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Thread: TC's Top 50 Composers with Bias Removed

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    Senior Member Ethereality's Avatar
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    Default TC's Top 50 Composers with Bias Removed

    This is a hypothetical list, so take it as you may. I wanted to create a list where TC's opinions were tabulated but mainstream bias was removed (bias from any listener's mainstream origins and lack of experience), thus yielding a more experienced classical opinion, or at least one more foundational to TC. Note: I have no inserted personal bias in this, but have simply done exact math from a neutral stance. I found a major poll with such typical originating mainstream biases that may be similar to anything bleeding into this forum's membership, such as over 20,000 netizens voting Tchaikovsky and Chopin as the 3rd and 4th best composer, Rachmaninoff as 6th best, and thus I placed this list as a lens over TC's Top 50 Poll to act as a bias-removal shield for potential lack of experience (the logic being that, although TC already has a great list, the mistakes will be similar with overall netizens as they are on this forum.) This is called a statistical leverage, where hypothetically we're able to emphasize more experienced TC members out of the bunch. Although my goal with this list was to obtain the more uniquely expert tastes of this forum, in the correct ratio, what it simply does is obtain the forum's differences of perspective compared to the mainstream. Thus the argument formed by this is: expertise may be correlated to this forum where a lack of such is correlated to mainstream opinions, and if so, we can calculate the difference and estimate how much mainstream bias slipped into our own forum polls. Choosing a top composer doesn't necessarily have to do with their influence, but how much we like their music.

    Note: I have inserted no personal bias into this list, but have only done exact math from a neutral stance. For math, the page where the top 35 composers in the forum poll hit max points, was tabulated, and simply added to the earlier difference for the top 35 where an equal exponential growth was carefully measured, as well as an equal range to the following list. (This overall method of tabulating based on the empiricism of forum favoritism is more accurate, where favorites are piled into a list earlier than all the fixes.) Then these TC totals were divided by a <1 root of the total votes each composer received in the mainstream poll, thereby making an equal adjustment everywhere. In plain English, this means I took TC's rating of each composer, and removed some of the mainstream rating of each composer at their given ratio. Remember, this list is hypothetical, so take it as you may. To demonstrate this new method and its change from your typical Top 50 list, once calculating the mainstream origin bias, the overall root (the quotient from list 1 to list 2) was set to 0.3 root. List entries in any new mechanism have to rise and some have to fall inherently, no one can ever agree on any one list or mechanism, so we're left with potentialities which can be argued and never agreed upon. This list attempts to target the more TC-unique sample audience at a given ratio. In this list, we're essentially just looking at the non-mainstream side of TC, in other words, ridding mainstream or inexperienced bias from TC. Here is the result:

    TC's Top 50 Composers with Bias Hypothetically Removed


    1. Mozart
    2. Bach
    3. Haydn
    4. Beethoven
    5. Schubert
    6. Wagner
    7. Brahms
    8. Handel
    9. Schumann
    10. Mendelssohn
    11. Dvořák
    12. Ravel
    13. Mahler
    14. Strauss, Richard
    15. Monteverdi
    16. Chopin
    17. Bartók
    18. Debussy
    19. Stravinsky
    20. Sibelius
    21. Verdi
    22. Liszt
    23. Tchaikovsky
    24. Shostakovich
    25. Bruckner
    26. Berlioz
    27. Prokofiev
    28. Elgar
    29. Bach, J.C.
    30. Nielsen
    31. Fauré
    32. Purcell
    33. Puccini
    34. Scarlatti, Domenico
    35. Vaughan Williams
    36. Rachmaninoff
    37. Palestrina
    38. Schoenberg
    39. Vivaldi
    40. Messiaen
    41. Janáček
    42. Josquin
    43. Mussorgsky
    44. Villa-Lobos
    45. Saint-Saëns
    46. Berg
    47. Grieg
    48. Webern
    49. Rameau
    50. Bach, C.P.E.



