Beck's new album is sheet-music only

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60 Responses to “Beck's new album is sheet-music only”

  1. It sounds better on vinyl.

  2. Boundegar says:

    Wait…  what?  Can I get guitar lessons on The Pirate Bay?

  3. Dave Horton says:

    Wait… second sentence reads “It comes an illustrated folio of sheet-music:…” comes with? comes as? Do we get recordings Beck’s versions?

  4. nixiebunny says:

    Time to get that sheet music OCR program connected to the synth program connected to the torrent uploader. Then the RIAA will have something to work with. 

  5. eff_em says:

    an elaborate RIAA plot?

    Anyone who plays the songs loud enough for their neighbors to hear is engaging in an illegal public performance. Every video uploaded is 1 strike for the uploader (ISP measured response to piracy).

  6. franko says:

    from what i heard, there is NO RECORDING with this. he will later on cull through people’s interpretations and come out with a recording of his own, based on his favorite take on each song. it’s an interesting way to turn things on their head, for sure. props to him — he’s always been so creative.

  7. endymion says:

    This might be my classical pianist bias coming through, but I find this development really exciting. I’d love for us to be a nation of active amateur musicians, not just passive listeners. 

  8. Chris Backe says:

    Sounds like a great way to audition for a new band – see who plays them the best, then contact them and see if they’d like to record. Brilliant

  9. CSMcDonald says:

    And this is being called an album instead of a book because….?

    • L_Mariachi says:

      Because the primary definition of album is “A blank book for the insertion of photographs, stamps, or pictures.” It’s not too much of a stretch to include “…or musical performances.” This isn’t entirely blank of course, but it’s blank as far as sound goes.

      • Smash Martian says:

        Back in the days of 78s, they’d come nicely packaged with the record slip-covers bound into books, the whole thing resembling photo albums.  Which might be a reason why we now call a collection of musical recordings an album.

        • Jonathan Badger says:

          Yes — the limited play time of the 78 meant that anything resembling an album of today (or a symphony or opera) had to come on multiple discs requiring a book-like format

      • Deidzoeb says:

        The primary definition of album is the one you gave, but obviously not the one people intend or think of in the context of a musician’s “new album.”

        Hey, did you hear the new Tori Amos album?
        No, how many stamps are in it and what sounds do they make?  

      • Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine says:

        It isn’t even a stretch at all: before recordings, collections of songs/piano pieces were the main format that the middle-class would buy music in, and they were known as… albums!

        I’ve always assumed that this was what our modern usage of “album” for recordings evolved from, though that’s only a guess.

  10. mocon says:

    [deleted trite, obvious piece of snark.]

    I am a lovely person. Apology accepted and returned.

    • Why do people keep feeling it’s necessary to drop that trite, obvious piece of snark on any creative act that’s even slightly outside the norm? I’m sure you’re a lovely person, but argh, that’s becoming such a pet peeve. It always sounds so dismissive, and if you didn’t mean it that way, I apologize for reading too much into it.

  11. Not even a player piano roll?

  12. Patsy says:

    My guess is that Beck won’t ever perform any of these songs until the end of his career. With infinite possibilities and interpretations over the years that will be continuously recorded by thousands of people, eventually the public consciousness will determine what the definitive versions are…creating a sort of  ‘standard’ for each song…that was never officially recorded by the very artist who composed them.

      If that’s not ENOUGH of a mindf**k, Beck will eventually record  HIS versions of these by-then established songs…in effect performing ‘covers’ of songs HE originally wrote in the first place.

    This is the equivalent of everybody reading the same book, but being able to feel what each ‘person’ experienced’ when they read it. 

    This is more than a ‘stunt’ or even a ‘heady’ idea…this is  FU**ING REVOLUTIONARY.

    • Reg Robson says:

       I don’t know about revolutionary. All the Young Dudes was written by David Bowie for Mott the Hoople. Bowie later recorded his own version. Same with almost every song on Tapestry by Carol King. The only difference here is that we have to pay Beck (and his publisher) for the ability to play these songs.

  13. Gonna arrange this on my DAW setup and put some wobbling bass underneath yeaaaaaah

  14. Jake0748 says:

    Who is this “Beck”?

  15. 5onthe5 says:

    If these songs were any good, Beck would have recorded them as an album.

    • esquire says:

      Agreed.  It’s a cool idea and maybe lots of cool stuff will come out of it, but I’m thinking Beck had a bunch of songs he wasn’t that into and he said, “Hey, what if…”

  16. Deidzoeb says:

    Beck’s new book of unrecorded sheet music is being marketed as if it were an “album.” [Fixed that for you.]

    It’s a nice twist, good on him.

    • lafave says:

       al bum (noun)

      4.  a printed book containing an anthology of writings, reproductions of photographs or artwork, musical compositions, etc.

  17. Drabula says:

    It’s just a trick to lure you into Scientology.

  18. jwkrk says:

    Next thing you know, people will go read movies in “book” form…

    • Reg Robson says:

       And then have to perform them themselves on raised platforms so that people could see them.

    • jmdaly says:

      I think it is completely reasonable to consider this an album. All albums are legally made up of two portions, the publishing side, and the master side. The master side refers to the actual recordings of the music, the sonics, ect. The publishing refers to the concepts, the notes, the sheet music. These two things are separate. For instance if you recorded a song by the beatles and put it on your “album” you would own the master recording, but the beatles would still own the publishing, the concept of the song. This is an album where the master recordings are absent. I think this is a totally exciting thing. When one reads music there are infinite modes of interpretation possible. The music can be executed with infinite variation and always will be depending on the relative tuning of instruments and understanding of time ect. To not release a master recording of these tracks seems a way to keep the music the most physically free while still keeping it conceptually stable. These songs could sound like anything! Yet they are still song’s by Beck. The advent of recordings is relatively recent, why be elitist about them? it used to be all songs traveled from person to person or through sheet music. It’s a more democratic, almost less capitalistic mode in a way. If people can’t deal with the idea of not being constrained to understand music through a specific structure in some ways made to sell radio adds ect. back in the day, then oh well… but, I’m gonna buy this thing and play the hell out of these songs, and not record them.

  19. Reg Robson says:

    If anyone does want to hear this album, I will gladly play it for you, for a small fee.

  20. Ian Wood says:

    My new album isn’t even sheet music. You have to imagine the songs on your own.

    Not yet! It’s $10.99.

    Stop that! Fucking pirate.

  21. Halldin Marcus says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUIAc1lFy6E

    This is what happens when you let other people cover becks´s music :(

  22. This is cool.  There should be a contest on Youtube for who can play the best version of each song.

  23. Trey Roady says:

    While this is a fun idea, I can see a direct problem with it. I, for one, will not be listening to this album because I can’t read sheet and don’t have the time or energy to devote to learning sheet.

    Also, my playing abilities are likely too subpar to really get a good sound of it.

    A few people who are excellent musicians might get a really nice experience out of this, but otherwise the rest of us are going to have to pass on this.

  24. MrJM says:

    And they claim there’s nothing Xenu under the sun.

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