Is good music universal or subjective?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by 12" 45rpm, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. 12" 45rpm

    12" 45rpm Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    I think good music is more universal than subjective. I can listen to an album from an unknown artist and easily pick out the hits from the filler. By hits, I mean ones that reached top 100 in the charts. I would assume most people with varied taste in music can do the same?

    Then there's world music which has no charts. Even there I can pick out the good tunes from the boring ones easily. But would people agree with what I picked? I think so because of what I wrote above in the first paragraph.
     
    angelo73 likes this.
  2. MPLRecords

    MPLRecords Owner of nine copies of Tug of War

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Person A hates "East Bound and Down".
    Person B loves "East Bound and Down".
    So... is it good?

    Quality is subjective and not necessarily the same as having widespread appeal.
     
    tin ears, imail724, MHP and 50 others like this.
  3. Roberto899

    Roberto899 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    Probably a little of both really.
     
  4. sherrill50

    sherrill50 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA
    That something is a "hit" just means that it's commercially successful. It doesn't necessarily follow that it's "good music".

    Therefore, q.e.d., I'm in the "subjective" camp!
     
  5. angelo73

    angelo73 ⬚⿻⬚⿻⬚

    Location:
    Orbiting Sgr A*
    Music is universal.

    Good music is subjective.
     
  6. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog...

    Hmmm, quite interesting... [​IMG]

    Although you clearly feel that it is more universal, to me, that is honestly a hard one...

    I have seen SO many cases where an art form, of any media/genre can really resonate and move some and at the same time leave others cold. Now, I AM 'speaking' about art in general, but I feel it also applies to music too. But, for example, there are some poets that people just feel are SO deep, etc., and not that I mean to be assuming or pretentious or anything, I read it, and it honestly comes across to me as trite, shallow, and very UNmoving. But, that is me...

    But, I do think that that is the case to some degree with everyone. I can only guess that it must be whatever is in each person's 'makeup' so to speak, either genetically (such as in literal taste) or emotionally. But to be really truthful, and this means about as much as you are paying for it... (NOTHING... :)) but a LOT of stuff that people frigg'n RAVE about here, many of the artists (singer/songwriters particularly) and groups I honestly could not give a live or dead rat's @ss about. I don't mean to be snarky, it just happens to be true.

    So, I've thought about this before, these songs or artists that people just drool over here, and I figure that whatever it is that THEY have, I must not. These artists and songs clearly resonate with many of these people, but with me they do absolutely nothing. So, in thinking about this a lot over the years (to try to figure out what it is that I am missing that they are not) I just come to the conclusion that some things genuinely do resonate quite strongly with some people and with others it just simply doesn't.

    Now... with that said... (are you ready to hang yourself yet? [​IMG] Are you glad you started this? :D ) If you are talking about structure or composition, no matter the genre (which I'm kind of guessing maybe you are) then, yes I do think so as you stated. As a guitar player & composer (using both terms extremely loosely) I feel that I can tell if a song, no matter the genre, is put together or arranged well. Or, if it is composed well and would be 'pleasing' to a number of people.

    So, to me it seems like there are 2 different areas that might come under what you are asking. One, as I first stated above about what resonates or moves certain people and not others, and secondly, and likely more in line with I THINK what you are saying, that can any song be ascertained or 'judged' to be a 'good' song or a well composed or arranged song. And, to the second one I would say that in most cases, yes...
     
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  7. 12" 45rpm

    12" 45rpm Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Sure, Person A & B can disagree on whether it is good. But I think they would agree 80% of the time that "East Bound and Down" is the best song on that album. This is kind of the point I am trying to make.
     
    latheofheaven likes this.
  8. lightbulb

    lightbulb Not the Brightest of the Bunch

    Location:
    Smogville CA USA
    It sounds like you should be working at a record label, selecting which songs will be hits.
     
  9. MPLRecords

    MPLRecords Owner of nine copies of Tug of War

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Which one, East Bound and Down or Smokey and the Bandit: Music From The Motion Picture?
     
    spanky1 and Crawdad like this.
  10. Devin S

    Devin S Just slightly ahead of my time

    I was about to post a lengthy treatise on the subject but you said exactly what I was going to say. In only seven words. Very well stated angelo73.
     
    Crawdad, Linolad, Jimmy B. and 7 others like this.
  11. FredHubbard

    FredHubbard Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    SUBJECTIVE! its the only way i can account for the large numbers of people wasting a large amount of time discussing what i see as complete musical twaddle on these here pages!
     
  12. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Planet Earth
    Nothing in art is "universal". If you want that you'll have to go to the natural sciences.
     
  13. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog...

    I'm sorry, did you say 'Twaddle'...? :eek:
     
    black sheriff and Zeki like this.
  14. 12" 45rpm

    12" 45rpm Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Yup, that's what I am getting it. Along your lines, music can be divided into the emotional appeal and musical appeal. ( Audiophiles would add a third division, sound quality! ).

    My theory is the musical appeal is more universal than subjective. Sound quality appeal is perhaps the most universal.
     
    latheofheaven likes this.
  15. peskypesky

    peskypesky Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
  16. Roberto899

    Roberto899 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    Good music is like pornography. As far as good music goes, I know it when I hear it.....hahaha
     
  17. Eleventh Earl of Mar

    Eleventh Earl of Mar Somehow got them all this far.

    Location:
    New York
    I would say it's 100% subjective.

    The universal feeling you have is because those songs were hits - meaning, a huge majority of people would be aware of that one song, and not the tracks on the album they don't know the name of.

    And I really want to know how you have this question if you consider "other" songs "filler" "boring", it kind of conflicts with your first paragraph.
     
    Grant, JDeanB, PhoffiFozz and 6 others like this.
  18. poisonedhangman

    poisonedhangman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cascadia, USA
    That's insane. There is never a world where "East Bound and Down" can not be good for everybody.

    Just a man on a mission both with a cannon for an arm and a thirst for victory.
     
  19. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Yes (and no).
     
  20. peskypesky

    peskypesky Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    Or maybe
     
    EwaWoowa and 12" 45rpm like this.
  21. peskypesky

    peskypesky Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    The correct answer to this question is banana.



    Which is incorrect.
     
  22. Jonathan Halen

    Jonathan Halen Active Member

    Location:
    Argentina
    Good music inspired later generations of musicians, not subjetive.
     
    12" 45rpm likes this.
  23. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I havta say both!
    universal or subjective?
     
  24. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    they really can't mess that one up.. LOL!
     
    Roberto899 likes this.
  25. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I would say that there is always historically trends of certain ways of composing melodies and presenting songs that may catch the ears of more people in certain eras and music scenes - hence the top charts even being a thing. However whether something is good or bad, is completely subjective regardless of how many people like or hate something
     

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