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Thread: A thought experiment for the objectivists

  1. #991
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    You statement is not objective and is 100% subjective assessment of the skill and creativity at work in a rap song. Am I denigrating an orange by saying it is not an apple?

    What you appear incapable of understanding is that Mozart accomplished great things in the 18th century Western European musical tradition. A hip-hop performer such as Lauren Hill has accomplished great things in her own right, but coming from an entirely different culture.

    To the extent you are incapable of appreciating what hip-hop/rap artists do, it is evidence of your bias and incomplete knowledge of the skill set at work in that genre.
    I like rap, but I think it says something that rap artists don't need any training in music to write their songs, while even with training Mozart's 40th symphony is not something people could write.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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  3. #992
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    I like rap, but I think it says something that rap artists don't need any training in music to write their songs, while even with training Mozart's 40th symphony is not something people could write.
    What makes you think they don't have any training? They just don't get it in a conservatory. They get it from cutting contests where they have to demonstrate their prowess against another rapper, on the spot, spontaneously. If you think this is easy, I suggest you try it sometime.

    After a period of apprenticeship a rapper will emerge with enough skill and a unique voice that he gets an audience and reputation.

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    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    I like rap, but I think it says something that rap artists don't need any training in music to write their songs, while even with training Mozart's 40th symphony is not something people could write.
    Mozart wrote about 60 symphonies (the Köchel 41 is not accurate), so that's a lifetime of creativity, study and development of his taste by the time he wrote the 40th K. 550. If you listen to his childhood early symphonies and straight to the last three, you know what this means. I can't see any equivalent in rap music, none. There probably never will be.
    "You must have no dependence on your own genius. If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency." Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, FRS, FRSA (1723 - 1792)

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    Senior Member BachIsBest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    I thought the position of the "objectivists" was that there are works that are objectively superior to other works. And those of us on the subjectivist side have been saying that there is a lot of subjectivity at work when these judgments are made.

    I have posted something to the effect that objective data offers no room for debate. Something is either heavier than something else or it is not. This question is answered by weighing the two items. No room for subjectivity. For this reason I have also posted several times that I think the term objective has been misused. People have spent a lot of time pointing to objective elements in classical works, while ignoring the obvious subjective aspect of evaluating them. If the process were truly objective there would be one ranked list of the greatest works in history, and no one would disagree. But we know that is not true.

    A lot of pages have been created about this topic on several threads, and now you say we are essentially saying the same thing?
    I don't think many are disputing that there are subjective influences at work when people make these judgements, just that they are not entirely based on subjective influences; much of the judgement of artistic excellence also rests on more objective influences.

    A lot of objective things offer little room for debate, but these tend to be things that are completely understood. No one here (I hope) denies that they're objective laws behind the universes functioning, but what these laws are is under a lot of debate. There are obvious subjective elements in trying to evaluate the objective laws of the universe (although I will concede, there are more in music), but this does not preclude the fundamentally objective nature of these laws.

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    Senior Member BachIsBest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    Nobody is doing away with the very concept of artistic skill and excellence. We've discussed the issue of skill as neither a necessary nor a sufficient requirement for people to be deeply affected by their experiences with art. We've discussed the skill of Ingres with paint and brush and his use of it to create kitsch (IMO) with his gifts. And everyone can ascribe excellence to any art object at their will. I do it all the time. But some of us really like to be agreed with; others affirm the validity of their esthetic decisions whether agreed with or not.
    Maybe no one is trying to do away with artistic skill, but certainly, you are trying to do away with the concept of artistic excellence. Your entire argument is that art evaluation is entirely subjective; if this is the case an artist may be popular, enduring, or enlightening to some people, but not excellent, at least not in the universal sense with which excellence is normally used.

    Of course anyone could ascribe excellence to anything one so desires; some do it with a toilet and an unmade bed, others with invisible cloths. Whether or not this is correct, well that's another matter.

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
    The part of your post I quoted was not an argument and you know it. You are now starting to confuse some of your comments and hyperbole with arguments. Take your own advice and stick with the facts of the case.
    You are gripped by my "style" of posting, my choice of words, phrases, metaphors, etc. Why not defocus on that and deal with either a serious refutation of my position or a rigorous demonstration of your position. More productive.

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BachIsBest View Post
    Maybe no one is trying to do away with artistic skill, but certainly, you are trying to do away with the concept of artistic excellence. Your entire argument is that art evaluation is entirely subjective; if this is the case an artist may be popular, enduring, or enlightening to some people, but not excellent, at least not in the universal sense with which excellence is normally used.

