Poll: Is music subjective?
Poll Options
View poll results: Is music subjective?
Yes.
196 81%
No.
24 10%
I'm 12 and what is this?
23 9%
Voters: 243.
Page 1 of 6
#1
This thread is born out of something that I didn't even think was worth discussing, but with that golden "Metallica > Megadeth" thread, clearly there are some issues that not all people have addressed for themselves.

Isn't music subjective?

Every person (who has or hasn't actively listened to music of any type) has lived a life that is unique and original to itself. That is to say, no person has lived the same exact life as any other person.

So, everybody is bound to interpret music differently, right? Maybe not different by leaps and bounds, maybe different on an extremely small scale, but different nonetheless.

So doesn't that guarantee futility in arguing with other people about which band is "better"? Personally, I think it does.

Because not everyone feels or interprets music the same way, can any music be considered universally "good" or "better" than any other kind of music?
Universally, I don't think so.

Wouldn't we be better off, rather than trying to convince or make other people love the bands we love as much as we do, simply appreciate the fact that people are getting excited and passionate about music?

Well, i suppose that really just comes down to opinion.

Discuss!
#2
yes its subjective.

/thread
Sell and Promote your music TuneHub!



wy is yer mad at muy gramhar fer?


Quote by jimmyled
jimmybanks youre a genius.


aparently i ar smrt?
Quote by dyingLeper
jimmybanks youre a genius


GO SENS GO
#3
I fail to see how it's not.
dirtbag ballet by the bins down the alley
as i walk through the chalet of the shadow of death
everything that you've come to expect


#4
Mostly yes.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
Last edited by JohnnyGenzale at May 28, 2011,
#5
Its completely subjective. Sadly, some people fail to see this and become annoying about shit they love that other people don't
~Domino?

This life's too good to last
and I'm too young to care.


Musics
Follow me on Twitter, I'm cool.
#6
Quote by JimmyBanks6
yes its subjective.

/thread

/thread
Quote by Pleasure2kill
The truth is, Muslims never apologized for their faith having something to do with the attacks on 9/11.
#7
In my opinion it's not subjective.
Quote by tattyreagh
He's the hero The Pit deserves but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. GbAdimDb5m7.


Free Jani92jani

Free Will Swanson
#8
Quote by GbAdimDb5m7
In my opinion it's not subjective.


How am I not surprised?

To be fair, it might be objectivity in music but the end result comes down to whether you like the music or not.

You can state some music is more complex to play than other music, but in the end. What matters is your subjective opinion on it.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
Last edited by JohnnyGenzale at May 28, 2011,
#10
Arguing which band is better is arbitrary and pointless, mostly because music is subjective.

Sure, the generally good and original bands are going to have more mutual respect, and the hardcore metal emo bands are going to get shit for it, but generally it comes down to how you look at it.

What frustrates me the most is how people don't like bands because 'oh, their fans are piss-annoying' or 'most of the people that like them are obnoxious and pretentious' which is just shit.

Wouldn't we be better off, rather than trying to convince or make other people love the bands we love as much as we do, simply appreciate the fact that people are getting excited and passionate about music?


They're not being so much passionate and excited as (most of the time) annoyingly and arbitrarily judgemental.
"I specialize in driving a set like I'm driving a Lexus" - Uncle Mez
#11
Quote by ChucklesMginty
Anybody who doesn't think music is subjective is a complete moron.

Different people have different opinions bro.
Quote by tattyreagh
He's the hero The Pit deserves but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. GbAdimDb5m7.


Free Jani92jani

Free Will Swanson
#12
Quote by GbAdimDb5m7
Different people have different opinions bro.


dirtbag ballet by the bins down the alley
as i walk through the chalet of the shadow of death
everything that you've come to expect


#13
Quote by GbAdimDb5m7
Different people have different opinions bro.


But how can an artform be judged objectively?
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#14
So there's a band that released a single and throughout all of the song they only play the open E string, anyone who says that is good is an idiot, end of.
Quote by tattyreagh
He's the hero The Pit deserves but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. GbAdimDb5m7.


Free Jani92jani

Free Will Swanson
#15
Quote by GbAdimDb5m7
So there's a band that released a single and throughout all of the song they only play the open E string, anyone who says that is good is an idiot, end of.


You're an idiot for saying that.

Is Maggie's Farm by Bob Dylan a bad song? All the verses goes in G only I think.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#17
Quote by GbAdimDb5m7
So there's a band that released a single and throughout all of the song they only play the open E string, anyone who says that is good is an idiot, end of.


You can't just boil down music being objective to facts like that, I wouldn't call that a song as much as a tuning aid.

Also, if people like noise music, I'm betting there'd be somebody who'd like that.

