Poll: Is music appreciation transitive?
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View poll results: Is music appreciation transitive?
Yes
37 54%
No
32 46%
Voters: 69.
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#1
In terms of liking a song, is it true that at a given point in time:
1) If X > Y
2) and Y > Z,
3) then X > Z?

In other words, at a given point in time:
1) If you like "Master of Puppets" more than "Paranoid"
2) and you like "Paranoid" more than "The Trooper"
3) Is it safe to conclude that you like "Master of Puppets" more than "The Trooper"?

I've been thinking about this and my opinion is yes. I could make a list of songs, and be able to order them by how much I like them, so appreciation must be transitive. Of course there can be ties and appreciation can shift very fluidly at times, but transitive for sure.

Thoughts?
Last edited by valacirca at Sep 13, 2010,
#2
My thoughts are that you have too much time on your hands.

But yes. I do think that I could list songs in order of appreciation, but that order would change frequently, depending on mood etc.
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#3
In the majority of cases, yes. But as soon as you start moving across genres, that rule kinda goes out the window. The example you gave was pretty straightforward, but not all combinations of songs are going to be based around classic rock/metal.
#5
wow weird question..but i'm going to have to go with no..
also because i find it hard to decide what i prefer between two or more songs anyway..at one time i'd rather listen to one, then the next day i'd prefer the other..etc
that's why i don't have a favourite band..i can't make these kind of lists
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#6
Quote by alexmonty12
In the majority of cases, yes. But as soon as you start moving across genres, that rule kinda goes out the window. The example you gave was pretty straightforward, but not all combinations of songs are going to be based around classic rock/metal.

I'm having a difficult time picturing how and when it wouldn't apply. Care to elaborate?
#7
Quote by Krieger91
wow weird question..but i'm going to have to go with no..
also because i find it hard to decide what i prefer between two or more songs anyway..at one time i'd rather listen to one, then the next day i'd prefer the other..etc
that's why i don't have a favourite band..i can't make these kind of lists

Yeah, but you're just talking about two songs here... and different days.

At a given point in time though, if you're able to decide that A >B and B > C, shouldn't it follow that A >C?
#8
You cannot apply a deductive syllogism to a changing taste, I don't think. One of the ideas behind using that logic is that the "argument" is a Universal Statement. Taste for music changes and I would think cannot be deemed a Universal Statement by nature.
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#9
Quote by valacirca
It's sad that thinking is too often equated with having too much time these days...


I'd agree. If you were actually thinking of something productive or beneficial to anyone.
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#15
It depends on why you like the song, and people often like different songs for different things, so no, I would say it isn't in the example you described.
#17
Quote by valacirca
Of course. Because so much of the topics here in The Pit are leagues more productive and beneficial to anyone than this...


Care to visit the shoop threads?
Or the related pictures game?
#19
Quote by neidnarb11890
But why would anyone like Master of Puppets more than Paranoid?


Because taste is subjective.

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#20
I feel it all depends on mood.

For example, I'm not really a big fan of "classic" rock artists, but I can't seem to get enough of Alice Cooper, lately.
#21
Quote by valacirca
Yeah, but we're not talking about "why." It's more of "how much."


How much certainly depends on why.
I'd say that two songs that even deal with the same subject matter are probably not congruent, as they deal with that subject in different ways. It'd be like saying which you like more, apples or metallica.
Last edited by Mudmen190 at Sep 13, 2010,
#23
Quote by valacirca
Yeah, but we're not talking about "why." It's more of "how much."


This is ludicrous. You can't quantify how much you like a piece of music. People like different kinds of music for different reasons and at different times depending on their mood.

It's not like you've had some sort of epiphany anyway. You've replaced numbers in a transitive relation with how much you like songs. Big deal.
#24
Quote by Das_Skittles
Because taste is subjective.

Indubitably, but we're discussing music, not food.
#25
Quote by Mudmen190
How much certainly depends on why.

Certainly, I agree. But when it comes to deciding whether you like one song or another, the "why" is inconsequential because it simply qualifies how you like a particular song rather than the "how much" which can actually be used comparatively.

