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"Standards of what we like and dislike" is a little vague. I don't feel particularly predisposed to like atonal music, but I love Webern and most Schoenberg.
I'm not sure what you find vague about it as your second sentence doesn't seem to follow. If you like Webern and most Schoenberg then there is some standard (even if you can't articulate it) upon which you think they succeed in order to engender your liking of them. That standard isn't necessarily atonal music in the abstract, but has to do with how they use atonality to make the music they do.
 

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I'm not sure what you find vague about it as your second sentence doesn't seem to follow. If you like Webern and most Schoenberg then there is some standard (even if you can't articulate it) upon which you think they succeed...
But they set the standard, not me. The craftsmanship and logic in their work is what is appealing. If it's just a predisposition to "like" something, then first impressions would be set in stone. I don't know how much music I've at first intuitively disliked but then come to admire and in some cases love after studying it more.
 

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But they set the standard, not me.
They just made the music. If their music becomes the standard it's only because you (and others) liked it and accepted it as the standard by which to judge similar music by. Further, you liked it because you feel it succeeded on some standard, even if the standard is as basic/simple as "it moves me."

EDIT: replied before I saw your further edit, but I feel like you answered me yourself: you found the craftmanship/logic appealing so that was the standard you were using to judge their success. I'm not saying this is necessarily a predisposition towards liking something. Our tastes can change with more exposure and understanding, but that in itself is a subjective phenomena in that what's changing is our minds, not the art.
 

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They just made the music. If their music becomes the standard it's only because you (and others) liked it and accepted it as the standard by which to judge similar music by. Further, you liked it because you feel it succeeded on some standard, even if the standard is as basic/simple as "it moves me."
They made the music. I didn't. And that's no triviality. If I had that standard pre-implanted in my brain i could've "just made the music" myself. The mind perceives, but there are also qualities in the thing perceived.
 

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They made the music. I didn't. And that's no triviality. If I had that standard pre-implanted in my brain i could've "just made the music" myself.
I don't see how that follows. What does having a standard in your mind (pre-implanted or not) have to do with making the music yourself? I don't see how the two are even remotely connected. The creative process involves more than just following a standard that you're (consciously or unconsciously) aware of. Composers may have standards that they follow themselves, but backed up by a boatload of technical know-how as well as that mysterious thing we call inspiration.
 

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I don't see how that follows. What does having a standard in your mind (pre-implanted or not) have to do with making the music yourself? I don't see how the two are even remotely connected. The creative process involves more than just following a standard that you're (consciously or unconsciously) aware of. Composers may have standards that they follow themselves, but backed up by a boatload of technical know-how as well as that mysterious thing we call inspiration.
Right, and that boatload of technical know-how and skill and judgement are as external to me as the rings of Saturn. That's why even though I may be able to articulate what I love about a Bach fugue, I can't replicate it.
 

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“I would answer your questions with this question: constructive to what end, and what does either have to do with our future well-being? We're talking about understanding aesthetics, not curing cancer or learning how to do our taxes!”

I think about the children who are lucky enough to develop an interest in CM because it just might stick with them through the decades. Life is difficult and the music can grow with us. And then I think about the kids who have never had the chance.

“I don't see how either approach as you wrote them will "promote through education the 'best' music to endure to the future;" that kind of preservation for posterity falls on choices made by actual educators and, to a lesser extent, passionate music fans like ourselves. As to whether it actually promotes "the best music to endure," that's kinda the issue we're trying to get at, or maybe under.”

I think about the audiences down through the centuries who have had to become educated and accustomed to the rise of dissonance and the more complex forms and all the increasing artistically-constrained ambiguity.

“I don't disagree with anything in your last paragraph, though I'm also not sure how it relates to the discussion at hand since I didn't really mention entertainment VS learning technical subjects.”

It's just that people grow weary of being preached at, with no feelings of a personal interaction.
 

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I believe Strange Magic does not approach art as simplistically as you suggest. I assume he is happy to discuss details of art and would engage with others about aspects of a work. I also assume he would and has changed his opinion of the value of works based on reading, discussing, and thinking about them. The only difference is that ultimately, he views all art appreciation as subjective. Everyone in the world could believe that a Rembrandt is superior to the stick figure and still view all art as subjective.
As you know, SM and I have talked for years about science stuff. So I'm surprised that he doesn't approach music as he would a subject in science.
 

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“I would answer your questions with this question: constructive to what end, and what does either have to do with our future well-being? We're talking about understanding aesthetics, not curing cancer or learning how to do our taxes!”

I think about the children who are lucky enough to develop an interest in CM because it just might stick with them through the decades. Life is difficult and the music can grow with us. And then I think about the kids who have never had the chance.

