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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000328.txt from 2005/05

From: "Matthew Lloyd" <>
Subj: [kl] David Hume - "Is" and "Ought" - "On the Standard of Taste"
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 17:50:52 -0400

I did quite a lot of work at University on David Hume and "Is" and
"Ought" - relating to his essay "On the Standard of Taste".

I reluctantly came to the conclusion that there is no absolute.

But outside the context of Philosophy, I find the suggestion that
identifying the greater of Mozart or Wham! is simply a question of
personal taste deeply inadequate.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ormondtoby Montoya []=20
Sent: 24 May 2005 22:21
Subject: RE: [kl] Wagner!

Matthew=A0Lloyd wrote:

> There is plenty to demonstrate technical
> ability. But that's not what makes Mozart
> supreme over all artists. I guess it is what
> we'd think of an article of faith.

Perhaps "includes specific details" is a better basis for evaluating a
criticism than "factual" is.

For example, you can praise a composer for emphasizing (or not
emphasizing) tonicity. However, while it may be a 'fact' that a
certain composer did (or did not) do so, it remains a value judgement
whether tonicity makes 'better music' or 'worse music' or neither.

Ultimately any musical criticism can be condemned as "opinion" or
'personal preference'.

Perhaps the only "fact" about a particular piece of music is how many
people did (or did not) state that they preferred it. In this sense,
it was a "factual" statement to say that many people enjoy "Ride of the
Valkyrie". Whether Valkyrie is also good music is based on opinion and
preference, not on 'fact'.

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