    Link to the list originally
    Last edited by Ethereality; Nov-24-2019 at 08:44. Reason: Gluck with only 19 votes, is an outlier. My mistake

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    I believe I understand your general logic in removing bias from the TC list, but I have several questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    I found a major poll with such typical originating mainstream biases that is quite similar to anything bleeding into this forum's membership, such as over 20,000 netizens voting Tchaikovsky and Chopin as the 3rd and 4th best composer, Rachmaninoff as 6th best,
    Are you basically saying that since the major poll has 3 of the top 6 composers clearly "incorrect", the poll is likely biased toward inexperienced listeners? Why are you assuming the bias from inexperience in the "major poll" is essentially the same as the bias in the TC poll from inexperienced listeners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    For math, the page where the top 35 composers in the forum poll hit max points, was tabulated,
    Why did you pick the time when 35 composers had received the maximum value rather than some other time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    and simply added to the earlier difference for the top 35 where an equal exponential growth was carefully measured, as well as an equal range to the following list.
    What does "equal exponential growth" and "equal range" mean in this context? Why did you pick this time during voting (maybe answers to the first question could answer this)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    Then these TC totals were divided by a <1 root of the total votes each composer received in the mainstream poll, thereby making a perfect adjustment everywhere.
    I assume "<1 root" means square root? This procedure reduces the value of TC's totals by a value that's proportional to the square root of the "major poll" votes. You are assuming the "major poll" and the TC poll have additional votes from inexperienced participants. Fine, but how do you know that dividing by the square root of the major poll votes removes or even significantly lessens the inexperience bias of the TC poll?

    Finally, you methodology looks potentially interesting, but I'm not sure that using phrases such as "objective fashion", "perfect adjustment", and "correct difference in removal of mainstream origin bias" helps explain your methodology.

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    Senior Member DaveM's Avatar
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    I don’t know whether the ‘math is as sound as it gets’, but I don’t think it matters because the data it’s based on is flawed. Certainly the order of composers on the list is just off, starting with the top 5 and beyond.

    And Schoenberg, but no Bellini, composer of Norma and 3 other influential operas? Heck, I’d even put Bruch and Paganini above some listed, keeping in mind that Paganini is a stretch, but so are a number of those listed.
    Last edited by DaveM; Nov-23-2019 at 22:54.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmsbls View Post
    ...Finally, your methodology looks potentially interesting, but I'm not sure that using phrases such as "objective fashion", "perfect adjustment", and "correct difference in removal of mainstream origin bias" helps explain your methodology.
    I believe it helps somewhat if you understand the numerical and mystical significance of the orientation and proportions of the Great Pyramid at Giza.
    Last edited by KenOC; Nov-23-2019 at 22:53.


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    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Well it's all Greek to me.
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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    Senior Member Duncan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    This is a hypothetical list, so take it as you may.
    By saying that it's an "hypothetical list" you're essentially stating that it's "imagined or suggested but not necessarily real or true"?

    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dic...h/hypothetical

    This is what "statistical leverage" actually looks like from a mathematical perspective -

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leverage_(statistics)

    Can you provide us with examples of the equations that you used in your interpretation and the data that was inserted within those equations so that we may make an independent analysis to ensure that we arrive at the same conclusions that you have?
    Last edited by Duncan; Nov-24-2019 at 03:57.

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    Senior Member Dr. Shatterhand's Avatar
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    Glad to see the immortal Gluck rated so highly!
    Last edited by Dr. Shatterhand; Nov-24-2019 at 00:01.

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    Senior Member Allerius's Avatar
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    This is the first time when I see Gluck in a top ten composers' list. I like this, as my mother loves him.
    Last edited by Allerius; Nov-24-2019 at 00:47.
    “To do good whenever one can, to love liberty above all else, never to deny the truth, even though it be before the throne.” - Ludwig van Beethoven.

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    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    I'm going to report to the class teacher that Antonin and Christoph cut the line.
    And that Joseph elbowed Ludwig in the face.
    And that Georg Philipp is absent again---the slacker!
    Last edited by Fabulin; Nov-24-2019 at 00:46.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
    I don’t know whether the ‘math is as sound as it gets’, but I don’t think it matters because the data it’s based on is flawed. Certainly the order of composers on the list is just off, starting with the top 5 and beyond.

    And Schoenberg, but no Bellini, composer of Norma and 3 other influential operas? Heck, I’d even put Bruch and Paganini above some listed, keeping in mind that Paganini is a stretch, but so are a number of those listed.
    I think Ethereality would agree that the data is flawed. The OP indicates that the TC poll along with the "major poll" both have biases that the outlined procedure aims to correct. The question is whether the procedure along with the underlying data produce a "better" list than either the "major poll" or the TC poll. Further is the result a reasonable list that an experienced, knowledgeable group of listeners would produce.

