What is 'Good Music'?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassbandmaestro, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    I found this title quite interesting, in many ways, I am referring to Paul Hindmarsh's article in this weeks BB. He refers to from the listener, the player and the composers viewpoinst.

    Now, as PH said in his article, there was a lot of talk in this year's regionals about 'good muisc'. What do we all think of as 'good muisc' and how do we constitute it as such?
  2. BoBo

    BoBo Member

    Something an audience wants to hear again
  3. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    I was thinking along the lines of, from three different perspectives. From the player'a, listeners, and composers angles. Three different ways.
  4. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    I'm not sure that that is enough, it is quite possible that some music is popular without it having any intrinsic quality. Music can be defined as "good" from a technical point of view, in that it ticks all the boxes for correct melody harmony etc. By itself, that would not make the music interesting. There is also an aesthetic quality that might transcend such correctness. such aesthetics are informed by a wide range of experiences personal to each listener, so that the definition of "good" music becomes as personal to each listener, and as such each listener is entirely correct in his or her assessment
  5. Zappa

    Zappa Member

    An unanswerable and quite pointless question!

    'Good music' depends on the listener, we all have different tastes ..........................
  6. John_D

    John_D Member

    Ask 110 people and you get 100 different answers.
  7. still learnin

    still learnin Member

    A bit like food really, i.e. individual listeners, players and composers all have their own personal tastes. Because one likes something that others don't it doesn't mean that it's no good. If you find something they all enjoy it may be quite bland, but if they all like it does that matter?
  8. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    I think that is a bit harsh, it is a difficult question for sure, and one that most of us (me included) might not have the word power to answer. I think it is a bit like an elephant - impossible to define, but you recognise it when you see (or hear) it.
  9. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Spot on ... it's all about taste. Have an honourary doctorate degree in moral philosophy! ;)
  11. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    Exactly,and how it makes you FEEL inside.How it makes you feel happy,how it makes you feel sad,how it makes you wish you had done something different,whether it was how you played a certain movement or how you dealt with a certain situation. THAT is what GOOD music is!! It is soooo personal that I believe it cannot be defined. Blast me to bits for this if you like but you will never shake my belief on this particular point!!!!
  12. Zappa

    Zappa Member

    pbirch I think my use of the word 'stupid' was actually a bit harsh! Apologies to original poster, it must have been a bad day!

    However, I still stand by the may point of the post that it is an unanswerable question.

    My CD collection ranges from Eminem to Verdi to Steely Dan, jazz to even 80's one hit wonder trash etc etc etc. For me it all depends on my mood.
  13. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    This may be a pointless question to some people, but Paul Hindmarsh in his article makes reading in this weeks BB. So I thought it would create a good debate on this forum.

    For example, PH made good example, for instance where 'up and down the country he heard the familair phrase "good music". That alone can conjur up a lot of imagery, imo.
  14. BariPower

    BariPower Member

    Where does the music sit that is difficult to listen to but its manuscript would be the equivalent of Ensteins theory of relativity - I would be talking about music that is far more complex than the likes of Eden for Brass Band but takes someone of insane talent to craft the score ?

    Is this bad music because we find it difficult to listen to ?
  15. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    I don't think it is entirely about taste, if it were, the question about good music is reduced to "do I like it?"
    if the answer is yes then then music is good, if no then the music is no good. It means that there can be no appreciation of music that is not in accordance with your own taste - however narrow or wide your taste is. I know that there is some high quality music in genres that I either have no appreciation of at all or even a deep dislike, it does not and cannot become rubbish music because I don't like it, the reverse is also true, the fact that I might like a poor piece of music does not make it good.
    yes, moods change and certain music may or may not be helpful to my mental or emotional condition, but that is me not the music that has changed and it is probably my rubbish attitude rather than rubbish music.
  16. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Discover Aesthetics ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesthetics :cool:
  17. MartinT

    MartinT Member

    There is general agreement that some music is great music - Beethoven's symphonies, for instance.
    There is, I hope, general agreement that some music is absolute s***e - most of the current output of the "music industry", for instance.
    There should, then, be a corpus of music that by general agreement can be classed as "good". It won't necessarily be classical (in the loose sense): anything well-constructed that achieves a worthwhile effect can probably be classified as good. Examples from outside the brass band genre that spring to mind are stuff by Queen (especially Bohemian Rhapsody); most Big Band/Swing Band stuff; lots of jazz; Flanders and Swann... the list just goes on.
    We don't have to like a piece of good music just because it's good, it may simply not appeal to us. But I believe we can usually distinguish it from what is great (in one direction) and what is rubbish (in the other).
    For the record, I believe the brass band's great strength is that it fills a huge gap in the musical landscape of Britain (and other nations) by providing opportunities to ordinary people to play, and listen to, well-constructed, "good" music.
  18. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Although some music may not be very challenging, the question certainly is= "what constitutes good music"
    Ok it has already been said, music that is popular and appeals to a wide audience does indeed come under the umbrella and it doesn't necessarily mean unchallenging simple to play stuff either. Yes that does come into it, but also so does some very challenging pieces. William Tell Overture being a prime example of both very popular and challenging.
    However that doesn't cover all aspects of what constitutes good music, goodness knows how many interesting, challenging, emotion altering, pieces there are out in the wild that could be popular, they just haven't been given the air time to use a modern term. If the public at large don't get chance to hear them, they can't become popular or well known, but they can still be good music.
    Then we go off on to the track of technically superb, well written and given a chance can be well performed, but actually sounds quite dire to a large number of people, does that make it "Good Music"?
    Naturally I have to bring in the sort of thing that is about as challenging as breaking an egg, and lets face it, for that to be challenging you would need to have no arms or legs and coupled with a lack of a hard surface to hit the egg onto.
    A tremendous number of pieces of music though come under the terms of little or no challenge, but is challenge really necessary? No of course not, if it is a pleasure to play and also to listen too, then it is good music, simple and easy doesn't matter.
  19. still learnin

    still learnin Member

    Indulgence forgiven, it hit the spot for me too. Thanks for sharing it.
  20. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    yes I am aware of aesthetics as a branch of philosophy, if you are going to patronise me, please do it with something better than wikipedia :)

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