Virtues in music valuation (philosophy)

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TheOneWorthLeaving
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Virtues in music valuation (philosophy)

Post by TheOneWorthLeaving » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:34 am

I'm extremely passionate about music and and think too much about how and why we value it. In the west today many people like things because of something about particular songs. Perhaps people like Dream Theater songs because they have good solos, people like Frank because the songs have good lyrics, people like general pop music because its catchy, etc.

But the ancient Greeks thought art and music expressed certain virtues (meaning admirable character traits), which the artist or musician possessed. I've started thinking about music like this, and I want to bring it back. Its a subtle difference, but it really changes things.

Nobody has all the virtues, but we all have some - and my claim is that we like music which expresses the virtues we admire.

Dream Theater, for example, are really technical and they obviously work very hard at what they do. This shows certain character traits, such as perseverance and dedication. This will be admired by a certain type of person.

The catchy pop song with nothing else going for it doesn't really express any virtues, but it is understandable that people might enjoy it anyway.

Regarding Frank, I think that, in particular, he expresses honesty, courage (partly in the honesty), and wisdom (i.e. at recognising his vices, and turning them into art). We could say that he happens to be my favorite artist, and these happen to be my favorite virtues. But I think that there is a correlation.

(Take into account that I even really dislike a lot of the music he writes, such as the music for Imperfect Tense - pop-punk is anathema to me - I still love the song, however; this would seem paradoxical unless we take into account that, as a whole, it expresses the virtues I happen to admire).

Just throwing out a different way of music valuation for those interested in both philosophy and music! I'd like to hear some critiques of my claim as I'm thinking about writing about these thoughts properly one day (I'm on the way to becoming an academic).

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tampateri
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Re: Virtues in music valuation (philosophy)

Post by tampateri » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:25 pm

do you have any views on people who share virtues but not musical tastes? that would probably be the biggest roadblock to your thesis.

TheOneWorthLeaving
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Re: Virtues in music valuation (philosophy)

Post by TheOneWorthLeaving » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:37 pm

Hhmm, I don't think there's a necessary connection or anything, its just an alternative way of understanding certain aspects of valuation. Also, one might not necessarily have the virtues they admire (a coward can still admire bravery).

I think almost everyone admires all the virtues anyway (it would be strange for someone to say they didn't admire wisdom). But maybe we all have our favorite virtues, even if we've never really thought about it that way.

TheOneWorthLeaving
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Re: Virtues in music valuation (philosophy)

Post by TheOneWorthLeaving » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:39 pm

I suppose I'm just trying to make people think, rather than to offer a logical thesis...

Marta
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Re: Virtues in music valuation (philosophy)

Post by Marta » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:46 pm

you might want to read Adorno's 'On the Fetish-Character in Music and the Regression of Listening'
elenarazlogova.org/hist452w07/adorno.pdf

TheOneWorthLeaving
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Re: Virtues in music valuation (philosophy)

Post by TheOneWorthLeaving » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:51 pm

The first paragraph ends on the third page! Thanks though, I shall have a read.

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