Modern jazz. We're not talking about classic New Orleans roadhouse jazz. That's beautiful stuff. But modern jazz is pretty much just a bunch of barely-talented dorks playing random notes on their instrument of choice, followed by regular intervals of applause from rich white yuppies who wouldn't know real music if it bit 'em on the elbow. Too many modern jazz musicians emulate Kenny G instead of Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker or Thelonius Monk. I got my fill of them back when I lived in the Jazz Geek Dorm back in college; nothing will kill your enjoyment of fine music like pretentious egomaniacs who think they don't need to learn from the masters...

A mindless epithet given to those musics where they play "too many" notes. I think the term is more applicable to pop music and similar types of aural wallpaper. What is masturbation? From the hypermoral POV, it's sexual activity devoid of redeeming content - no sex partner, no context within the Sacrament of Marriage; no real love. Corporate-driven musics are also lacking in content; they're designed to be consumed rather than listened to, and are about instant gratification.

In guitar(and probably other things as well), there's a term we use, noodling. This is the act of moving up and down the scale without any semblance of melody or pattern. It's 'fucking amazing' to the uninitiated, as it can be done really, really fast(!), but it's annoying as hell to any guitarist of skill. If I had to define musical masturbation, I'd say it's just a nicer way of saying noodling.

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, John Lennon found a time machine and ended up at Beethoven's crib, circa 1817. They hung out and talked and had a good time. As John Lennon was leaving, Beethoven tapped him on the shoulder and said, "John, this is of the utmost importance! Don't forget this: you don't know shit about music or what makes it good."

John was a little taken aback, and to be frank, a tad offended.

"Okay, Weegi. How do YOU know that I don't know shit about music?"

Then Mozart showed up and said, "Because HE don't know shit about music either!"

Suddenly, Jimi Hendrix and Robert Johnson were there. They proudly proclaimed "Hey! We don't know shit either!" Miles Davis popped in and owned up to his total lack of knowledge.

Then of course, Bach showed up. And everyone realized all at once that they owed their very musical existence to him, and they all listened intently to what the immortal god of harmony had to say.

"Guys, guys, guys..." Bach intoned. "You have to understand that it is you of all people who know more about music than anyone else!"

John Lennon said, "But, Maestro Bach! We don't know shit about music!"

Bach smiled, raised a glass and said "The very fact that you all understand that you don't know shit about music tells me that you know more about music than he who thinks he knows everything."

The moral of the story is: You have to know what you don't know about music before you can pretend to know anything about music.

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