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Woodduck said:
As the "other poster," I will caution you against assuming you know what others mean and reporting on their views without checking to be sure you're not misrepresenting them.
That seems to be characteristic of that particular poster.
 

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Very true as well. I've often said in art I'll usually take interesting "failures" over boring "successes" any day, and a lot of my favorite art were acquired tastes that I did not acquire after my first several attempts at it.
That's an interesting thought. How do you think it came about that you acquired that taste? I had a similar experience when it comes to the work of the so-called Second Viennese School.
 

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Strange Magic said:
A lover of the works of Jackson Pollack will likely not be taken with those of Giorgione...
Do you have any data to back that up, or is it just something you pulled out of your backside? I love both Webern and Mozart, as a counterexample. Someone who is interested in the visual arts is likely to appreciate both artists as lying along roughly the same continuum. As for the rest, Eva Yojimbo would know more about it, but it sounds to me like rehashed Spinoza.
 

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Strange Magic said:
In the arts, the objects of those feelings are, by contrast, all over the map, with some experiencing awe and sensing profundity in places and things where others see nothing of the sort; hence the much more highly variable, individualistic responses.
I don't think it's that variable. It's not a world in which Rashomon and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure are considered "profound" by equal numbers of people who know both.
 

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Your counterexample of one! And Pollack, Cot, and Giorgione along a continuum. Let's add Kinkade, and the dogs playing poker. What are you contributing to the discussion?
The question is what are you contributing? You start with these goofy sweeping generalizations set forth with an air of authority and triumph and which by force of inexorable logic end up in stretti of goofiness. A counterexample of one? Hey, everybody that likes both Mozart and Stravinsky, raise your hand! Sure you can add Kincade or whomever you like.
 

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Woodduck said:
... or in this case greater profundity - but because the greater number of people just "subjectively" prefer it (a redundancy, of course) to the stuff that doesn't survive.
And how many times now have we seen that thoroughly brilliant and original argument?
 

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I would like your thoughts on the dichotomy. Unless all, all (with the exception of those with brain disease) agree on a satisfactory and uniform description of the criteria of greatness, the concept of greatness in the arts will remain entirely subjective. That is my position in nutshell.
Ok...well then...so what?
 

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If we want to say that the music which "survives the years" does so because of profundity, I think it is necessary to define what profundity means.

The problem with sort of reverse-defining "Profundity" as a quality of music which survives the years is that it doesn't really map to what a listener says when they say they find a performance "Profound". I can only speak for myself but when I say I find a piece, passage, lyric, or anything "profound", I certainly don't mean to say anything about whether or not it has an impact on the development of art, or anything along those lines- it's usually a personal response.
But then you multiply your personal response by millions of other personal responses that are along the same lines. You find it profound and millions of others did too. There might be something about it then that a lot of people find to be profound. Seems pretty sensible.
 

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the problem here is that this doesn't actually get us any closer to any understanding of what "profundity" in music is, at least in an aesthetic sense. It's sort of just turning it into a semantic null, or at least a synonym for "popular among classical music listeners".
Probably not, but then I'm not really interested in finding a scientific definition for every facet of existence.
"Oh so you're a subjectivist then!"
"Again, so what?"
 

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What can you do if you outright deny that anything called "profundity" can even be applicable to art, and if quantifiable metrics is your only criterion for aesthetic knowledge or truth? Popularity polls is all you're left with. Is the art of Vermeer a visionary celebration of the perceiving eye and mind, standing head and shoulders above the genre scenes of his contemporaries, and setting a standard for technical brilliance that has left other painters baffled and reverent for centuries? Hey, I have an idea. Let's take a poll.
And then if the poll results aren't to your liking, then Vermeer is only popular because he's well-known and wins in polls and because, well, we know what art historians say and we're just brainwashed.

What these threads make me wonder is: what's the goal here, or the "endgame"? Is it to help us poor benighted Bach-Mozart-Beethoven fans finally realize that our "idols" are really no better than Christmas with the Chipmunks? No matter how many debates or brilliant explications of subjective-objective-intersubjective we have, most people who are aware of both will still consider Bach's B Minor Mass more "artistic", more "monumental" and more "profound" than von Suppé's Leichte Kavallerie. But if a von Suppé fan thinks otherwise, more power to you.

"The most subtle question: whether a chimaera bombinating in the void can consume secondary
intentions..."
 

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With your idea of collective memories, I submit that you are in poll country, willing or not. Do more people love Bach than love Elvis? I don't know but I am sure we could find out, given enough time and money.
What.
Does.
It.
Matter?

By the way, right now I'd give Bach the edge. That is, "love" vs "heard of".
 

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Is that a meaningful or useful question? What would such a poll tell us? What knowledge would we be seeking? Would we poll everyone? Of every culture, age and station in life? I sense a gorilla, an elephant, and lots of other creatures in the room...
It's very meaningful and useful for someone who's been rapped on the knuckles and looked down upon for their "unacceptable" tastes.
 

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Quantifiable metrics certainly are not my only criterion for aesthetic truth! I wouldn't even say they are a criterion for aesthetic truth for me at all! There are certainly reasons I have for looking for objective, historical truth when it comes to music, or artistic history - for instance, seeing which artists were influenced by others, but aesthetic truth is not one of them.
Which is probably why these threads go nowhere fast. Son of Science Meets Son of Aesthetikon leaving Tokyo untouched.
...This is an aesthetic question, not a question about why works are popular, I think.
Are you sure there's a difference?
 

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I am completely in accord with this. I'll wager most people are. Appreciating artistic greatness and profundity has never depended on belonging to a cluster. Rather, it's a primary - in many cases, I think, the primary - explanation for the existence and size of the cluster.
Exactly. That part has not yet been addressed. Why the cluster to begin with? And boy, is it hard to resist a cluster_____ joke about now.
 

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Of course there is a difference. Why is Pachelbel's canon more popular than a lot of Bach, even with all the "propaganda".
I don't know, you could make the case that the Air from the third Bach orchestral suite is even more popular. And you think Bach's "popularity" is due to "propaganda"? Do people like the aforementioned Air because they've been forced into it?
 
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