#1
So i really wonder what you guys think of this.
So, how subjective do you think music is? Do you think all artists/band are 100% equaly good, no matter anyones opinions? Do you think music from nowadays pop artists such as kesha, justin bieber etc, is as equaly good as for example metallica and the Beatles?

Also do you think musicians/guitar(or any other instrument) players themself are 100% subjective? If so do you think that any 6 year old kid who is just starting out, is as good as John Petrucci, Jimi Hendrix, Slash etc, because it's subjetive?

Personally, i think that music itself is 100% subjective. I'm not so sure about musician/guitarist question.

So what is you guys opinion? Is there any right or wrong answer to this?
Last edited by Usernames sucks at Jan 7, 2012,
#2
I think the quality of music is only objective in context. What I mean is that it is possible to say "band X is better than band Y according to criteria Z". For example, if you think that using autotune on vocals is universally bad (not saying you do), then justin bieber would be bad to you. But not to other people. I'm not sure if that's the same as it being 100% subjective.
#3
If you aren't a good musician you can't make good music. And that doesn't mean you can just play well, Michael Angelo Batio's songs are terrible.

I think if something sounds good to someone it doesn't make it good. I think grindcore is terrible music but I still like it, it doesn't make it good music just because I like it. Also I've heard lots of really good compositions but just can't get around to listening to it because I'm not a fan of the style. Doesn't make it any worse music (nor better) that I don't like it.

//This is just my $0,02, feel free to agree or disagree, I'm very curious about what kind of arguments people have against mine.
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Quote by Sami Philadelph
LOL, for some reason the impression I get from you is like some wacky Frank Zappa of metal pulling pranks at the Grammys and telling crude jokes during interviews.
Last edited by henkka_potku at Jan 7, 2012,
#4
Most of the times I have had someone tell me 'Oh it's all just opinion, music is just all subjective', it's said to defend the fact that they don't know much about what they're talking about. I think there's a place for everything essentially, but no, I really do think that some music is just better than other music.

I do not think I will ever believe that someone who is a lazy player and writes 10 3 chord punk songs in one day should be given as much credibility as someone who spends a week writing one piece. It's not just based on how complex the piece is, but it has to do with how much commitment and dedication to really delving into their craft that the latter person has.

People who study for years and years, and practice 10 hours a day to try to know and do anything that they can, should not be knocked down to the level that they are just as good and are no better than someone who doesn't try as hard as they do.

For example, this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL-Vhg-MD-E&feature=related

Has more effort put into it, and therefore in my mind, is better than this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdMq8BuTJzM

Those are my thoughts on the subject.
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You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

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#5
Quote by thePTOD


For example, this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL-Vhg-MD-E&feature=related

Has more effort put into it, and therefore in my mind, is better than this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdMq8BuTJzM

Those are my thoughts on the subject.


Funny, I preferred Blink 182.

Some things in music are subjective, others aren't. It's obvious Mozart was a better composer than Robert Miles, but I'd rather listen to 'children' than Rondo Alla Turca.
#6
Arguments about music can be some of the dumbest and most annoying ever.
On the other hand, there IS such a thing as crap music. Music is art, and by my definition at least, true art is a form of expression which, under least one aspect, deviates from the norms established by its predecessors.
A song created around 3 recycled chords, a sampled beat, lyrics about "loving you", partying, being friends etc. is not art.
As for guitarists I think that same rule applies, but other than that there is no universal rule of comparison.
#7
Quote by Usernames sucks
So i really wonder what you guys think of this.
So, how subjective do you think music is? Do you think all artists/band are 100% equaly good, no matter anyones opinions? Do you think music from nowadays pop artists such as kesha, justin bieber etc, is as equaly good as for example metallica and the Beatles?

I think that subjectivity also dependent on Style Preference. I’m sure that if you ask my 15 year old niece, Bieber Rocks, and Metallica Sux… As artists go, I’m sure that to their respective fans, they are both great.
Quote by Usernames sucks
Also do you think musicians/guitar(or any other instrument) players themself are 100% subjective? If so do you think that any 6 year old kid who is just starting out, is as good as John Petrucci, Jimi Hendrix, Slash etc, because it's subjetive?