“I don't see how either approach as you wrote them will "promote through education the 'best' music to endure to the future;" that kind of preservation for posterity falls on choices made by actual educators and, to a lesser extent, passionate music fans like ourselves. As to whether it actually promotes "the best music to endure," that's kinda the issue we're trying to get at, or maybe under.”

I think about the audiences down through the centuries who have had to become educated and accustomed to the rise of dissonance and the more complex forms and all the increasing artistically-constrained ambiguity.

“I don't disagree with anything in your last paragraph, though I'm also not sure how it relates to the discussion at hand since I didn't really mention entertainment VS learning technical subjects.”

It's just that people grow weary of being preached at, with no feelings of a personal interaction.
In modern times with the internet making all music of all times and cultures immediately accessible we have less reason to worry about kids not having a chance to be exposed to any music; the more pressing issue is one of time and interest. Most people are happy with music being a background soundtrack to their lives and aren't too picky about what that soundtrack is or if there are other options out there they aren't aware of but might like more if they took the time/effort to find it. This is still pretty trivial in the grand scheme of "well-being."

Not sure what you're getting at with the "audiences down through the centuries..." part...

Do you feel anyone is being preached at in this thread? Or are you referring to some other preaching happening elsewhere?
 

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In modern times with the internet making all music of all times and cultures immediately accessible we have less reason to worry about kids not having a chance to be exposed to any music; the more pressing issue is one of time and interest. Most people are happy with music being a background soundtrack to their lives and aren't too picky about what that soundtrack is or if there are other options out there they aren't aware of but might like more if they took the time/effort to find it. This is still pretty trivial in the grand scheme of "well-being."

Not sure what you're getting at with the "audiences down through the centuries..." part...

Do you feel anyone is being preached at in this thread? Or are you referring to some other preaching happening elsewhere?
Firstly, sorry about that post. I'm still learning the quote function.

I'll answer this when i come back
 

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Yes. That's where it's going. So the thing is that when I listen to a Bach fugue or choral fantasia, my mind and standards are being elevated to approach the artistic standard that he is setting. It's in his construction of the music. It's in the music.
No, what's happening when you listen to a Bach fugue or choral fantasia is that you LIKE it, and that like translates to you setting the objective features of the work as the standard by which to judge similar music by. If you listened to that same music and disliked it you would not be setting it as a standard at all. The only reason you would do such a thing (setting as a standard music you dislike) is because you would recognize that other people have done so and you would thus be validating their own reactions and the standards based on them. Standards aren't created based on music nobody likes. There's a reason for that; it's because our subjective liking precedes the standards.
 

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Talking about esthetics, Sarah Brightman is/was a singularly beautiful creature--In My Opinion! Though her later performances became a little too theatrical for my taste. Well-chosen video DaveM! (y)
(Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. :))

Interesting you would mention that because much as I like the song and as much as I agree with you on what a beautiful creature she was in her prime, Brightman’s histrionics in the performance were a bit much.
 

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..I do believe greatness is subjective (and obviously so), but I believe there are reasons that certain composers and works are considered to stand above others. There are experts (and other knowledgeable people) who can assess works and give reasons that others can understand and appreciate. Those reasons are worth discussing, and those who argue strenuously that those reasons matter are correct.
I’m confused by the ‘subjective (obviously so)’ as if that’s where it ends, particularly since your follow up would suggest that the evaluation of and statement of ‘greatness’ is not totally subjective.
 

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I’m confused by the ‘subjective (obviously so)’ as if that’s where it ends, particularly since your follow up would suggest that the evaluation of and statement of ‘greatness’ is not totally subjective.
Completely subjective but hierarchical. Doesn't compute. Well, it does in the sense of having your cake and eating it too.

Here's a question: are Bach and Beethoven "great" in any objective sense, or is it possible given obvious subjectivity to say that they both were hopelessly inept? If one individual, or twenty or a million say that both of those were utterly inept, does that make that statement true?
 

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As you know, SM and I have talked for years about science stuff. So I'm surprised that he doesn't approach music as he would a subject in science.
I'm also back like DaveM but only to chide Luchesi for asserting despite all evidence to the contrary that I am not approaching this subject in accordance to my science-based focus. Indeed, it is because I know a bit about how to conduct science that my approach to this topic is as it is. The assertion that there are "objective" aspects of art other than measurable properties that can be replicated by all perceivers who do not suffer from a brain erosion or deprivation of their several senses, is To Be Demonstrated (and is not).

Those measurable properties, as I have stated beyond misinterpretation, include properties such as mass, color, size, when created and by whom, duration if applicable, units moved in commerce, and polling results that are carefully examined as to group polled, etc. Can't get any plainer.
 
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