This episode's vocabulary
- Fiend (noun) - an evil and cruel person.
- Mishmash (noun) - a confused mixture.
- Bizarre (adj.) - very strange and unusual.
- Mashup (noun) - a type of recorded music or video that consists of parts of different songs or images that have been combined.
- Genteel (adj.) - calm and gentle.
- Jig (noun) - an energetic traditional dance of Great Britain and Ireland, or the music that is played for such a dance.
- To vest (verb) - to give someone or something the power to do something.
- Fanfare (noun) - great attention to and interest in something.
- Clarity (noun) - the quality of being clear and easy to understand.
- Inauthentic (adj.) - if something is inauthentic, it is not real, true, or what people say it is.
- Elitist (adj.) - characteristic of the elite, and esp. not caring about the interests or values of ordinary people.
- Orchestra (noun) - a large group of musicians who play many different instruments together and are led by a conductor.
- Opera (noun) - a musical play in which most of the words are sung, or plays and music of this type.
- Niche (adj.) - interesting to, aimed at, or affecting only a small number of people.
- Mosh pit (noun) - the area in front of the stage at a rock concert where members of the audience dance energetically and violently.
- Gig (noun) - a single performance by a musician or group of musicians, especially playing modern or pop music, or by a comedian (= a performer who makes people laugh, for example by telling jokes or funny stories).
- To thrum (verb) -to make a continuous low sound.
- Venue (noun) - the place where a public event or meeting happens.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory, what kinds of music do young people like?
R: I feel like I say this for just about everything. But that depends so much on individuals, and maybe their friendship groups, doesn't it? I mean, you might be a goth who's really into heavy metal, or a bit of a musical fiend, and a fan of show tunes. Actually, in many cases, I find it's a mishmash of different genres. Even the biggest fan of rock music could enjoy a Britney Spears song, for example.
M: What kinds of music is popular in your country?
R: It's such a bizarre question. Like, I think unless you live in North Korea, or somewhere else that's cut off from everything, then all kinds of music are popular everywhere. And it seems like every day there's another mashup or remix, blending different genres, somewhere that gets shared elsewhere in seconds and goes viral. I'm sure older or more conservative people probably prefer something more genteel. But outside of that, it's really anyone's guess.
M: What kinds of people like traditional music?
R: Well, I suppose that's contingent on the tradition that it embodies. If it's a religious one, like choir music, then it's likely to be a more religious crowd that gets drawn to it. However, if it's like an old fashioned jig, or a Cayley strain, then anyone who's vested in keeping that aspect of cultural alive will want in on it. And young people rediscover old pieces all the time and find the enjoy it. So you can't count anyone out, really, when it comes to traditional music, can you?
M: Why are some music competitions popular?
R: Well, I have no idea since I don't take part in them, nor do I watch them. But if I were to guess it's because people like the fanfare and drama around them, as well as the apparently skilful performances. But that is just a guess.
M: What are the differences between live concerts and online concerts?
R: Well, aside from the use of technology, probably not much, since the clarity of the sound over like the speakers you have in your home probably matches that of the actual performance nowadays. And you have the benefit of all of the home comforts if you're watching it online. I'm sure some people think it's inauthentic to enjoy something over the net. But I think it's a bit elitist, since some people don't have the time. Maybe they don't even have the money to make the journey to whatever concert hall or arena, that it's in.
M: Do you think that in the future, people continue having online concerts instead of offline concerts like we used to have before the pandemic?
R: Oh, I still think they'll have them. I think it will be a balance of both, really. But that's like I say it's just a guess. I don't know much about music or musical events.
M: Why do people spend a lot of money on concerts?
R: Well, putting on a show is expensive, and you have to pay for all of the equipment and the people who play the various instruments and also manage the crowds. It can also be about status. If it's a particular kind of music. For example, orchestras and operas, in general, tend to be quite niche and attract a certain kind of person, so they can pay for the privilege of being around the same people if that's what they're, well, into.
M: Are music concerts suitable for older people?
R: I don't see, I can't see why not assuming they're healthy enough to go like, I doubt they would do well in a mosh pit. Or maybe some of the more violent death metal gigs, but it shouldn't stop them from enjoying the sound of the music, of thrumming through the air, or the general atmosphere that creates.