Musicians would be less subjective, by your definition, due to skill. There is no comparison of a beginner to the musicians you mentioned due to experience and skill level. Now the sound that they produce is completely subjective… I bet the Mother of the Six-Year-Old thinks her baby sounds just as good as anyone, Better in fact.
Quote by Usernames sucks
Personally, i think that music itself is 100% subjective. I'm not so sure about musician/guitarist question.

So what is you guys opinion? Is there any right or wrong answer to this?
Even subjectivity has criteria. Pleasant to listen to, technically appealing, “It Moves Me” etc… I guess there probably isn’t a right or wrong answer. If you like the sound of clanging saw blades together underwater, it’s music to you.
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#8
There are no defined criteria for something being "good", "bad", "better", or "worse". Therefore, I don't believe that those types of classifications should exist without any context. Do I think that Band A is better than Band B? Unfair question. Might Band A appeal to someone that prefers technical music more so than Band B? That's a more legitimate question.

It's all apples and oranges without this context. It's not fair to say an apple is better/worse than an orange, but if I prefer to not eat fruits with the acidity that an orange has, then an apple works better for me.
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#9
It doesn't make it better or worse that someone likes it or doesn't like it. This is not a question of liking but quality.
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Quote by Sami Philadelph
LOL, for some reason the impression I get from you is like some wacky Frank Zappa of metal pulling pranks at the Grammys and telling crude jokes during interviews.
#10
Quote by henkka_potku
It doesn't make it better or worse that someone likes it or doesn't like it. This is not a question of liking but quality.

But then the question becomes "what defines quality?" or "what are the criteria for something having said quality?" There is no universal definition of good or bad.
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#12
Quote by Usernames sucks
If there is a band that makes music that everybody in the world hates, including the members themself, is this bad music then, or is it still equaly since music is an artform?

It depends, provided it can be considered art then yeah, I guess it's possible..after all someone might come to like them in a different time/place, they could be huge and never know it. In any case, not all music is art but if it is, its validity or lack thereof is completely subjective
#13
Every guitarist in the world is equally good. Except for Toni Iommi who is of course twice as good as everyone else!

Just joking! But a dude who can play nothing but Knocking On Heavens Door (and btw can't follow any kinds of rythm) can (in my opinion) never be as good as fx Eric Clapton, Steve Vai or Tony Iommi!
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#14
I feel that "goodness" and "quality" need to be considered as two different aspects when considering subjectivity.
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#15
What people like or not is subjective. For instance I enjoy listening to The Edge more than I do Steve Vai.

It would be a mistake though to take the fact that musical tastes are subjective and twist it to mean that someone just picking up the guitar is "as good as" a seasoned pro like John Petrucci (or any experienced player).

The fact is, a novice guitarist can't play what John Petrucci can. There's nothing subjective about that.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jan 7, 2012,
#16
I think a lot of people confuse the subject with the objective, eg:

"This is good music," is a DIFFERENT statement than, "I like this music."

There is good music that I don't particularly like. That is to say, I can recognize that Metallica or Stavinsky is good, but I would rarely if ever choose to listen to it. And similarly there's music that I know is bad that makes me smile anyway.
#17
Quote by Basti95
Arguments about music can be some of the dumbest and most annoying ever.
On the other hand, there IS such a thing as crap music. Music is art, and by my definition at least, true art is a form of expression which, under least one aspect, deviates from the norms established by its predecessors.
A song created around 3 recycled chords, a sampled beat, lyrics about "loving you", partying, being friends etc. is not art.
As for guitarists I think that same rule applies, but other than that there is no universal rule of comparison.


I agree with this heartily.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#18
Quote by Basti95
Arguments about music can be some of the dumbest and most annoying ever.
On the other hand, there IS such a thing as crap music. Music is art, and by my definition at least, true art is a form of expression which, under least one aspect, deviates from the norms established by its predecessors.
A song created around 3 recycled chords, a sampled beat, lyrics about "loving you", partying, being friends etc. is not art.
As for guitarists I think that same rule applies, but other than that there is no universal rule of comparison.

i agree with you, but what if people enjoy the 3 chords and the stupid lyrics? isn't that the purpose of music? i'd love to state that led zeppelin is musically better than lady gaga and i could probably find arguments to back it up, but if people enjoy lady gaga more, then who cares if she's a "good", original composer or if she's a better musician, if people enjoy it, her music has served its purpose
#19
Quote by henkka_potku
If you aren't a good musician you can't make good music. And that doesn't mean you can just play well, Michael Angelo Batio's songs are terrible.

