Objectivity / Subjectivity

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Objectivity / Subjectivity

Post by Sadguru on Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:49 pm

Ok guys, this topic has been on my mind since forever. I've had hours-long debates with numerous people and still, the question remains: Can we objectivily evaluate music, is it purely within the eye of the beholder or a little bit of both? I've come to some hypothesis myself but first, I would like to hear from you guys on that topic. Maybe, just maybe, we can draw together some conclusions on this touchy topic.

Speak your mind!

*Please excuse my poor English, my native language is french.

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Re: Objectivity / Subjectivity

Post by JAM on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:41 pm

i believe this is a philosophical question, not strictly a musical one: is there such a thing as objectivity?  Every person has a range of life experiences and personal interests/prejudices through which they view things, so everything we view is by default subjective.  Since it's impossible to not have previous life experiences, one could argue that true objectivity cannot exist.

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Re: Objectivity / Subjectivity

Post by HC on Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:28 am

I am trying to explore some facets of "objectivity" by introducing my UNDISCLOSED project in a few weeks... The artist behind each EP will remain anonymous. All concept stripped away (including the album title and the tracks), leaving you with just music to explore on your own.

Let's see how that works out.
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Re: Objectivity / Subjectivity

Post by Sadguru on Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:49 pm

Interesting project. Will it be possible to "guess" the artists or are they unknown to the point that we won't be able to tell?

Back to the topic, I would say yes, some measure of objectivity exists. For exmple: as far as songwriters goes, Roger Waters isn't equal as, say, Justin Bieber. Vangelis isn't on the same level as my 8 years-old nephew who got a 100$ keyboard for Christmas. Depth exists.

Then comes the question, what makes an album better than another?

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Re: Objectivity / Subjectivity

Post by Sound Off on Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:54 pm

That's purely subjective depended on your taste. I bed there are people wo like Bieber more than Waters. There is no objective way to proof Water is better than Bieber, al do we here probably all agree. Music is as all art is to my opinion when you speak of quality purely subjective.

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Re: Objectivity / Subjectivity

Post by Sadguru on Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:40 pm

I don't agree. You can choose to believe that everything equals everything but, with all the respect, that way of thinking won't get you very far into the question. Might as well take your first school's essay and tell it's Nobel price worthy. It just doesn't work that way. Same goes with every art forms. Some young girls will cry watching Justin Bieber on stage and will be bored to death listening to Pink Floyd. What does it prove? That subjectively speaking, 2 persons can have an entirely different experience of the same thing. It doesn't prove that Justin Bieber is comparable to Pink Floyd in terms of musical value, nor that neither of those has an intrinsic value to their music.

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Re: Objectivity / Subjectivity

Post by JAM on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:33 am

Sadguru wrote:I don't agree. You can choose to believe that everything equals everything but, with all the respect, that way of thinking won't get you very far into the question. Might as well take your first school's essay and tell it's Nobel price worthy. It just doesn't work that way. Same goes with every art forms. Some young girls will cry watching Justin Bieber on stage and will be bored to death listening to Pink Floyd. What does it prove? That subjectively speaking, 2 persons can have an entirely different experience of the same thing. It doesn't prove that Justin Bieber is comparable to Pink Floyd in terms of musical value, nor that neither of those has an intrinsic value to their music.

i think you are missing the point.  there is no impartial jury deciding who is "better", it's all humans expressing who they subjectively feel is "better".  there is no universal objective truth teller, only people who, by their very nature, view things subjectively.  the young girls aren't claiming beber is objectively better than PF, they are saying they believe, in their subjective opinion, that beber is better to them.  big difference.

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Re: Objectivity / Subjectivity

Post by Sadguru on Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:26 pm

Again, I see your point but I disagree.
JAM wrote:there is no impartial jury deciding who is "better", it's all humans expressing who they subjectively feel is "better".  there is no universal objective truth teller, only people who, by their very nature, view things subjectively.
Basically what you are saying is: "There is no universal objective truth, except this one. Truly it's making a claim and denying you're making it. This heterarchy, really is a stealth hierarchy.

JAM wrote:the young girls aren't claiming beber is objectively better than PF, they are saying they believe, in their subjective opinion, that beber is better to them.  big difference.
I don't even think that the young girls believe that Bieber is better than Pink Floyd. They just are more emotionally attached to Bieber's music, end of the story. What I'm saying is that this exemple doesn't prove anything, except that, as I said earlier, 2 individuals can have an entirely different experience of the same thing. I think we can agree with that. Nowhere does it prove that art can't be evaluated in terms of depth, refinement, elegance etc.

JAM wrote:there is no impartial jury deciding who is "better"
That's another question. It can be asked once we agree that not all music are of equal value.

Anyway, I know it's a tricky question and one that has been debated for centuries. I respect your input, I really do. You come as non-judmental persons and that's a quality I deeply admire. Cheers.

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Re: Objectivity / Subjectivity

Post by JAM on Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:33 pm

Cheers, Sadguru. And yes, this isn't a question we're likely to answer any time soon. Smile

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Re: Objectivity / Subjectivity

Post by Sadguru on Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:26 pm

Agreed! There's a whole world of stunning music to discover and enjoy, let's not waste our time elsewhere Smile.

Topic closed.

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