M: Why do some people prefer to listen to live music, instead of listening to the recorded music?
R: The convenience is the most obvious advantage to CDs. But live music is a social experience and a unique one at that. You might have the same band playing the same songs, but the different venues and times and crowds will make it something more personal to remember. It's priceless. But it's also quite demanding to create I think.
M: Do you think music will change in the future?
R: I think it's changing all the time, not just in the future. Like now it's changing even and the perspectives on past music are also changing.
M: Thank you, Rory, for your musical answers! They are music to all our ears!
R: Aw, that was my pun.
M: So let's talk about music in general. And our topic specific vocabulary that we should use about songs and music. So first of all different genres like heavy metal, classical music. And then, Rory said different kinds of music are popular. For example, a goth, like a goth, a person who is into gothic things. A goth could be really into heavy metal. So a God who is into heavy metal. So who likes heavy metal. So, when we talk about people who like this or that music, you can say, people could be into heavy metal or could be fans of... So to be a fan of something or to be into something. And a nice one is a mishmash of genres.
R: Yes, that just means a mixture. A mishmash.
M: I like this one. So a mishmash of kinds of music or genres, the same as kinds of music.
R: But what a silly question really like, but like everybody likes everything I don't like... Is this high school where people are defined by their tastes and music? You don't look very happy about that.
M: Yeah. No, that's a stupid question. Like, oh, what music is popular. What sport is popular.
R: Last time I checked, people can like whatever music they like. What? Is there any music that's banned? Is there any music that's banned? Is there music that's banned?
M: Not anymore. I don't think so. No, but, for example, like on national TV or national radio stations, they will not play some songs with Russian swear words.
R: Oh, my God. Also there's a list of songs on Wikipedia that have been banned in the UK by the BBC.
M: Oh, there we go. Yeah. So like, officially, right? But not officially, we have YouTube. We have social media. So these songs are all over the place.
R: But there's nothing that's illegal to listen to, like it's music. What is that supposed to do? I mean...
M: Not anymore. I think in the Soviet Union, certain things were illegal, right, but not anymore. Okay, I have kind of a grammar slash vocabulary question. Is it correct for me to ask such questions? Like, what kinds of people prefer traditional music? Or I should ask what kind of people prefer traditional music?
R: I think if we want to talk about a specific group, like kind of people, then it's specific. But if we want to talk about like, open to different groups, then it's kinds. I don't think it makes a difference, because the end result will be the same. You'll wind up saying, probably different people like different types of music for different reasons.
M: Mm-hmm. So both are correct. Yeah? So what kind of people enjoy and what kinds of people?
R: Yeah. I think it's like, it reflects the attitude of the person who's asking the question. Maybe they think only one kind of person likes this one kind of music. So if you say what kind of people like traditional music, it's almost implying like only one kind of person can like traditional music, which is again, it's so stupid, because there's different kinds of traditional music.
M: Yeah, it's stupid. Stupid IELTS questions. Anyway, dear listener, it doesn't matter how stupid the question is, you should answer the stupid question.
R: But you can comment and say that's a bizarre question, because... Like that's so weird.
M: Yeah. Bizarre meaning strange, weird. So that's, that's such a bizarre question and be natural about it. Like react to the question. Oh, that's a strange question. That's a bizarre question. We can have a remix of something, or a mashup. What's a mashup?
R: Well, I think the difference between a remix and a mash up is a mash up as a combination of two or more songs. Whereas a remix is changing the tune or the melody of the song. But it still uses the song, it just changes the song. The original song.
M: Yeah, and there is another mashup, or remix, or blending of genres, blending of genres when we take classical music, and we play it together with rock music.
R: I thought you're gonna say rap music for a moment there.
M: Oh, yeah, rap. Yeah, exactly. Rap and classical music like the orchestra.
R: Is there a combination of rap and classical music?
M: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. In Russia there's this person who combined them. I don't remember their name, but yes, it's interesting.
R: Yeah. That's such a great way of saying it's awful, but okay.
M: No, no, it's interesting. Okay? Yeah. Yeah, then again, you can mention different genres of music. So heavy metal or choir music.
R: Or death metal and every time you say death metal, you have to make the devil horns and stick your thumb out. Stick your tongue out.