    Of course anyone could ascribe excellence to anything one so desires; some do it with a toilet and an unmade bed, others with invisible cloths. Whether or not this is correct, well that's another matter.
    Exactly my position regarding art. Beauty is in the eye/ear of the beholder. All of the shopworn, tired clichés of de gustibus, etc. are at the core of my thesis regarding the esthetics of the art experience. Old stuff, been around since...whenever. I have my own notions of artistic excellence--who doesn't? Ask yourself: do you know anyone who has no notion of artistic excellence? I don't. I have this nagging suspicion that, after now thousands of posts, the same strange attributes are assigned to my assertion of what flows from the position that all esthetics are subjective, personal, idiosyncratic, and valid.

  11. #998
    Senior Member DaveM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    You are gripped by my "style" of posting, my choice of words, phrases, metaphors, etc. Why not defocus on that and deal with either a serious refutation of my position or a rigorous demonstration of your position. More productive.
    Take your own advice for once. That great -irrelevant to the discussion- comment of yours already drove off a poster: ‘objectivists seem to only find musical comfort in their choices when they look around and see that their peers share their preferences’. Or maybe you think that’s ‘productive’.
    Last edited by DaveM; Yesterday at 23:43.

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    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BachIsBest View Post
    Maybe no one is trying to do away with artistic skill, but certainly, you are trying to do away with the concept of artistic excellence. Your entire argument is that art evaluation is entirely subjective; if this is the case an artist may be popular, enduring, or enlightening to some people, but not excellent, at least not in the universal sense with which excellence is normally used.

    Of course anyone could ascribe excellence to anything one so desires; some do it with a toilet and an unmade bed, others with invisible cloths. Whether or not this is correct, well that's another matter.
    Centuries ago, artists were recognized as learned masters. Sir Joshua Reynolds founded the Royal Academy of Arts and the best painters, sculptors, architects of the day to name a few, came together to "promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts". Today, anyone can be an artist just because one proclaims it and anything can be art because the artist declares it or someone else does. It is mostly arbitrary. And this arbitrary approach came out of postmodernism and the changing western world after WWII that promoted individualism of arbitrary freedom (among other things). It also explains why art hasn't really had a new golden age, exactly because of this arbitrary freedom.
    "You must have no dependence on your own genius. If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency." Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, FRS, FRSA (1723 - 1792)

  13. #1000
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
    Take your own advice for once.
    Yes..............(of course).
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Yesterday at 23:43.

  14. #1001
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BachIsBest View Post
    I don't think many are disputing that there are subjective influences at work when people make these judgements, just that they are not entirely based on subjective influences; much of the judgement of artistic excellence also rests on more objective influences.

    A lot of objective things offer little room for debate, but these tend to be things that are completely understood. No one here (I hope) denies that they're objective laws behind the universes functioning, but what these laws are is under a lot of debate. There are obvious subjective elements in trying to evaluate the objective laws of the universe (although I will concede, there are more in music), but this does not preclude the fundamentally objective nature of these laws.
    I thought we were talking about music. Universal laws of the universe are not relevant, IMO. By arguing the subjective quality of assessing music I am not claiming that everything in life is judged subjectively.

    Here is my view in a nutshell:

    1. there are some objective data in every piece of music
    2. depending upon the genre this data can be stylistically very different
    3. it is the assessment of this objective data that is subjective
    4. it is not productive to compare a work from one genre with one from a different genre since the relevant data from each work will not line up for comparison, i.e. comparing apples and oranges.
    5. having objective data available does not mitigate the fact that the overall process of evaluating music is subjective
    Last edited by SanAntone; Yesterday at 23:55.

  15. #1002
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
    Take your own advice for once. That great -irrelevant to the discussion- comment of yours already drove off a poster: ‘objectivists seem to only find musical comfort in their choices when they look around and see that their peers share their preferences’. Or maybe you think that’s ‘productive’.
    You are referring to Consuono, I trust. He had no agency in your view, rather, it seems he was "driven" from the discussion. I am supposed to repent? Where indeed has this discussion wandered to, if this is to be the next area of contention? Perhaps he saw either the futility of his avenue of rebuttal or became convinced he was in error. Maybe he just got tired.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Yesterday at 23:58.

  16. #1003
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    What makes you think they don't have any training? They just don't get it in a conservatory. They get it from cutting contests where they have to demonstrate their prowess against another rapper, on the spot, spontaneously. If you think this is easy, I suggest you try it sometime.

    After a period of apprenticeship a rapper will emerge with enough skill and a unique voice that he gets an audience and reputation.
    That's not musical training, as in the rudiments. I know you might say it's only Western Classical Music rudiments. But what is that complex in rap, beside some tuplets here and there? The beat is normally divided in 2's and 4's. You don't need special training to pick it up. It's all in improvising the rhythm.
    Last edited by Phil loves classical; Today at 00:09.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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