Hi Mark. Just kidding!Automatic Gainsay wrote:Hi, everyone. I know you'll want to punch me in the face for this, but I gotta say:
There are indeed indicators for quality music. Like everything else in the world, people have tried to find objective measurements for subjective things. Just because they are not 100% accurate at all times due to the way that the human experience is largely a bell-curve, does not mean they do not exist, or that they're not at all accurate.
Many people here look at electronic music as a personal expression, a pastime, an activity, a hobby, etc. But I guarantee to you: If you go to college for music, you will experience a VERY DISTINCT OBJECTIVE MEANS OF QUALITY ASSESSMENT that will undoubtedly really piss you off. But in the academic and historical worlds, and even art world, objective measurement of music exists.
It's easy to sit on the internet and say "all of us think music quality is subjective and wholly opinion!" But you're not in the thick of things. Where quality music matters... in the various industry where money is indeed made from it... quality music matters.
Yes, everyone has a different experience of music, and different people like different things, and sometimes musicians who know nothing about music make music that is as popular as music made by incredibly talented and skilled experts. But to use those things as a justification for the concept that quality of music doesn't matter, or that everyone has a different means of assessing quality, is to ignore the fact that the average of people tend to like what they all agree is "good music." All of you here have bands that you, on average, uniformly agree "are good." It's not just by chance that your tastes align. THERE IS CRITERIA. And that criteria isn't just a consensus of opinion.
For all of you who are so outraged at the concept that commodore is asserting... I would like to encourage you to either go to college, or get a job in the scoring industry. There are some sobering truths headed your way if you do.
There are indicators of quality music. Quality matters. The criteria for assessing quality varies depending on the audience and the context of reception. There is a plethora of different audience groups and contexts of reception. This is distinctly different from saying that there is no way of assessing quality, or that quality doesn't matter. While there may be something like Wittgenstein's family resemblance going on with the underlying similarities in what constitutes a quality piece of music, some contexts of reception place very little to no importance on criteria that for others is fundamental. Some contexts are also more complicated than piece of music-> listener; involving 'where the music is played,' 'what accompanies the music,' and so on. In order to properly asses a piece, you have to take its intended audience and context of reception into consideration, or otherwise clarify what audience/ context is the horizon for your assessment.
Thus, a number of statements can be said of a given piece without contradiction (examples omitted), none of which entail a relative position, or the sort of quality-nihilism that has come up numerous times in this thread. I hope this clarifies the issue of arriving at musical standards once and for all.