Also, I did say in the OP that I acknowledge how preference can shift very fluidly at times. Your preference for today can possibly not be your preference for tomorrow. But at that point when you say "Oh I like A more than B and B more than C" --- doesn't it necessarily follow that you like A more than C as well?
#26
What the hell is the point of this?

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#27
Quote by Pagan-Pie
You can't quantify how much you like a piece of music.

That's like saying you can't compare and prefer one piece of music and another.

Quote by Pagan-Pie
It's not like you've had some sort of epiphany anyway. You've replaced numbers in a transitive relation with how much you like songs. Big deal.

Take it easy. No one is talking about it being a groundbreaking revelation or anything remotely like that.
#28
Quote by Xiaoxi
What the hell is the point of this?

Lots of music-related lists, ranking and rating sites exist all over the internet. The basic foundation of being able to create such lists, charts and ratings is comparing one piece of music such as song or album against another. Seems as if there's a point somewhere there.

Also... going on the tight poll results so far, I guess it's a valid enough discussion point.
#29
Quote by valacirca
Certainly, I agree. But when it comes to deciding whether you like one song or another, the "why" is inconsequential because it simply qualifies how you like a particular song rather than the "how much" which can actually be used comparatively.

Also, I did say in the OP that I acknowledge how preference can shift very fluidly at times. Your preference for today can possibly not be your preference for tomorrow. But at that point when you say "Oh I like A more than B and B more than C" --- doesn't it necessarily follow that you like A more than C as well?


I'd say that that is too generalized. Maybe you like the guitar parts in A and B, but like the lyrics of B and C; therefore for one reason you could like A more than B, and for another reason you could like B more than C, but A and C are not really compatible.
#30
Quote by valacirca
Of course. Because so much of the topics here in The Pit are leagues more productive and beneficial to anyone than this...


You don't come to the pit to be productive and beneficial
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#31
I'd say it's safe to say it's transitive, but it doesn't have to be, as there may be a certain characteristic to song Z that you prefer to a different characteristic of song X.

For instance, you may like Master of Puppets more than Paranoid for the fact that you like the composition better. You may like Paranoid better than The Trooper because you like the lyrics better. However, you may like The Trooper more than Puppets bc you love the catchiness to it.
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#32
It could be seen that way, but by the time I'm finished with the list my opinion would have changed.


#33
Quote by valacirca
In terms of liking a song, is it true that at a given point in time:
1) If X > Y
2) and Y > Z,
3) then X > Z?


That is a necessary truth, so the question is whether or not that formula applies to liking songs, which is a matter of how you conceptualize liking songs.
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#35
Quote by ChucklesMginty
I find it really hard to define what I like more in the first place, I like some qualities of a song, and some qualities from another song. I never really think there's an outright winner.
I agree with this guy.

Obviously I think some songs are awesome and some aren't that great, but among songs that I like a lot or dislike a lot, it's hard for me to rank them.
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#36
Sometimes I like to things equally but they're different I couldn't really pick one over the other so when you factor that in this question becomes a lot more complicated. I think it's true for the most part though.
#37
I don't think so, at least I've never been able to order my songs like that. :P Like other people have said, I think it really depends in the mood since every song is different, and has it's own good and bad things.
#40
Quote by Gibson_SG_uzr55
I'd say it's safe to say it's transitive, but it doesn't have to be, as there may be a certain characteristic to song Z that you prefer to a different characteristic of song X.

For instance, you may like Master of Puppets more than Paranoid for the fact that you like the composition better. You may like Paranoid better than The Trooper because you like the lyrics better. However, you may like The Trooper more than Puppets bc you love the catchiness to it.


This.

Basically, a song has so many different elements and variables to it, I don't think comparing them is as simple as A, B, C. You take so many ridiculous things into account, they're often simply not comparable. I prefer Velvet Underground to Cap'n Jazz because of social context, I prefer John Zorn to Velvet Underground for music composition, and I prefer Cap'n Jazz to John Zorn for catchiness. And all these reasons are perfectly valid. So I think it's a little futile to approach songs or indeed artists in a simple A, B, C manner.
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