I think if something sounds good to someone it doesn't make it good. I think grindcore is terrible music but I still like it, it doesn't make it good music just because I like it. Also I've heard lots of really good compositions but just can't get around to listening to it because I'm not a fan of the style. Doesn't make it any worse music (nor better) that I don't like it.

//This is just my $0,02, feel free to agree or disagree, I'm very curious about what kind of arguments people have against mine.


This I find interesting, you like Grindcore - so by saying that you admit you enjoy the sound and how it sounds, yet you say its terrible music.

So are you saying that music has a set definition and that Grindcore, even though you like it, is a bad example by that definition of music? And if so, why do you define music in a way that makes you classify a genre you like as bad music? (not saying you do) Isn't the act of enjoying any genre considering it good music?

I am not trying to argue, just trying to understand as I haven't really heard anyone put the subject of music quite like this.

My personal opinion is that music has no set definition, and only the listener defines what is, and what isn't music to themselves. Music to me is any collection of structured or unstructured rhythms and melodies that someone finds enjoyable to hear (intentionally vague).

There are things that can be argued as fact in music. While I personally love MAB's songwriting, It is also fact that he is more technically proficient than Hendrix, Page, or whoever else you want to mention. That does not make him a better musician however, just more proficient in technicality.

I also completely agree 100% that music is an art form, and to me it is of the highest kind - BUT...Music is also a form of entertainment. So even though simple three chord songs about good times, loving you, or any cliche thing are not what I enjoy, I am not so strict as to say it is not music, its just not art.
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#20
Adjectives like better/good/bad takes us nowhere really fast.

Complexity, Difficulty, Effort, Innovation, Originality, Technique, Intelligence, etc.. are things that can be discussed and compared.

Better or worse just do not make sense.

Eg I think (insert some pop dude (Kesha,Beber,Rihanna) lyrics are stupid and vain, the beats are simple and repetitive, the sounds are not innovative, the melodies are predictable and boring, the artistic merit is incredibly low and non innovative, etc...

Just saying Pop music is worse than X cant be discussed.

As a side comment most brains enjoy simple pop music because there are 2 really strong formulas at work:

1) Pop music is mostly based on things we have heard on the past (by mere exposure effect this makes us instantly like it more)

2) the brain gets literally high by being able to predict the notes and melodies.
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Jan 8, 2012,
#21
Whether people enjoy simple music or not is an another question.

In order to answer the actual question about certain piece of music you have to ask yourself: "is it conveying something?" Maybe it's an idea, or maybe it's an emotion or something else?

And that's where you see the difference between shredders like MAB and good musicians like, say, Blackmore or Lifeson. The beginning of MAB's "No Boundaries" grips my attention and setting up the mood just so it can be mercilessly crushed by following technique show-off.

On the opposite you have musicians like Buck Dharma. Easy riffs, even easier solos, yet things like Astronomy can be incredible.

Same can be applied for simple music. Beatles are simple, yet full of emotions and ideas. Most of the modern pop is simple, but empty on real content.
#23
First, I'd like to point out that this thread is the musical equivalent of, of an all night discussion of existentialism. To wit; "if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound"? Which, I suppose, would amuse the children, so long as they had a block of completely expendable time on their hands, and an all night's supply of decent reefer.

So then, "if a guitar falls on the stage, does it make music"?
Quote by Usernames sucks
So i really wonder what you guys think of this.
So, how subjective do you think music is? Do you think all artists/band are 100% equaly good, no matter anyones opinions? Do you think music from nowadays pop artists such as kesha, justin bieber etc, is as equaly good as for example metallica and the Beatles?
After this, can we undertake an objective and subjective discussion of the differences between apples and oranges?


Piaget proposed that an individuals final stage of development was, what he termed, "the abstract operational stage". For the moment, I'll withhold judgment on whether or not you've actually attained that ability, or are trying to involve the rest of us in you desperation for not having quite gotten there yet....