M: So choir music. What is a choir?
R: It's the music that you hear in churches. Well, actually, that's an interesting question because at least in Catholic churches and Protestant churches, they have choirs which sing during the services. Do you have this in Russian Orthodox churches?
M: Oh, yeah, yeah, we have choir. Choir music is definitely.
R: So all the choir music.
M: So like 10 people sing at the same time. This means choir. A choir or choir music.
R: Does it have to be 10?
M: No, for example, like 10 or 20. Like even five, if five people think it's almost a choir.
R: As long as it's got like a religious part of it. That's the key thing.
M: Hmm. Wait, no, but what about children? For example, there's a concert and children, like 20 kids sing. It's a choir. So I don't think it should be religious.
R: Yes, but the whole point? Is that they sing religious songs, right?
M: Really? Are you sure?
R: Yeah. Well, maybe, maybe it depends on the culture, but at least for when I went to school, people who were in the choir sang religious songs.
M: No, no, actually, choirs can perform classical music. Popular music. Yeah. It doesn't have to be religious.
R: Okay, well, the original idea was that it should be religious.
R: I guarantee you most of the songs that choir sing are religious.
M: Yeah. But again, it doesn't have to be. Different people get drawn to different kinds of music. So if you get drawn to something you kind of like it. Yeah?
R: For example, traditionally, if you were religious, you are drawn to or would be drawn to choir music.
M: Yes, you are drawn to this podcast. Rory, what's an old fashioned jig? Jig. Jig.
R: I don't know. A jig is like, in the way that I imagined a jig, it's like a cheerful song. Maybe you play it with a violin.
M: It's also an Irish type of dance.
M: Like this. Right.
R: So a jig is cheerful.
M: And it's a music or it's a dance?
R: I think it can be both. I'd put them both together.
M: Okay. Okay. An Irish jig. So we're continuing with this Irish mood.
R: We are? You are the one who is obsessed with Ireland.
M: Moly Mallon. When we talk about music competitions, you can talk about the fanfare. What's the fanfare?
R: The fanfare, like all of the loud noises and the attention and oh, all of the things like the fireworks and what have you. So whenever you see these TV shows online, it's never quiet. It's always loud and lots of colors. And oh, it's crazy.
M: Like a circus. Right?
R: Basically, yes.
M: Yeah, people can get drawn to the fanfare and drama around these music competitions. Yeah, so they're usually on TV. Then really common questions are about live concerts, and online concerts. So we say live concerts, but we spell this word as like live. So li ve but we say life concerts, and Rory sad, like actual performance. So people enjoy the actual performance. So the performance.
R: Like the performance as opposed to the things around it. So if we talk about, well, a concert, there's maybe things connected to the concert like fireworks and...
R: Yes, shows. This kind of thing. But the actual performance is like the main thing. It's like the focus of the concert, so people playing the instruments or singing in the band.
M: During the pandemic, many singers started doing these online concerts, and from the comfort of your own home. You could enjoy the concert.
R: Was this after they stopped live streaming from their million or multi million dollar mansions saying how appalling it was that they were trapped indoors?
M: I don't know. Maybe like before, during and after.
R: I thought that was amazing. It was so tone deaf on the subject of music. Tone deaf is when you can't hear, well, it's used to mean that you can't hear different tones but it also means that you're totally disengaged. So you had all of these celebrities in their mansions in lockdown like oh, my life is so terrible.
M: All this luxury. I can't bear it anymore.
R: And I'm just sitting there like, okay, I'm in a small apartment in Moscow and even I'm not struggling that much. Get over yourselves.
M: Yeah. So we can say home comforts. That's so the benefits of home comforts. But some people might think it's inauthentic. Inauthentic like not real, artificial. Inauthentic. We can enjoy our concert over the net. Over the net, over the internet online. So instead of saying enjoy the concert online, Rory said enjoy it over the net, over the internet. We can also talk about orchestras and operas. They are niche, you said. They tend to be quite niche. Niche.
R: Yes. For example, they're far fewer people go to the, to the opera, or the orchestra than go to an Ariana Grande concert, for example. So that's why it's niche, because it's got a smaller audience. But you should also talk about the difference between an opera and an orchestra. So an opera is usually about the people who sing. Whereas an orchestra is focused on the people playing musical instruments. You can have both together, but they have... And also the opera is like a story, isn't it?
