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Re: What do you think is necessary in order to have an excellentcomposition?
I love both "Love me do" and the "Uncle Meat Variations" equally well. So, I have no idea.
-------------- Original message --------------
From: Daryl Shawn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> I do enjoy aesthetic discussions, and am fairly severe on topics such as
> the opinion that art is anything that is created with the /pure
> /intention of evoking an /aesthetic /reaction...thus, a Porsche is not
> art. Etc.
> But I don't entirely agree that the merit of Art is based on subjective,
> isolated emotional reaction. I don't think it fallacious to state as a
> point of fact that Bach was a great composer, Shakespeare a great
> writer, Van Gogh a great painter, Michelangelo a great sculptor, all of
> whom created great works. My own emotional reaction isn't a solid basis
> to argue otherwise. There are criteria other then personal emotion to
> judge art; innovation, craft, and the perception of valu
e over a period
> of time, fr'instance.
> Having said that, nobody can tell me what I /should/ like, or what
> /should/ have value to me. I'm not a fan of Mozart, yet to label his
> work as trash isn't for me to say.
> I also think the original question was indeed asking for personal
> reactions on excellent composition, as perceived by people making and
> listening to music. It'd be different if it were, "What are the
> standards that we should set to judge all compositions?".
> Would you argue that the question "What is Beauty?" is not a worthwhile
> topic for philosophical discussion? On this point, I'm just curious.
> Daryl Shawn
> > By the way, before I give my two cents to this question, Margaret
> > Noble and her video partner in crime, Edyta Stepien, will be flying
> > all the way from Chicago to perform a
t the 2nd Annual Boise
> > Experimental Music Festival (http://www.boisemusicians.com/BEMF-2/). I
> > am very excited to have her there.
> > Now to the question and my answer, which no doubt will ruffle some
> > feathers and may even agitate someone, as it is not one of those
> > "status quo" philosophies that makes everyon feel warm and fuzzy
> > inside...but I have to speak my mind. For at least 15 years I have
> > considered myself an "aesthetic non-cognitivist," meaning I reject the
> > possibility that there is such a thing as an aesthetic fact,
> > evaluative fact, factual value statement, or whatever one would like
> > to call these ontological chimeras I consider them meaningless. So
> > when I see the question, "What do you think is necessary in order to
> > have an excellent composition?", I consider that a question that
> > warra
nts not a statement of fact about the inherent properties of any
> > piece of music or performer, but a statement that is a reflection of
> > one's emotive response to a piece of music, performer, or the idea of
> > composition, etc. In short, I believe that statements of the sort, "X
> > is Excellent", "X is good", "X is bad", "X is better than Y", and so
> > on , in light of music and art aesthetics are devoid of literal, i.e.,
> > factual meaning, and must be re-translated into "X makes me feel
> > good", "X makes me feel bad", "X makes me feel better than Y", and so
> > on. These are entirely subjective statements, denoting private and
> > introspective emotive states. So the answer to the question is not an
> > objective one, in my opinion here, and based on my reflections on the
> > topic over the years; rather the answer to the question is either
> > meanin
gless (if stated in the "X is Excellent because...", or the
> > answers are as numerous as there are people on the planet (if stated
> > as "X makes me feel good", etc).
> > I would argue, however, there is some factor of delight and/or
> > emotional resonance among those who respond to questions of the above
> > nature, even if those responses are translated into subjective/emotive
> > statements, in the same way the human beings feel better when they
> > tell each other how they feel, and they share common feelings. It
> > generates a sense of unity and harmony among individuals; though I
> > would argue does not generate any so-called objective truth or even
> > the slightest and most remote probability about the inherent or actual
> > properties of music or a performer, as I believe statements of this
> > nature have no cognitive import. We may a
s well be asking questions
> > like "What is the ultimate Good?", or "What is Perfection?", which are
> > "in principle" similar questions as "What constitutes Excellence?",
> > and which may have been interesting over two thousands years ago when
> > Plato was positing the existence of non-physical and ideal "forms", as
> > components of the real world, vs. the mere shadows of reality we
> > experience via our senses....but today, there are many other
> > analytical philosophies invited to the party, which dispense with
> > those sort of questions.
> > No disrespect to your original question and intent, Margaret...just my
> > honest and sincere response.
> > Cheers! :)
> > Kris