View Poll Results: Are Listeners Permitted To Dislike, And Express Such Dislike, Of Pieces Of Music?

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    104 96.30%
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Thread: Are Listeners Permitted To Dislike, And Express Such Dislike, Of Pieces Of Music?

  1. #1
    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    Default Are Listeners Permitted To Dislike, And Express Such Dislike, Of Pieces Of Music?

    It seems to me there are folks who have a very hard time reading other people's expression of dislike of some pieces of music. (This appears to be the case more often than not, of supporters of modern classical music).

    Well, let me put this question to you. It is a simple question, so please don't get tied down to debates about what definitions should apply to certain words. I'm just a plain music student, who embraces music that I like, and discharge those that I don't.

    Are listeners allowed to dislike and express their dislike of pieces of music? From Monteverdi to Mozart to 2013 whatevers today.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Of course listeners are free to express their dislike of pieces of music. They should make it clear that it is a personal opinion & should not behave as if everyone is bound to agree with them - give reasons for their dislike - and avoid insulting composers & musicians or a whole genre of music.

    If the courtesies are observed, it would be wrong to deny the right of free speech to a disliker.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

  4. #3
    MacLeod
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    Yes, of course. It's the manner of the expression that is sometimes unacceptable.

  5. #4
    some guy
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    Wrong question.

    It's not about "permission."

    I could equally ask "Are listeners permitted to dislike expressions of dislike? Are they permitted to respond to those expressions? To question them?"

    The answer to THAT seems to be a resounding "NO!!"

    People who express dislike of new music must be able to express their dislike without any kind of reaction except approval.

    Even if their dislike is totally irrational and grounded in no sort of experience at all.

    Only approval. Nothing else is acceptable.

    Um. Sure.

    Here's some questions for you, Mr. Plain Music Student: Why is it so important to you to whinge about new music? Why, even more importantly, is it so important for you to whinge about it without getting any negative reactions to your whinging? You want to express negative reactions to certain types of music, but you don't want anyone to express any negative reactions to your expressions?

    OK. Good luck with that.
    Last edited by some guy; Sep-21-2013 at 10:39.

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    Yes, I don't see why they shouldn't! I, as many TCers know, am very ready to express my own dislike of certain types of music! But that doesn't mean I disrespect it. There is nothing to disrespect when it comes to the creation of any type of art for any audience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    It seems to me there are folks who have a very hard time reading other people's expression of dislike of some pieces of music. (This appears to be the case more often than not, of supporters of modern classical music).

    Well, let me put this question to you. It is a simple question, so please don't get tied down to debates about what definitions should apply to certain words. I'm just a plain music student, who embraces music that I like, and discharge those that I don't.
    If I embrace and advocate the modern classical music I like in a thread devoted to the discussion of it, you can sure as hell say you don't actually like the music but it's far better to be positive than negative. People might start to get the impression that you are a "modern music hater," so it's wise to not always express your dislike of it whenever you get the chance.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    I thought this sort of discussion was the point of a forum like this. As long as any disagreement takes place in a polite and respectful way of course. That is the basis of civilised discussion.

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    Of course, anybody is allowed to state their dislikes, whatever they may be... but...

    [1] please state this is your opinion, not as an absolute truth (no matter how much the latter may be an implied opinion). "I dislike the final movement of Beethoven's 9th, to me it sounds forced and ugly" is a perfectly acceptable post, but "The final movement of Beethoven's 9th is rubbish, forced and ugly" will get understandable heated reactions from those who love this piece.

    [2] please make sure you do not make sweeping statements based on next to nothing. "I think the music of John Cage is rubbish" is a nonsensical statement if you have only heard (or probably heard of) 4'33 and none of his other compositions. Again, you will get understandable heated reactions from those who love this composer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    I thought this sort of discussion was the point of a forum like this. As long as any disagreement takes place in a polite and respectful way of course. That is the basis of civilised discussion.
    That's the basis of a civilised argument, almost all civilised discussions I have ever had were not based on a disagreement.

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    Senior Member Schubussy's Avatar
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    It seems to me there are folks who have a very hard time reading other people's expression of dislike of some pieces of music. (This appears to be the case more often than not, of supporters of modern classical music).
    I just hate reading stupid/ignorant opinions from people judging huge amounts of music that they've never explored. But if you don't like some music and it's not for some dumb reason, fine (although I will think you're weird if you don't like Ravel).

    Hip-hop is all 'money & hoes' and modern classical is random noise.

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    Rather than saying I dislike the music, I prefer to say that I haven't appreciated it yet, or something along those lines. In my experience hitherto, things grow on me eventually.

    Of course most music appeals to me immediately. If I were one of those - sometimes it seems to me the majority here - who do not easily enjoy music, or do not enjoy much music (~"only the best!"~), maybe my tastes would be less elastic.

