You have said earlier:
First of all, by saying there is no 'or' you are denying the scientifically proven existence of biases and placebo effects.
Second, as an example, lets assume the artistry of the composer dictates the creation of a very harsh sounding piano piece and thus he composes a piece full of loud clusters to achieve that effect. If the listener perceives the result as relatively harsh, then this perception is rooted in the composers artistry which led him to use these objectively harsh sounds.
Re the bolded I'm not saying anything of the sort. I think you are misunderstanding where my argument stems from and re-reading, perhaps I could have been a little clearer, especially about your second point. I am as it happens, a composer and one who gets the basic idea that what goes down on the paper is also designed to affect the listener, it's rather disappointing that you thought I might not know that but whatever. Now this is where I should have been more precise. I said in the quoted post above...." What you as a listener make of the result has nothing to do with the skill and artistry that brought the music to the manuscript
". This is a little ambiguous so let me clarify. The listener's subjective response to let's say our cluster boy's piece - the feeling of harshness - is indeed in part a result of the manipulative skill and artistry the composer has, of course it is. But what I meant when writing, was that final decision of an approving thumbs up or a disapproving thumbs down for the piece is ultimately the listener's perogative and that decision is obviously based on so much more than a funny sounding but well executed chord that hurts the ears. That decision might even be made within a listening backdrop of unfamiliarity that may also be biased against the language of atonality. That said, even at face value, I think the quoted sentence above still holds up as it reads too but in a more nuanced way.
Forgive me, but I find all of the above somewhat distracting even though I might have inadvertently and mistakenly instigated it. As I understand your placebo experiment (PE), it is motivated by the desire to show that precision in atonality is not important and randomness could do as good a job. Well this is not true for the composer working with atonality and there are further nasty insinuations implied by your PE which have fuelled my responses over the last few pages. So in my post you have quoted above, when I said' "there was no "or" "
, it was to rejoinder and question the idea of a placebo being needed at all. The atonal composer has done the hard work and hopes he/she can take the listener with them in their story telling by using all the expression, imagination, manipulative musical tricks and techniques that involves. The composer would not then expect the music to be subjugated to an experiment that (randomly) changes the hard won notes on the ms just so naysayers could then invalidate the language used because they, most likely unfamiliar with the language or unmoved by it, could not tell the difference. It's true that some musicians might not be able to tell the difference neither, but I bet the composer would have a good shot at hearing differences.