EDIT: You really don't sound very different to somebody saying 'If you like Slipknot, you're an idiot. End of.'
"I specialize in driving a set like I'm driving a Lexus" - Uncle Mez
Last edited by laid-to-waste at May 28, 2011,
#18
Quote by GbAdimDb5m7
So there's a band that released a single and throughout all of the song they only play the open E string, anyone who says that is good is an idiot, end of.


Quote by GbAdimDb5m7
Different people have different opinions bro.


Exactly.
dirtbag ballet by the bins down the alley
as i walk through the chalet of the shadow of death
everything that you've come to expect


#19
I believe in craftsmanship. If music, like art, is well crafted, to a certain level, it is universally good. Apart from whether you like it or not, craft can be acknowledged.
...marmalade is my jam.
#20
Nothing is objective. We're restricted to our own powers of percepti...I think I'm missing the point.
#21
Quote by Trowzaa
Exactly.

They said I was an idiot for saying it isn't subjective, so I did the same thing and said that people who are going to like that song are idiots, same thing.
Quote by tattyreagh
He's the hero The Pit deserves but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. GbAdimDb5m7.


Free Jani92jani

Free Will Swanson
#22
Quote by GbAdimDb5m7
They said I was an idiot for saying it isn't subjective, so I did the same thing and said that people who are going to like that song are idiots, same thing.


The difference is that you decide what everyone should like not like by saying people are idiots for liking such a song.

We're saying you're an idiot for saying that.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#23
Quote by JohnnyGenzale
But how can an artform be judged objectively?


The two-bit question that has plagued man likely since those lads drew the buffalo on the walls of Lascaux.... "Hmmm, nice, but I would have used a bit more ochre..."

Music may be innate to human beings. Our cousins, the chimps, drum and hoot in communal manner. Some of the very earliest artifacts of modern man found include bone flutes with holes spaced to produce notes and intervals similar to what we appreciate today.
However... Musical appreciation is highly subjective and cultural. Asian music often sounds very strange to Western Ears, and likely the opposite is true. They have developed different scalar structures.
Likewise though we recognize a lot of Middle-Eastern music, it too sounds a bit "off" to us because they use a lot of quarter-tones and semi-tones.

In the case of music that one does not like, sometimes it's the case that familiarization will produce appreciation. Not always, however. The sort of things I really dislike, like the sort of machine-rhythm pounding-beat stuff you hear in dance clubs... I find that physically uncomfortable. I have an intense desire to leave...

There are standards that one can apply to art generally.... Composition and "harmony" and such. You can say that such-and-such is a technically "good" painting even if you don't personally like it.
With music, sometimes things get blurred way out of proportion. Some of the avant-gard jazz sounds like you turned some 8-year-olds loose in a room full of musical instruments and said "make noise, kids!"
Last edited by Bikewer at May 28, 2011,
#24
Quote by JohnnyGenzale
But how can an artform be judged objectively?


I think it depends on whether you view it as "I like this music", or "this is good music". I know that I love plenty of songs that are techinically bad. I can also hear when the musician(s) at hand are clearly amazing and good at what they do and just purely not like the music coming out of them.

TS asked "is music subjective?", so I guess depending what way you interpret that question, it can be either
~Domino?

This life's too good to last
and I'm too young to care.


Musics
Follow me on Twitter, I'm cool.
#25
Quote by Domino
I think it depends on whether you view it as "I like this music", or "this is good music". I know that I love plenty of songs that are techinically bad. I can also hear when the musician(s) at hand are clearly amazing and good at what they do and just purely not like the music coming out of them.

TS asked "is music subjective?", so I guess depending what way you interpret that question, it can be either


But why would technique be interesting? Do you judge a painting you see after how good a painter was with his brush or do you enjoy the paintin as it became once it was done.

Do you like a movie before just because the director of the movie is technically good? Even if it doesn't really affect the movie you are watching. ALl you can judge is the song you hear. Do you like it or not?
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#26
Quote by GbAdimDb5m7
They said I was an idiot for saying it isn't subjective, so I did the same thing and said that people who are going to like that song are idiots, same thing.


You still haven't explained how it isn't subjective, you said people who like a song like that are idiots, that's your opinion, their opinion is that that song is good... Due to subjectivity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRMh_yC3_x0&feature=related
dirtbag ballet by the bins down the alley
as i walk through the chalet of the shadow of death
everything that you've come to expect


#27
Quote by Domino
I know that I love plenty of songs that are techinically bad.


...how?
i don't know why i feel so dry
#28
Quote by JohnnyGenzale
But why would technique be interesting? Do you judge a painting you see after how good a painter was with his brush or do you enjoy the paintin as it became once it was done.

Do you like a movie before just because the director of the movie is technically good? Even if it doesn't really affect the movie you are watching. ALl you can judge is the song you hear. Do you like it or not?