    The issue is that when you say something like, "This music is stupid," you're always and inevitably implying something like, "People who enjoy this music are stupid." If not "stupid" then whatever insult you want to use. Unless the music in question is directed exclusively at teenagers, the latter statement is probably not true. In any case, the statement should probably be seen as a reflection on the speaker rather than on the music. When someone tells me, "Classical music sucks," I never think, "Hmmm, I didn't know that, I'll have to reevaluate it in light of that dude's opinion." Instead, of course, I think, "That dude is clueless about classical music." And when I say that I don't like new country, that tells you more about me than it does about new country.
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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schubussy View Post
    Opera is all 'money & hoes.'
    FYP.

    (Is this the inaugural "FYP" on talkclassical.com? Am I a trendsetter? If the answers to either of these questions are 'No,' then keep it to yourself, buddy. I have an inflated self-esteem to maintain.)
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    I've only seen supporters of modern music get angry when people start calling their favourite composers hacks, charlatans, degenerates etc. without anything to back up their claims, which soon lose their cunning disguises and reveal themselves to be nothing more than "I don't get it," and when they are called out on this the message becomes "if you like it that's fine but I'm still going to heavily imply that it isn't." It seems perfectly reasonable to me that they would get angry at this kind of baiting and especially when it is persistent, as it often becomes when we have our routine "Is It Really Music?" and "Hey Guys Look at This Milton Babbitt Article Again for the 50th Time" threads every few months.

    The anti-modernists, when confronted with an unfavourable opinion of their infallible god composer of choice, resort either to mass bullying or extreme condescension, the latter taking the usual form of "Of course it's okay you don't like it, it just means you're a bit dumb. " Personally I don't think that kind of reaction is justified, as far as I can see it only serves to maintain the popular stereotype of the classical music listener, and is more likely to prevent someone from coming to enjoy Composer X in the future than simple reassurance that it's not a personality flaw to have an opinion that doesn't fall along the party line.
    Last edited by Crudblud; Sep-21-2013 at 12:03.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crudblud View Post
    I've only seen supporters of modern music get angry when people start calling their favourite composers hacks, charlatans, degenerates etc. without anything to back up their claims, which soon lose their cunning disguises and reveal themselves to be nothing more than "I don't get it," and when they are called out on this the message becomes "if you like it that's fine but I'm still going to heavily imply that it isn't." It seems perfectly reasonable to me that they would get angry at this kind of baiting and especially when it is persistent, as it often becomes when we have our routine "Is It Really Music?" and "Hey Guys Look at This Milton Babbitt Article Again for the 50th Time" threads every few months.

    The anti-modernists, when confronted with an unfavourable opinion of their infallible god composer of choice, resort either to mass bullying or extreme condescension, the latter taking the usual form of "Of course it's okay you don't like it, it just means you're a bit dumb. " Personally I don't think that kind of reaction is justified, as far as I can see it only serves to maintain the popular stereotype of the classical music listener, and is more likely to prevent someone from coming to enjoy Composer X in the future than simple reassurance that it's not a personality flaw to have an opinion that doesn't fall along the party line.
    The Whole Thing Modernists Vs. The Anti-Modernists Thing (hereafter "The Whole Thing") is a great debate for me because I scorn both sides, and they scorn me done and then done double, so there's all kinds of fun for everyone.

    Of course The Whole Thing reduces nakedly to nothing more than a zero-sum rhetorical game. The fallout of it is that people enjoy music less than they otherwise would, but that's less a bug than a feature. The goal of the game is to reinforce our status, and we cannot do so more efficiently than completely turning away newcomers to the scene. We have to defend our turf. So, boys: Ready! Aim! Bile!
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    It seems to me there are folks who have a very hard time reading other people's expression of dislike of some pieces of music. (This appears to be the case more often than not, of supporters of modern classical music).

    Well, let me put this question to you. It is a simple question, so please don't get tied down to debates about what definitions should apply to certain words. I'm just a plain music student, who embraces music that I like, and discharge those that I don't.

    Are listeners allowed to dislike and express their dislike of pieces of music? From Monteverdi to Mozart to 2013 whatevers today.
    Yup! I can see nothing wrong with somebody saying they dislike e.g. harpsichord music because it's too twangly or electronic music because they can't hear a melody or whatever. It's all a matter of taste

    I particularly like the version from Tristram Shandy - "De gustibus non disputandum est—that is, there is no disputing against Hobby-Horses; and for my part, I seldom do".

    When I see a thread that looks as if it might be "contentious", I avoid it (unless I espy some spark of humour in the participants). It's a matter of live and let live - there is no need to look for insults or to deal them out.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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