Music: Subjective or Objective?
Is the idea of music a subjective or objective thing? Some may say that music is simply the expression of feelings and emotions through sound; others may say that music is a studied science-type art form. So who’s right? Well, both sides really.
Objective Music: Music is written, played, sung, hummed in an objective manner. Every little note, rest, time signature, dotted note, tie, etc can be measured into counts or beats. Whether a musician is improvising or meticulously planning the melody of their music, he still uses the same symbols on the staff that Beethoven and Bach did back in the day. The easiest way to think of music as an objective idea is to think of a sheet of music as a bunch of fractions in each measure.
Subjective Music: One’s idea of “what music is” is subjective. Not everyone has the same taste in music, and what may be a symphony in one person’s ear may be noise in another. A perfect example of this happened to me today. I was listening to a gospel song and trying to learn the song as the original artist sang it. There came a point in the song where the artist really belted out her note, and I followed suit. I then receive a text from my brother, who was downstairs, saying “why are you yelling?” I replied that I was singing and fooling around. He came back at me saying “well, it’s not singing if you’re yelling,” but I didn’t agree. I then thought about how there are plenty of hard core rock bands that have whole CDs of them “screaming” their lyrics at the top of their lungs. In my opinion, it’s not singing because I can’t make out a tune for the melody or really understand what the singer is saying, but to others may know all the lyrics to ALL of the songs.
What do you have to say on the matter?