Re: MD SQ-SQ tension in Mozart's Symphony No38

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Tue Feb 17 2004 - 14:35:26 GMT

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD SQ-SQ tension in Mozart's Symphony No38"


    > Platt,
    > Again, and apologies for being such a pain, the problem I am having is
    > this "better" word. I mean, what IS "better"? What maybe better for you may
    > not be for me. Specifically in music, I just fail to see what is "better"
    > for anyone.
    > I do understand that eating nutricious foods are "better" than eating
    > unhealthy foods - for, say, medical purposes. But when it comes to music,
    > to say that Mozart is "better" than The Rolling Stones, well, I fail to
    > find what makes one "better" than the other.
    > Please elaborate.

    As far as your personal taste in music is concerned, no one can
    legitimately argue that your taste is better or worse than anyone else's..
    As my Dad used to say, " 'There's no accounting for taste,' said the old
    lady as she kissed the cow." So I agree that what may be better for you
    may not be better for me.

    But there are people out there who have spent their lifetimes creating
    informed judgments about what in the arts is good or bad, better or worse.
    They are the art critics, curators and historians who get paid (and are
    thus valued) to share their expertise with us. When contributors to 'The
    Oxford Dictionary of Music,' 'Histoire de la Musiqkue,' 'Weltgeschichte
    der Muzik,' 'Music in Western Civilization,' 'The International Cyclopedia
    of Music,' 'The Bodley Head History of Western Music,' 'Musikens
    Historie," and other authoritative sources all agree that Mozart ranks at
    the top in musical achievement, I think their judgment is worth paying
    attention to.

    Of course, you can choose to ignore the judgment of the experts. But to do
    so seems to me to shut off an avenue of experiencing a depth of quality
    that cannot be found otherwise. It is not mere taste alone that accounts
    for the staying power of Mozart and other classical composers who, if
    nothing else, have passed the test of time. But, there's something going
    on in their music that has attracted millions of people across cultures
    and across generations. I think that "something" is the music's ability to
    reveal DQ without strobe lights, sound amplification, mosh pits, drugs and
    other show props without which rock groups like the Rolling Stones would
    have wilted away years ago. Likewise, modern jazz groups have a long way
    to go to attain the universal appeal and perseverance of the classical

    Perhaps the difference between taste and informed judgment is best
    illustrated by comparing the pictures I have hanging on the walls in my
    home compared to what adorns the walls of the Tate Museum in London or the
    Metropolitan Museum in New York. I don't think people would pay to see my
    collection. :-)

    Hope this answers your question. But, please don't hesitate to ask for
    clarification or to give us the benefit of your views. I don't consider
    those who give me the opportunity to answer questions as being "pains" at


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