Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Matter of Taste

"This is in sharp contrast to the relatively minor status of individual 'taste' in Western musical practice and aesthetics from the ancient Greeks until the late eighteenth century. To an earlier age, our contemporary idea of a complete relativism in musical judgment would have seemed nonsensical. One could no more make valid individual judgments about musical values than about science. Music was no more 'a matter of taste' than was the orbit of the planets or the physiology of the human body. From Plato to Helmholtz, music was understood to be based on natural laws, and its value was derived from its capacity to frame and elaborate these laws in musical form. Its success was no more a matter of subjective judgment than the laws themselves." (Who Needs Classical Music?, Julian Johnson, "Musical Values".)

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