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I think what Brahms meant to get at, is there is no one thing that is greatness. It seems to be an idea applying to many possible things, under many different contexts, most which are still highly unknown in our history and will likely remain so for a long time.
 

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Greatness doesn't actually mean much to anyone. What it does is to act as a better recommendation than something not-great, but try going up to most experienced audiophiles and tell them Bach is great. They will say "congratulations." The recommendation power of greatness is not that perfect or certain, and that's the truly objective part of this. The reason this is, is we're used to such a small circle informing us, but preferences in a field like music are so much more varied than we're used to experiencing here. Even if I hear something in classical is great, based on me studying it I won't necessarily agree with that comprehension. A harmonic tone sounds better than a dissonant tone, mostly, but applying standards to other aspects can become more problematic.
 

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No. If your position is that it’s all subjective and thereby reject that there are objective reasons why some people are great in what they have accomplished, then why should I waste my time dealing with the ambivalence or hypocrisy (whichever it might be) of your arguments that Michael Haydn is great.

It‘s common sense.
I'm not sure you are using objective correctly here. The reason for hammeredklavier's tastes are just as objective as the reason for common considered greatness. Why you would prefer discussing one over another is a mystery to all of us, as both are equally interesting case studies. As well as equally complex cases (common perceptions of greatness can be philosophically boiled down to one abstract psychology.) I actually disagree that the latter is more complex though, as hammeredklavier is provenly more invested in music than the average person, his case is indubitably more interesting than the historical one, even though intuition of 'quantity' tells you personally otherwise. I would invest more time in many of these, unusually different critical perspectives (alive in many musical genres too.) If one is 'objectively' correct, the probability of it being your convenience sample one is unknowable, even let's warrant, yours is more probable, it still leaves thousands of other probabilities. We can both proceed loosely agreeing that in English the term greatness refers the critically average within one field, although we agree loosely, as I never admitted this one field's opinions have been proven objective.
 

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I hope by all intents and purposes, you're actually aware of those not sharing your group's view of greatness, ie. the vast majority of people on earth, and feel strongly about that, as I feel strongly about a minority imposing 'truth' over individuals with no objective evidence and no ounce of power to do so over us, hah. Please keep at this though, reading these posts is only funny.
 

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Paisiello fitting a certain culture is no more objective evidence than Paisiello being the greatest we've ever seen write music like Paisiello. This is due to there being no inherent value tied to either requirement, one must input their own, the subjective preference within either an individual or average framework dictating what is more valuable, no objectivity ever alluded. Now, more to the point of these heirarchies, many like myself define greatness as correlated to critical opinions within a whole field and time, but what's important to compare is also the more valuable art and life commodities of those not focused within a specific field. For instance, in music, play something by Grieg and it will often receive better reception than something by Bach, because people aren't focusing into the field. Michael Jackson and this appreciation draws even higher. Arriving at technical greatness begs the question within its circle, what music has been most studied and focused on among music scholars? The term befits one group with many opinions, sometimes dubbed audiophiles, but in order to claim one of their criticisms integrably, you must actually understand and enjoy it. This is why appeal to authority is generally meaningless, a real critic may find much personal overlap with the others, and influence, and some whose brain works differently may not. No one more objective and less objective is establishing fact. But the most invested of these opinions will generally be most interesting to study compared to one merely assuming these people are correct, one who offers no personal analysis and feeling of their own. So if it's a competition of credibility that wishes to be sparred, hammeredklavier already wins the contest before it started. One can disagree with him, yeah okay, or one can put forth their own substantial critique of a music that others might consider.
 
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