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Thread: "90% of everything is crap." True or False?

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Default "90% of everything is crap." True or False?

    There are lots of crappy piano concertos out there, as well as string quartets and symphonies. Do you believe that "90% of everything is crap?" Or not?

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    From another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub:
    "I disagree with the whole premise: the violin concertos we know are the cream of the crop. So the great concertos of Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich get far more play time than the others. The Elgar and Khachaturian are superb, too, if not played as often. But then there are hundreds, probably thousands, of crappy concertos. Bruch wrote three, but only the first is commonly played, the other two just don't measure up. The Karlowicz deserves more exposure, but for some people it's pretty lame. But then consider the concertos of Paganini,Viotti, Wieniawski and their ilk: the performer/composer. Pytotechnics aplenty and musically empty. And of the poor concertos, those are the good ones!"

    mbhaub here touches upon a subject that, for me, sits just below the surface in any overall discussion of CM: how "good" is the music, really, taken as a whole? This again feeds back into my stressing just how important, how utterly central, are our own unique, personal reactions to music and art.

    The simple truth is that while I enjoy a broad spectrum of CM (and other musics) and a large repertoire of favored works, a rather large proportion of CM is of no interest to me at all; it's just "product" called CM, churned out by hordes of composers--some famous, other no-name nobodies. The finding that "90% of everything is crap", by a host of rival discoverers, remains very probably one of the most accurate observations of music and the arts made by human beings and admitted by such in their moments of self-honesty.

    My hat is off to mbhaub for stating this finding very clearly that "there are hundreds, probably thousands, of crappy concertos." And symphonies, and string quartets, and trios, and tone poems, and any number of other genres and pieces as well. We like what we like, and disregard the rest. And that's just as it should be.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; May-16-2020 at 15:57.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    In general yes. But you come into problems if you go too specific. For instance, it's likely that 90% of all music ever composed is crap. But once you do a sifting, the number decreases. I do not expect that 90% of all recorded classical music is crap. I certainly do not believe that 90% of all compositions by any composer of fame is crap.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member eljr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    There are lots of crappy piano concertos out there, as well as string quartets and symphonies. Do you believe that "90% of everything is crap?" Or not?
    there is good music and there is great music, there is no bad music
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
    Voltaire

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    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    At what point does it become so bad that it is not really music?

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Who's to say what's crap music? Every day I read glowing comments about music I consider crap.

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    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    Who's to say what's crap music? Every day I read glowing comments about music I consider crap.
    I believe that everyone is entitled to say, in accordance with his or her own opinions and responses. Such it is for any art.
    Last edited by JAS; May-16-2020 at 16:19.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    Who's to say what's crap music? Every day I read glowing comments about music I consider crap.
    Are you sure that's "crap" and not "rap?"
    Last edited by millionrainbows; May-16-2020 at 16:19.

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Two posts from MR about pruning out the less wonderful in the space of a few hours. I sometimes go through those purging moods but have learned to be a little cautious. One thing is certain is that I won't dismiss music that I feel I am not (yet) understanding.

    Of the rest - the music that is known and noted by scholars at least and the contemporary music that appeals to an audience now but will probably be forgotten in 50 years - that music may be 90% of the whole and it may not be so wonderful and unmissable ... but "crap" seems a bit strong. Still, with so much great music written between the 12th century and now, I don't really have time for that 90%.
    Last edited by Enthusiast; May-16-2020 at 16:25.

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    I'd venture that while my top tier may not look like anybody else's, my trash heap has a lot in common with everybody...

    Sometimes the trash heap gets a second chance - for me right now that would be the symphonies of Bax... perhaps best appreciated as if Mahler never existed...
    Last edited by philoctetes; May-16-2020 at 16:25.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philoctetes View Post
    Sometimes the trash heap gets a second chance - for me right now that would be the symphonies of Bax... perhaps best appreciated as if Mahler never existed...
    Maybe you're right, Philoctetes; we need the crap in our collection to remind us of how good the good stuff really is.

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Maybe you're right, Philoctetes; we need the crap in our collection to remind us of how good the good stuff really is.
    Or maybe to remind me that too much of the "good stuff" makes philo a dull boy...

    this approach has been especially rewarding for me lately with those jazz reissues from the 50s of forgotten stuff... while I could still be sleeping to "So What" for the millionth time...
    Last edited by philoctetes; May-16-2020 at 16:38.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philoctetes View Post
    I'd venture that while my top tier may not look like anybody else's, my trash heap has a lot in common with everybody...

    Sometimes the trash heap gets a second chance - for me right now that would be the symphonies of Bax... perhaps best appreciated as if Mahler never existed...
    Yes, an interesting thought. Whenever I get into a Mahler kick, I overdose before too long. Maybe I need to balance it out with "lesser" music. Ditto for Beethoven. Maybe it's time to give Bax another chance.
    Last edited by flamencosketches; May-16-2020 at 16:41.

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    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Maybe you're right, Philoctetes; we need the crap in our collection to remind us of how good the good stuff really is.
    It might also be that we are not always in a proper mood or circumstances for the dizzying heights of greatness.
    Last edited by JAS; May-16-2020 at 16:42.

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    Senior Member Dimace's Avatar
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    What I could say is that nowadays (and the last 30 years or so) we don't have many great performances & performers. With some composers especially (like Schumann) this problem is big. But this 90% of crap music is completely a bad exaggeration. Most of CM is good, very good or great and also for modern music this percentage is insane.
    „Es gibt drei Arten von Pianisten: jüdische Pianisten, homosexuelle Pianisten -- und schlechte Pianisten.“ V. Horowitz

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