Think about all the music you think is good. Now think about all the music you think is bad. Why do you like what you like and hate what you hate? Good music, bad music. Is there really a clear-cut definition for either? No matter how hard you may try to prove me wrong, the answer is no. Your definition of good music and bad music is always going to differ with at least one, if not MOST other people. So is there a science as to why we like what we like and vice versa?
On my blog, my primary goal is to provide music reviews that, while very opinionated, assert my strong belief that no music is ever bad. I’ve said it about Beckii Cruel, I’ve mentioned it in conversations with other bloggers, I preach it to people in my life outside of my lime green Dell Inspiron Laptop. I strongly believe that all music is created because at least one person somewhere wanted to hear it, and that one person’s self-expression should not be stifled.
What causes our individual requirements for self-expression as far as music is concerned? We all have our reasons. I’ll list a few of mine:
1.) I use music to help me reminisce about the past. If I associate a certain song with a certain event, I connect that song to the event. Thus, by playing the song I can relive the event more vividly.
2.) I like to laugh. I listen to goofy music from children’s shows, video games, you name it to make myself laugh. I mean, I’m addicted to this song right now, and I’m not ashamed to admit it either.
3.) I choose music based on what I see in myself. This is to say that I choose songs that fit my personality, or feel like they were “written about me.” I think we’ve all had at least one experience like that.
4.) I like a catchy melody or a good beat. Simple as that.
So what about what we call “bad music?” Why is it bad? Here are my reasons:
1.) I reject music that conflicts with my personal beliefs and/or outlook on life. I don’t listen to much music that says that life is terrible because I love being alive, and I never listen to songs with excessive swearing. I don’t swear, and hearing profanities over and over and over and over and over again makes me uncomfortable. Not to mention that it is dreadfully trite.
2.) I reject music performed by vocalists I deem as “untalented.” We all have our standards as to what we think is a good singer and a bad singer. I don’t listen to Christina Aguilera because I hate her voice, but I acknowledge and respect that many people regard her as one of the most talented artists on the face of the planet.
3.) I often reject music that had succumbed to commercialism. When I think a band or artist has “sold out” (think of An Café) I typically ignore their work.
As you can see from the above lists, there is no legitimate proof to define any music I hear as good or bad. It is a matter of distinguishing fact from opinion. All of my numbered statements above were obviously opinions.
So, is there a science to what we deem to be good or bad music? I think not. All people have their own standards for musical quality, which are influenced by too many sources to name. We are all unique, as individuals and as connoisseurs of music. So take a step back the next time you think a piece of music or artist is completely terrible. Its okay to feel that way, but take the time to recognize there is at least one person in this world who likes it. You’ll feel better and gain a deeper appreciation for music as a whole. Music connects us all.