    Although my top 20 would differ from the result given, I personally have no real issues with Ethereality's posted top 20 other than Gluck. When you say the "order of composers on the list is just off", I assume you mean that your list differs with Ethereality's. Or do you mean that, in some objective sense, you know the proper list better?

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    Senior Member DaveM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmsbls View Post
    I think Ethereality would agree that the data is flawed. The OP indicates that the TC poll along with the "major poll" both have biases that the outlined procedure aims to correct. The question is whether the procedure along with the underlying data produce a "better" list than either the "major poll" or the TC poll. Further is the result a reasonable list that an experienced, knowledgeable group of listeners would produce.

    Although my top 20 would differ from the result given, I personally have no real issues with Ethereality's posted top 20 other than Gluck. When you say the "order of composers on the list is just off", I assume you mean that your list differs with Ethereality's. Or do you mean that, in some objective sense, you know the proper list better?
    Believe it or not, I always try to be as objective as possible with these top (insert number) composer lists. I don’t go by my favorites. I think I could come up with a more objective list than that one. Unfortunately, my experience on TC is that ‘best composer’ lists are strewn with subjective entries. A number of contributors even say that what they are picking are their favorites regardless of how ridiculous the entries are even when told the list is supposed to be objective. Remember the controversy over the meaning of the word ‘objective’? The concept seems to be a mystery around here.

    Re: the top 20: I agree Gluck shouldn’t be there and neither should Monteverdi, Ravel, Bartok, Debussy and Stravinsky especially considering that composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff Shostakovich and Prokofiev are farther down the list. Sibelius as #21...really? Things get more bizarre the farther down the list you go. In the end, the list is really a reflection of some of the ‘questionable’ (regarding accuracy) polls we’ve had on this forum.

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    Senior Member Lisztian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
    Believe it or not, I always try to be as objective as possible with these top (insert number) composer lists. I don’t go by my favorites. I think I could come up with a more objective list than that one. Unfortunately, my experience on TC is that ‘best composer’ lists are strewn with subjective entries. A number of contributors even say that what they are picking are their favorites regardless of how ridiculous the entries are even when told the list is supposed to be objective. Remember the controversy over the meaning of the word ‘objective’? The concept seems to be a mystery around here.

    Re: the top 20: I agree Gluck shouldn’t be there and neither should Monteverdi, Ravel, Bartok, Debussy and Stravinsky especially considering that composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff Shostakovich and Prokofiev are farther down the list. Sibelius as #21...really? Things get more bizarre the farther down the list you go. In the end, the list is really a reflection of some of the ‘questionable’ (regarding accuracy) polls we’ve had on this forum.
    IMO, the idea that Monteverdi, Ravel, Bartok, Debussy, and Stravinsky shouldn't be in the top 20, and that Bellini is greater than Schoenberg, is as ludicrous to me as the opposite is to you. To me, that's being as highly subjective as those lists you denigrate. Let alone top 20, I think a case could be made for Stravinsky and Debussy being in the top 10.

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    Senior Member DaveM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztian View Post
    IMO, the idea that Monteverdi, Ravel, Bartok, Debussy, and Stravinsky shouldn't be in the top 20, and that Bellini is greater than Schoenberg, is as ludicrous to me as the opposite is to you. To me, that's being as highly subjective as those lists you denigrate. Let alone top 20, I think a case could be made for Stravinsky and Debussy being in the top 10.
    Great composers are measured by their influence on listeners, experts and fellow great composers over time. Have Bellini’s Norma, I Puritani, I Capuleti i e Montecchi, La Sonnambula performed, one each week for 4 weeks, in a major or minor venue and then have whatever Schoenberg work you want played likewise, see what the response is, and then we would have an answer regarding one aspect of who deserves the higher position. Then look at some of the composers that Bellini influenced -and not just a little bit: Verdi, Wagner, Liszt, Chopin, all of which are above Schoenberg on that list. Which composers on that level did Schoenberg influence?

    I could go on.

    Edit: Just for giggles, take look on Amazon. There are more pages of recordings related to Bellini’s Norma alone than recordings of all of Schoenberg’s works.
    Last edited by DaveM; Nov-24-2019 at 07:41.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
    I could go on.
    Knock yourself out! Did you notice that Schoenberg was placed higher than Vivaldi? What a travesty!

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    Senior Member DaveM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portamento View Post
    Knock yourself out! Did you notice that Schoenberg was placed higher than Vivaldi? What a travesty!
    So what? The list is a mess.

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