includes all artists labelled as such, from people like Partch who make music in strange ways to gags like Moondog to "psychological outsiders" like Barrett. Maybe even "musicians creating music outside the usual conventions" would work but that would describe Bob Dylan or Nirvana at some points in their career and I wouldn't call them outsiders. Anyway, if you would prefer to remove Partch, I would have no problem with that. - Rorschach567 | Talk 07:58, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Nirvana would count as "outsider music" not only based on "music created outside the usual conventions" but also "compromising behavioral or psychological conditions". Prairie Dog 22:08, 9 Aug 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure a surefire definition can be found. "Musicians creating music outside the usual conventions" is far too broad, as it encompasses the entire avant garde, and I don't think anybody would call Schoenberg or Penderecki "outsider music". To my mind, it's a lack of conventional competence combined with a lack of awareness of that incompetence. The problem is describing it in terms that aren't necessarily derogatory, which is hard even for people who enjoy it. Gwalla | Talk 00:40, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Did Schoenberg and Penderecki have compromising psychological conditions to the same level as Kurt Cobain? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.160.169.164 (talkcontribs) .
Please. First of all, Kurt Cobain didn’t “create music outside the usual conventions" in any fashion that hadn’t been done before him by other contemporary pop musicians, which is what he was. He wrote in a convention structure in a conventional way (having a unique style isn’t a qualifier here). And while wonderful at it and certainly an important contributor to popular music’s progression, you just can’t make him out to be anything more just because he was very talented and important. Second of all, you’re unfairly romanticizing his “compromising psychological conditions” to be something more than they were, which is some mental instability, drug use, clinical depression and a host of other ailments typical with many other musicians you aren’t campaigning for. All of which are just as well documented. Sorry, the man is a legend, but he isn’t The Shaggs, even if he claimed to like them (and that certainly isn’t a dig). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.16.146.231 (talk) 02:19, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd suggest Sexton Ming be removed, he doesn't really fit the criteria in any way. 144.87.143.3 16:31, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


Is anybody here intelligent enough to question the DEFINITION, rather than those who do or do not belong in it? The first paragraph is absolutely rediculous and could have been written by someone similar to Adolf Hitler for its downputting of minorities and people who choose to reject the mainstream, not out of ignorance, but out of the complete opposite: wisdom. and there is nothing whatsoever that implies people not in the mainstream are any worse than the mainstream-infact, in my 14 year long experience of composition, it is VERY much the opposite. keep it simple. outsider music is just that: non-mainstream. The term is not formal, and probably doesnt warrant an encyclopedic definition. so. In wikipedian, "This article needs a cleanup". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.254.81.209 (talk) 16:49, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


ps. Kurt Cobain wasn't in the least bit experimental. He was the very definition of mainstream. How anybody can call one of the seven most commercial bands in history "outsiders" blows my mind. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.254.81.209 (talk) 17:02, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Brian Wilson's on the list - would you deny that The Beach Boys were one of the seven largest selling and most famous rock acts of all time? Admittedly Brian did do work with the Beach Boys that would be considered "experimental" and did have compromising mental conditions.71.106.212.95 (talk) 06:26, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

I think any definition of "outsider" which includes mainstream (albeit unique) performers like Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys or Kurt Cobain of Nirvana is deeply flawed to the point of being meaningless. Even Syd Barrett doesn't really belong: he founded Pink Floyd, one of the biggest-selling bands of all time. His personal eccentricities aside, his music was not radically different from that of his fellow Pink Floyd members. Timothy Horrigan (talk)

Outsider 'movement'[edit]

Continuing from the discussion above, I was told - can't remember when or whom by - that the Outsider Art movement was itself a direct reaction to the autocracy of the Art Establishment; an establishment which recognised only originality within defined "schools", and whose training and mindset are anathema to true outsider art. In other words a trained artish cannot be a true artist because the training itself would have locked out a vital part of their creative faculty. In this sense, the pop movement was itself an outsider art movement. But as each genre becomes established, and books are written about "established" outsider artists, then a new door is opened for new artists to emerge. Perhaps there should be a new category of outsider music, to distinguish between outside-in and outside-out. A professional musician, who turned outsider, could then be termed "inside-out". Matt Stan 14:00, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:The Shaggs.JPG[edit]

The image Image:The Shaggs.JPG is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

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This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --08:47, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

citations[edit]

this article seriously needs some citations, its a piece of shit atm 68.94.198.236 (talk) 09:03, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Wild man fischer[edit]

is definatly worth mentioning. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.78.114.69 (talk) 08:36, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

How bout[edit]

Tay Zonday, seems like a perfectly good example, and there are nyt articles to cite... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.200.170.113 (talk) 18:45, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Neutrality[edit]

This article constantly refers to Outsider Music as "unskilled" or somehow inferior. Let's please rewrite sentences like that and keep in mind that articles on other genres generally don't mention if there happens to be some "bad" performers in that genre, style, or in this case, cultural movement. For example, the Hip Hop Music article doesn't say "Hip Hop ranges from terrible music like Eli Porter to good music like Eminem." --Iron Chef (talk) 19:56, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

It is not comparable to hip hop. The lack of skill is one of the defining characteristics of outsider music. It's difficult to talk about it in another way, as the lack of qualities of what is traditionally considered to make "good music" is almost the whole point. Zazaban (talk) 03:09, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
But although there may be a technical lack of skill that, adjectives like "terrible" aren't proper to describe it - somebody may find the lack of skill to add to the charm of the music, or, as in many cases of Outsider Music, the percieved lack of skill is intentional. --Iron Chef (talk) 19:56, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with that; I didn't mention the word terrible, I agree that that should go. But The OP argued against the use of the word "unskilled", which is one of the main defining characteristics of the genre. Zazaban (talk) 21:24, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

I think this issue has been resolved via various edits that have taken place since the original discussion in March. I will remove the "neutrality" tag. However, I think the article is too dependent on lengthy quotes from the "Songs in the Key of Z" book, so I will leave the "needs additional citations" tag for that reason. --DOOMSDAYER520 (Talk|Contribs) 17:09, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Additional citations[edit]

Why and where does this article need additional citations for verification? What references does it need and how should they be added? Hyacinth (talk) 04:31, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Charles Ives[edit]

Wouldn't Charles Ives fit here?--Scottandrewhutchins (talk) 17:52, 2 August 2012 (UTC)