What is additionally fascinating, is how much traction and mileage can be milked out of threads such as these. Which are at worst, trolling, and at best, attempts to get other members to pander to one's fantasies concerning being an intellectual.
Quote by Usernames sucks
Also do you think musicians/guitar(or any other instrument) players themself are 100% subjective? If so do you think that any 6 year old kid who is just starting out, is as good as John Petrucci, Jimi Hendrix, Slash etc, because it's subjetive?
With all of that said, let me ask you a question.

Suppose you gave an arena concert, headlined with a 6 year old child just learning to play. The child attempts to play for 3 hours. I'm going to suggest that perhaps 50,000 people would ask for their money back. Do you think they would be asking for the purchase price of the ticket be returned, because they subjectively didn't like the concert, technically didn't like the concert, or both?

Quote by Usernames sucks
Personally, i think that music itself is 100% subjective. I'm not so sure about musician/guitarist question.
Oh, do you now?

In fairness, there could be a slim grain of truth to this. I base that on the ubiquitous colloquialism, "that's music to my ears". Hey, most of the time, they're not talking about something which is actually considered, "music".


When we get done here, can we discuss something productive, and which might have a practical application? For example, "how many angels will fit on the head of a pin".
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 8, 2012,
#24
Quote by Usernames sucks
So i really wonder what you guys think of this.
So, how subjective do you think music is? Do you think all artists/band are 100% equaly good, no matter anyones opinions? Do you think music from nowadays pop artists such as kesha, justin bieber etc, is as equaly good as for example metallica and the Beatles?

Also do you think musicians/guitar(or any other instrument) players themself are 100% subjective? If so do you think that any 6 year old kid who is just starting out, is as good as John Petrucci, Jimi Hendrix, Slash etc, because it's subjetive?

Personally, i think that music itself is 100% subjective. I'm not so sure about musician/guitarist question.

So what is you guys opinion? Is there any right or wrong answer to this?

if you look at JUST the music without judging technical skill or composition complexity/difficulty, its 100% subjective. but there are of course other factors you can judge someone by. its like comparing a punk band to a classical composer. there are many things you could factor in that show the classical composer is far superior to the punk band. but at the end of the day, you either like the music or you dont. and if you like it, all the other stuff doesnt really matter.

its all about what effect you want your music to have. if you want something to sound distorted and sloppy or whatever, then comparing it to something clean and proper doesnt make sense. so when it comes down the the actual song and music that is there, its all opinion.
#25
I think that it's subjective for the most part. I believe the statement from earlier (too lazy to quote) that said something along the lines of "If somebody has enjoyed the music, it has served its purpose". Nobody can argue that someone like Pitbull is a good musician however, as he has no discernible ability as far as actual music goes.
Music itself is subjective, but the musical skill it requires usually isn't.
#26
The tendency to produce music is innate. Among the oldest artifacts of modern man yet found are tiny bone flutes. The holes are spaced to produce a pentatonic scale.

However... Appreciation of music is highly subjective and is shaped both by culture and by individual preference.
All you have to do is look at "world" music. Stuff from Asia sounds weird to Western ears; they use entirely different scales and rhythms. Likewise Middle-Eastern stuff, with lots of quarter-tones and again, different-sounding scales.
Native American music sounds jarring and repetitive to our ears, for the most part.

And the individual part.... I've always been out of synch. As a teen-ager in the "Rock and Roll" 50s, I liked classical music.
As a contemporary guitar player, I hate "metal" and listen to alt-country and contemporary folk. Go figure.
#27
The quality of the music is objective
How much you like the music is subjective.

Compare a gigantic masterpiece like Mahlers 8th Symphony to a punk rock album some drunk idiots wrote and recorded over one weekend.

In this day and age, the majority of people would prefer listening to the punk rock album,
just because it's easier to get into.
But in my opinion, the quality of music is not judged by how many people like the music.
It's about how much the person who does like it can get from it, how much depth it has so to say (intellectual and emotional).

You could analyse the shit out of the symphony and still find new things everywhere.

There are two kinds of music, art and entertainment. Sometimes those can overlap like in Pink Floyd or something.
#28
lets see...the essence of this thread could be...

a rock guitarist plays 3 chords for thousands of people...

a jazz guitarist plays thousands of chords for 3 people

ahhh...life is not fair...

wolf
#29
Personally, I find that the more effort and emotion that is put into writing the song, for the most part, the better it will be. But I still believe at the end of the day, everything is subjective to one's own beliefs.