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Is there such a thing as bad music?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by i like tictacs, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. Technically, composition-wise, execution-wise, etc? I say absolutely yes. I know there are some of you who are going to say it's 100% subjective and absolutely anything can be considered good, but lets hear why you think that.
  2. I classify music as either mellow, or lively.

    It doesn't matter if you're talking about jazz, classical or rock.

    It's either music you can chill to, or music that makes you want to get up and dance.

    There may be sub categories, but that's how I simplify it.

    You can listen to music that's badly played, but I don't think there's really bad music out there, just music a particular person doesn't care for.

    Me - Like: All styles of Jazz
    Don't like - Any kind of Metal

    IIRC, when Loius Armstrong was asked this question, he replied, "There's good music and bad music. I play good music."*

    Mike ;)

    *The quote may not be his exact words.
  3. To say that it's 100% subjective seems silly to me. Listen to some studio recordings by brighteyes and then tell me they're just as good as....well, something that wasn't recorded in a concrete room (literally).

    As far as composition, it's more a subjective thing.
  4. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I think that music that isn't played with passion, that's just created so it can be created, and not created so as to form a connection with people, is bad music.

    The way it's played can be a factor, the better player you are, the clearer, and easier, it is to get your message across; but some people have managed to communicate through music using just sheer passion.
  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Yeah, pretty much anything I don't like is bad.
  6. What can I say, you are just too witty for this thread.
  7. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    and too sexy for this shirt, apparently.
  8. What a come back! :cool:

    Mike :D
  9. there are only 2 types of music
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Agree 100%.
    ...for that reason, I would rather hear some kids pounding away in a garage over anything with Simon Cowell's name attached to it.
  11. Good music - Enjoyable things played by people playing instruments doing it because they enjoy playing music.

    Bad music - People who do nothing musically and just are in for 'da money. *cough cough MAINSTREAM RAP cough cough* **

    **The majority of it.
  12. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    What if it was Simon's third cousin who released a groundbreaking, genre-shattering record of immense musical importance that went quadruple platinum and became a classic?
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Third cousin, right?

    ...ummmmmmmm, maybe?
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think it's a false dichotomy, as these adjectives are too subjective and too emotive...

    Certain music is good/bad for a particular person - but the same does not apply to anyone else.

    But really this is just too much of a simplification.

    I'd much rather say - there is interesting music and there is dull music. This is far less subjective and therefore more open to discussion/debate.

    So - there is music which has some genuine interest - as in, combinations of ideas, which haven't been done in exactly that way before..

    And there is music which is just churned out, with the same few chords, the same rhythms, the same limited vocabulary (etc. etc.) in the same way, as has been done countless times before....
  15. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004

    I think that's more original or unoriginal though... I know people who find jazz dull.
  16. Well, it can certainly be said that most non-musicians just don't appreciate good music :D

    I personally feel that even "interesting" and "dull" don't apply very well as there is still a large degree of subjectivity involved in making such a judgement. I can guarantee that there's more than a few people that will describe Celine Dion as "interesting", for instance.
    Music can range from the harmonically simple and straightforward to richly and extensivly textured and complex. Even that is not a qualifier for bad/good music though, as music can be simple and genius nonetheless(Bach comes to mind).
    Now, if you'd ask whether there is bad taste in music the we'd have a wholly different discussion.
  17. But can something be 'bad' as in a bad composition, execution, how it's written, etc? Does bad exist on an objective level?
  18. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    There is definitely music that's very annoying to listen to. Although, sometimes that's deliberate. :) Subjective? Yes, definitely. I like music that's emotional and somewhat intricate. In the classical area, I like Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Chopin. I like prog rock and jazz fusion for that same reason. And some of the "pure jazz", well, it's so intricate it's "out there". I love that stuff. Aaron Copeland, for example, is outstanding. I "aspire" to that kind of stuff. It's what I "hear". I don't "hear" bad music. It's just annoying, is all. :D
  19. Creed

    ok seriously it is all subjective to ones taste
  20. The straightforward answer would be "no". I have a bit of an interest in Philosophie and basically there is not even such a thing as "true objectivity" in this world. Everything in this world, as we see,hear and feel it, involves the perception. Perception is totally subjective, as different people's brains will interpret sensory input differently. The logic conclusion to this is that we cannot establish that anything exists/is true with complete certainty or without a degree of subjectivity. Therefore, this goes for music as well.
    I think nonsqtr put it best by making it a distinction between annoying and enjoyable. Those are immediatly thought of as a form of subjective judgement and avoid some of the confusion that bad and good bring with them.

    Fun Fact: Heavy Metal, the music enjoyed and fervently defended by masses of western adolescents and people from cold countries, was used as a means of torturing Afghani and Iraqui prisoners.