What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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Mabeanie1
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What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby Mabeanie1 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:16 pm

That's the question I was asked yesterday whilst waiting for the airport bus in Florence. I was totally stumped. Is he a crooner? No I said (or is he???). Does he play jazz? No (though, thinking about it, some of the music could definitely be described as jazz). In the end I ducked the question completely and suggested that they check out some sound samples on the web and decide for themselves but the question has stuck with me and I am wondering how other people would have replied to it.

Wendy
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LisaLCFan
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby LisaLCFan » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:33 pm

If asked, I categorise Leonard as "folk-blues-Euro-pop-jazz-world-gypsy-R&B-soul-with-occasional-tinges-of-country" (in no particular order). :D

(And I would never call him a "crooner"!)
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Mabeanie1
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby Mabeanie1 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:46 pm

Thanks Lisa. That should just about cover it!!

Wendy
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LisaLCFan
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby LisaLCFan » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:15 am

Glad to be of help!
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Cheshire gal
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby Cheshire gal » Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:17 am

Mabeanie1.

His music is a melting pot and appeals to 'everyone'. Definitely not a crooner. This is what makes him so interesting because you cannot pin it down. You really never know what to expect from a new song of his... do you :D


Cheshire gal
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AlanM
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby AlanM » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:23 am

My answer has always been:
He sings story songs while painting intricate word pictures.
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby MaryB » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:12 am

Wendy,

I've always told people when they've asked, that his music has a 'European flavor' - the most beautiful melodies. And that doesn't really capture it either.
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mat james
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby mat james » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:14 am

What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?
I think he would play Bach, Theodorakis and perhaps also some Gypsy tunes :idea: ;-)
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remote1
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby remote1 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:45 am

I've been thinking about this... He's eclectic, certainly, but to narrow it down, I was wondering if we can say that, whereas he used to be into folk rock, he is now more into bluesy rock. Would that be fair to say?

Having said that, I think LisaLCFan's answer is the most accurate, but I would struggle to remember it, that's the only problem! :D
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LisaLCFan
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby LisaLCFan » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:21 am

I think I missed one: "gospel," so please add that into my original description! ;-)
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby holydove » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:01 pm

Leonard himself once said that his music is a mix of Folk - European - & Synagogue Cantor ( isn't that fascinating & beautiful? He said this in the '70's - you will also see him saying it in an interview in Bird On A Wire). So, forgive me if I am too demanding, but I think we also have to add "Synagogue Cantor" to Lisa's otherwise very thorough description!!
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Mabeanie1
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby Mabeanie1 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:43 pm

Thanks to everyone for their input. One thing is puzzling me and I meant to follow up on it after Mary's response a few days ago and forgot but Rachel has just reminded me.

What is "European music"? It is a term which is totally meaningless to me as a European!

Wendy
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Cheshire gal
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby Cheshire gal » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:57 pm

Mabeanie1 asks what is European music?

I think I know what it is when I hear it but it is hard to describe. I would have to say it is the use of different instruments. Javier Mas' oud is one. But I love it, it is just not the regular guitars that are used in popular songs. Seems to be influenced by Greek instruments also. This probably does not make sense. But anyway it sounds 'heavenly'. :D
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby MaryB » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:00 pm

I guess I consider European music that which has it's origins in the folk music of all European countries ie. waltzes, tangos, polkas, czardas, etc. Songs that have been passed down for generations. Does that make sense?
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horo1984
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby horo1984 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:24 pm

Lisa's description gets my vote too :) Few singers have so eclectic a variety of songs.

I need to say this: the musical element in LC's songs is always very good. Problem is, his lyrics are DIVINE. This prompts his detractors to say that he can write but can't sing, which is pure garbage (among the flowers :lol: ) in my opinion.

Me? I think you can never separate the two. But yes, when you fall for a song, you are either drawn first to the lyrics or the music. Both instances apply to me:

e.g.
Lyrics first - Stranger Song: initially I just kept skipping the track! But the lyrics - perfection.
Music first - Lover, Lover, Lover: initially, the classic opening lines of the song were all I could remember. I was quite content to listen to it for the melody alone (especially the live versions).

But I digress here. Must be the insomniac in me talking :D


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Last edited by horo1984 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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