herodotus wrote: ghettosynth wrote:
herodotus wrote:I have never called any music either 'good' or 'bad' in a public context such as kvr. It doesn't make sense to me. Such a simple dichotomy is too blunt a tool to categorize the many varieties of musical experience.
I will say, though, that there is something rather tendentious in the way many people people use the difficulties involved in applying this dichotomy to music.
The fact that neither J. S. Bach nor Lil Wayne can be said to 'objectively good' or 'objectively bad' doesn't make them equal. It isnt a clever critique of musical standards nor is it a demonstration of the impossibility of such standards. In fact it doesnt really tell us much of anything about anything except how useless these words are for describing or discussing music.
I like how objective becomes "standards" when it becomes clear that it's rather challenging to define an objective measure of music.
No. Objectivity is a scholarly standard that simply doesn't apply to judgements of taste. I don't believe in objective reasons for aesthetic preferences any more than I believe that I love my Wife for objective reasons. I can find objective justifications
for why it was a good idea to marry my Wife, but it would be a lie to say these justifications were the reason I proposed to her. We, or at least I, don't fall in love over a laundry list of fine qualities.
Scholarly's a little heavy, it applies to things that can be measured, wait for it, objectively. My farts are probably objectively louder than yours, for example, assuming, of course, that I lift a cheek first.
But for the rest, the objective standards I am talking about are not on the grand scale of love or beauty. They are practical matters, of practical import. One objective standard would be
"Can you, or can you not play this part?"
Even play requires definition before it can be an objective standard. Probably everyone can play the solo to "I want to be sedated" in some key on the piano.
I think that it's even challenging to come up with an objective measure of "play a part" that will past muster even assuming that the part is "perfectly" notated, if that's even possible. Given that, you are still going to have to aggregate how well notes are played across many notes and here all of the limitations of aggregation will come into play. Moreover, which is better, the person that perfectly replicates the perfect score, or the person who plays it with the feeling that you think best fits the song. Now, how do you objectively define that?
This is something that I ran up against over and over again when trying to work in bands. Some people learn parts faster than other people. Like, a lot faster. Some people hear an unfamiliar scale or an unfamiliar rhythmic figure, listen to it 3 or 4 times, and know how to work with it. Some people never quite seem to learn.
No doubt, but now we're talking the objective measurement of a player's ability to replicate parts in a given style.
So that is an objective standard. I would call the ability to learn unfamiliar music quickly a 'skill'. But you could call it a 'defect' and the quality of learning quickly would have the same practical outcome.
Not so fast, it isn't an objective standard of the music, and two bandleaders might have two different opinions over which of two players is most appropriate for the same style of music. I'm not saying that with sufficient effort you could develop an objective standard of "player skill", we do have algorithms that asses this to some degree today, but you're not there yet and it has nothing to do with whether or not music A is objectively better than music B.
I certainly think that we can subjectively rank players in very strong terms, having auditioned bandmates myself, and I suspect that we can take a few very simple input parameters to build a reasonable predictive model, e.g., years of training, years of experience, number of records sold, number of bands performed in, number of shows, total dollars earned from shows, unique number of styles, etc.
The problem with models like this is that they lack ground truth and so there we are, back to subjective measurement. Anything you choose as a response is either a proxy for talent or a subjective evaluation. You can validate these kinds of models against subjective assessment and, in fact, that's often how it's done. See, for example, papers that talk about automated mixing and mastering. But once you've done that, you're training a model against collective experience and that that's all your objectivity measures.
To assert that they are not equal requires that you have framework that can support the notion of equality in the first place, you don't. You haven't even established a partial ordering of any form.
See above, "Can you, or can you not play this part?"
See above, you're getting warmer but you've not yet established an objective measure of "music", at all. Music doesn't need to be "played" by a "player" at all, in fact, it doesn't even need to be played to exist.
I would think that those of you that interested in "standards" would have academic references to back up your point of view.
Academic references are wonderful, but in the realm of musical learning there are very few studies concerning the practical skills of practicing musicians.
I'm talking about objective measurement of music. That music A of arbitrary genre/style is greater than music B of arbitrary genre/style. That is the claim on offer here. That there exists music that is objectively better than other music. We even have a predictable example, some violin piece is (predictably) better than some pop piece, usually some rap piece.
Sort of like how I don't have a single study proving the statement that "you can't use a garden spade to dig up a concrete driveway", but I feel quite certain that it's true.
No, it's nothing like that at all. We can easily find data to support that thesis. I get that most of you don't want to do the work, but perhaps you should consider that before being so sure.