Talk:Aesthetics of music

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biased.. I'll edit it in the morning

- Sprafa

How is it biased? Hyacinth 01:46, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There really have to be contemporary viewpoints on musical aesthetics other than the single one presented here, and its focus on "bad music." Is good music simply music that avoids being bad, by the tests described? --Christofurio 04:14, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
The section on bad music does not describe tests of good or bad music, it describes the connection between aesthetics and ethics in popular music. Hyacinth 17:57, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

This article needs to be re-written from scratch. There is a wealth of literature written on this topic and almost none of it is addressed. The intro very subjectively written, and the section on 'Bad Music' simply doesn't belong in an encyclopedia entry about the Aesthetics of music. Or in an encyclopedia at all for that matter. I will re-write when I'm less busy (probably in a week or two) unless someone else feels like giving it a go first. Jmejia 18:38, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Although I believe this article is far form perfect, I think the section about "bad music" SHOULD be included.

Please sign your posts on talk pages per Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages. Thanks! Hyacinth 17:31, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

"Proper sound is perceived as gentle sound while improper sound is more or less considered nice sounding depending on what the listener is used to listen to." ... these claims are vague, out of context, unreferenced, and poorly written. (talk) 09:57, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

New list[edit]

I have created list of aesthetic principles of music. Input welcome, including ideas for a better title. Tuf-Kat 02:35, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Walter Pater[edit]

Pater died in 1894, so hardly qualifies as a twentieth-century writer. I also would not call him a modernist. Did the person who wrote this section know what they were talking about? 2006-12-04.

do we really need this article? Blueaster 17:29, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

I confess. I wrote most of the stuff of which you're complaining. Before I began to work on it, this article was almost entirely a jokey thing about "bad music." I tried to take an historical approach, focusing on philosophic views of the relationship between music and the other arts over the centuries.
And yes, I submit that I do know what I'm talking about. For a book-length argument that Pater was a proto-modernist, see

Walter Pater: Lover of Strange Souls, by Denis Donoghue, for example.

And yes, we need this article: much more than we need, say, a few more articles about the walk-on characters in Star Trek episodes. I'd be happy to have it improved upon. --Christofurio 04:27, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Bad music[edit]

The bad music section is neither jokey nor unencyclopedic. It provides a sociological viewpoint regarding the aesthetics of popular music, in a serious tone, and thus ensures that this article will be NPOV. Hyacinth 17:48, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

And this is the part where you say "...not" ??
Seriously, that entire section is an excuse to quote a particular, hardly representative or even relevant author. I had to stop myself from adding a "citation needed" to the claim that this person's views are based on sociology. Instead of validating the quotes, they detract sociology. It would be nice to see an attempt at explaining how they are based on more than just personal observations. Then again, all of this article is poorly written and something suggests zealous ignorant contributor... if only I had the energy, time or patience for an edit war.
But my point is no, the section doesn't provide a "sociological viewpoint" that ensures NPOV. It seeks to parameterize a subjective matter employing no evidence other than a single man's OPINIONS. There's no reason involved and no intellectual appeals, even; it reads like the casual, usual rants of an angry columnist in a mediocre rock magazine complaining that music ain't what it use to B.--Plavalagunanbanshee (talk) 20:35, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

I think that the article in general would certainly benefit from the addition of more stances and positions, but it cannot possibly be argued that Simon Frith is not a relevant author, particularly under the 'popular music' section. 'This person's views' are very much grounded in sociology; the briefest perusal of any of his books would demonstrate that, but if you don't believe me then take a quick look, for instance, at his current University of Edinburgh profile.

Plus, I think you misunderstand the intent of the 'bad music' section of this article; it doesn't seek to 'parameterize' anything; it merely reports one scholar's argument that the, if you like, parameterization by an individual listener of 'bad music' is crucial to that individual's overall enjoyment and apprehension of music. Frith's argument is based on the obvious fact that, of course, what constitutes 'bad music' is entirely subjective. His argument is that this subjectivity is grounded in various social and psychological factors, and that, relatedly, our decision over what constitutes bad music is the kind of value judgement that plays a crucial role in the construction of an individual's identity within the world of music-enjoyment. But anyway, this section of the article, as far as I can see, isn't attempting to use Frith as 'evidence' of anything other than his own views; it simply reports his well-known writing on the subject. If there are other people who have written specifically on 'bad music', with differing or similar views, then the article would benefit from an account of these people too.

But even if Frith were the only writer to have commented on bad music, this section should still definitely be here. I don't know whether your 'angry columnist' comment is directed at what you take Frith to be saying or just at how this section reads, but just in case, I think I can say without being accused of being merely a Frith fanboy that he is one of the few most important writers on popular music in recent decades, and any article concerning itself with the aesthetics of popular music would likely as not mention his scholarly work, as well as possibly his journalistic writing. For instance, Fredric Jameson's famous Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991) has Frith opposite Adorno as the theorist and defender of 'mass' music.

But perhaps this section of this article could be better written and perhaps I will attempt that when I have time. Arch Mute Brave (talk) 02:46, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Worldwide view[edit]

How does this article not represent a worldwide view? Hyacinth 19:47, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Tag removed. Hyacinth (talk) 03:30, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Friedrich Nietzsche[edit]

A little strange that he wouldn't even be mentioned on this page... especially considering The Birth of Tragedy, The Case of Wagner, and Nietzsche contra Wagner... (talk) 10:03, 12 September 2009 (UTC)


Not an anti-formalist. See War of the Romantics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:21, 21 October 2010 (UTC)


Why, what, where, and how does this article need cleanup? Hyacinth (talk) 21:20, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Tag removed. Hyacinth (talk) 03:30, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 02:37, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Amending whole article[edit]

Hello all,

I think this article could be improved in the following ways (and in the order stated to help with structure): A) I believe there should be a better introduction rather than diving in with 'In the pre-modern tradition...'. i) Aesthetics of music - an activity exploring what beauty, taste, judgement etc are in relation to music. ii) Then state that the (academic) activity is almost exclusively derived from Western/European thought, its history: the pre-modern era inherited from Plato blah blah... iii) I would also recommend stating that a given society and its structure will influence how we discuss aesthetics of music . At the moment it is assumed that we are talking about all music from all of time. I don't believe we would do the same about literature or oral traditions; we assess them taking account of their own sociocultural context. As society changes, culture changes, music changes and the way we think about music changes. Industrial age clearly affected music, as did the mp3 etc.

B) Clearly structure the history of aesthetics of music: Plato - Kant - Hanslick - Nietzsche - Adorno (maybe W. Benjamin as well) - postmoderns like Barthes - contemporary scholars like Frith whom I agree is a fantastic academic and Daniel Albright (Untwisting the Serpent was recommended to me by my lecturers for its scope and point of view)

C) Mention key contemporary literature, up-to-date theories or approaches etc.

D) clearer links to other areas of study such as musicology, cognition, aesthetics, philosophy etc.

Please tell me what you think. I hope to make changes in the coming week, preferrably with input from others. ConBlanchet (talk) 13:27, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Alternate Tunings, Microtones etc.[edit]

Without an introduction about culturally established tunings as possibly an example of cultural expectations of beauty the sentences about tunings and tone are non-sequesters and just stand as curious historical statements about musical experimentation that say nothing anything about musical aesthetics.

"Harry Partch and some other musicologists, such as Kyle Gann, have studied and tried to popularize microtonal music and the usage of alternate musical scales. Also many modern composers like La Monte Young, Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca paid much attention to a system of tuning called just intonation."

PAHSeattle (talk) 22:40, 3 March 2016 (UTC)