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Can you enjoy art, or music from people you disagree with politically or morally?
I probably would disagree to some extent with just about all the classical composers or performers whose work I like. Great art, including classical music, can come from a different part of oneself than political or moral attitudes.
 

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One of the most distressing cultural trends in this century is people defining themselves by what they consume, especially including media. To some extent this has always been the case, as subcultures and cultural scenes have frequently included music, but this trend has sort of accelerated into the mainstream where consuming or not consuming media isn't just reflective on your self, but actually constitutes an act of political or moral advocacy.

Whether or not you want to listen to art made or performed by scumbags, or people you consider extremists is entirely up to you. The mistake is when this becomes considered an act of advocacy rather than a personal preference.
 

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For instance: Wagner, wrote a lot of great music, however was a big racist, Debussy, was just an all around unpleasant person, who happened to write good music. Poe was as well, seemed to like criticizing anyone and everything that wasn't his. You get the idea I hope of what I am asking, I personally can listen to anything that sounds good, and quite often do. What about yourself? Even if the person has been dead for 200 years can you appreciate someones work if you know they were the worst person ever? (In your eyes) Or is the art what is important?
As I've said several times here, when one looks beyond the art to the artist and his public or private life, morals and politics, one is often unimpressed, if not disappointed, or even shocked. To me this isn't surprising. Many artists devote most of what is admirable about them to their art: Their strength, courage, discipline, integrity, imagination, intellect, humility, compassion, humor and generosity are all poured into their art, and much of what is left can be greed, selfishness, arrogance, cruelty, mendacity, pettiness, vindictiveness, cowardice, narrowmindedness and other less admirable traits.

In other words, in their art, great artists stand above and apart. In all other ways, in most cases they are only too much like everyone else.
 

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As I've said several times here, when one looks beyond the art to the artist and his public or private life, morals and politics, one is often unimpressed, if not disappointed, or even shocked. To me this isn't surprising. Many artists devote most of what is admirable about them to their art: Their strength, courage, discipline, integrity, imagination, intellect, humility, compassion, humor and generosity are all poured into their art, and much of what is left can be greed, selfishness, arrogance, cruelty, mendacity, pettiness, vindictiveness, cowardice, narrowmindedness and other less admirable traits.

In other words, in their art, great artists stand above and apart. In all other ways, in most cases they are only too much like everyone else.
I agree with you, which is why I am very selective about which composer biographies I read, and very choosy about who wrote it, what their focus was. I am never interested in a bio that delves into their private lives especially in a gossipy way, and am only really interested in how the life produced the music.
 

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I agree with you, which is why I am very selective about which composer biographies I read, and very choosy about who wrote it, what their focus was. I am never interested in a bio that delves into their private lives especially in a gossipy way, and am only really interested in how the life produced the music.
There was a certain type of Victorian biography which insisted that all artists had to be admirable people and adjusted the biography that way. I don't like biographies which dig for dirt but those that paint it as it was and show that artists are people like other people who have the same traits and faults as the rest of the population. What most amount to is that they happen to be extremely gifted in a certain area. Often they are far less gifted in other areas.
 

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Music is an entire separate entity, for those musicians who can not creat music that is separate from his circumstantial terms, his music would not appeal much, maybe as fun will be OK. However, to take music too seriously is also self-defeating, but you know, using music as means of propagandas is stupid not on the music`s part but on the personal part in relation to music. It would be OK he might be a cheater of his wife but be cheater on music, his music will escape me. Music comes down to music, nothing too serious nor frivolous, as long as the music do not escape from me, I will not from them.
 

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I agree with you, which is why I am very selective about which composer biographies I read, and very choosy about who wrote it, what their focus was. I am never interested in a bio that delves into their private lives especially in a gossipy way, and am only really interested in how the life produced the music.
Give me anecdotes along with factual details about private lives every time. The private life determines so much of the artistic life. Gossip and anecdotes also reveal much imv.
 

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I now feel that the music I love comes to me first, I really do not reject music from my behalf and I am not liking this way of treating music and arts.
 