But that's not what he asked.
My point is I can appreciate a good musician even if the music isn't to my taste.
Someone being a good musician is objective. Someone playing music you enjoy personally, whether technically good or not, is subjective.

EDIT: everything you said in response to me basically echoed half of my original post.. just reread the other half and get off my back
~Domino?

This life's too good to last
and I'm too young to care.


Musics
Follow me on Twitter, I'm cool.
Last edited by Domino at May 28, 2011,
#29
Folks with an appreciation for say, directing and cinematography and composition CAN appreciate a film for those qualities even if they don't particularly like the film....
Artists often study the technique of other other painters even if they don't like the painting.

We just watched Black Swan, for instance. Can't say I "liked" the film; all the characters were unsympathetic and it was watching Natalie Portman's character descend into madness. Yet, it was beautifully acted and staged and directed....
#30
Quote by Eastwinn
...how?


Like any Britney Spears that's just the same four chords that could be played by someone who just discovered music
~Domino?

This life's too good to last
and I'm too young to care.


Musics
Follow me on Twitter, I'm cool.
#31
Quote by Domino
But that's not what he asked.
My point is I can appreciate a good musician even if the music isn't to my taste.
Someone being a good musician is objective. Someone playing music you enjoy personally, whether technically good or not, is subjective.


What is a good musician?

A good musician in my mind would be a musician that writes good music.

I don't care about technicality at all. If someone shreds in 200 notes per second I really don't care. He might be very good. But I'll still find it absolutely terrible. Is he then a good musician?
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#32
Quote by JohnnyGenzale
What is a good musician?

A good musician in my mind would be a musician that writes good music.

I don't care about technicality at all. If someone shreds in 200 notes per second I really don't care. He might be very good. But I'll still find it absolutely terrible. Is he then a good musician?


Exactly. You (subjectively) don't care if a musician is (objectively) good. Me too.

Bam!
~Domino?

This life's too good to last
and I'm too young to care.


Musics
Follow me on Twitter, I'm cool.
#33
Quote by Domino
Exactly. You (subjectively) don't care if a musician is (objectively) good. Me too.

Bam!


No. If a musician with his music can evoke interest in me then he's a good musician. He can play 1 chord every 3 seconds for all that matters. If I like it, he's got some talent to make me enjoy it.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#34
Quote by Domino
Like any Britney Spears that's just the same four chords that could be played by someone who just discovered music


And that makes it "technically bad?"
i don't know why i feel so dry
#35
Quote by Eastwinn
And that makes it "technically bad?"

It doesn't make it technically good.

I don't know why you people are pretending that you can't tell when people are good musicians and when other people are just moderate...

Quote by JohnnyGenzale
No. If a musician with his music can evoke interest in me then he's a good musician. He can play 1 chord every 3 seconds for all that matters. If I like it, he's got some talent to make me enjoy it.


Yes, you subjectively like the music you like. You have already stated that you can objectively tell when someone is a good musician. You agree with me.. I don't know why you're still confused.
~Domino?

This life's too good to last
and I'm too young to care.


Musics
Follow me on Twitter, I'm cool.
Last edited by Domino at May 28, 2011,
#36
Quote by Domino
It doesn't make it technically good.


Surprisingly I understand what you're saying now.

Here's how I look at it: there's music as an art and music as a craft. As an art, it is 100% subjective. As a craft you look at how hard it was to create. This is fairly objective. Sometimes us musicians listen to music as a craft and enjoy it for its technical aspects, but regular people typically only know how to listen to music as an art.

That's basically that same as the two ways you identified.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#37
Quote by Domino
It doesn't make it technically good.

I don't know why you people are pretending that you can't tell when people are good musicians and when other people are just moderate...


Yes, you subjectively like the music you like. You have already stated that you can objectively tell when someone is a good musician. You agree with me.. I don't know why you're still confused.


I'm not allowed to say anything to you once we agree?
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#38
On our own terms, we can make individual decisions on art. It is redundant to have to remind or be reminded that what we say are opinions.

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
#40
Yes music in many ways is subjective, no it is not futile to have debates about it. I find it interesting. For hundreds, or thousands of years, people have had fascinating debates about the arts. I hate it when people come on this forum and spout a load of bullshit that everyone has heard before about 'subjectivity', as if it's intellectually groundbreaking, and everyone who wants to have a debate about music is an idiot. Politics is subjective, but people debate it all the time. I don't, however, endorse Megadeth vs Metallica threads.

EDIT: Also people whining about others presenting their opinion as 'fact' is completely redundant. If you believe that music is subjective, then it is impossible to make an objective judgement about its quality. Everything that everyone says about music is an opinion, so stop being butthurt that not everybody wants to prefix it with 'In my humble opinion...'
Last edited by Pagan-Pie at May 28, 2011,