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Music is a global art form that is used in all cultures for a variety of purposes. Many definitions of good music have been produced by authors over the years. There is no universally recognized definition, though. Different people will react differently to a particular kind of music. One person may enjoy a certain genre of music, but another person may not. Having a common understanding of what constitutes good music is challenging because of this major barrier. The classification of music is based on what the listeners are supposed to get out of it. Music has long been a source of entertainment for humans. To define what good music is, this article will take into account the various criteria that have been suggested as fit to characterize music as good or bad.
Notably, time is an essential factor in defining what good music is. According to Ewer, good music can be described as that which can stand the test of time, remain relevant, and appeal to different generations. A song maybe defined as good because its artist has a high popularity within a given period. However, as the artist’s fame fades away, his music may also lose meaning and cease to appeal. Current generation could even wonder why the music classified as good back then as it has not managed to stand the test of time (Ewer). Good music should be able to retain its appealing ability irrespective of the time that has passed following its release or composure.
Evidently, music continues to evolve with each generation having its taste and style. For instance, music composed in the early 1990s express significant differences from the 21st-century. Nonetheless, it is still characterized as good whereas the latest tracks fail to attract any value. Sindberg states that differences in performance styles, choice of chords, and the use of instruments may vary, but their coordination may be used to qualify music as either good or bad. Music that has been performed well and has an excellent choice of chords will likely appeal more people hence being regarded as good music. The same case applies to music that is accompanied by various instruments playing in harmony with the song has a universal appeal that may qualify it to be good music. Such music will have a widespread acceptance of being good music with time likely to cause no meaningful change.
Furthermore, listeners’ emotional attachment and response to specific music can be used as a measure of defining what good music is. The aesthetic response has been described as the judgmental value listeners prescribe to good music (Juslin, Sakka and Barradas). Good music can bring out emotions to listeners and may make them feel powerful, soothe their souls, or bring sweet memories. Though there is no universal way to measure this aesthetic value, it is believed to define good music. Not to mention, music could be appealing to listeners due to its teachings. Hence, information gained from listening to a particular track can help to determine its categorization.
In conclusion, there is no universally accepted definition of what good music is. However, various criteria apply to definition and classification of good music. They include the time of release, nature of music and emotional attachment associated with the music. Music that is appealing to a broad audience is assumed good music.
Ewer, Gary. "The Tricky Definition of "Good" In Music." Essentisl Secrets of Songwriting (2014).
Juslin, Patrik N., et al. "Idiographic modeling of aesthetic judgments of music." Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music. Manchester: Psychology Dept., Uppsala University, Sweden, 2015.
Sindberg, Laura. Just Good Teaching: Comprehensive Musicianship Through Performance (CMP) in theory and performance. New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc, 2012.
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