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Give me anecdotes along with factual details about private lives every time. The private life determines so much of the artistic life. Gossip and anecdotes also reveal much imv.
The trouble is, those facts need to be real, accurate, unbiased and judicially chosen for presentation. The difference is easily seen in biographies of an often written about musician, Leonard Bernstein, in the contrast between a good biography by Humphrey Burton, who knew the man but was not a close friend or colleague, and who is neither mean spirited nor excessively deferential, and a bad one by Joan Peyser, who hunts for malicious and often dubious gossip. But perhaps best of all is one that isn't a biography, strictly speaking, but a collection of correspondence (to and from): The Letters of Leonard Bernstein (Yale University Press, Nigel Simeone, ed.). There, the man and his times emerge through not only he own words, but those of close colleagues, friends and family, as well as other leading figures of the day. What a shame people no longer write letters, especially detailed and serious ones.
 

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Give me anecdotes along with factual details about private lives every time. The private life determines so much of the artistic life. Gossip and anecdotes also reveal much imv.
The other thread about G.F. Haas's article in which he dragged poor Schubert through the sewer of Haas's pornographic imagination was an example of how harmful speculative "information" about a composer's private life can be.

No.

I appreciate and enjoy reading a well-researched biography based on documentary evidence supporting any claims about a composer's life, and enjoy even more a well-argued musical analysis of the works. But no, I do not want anecdotal and especially quasi-psychoanalytical biographies in which the author theorizes motivations or lifestyles based on nothing more than speculation supported by scant evidence, if at all.
 

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The other thread about G.F. Haas's article in which he dragged poor Schubert through the sewer of Haas's pornographic imagination was an example of how harmful speculative "information" about a composer's private life can be.

No.

I appreciate and enjoy reading a well-researched biography based on documentary evidence supporting any claims about a composer's life, and enjoy even more a well-argued musical analysis of the works. But no, I do not want anecdotal and especially quasi-psychoanalytical biographies in which the author theorizes motivations or lifestyles based on nothing more than speculation supported by scant evidence, if at all.
Well in post 48, I certainly didn't have in mind the wild speculations of biographers and writers centuries after a life. Perhaps I should have been more specific, but then again perhaps you should have sought clarification as to my meaning rather than being presumptious and curt.

Reliable witness testimony which recalls anecdotes and gossip can be very illuminating as they were likely a consequence of, or reaction to, a composer's personality.
 

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Can you enjoy art, or music from people you disagree with politically or morally?
Yes, I can and do, where the music of the past is concerned, and where the artist's morals or politics are not an explicit part of the works.

I doubt I could enjoy the works of a present-day artist where their politics/morals are explicit.
 

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Of course if I only enjoyed art from music written by people who I actually felt were morally upstanding then it would thin the field out somewhat! Obviously if a work itself is doubtful morally one has to reconsider. But then we have to take into consideration that people in a different age thought in a different way. It’s a wonder that the PC crowd haven’t been after Falstaff for fat shaming before now!
 

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Of course if I only enjoyed art from music written by people who I actually felt were morally upstanding then it would thin the field out somewhat! Obviously if a work itself is doubtful morally one has to reconsider. But then we have to take into consideration that people in a different age thought in a different way. It's a wonder that the PC crowd haven't been after Falstaff for fat shaming before now!
Leave gourmandizing! Know the grave doth gape for thee thrice wider than for other men.
 

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I can enjoy music by people I disagree with, same goes for enjoying music with lyrics I don't like. Separating the art from the artist, as they say.

However, while the lyrical content/political association of a piece of music doesn't affect my enjoyment of the music itself, it does affect how I interact with the communities surrounding certain music genres. I think the community aspect of music is important since music more enjoyable when shared.

Certain kinds of music will attract certain people. Pop music, for example, is heavily skewed towards young people, so it's bit of a turn-off for me since I think young people are a bit unbearable to be around. I also don't like the noisy and very crowded concert environment that's present in live performances of almost every genre except classical.

That's not to say that I can't appreciate a good pop song, but life is not long enough for me to listen to every piece of music out there, so I won't go out of my way to look for new songs from genres I don't generally like.
 

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I usually ignore all extra-musical information except when I happen to come across something that I find especially obnoxious. This happened recently when someone posted an article by G.F. Haas analyzing Schubert's Erlkönig in a manner in which I thought was tawdry and entirely bogus.

It had the result of my losing any interest in anything Haas might compose. However, I was only mildly interested in his music, previously, in any event.
 

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I have little difficulty in listening to Mark Anthony Turnage’s music, even though he’s an Arsenal supporter.

Similarly, I hold Bob Simpson’s music close to my heart, even though he was a socialist.
 
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