R: And it's supported by the orchestra.
M: Yeah, yeah. True. And they sing all these songs. Not songs. They sing, but you may not be able to understand any words because they just sing the words.
R: Well, they sing it in latin as well. So you have to follow that. Well, they sing it in Italian or French as well.
M: No, but even, for example, if they sing in Russian. Yeah, Russian opera, usually I don't understand the words. Even if they are singing in Russian.
R: It's too loud. Which is unusual for Russian people.
M: Hmm. But it's opera.
R: Yes. But Russian people are usually extremely quiet. So it's really strange to hear them going very loud.
M: Yeah. Okay, um, what's a mosh pit? When we talk about concerts, so you mentioned your grandma going to a live concert. Yeah, so a 60 year old grandma or a 70 year old grandma goes to an offline concert and goes to a mosh pit.
R: Well, no. Probably not. A mosh pit is... It's like, oh, God. When you have a crowd of people, you have a gathering and a mosh pit is where people dance in a very violent manner. But the objective of being as aggressive as possible, and so usually people can be hurt whenever they're in the mosh pit. Yeah, but it's, it's not something I would recommend. It's fun to watch. And I've seen many. I've been in one and I never want to do it again.
M: Yeah, dear listener. When you talk about any life concerts, make sure you mention a mosh pit. So a mosh pit is an area in front of the stage at a rock concert, usually, where moshing occurs. So moshing happens. Yeah, when people dance violently, and like you can get an elbow in your eye.
R: That is like the tamest thing that can happen to you. People have died. Like it's really bad.
M: Yeah. So you can say that, okay, elderly people can go to concerts, but being in a mosh pit is not a good idea. So that's how it's not suitable for elderly people. That's gonna be for a higher score.
R: Well, unless they're wearing a suit of armor.
M: Yes. And a gas mask. Yeah, because like, if it's a violent gig. Gig is a concert. It's a synonym for a concert. So if it's a violent gig, being in a mosh pit is not a good idea. But the cheapest tickets are there. Yeah?
R: Are they? Well, that would explain the violence.
M: Oh, no, maybe they are like quite expensive. Or again, depends on the concert, yeah.
R: Well, if not, then the medical treatment afterwards would be quite expensive. However, regardless, even if you don't enjoy violence. If you're one of these crazy people that doesn't enjoy violence, then you can at least enjoy the music thrumming through the air. And thrumming just describes the experience of the vibration caused by the music, the loud music, that you can feel it. It's like when you go to a club and you stand next to the speaker and you can feel your organs vibrating. That's how I describe it.
R: Which I always think is quite funny.
M: And then you feel your organs vibrating the next morning, and maybe in the afternoon, still, you know. And you're half deaf.
R: Yeah, I really, I never understood this, because it's as loud as humanly possible. And I just, I can't even hear myself think, let alone enjoy this music. So what is going on?
M: Oh, those were the days when I went clubbing.
R: Like the days? A year ago.
M: Oh yes, Rory and I went to a club.
R: We went to a club and it was the strangest experience of my life.
M: Oh my god, we were almost in a mosh pit. But no violence. No violence.
R: There was no violence, there was just a lot of weird people.
M: Rory was just dancing. Yeah.
R: I was trying to dance. It was very strange. It was an interesting social experience, which is another piece of vocabulary I used.
M: And live music is a social experience because you just go there with your friends normally to listen to a band playing. So we call it a band. Music band. Like IELTS band score. There you go. We can go to different venues to listen to live music. So a venue is like a place, a concert hall or a club. It's priceless. Priceless. It doesn't have a price.
R: Unless it's a violent mosh pit, then the price might be like your life or losing a leg.
M: Oh, so are music concerts suitable for older people? Definitely violent mosh pits are not.
R: Well, they might be. I don't know. It depends on the kind of old person you are. Would I want my own grandmother to be there? Probably not.
M: Yeah, but if you have a violent grandma, who is ready to kill.
R: Then maybe that's the best place for her.
M: Yes. Oh, grandma's getting angry again. Grandma, I've got you some tickets to some, you know, punk live concert. Thank you very much for listening! And we'll see and hear in our next episodes! Bye!
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