If I understand well, Chris is "giving up" to provide us with his long and eagerly anticipated "big" and thorough post. If that is the case, we'll miss another chance to make this forum truly 'interesting' (to use Vic's word) and useful and productive.
I'm afraid, Vic, you paid to much attention to this virtual nemesis of yours and we led astray, once more. Is it really worthwhile?
Troyen, we may all cool down. There was an opportunity for some constructive communication on substantive matters of Classical Music. It would unbelievably detrimental, if we simply alienated a new good member of this forum.
Why, because he is your new best fweind?
Mozart is a greater composer than Haydn (questionable)
Haydn is greater than J.C. Bach (questionable)
J.C. Bach is greater than Stamitz (questionable)
Stamitz is greater than Dittersdorf (questionable)
Dittersdorf is greater than Süssmayer (questionable)
But: Mozart is a greater composer than Süssmayer?
(This sequence can be replaced by an infinite number of others at will)
This from somebody who thinks the "Hall of Fame" is a dumbing down.
Good list, though.
See what you can do when you either take your medication and/or stay off the booze.
Oh dear, he's posted his 'big post.'
Hope he liked that boring game of football tonight.
I will get around to the 'big read,' honest.
You seem to have a 'big chip' on your shoulder.
No, Tagalie, I'm not! I never defended the measurable (or quantifiable) way of greatness. Parla
I thought you were going to stay out of this? Actually I didn't, even though you said you would.
I think you mean, above, 'I did not' and I'm saying you did. You've always denied that subjectivity plays any role in a definition of greatness, ergo it has to be objective. And if it's objective it must be identifiable or definable - not necessarily measurable in the way we normally understand that term, but certainly definable in terms of objective criteria. You can't just say 'it's there', you have to be able to describe in objective terms why it's there.
I could continue but past experience tells me I'm wasting my time until your knight in shining armour gets back and if he enjoyed the game and result half as much as I did he's gone for the night.
No, Tagalie, I'm not! I never defended the measurable (or quantifiable) way of greatness.
Yes you did. And it's a matter of record.
Do Beethoven's Ninth or the Late String Quartets need
any sort of physical science proof of their universally declared
greatness or is simply a coincidence of opinions all over the globe on
The latter. And why the latter? Because there can be no objective way of doing the former. "Need" doesn't enter in to it - unless, of course, you argue that greatness is an objective category - as you have, and do. Just to remind you Parla: you are the one claiming objectivity in this subject, remember?
And for more food for thought, do we need physical sciences to measure Good (or Evil), Justice, Love, Pleasure (and some more)? Or are they all of them in the sphere of subjective perception?
No we don't need them, Parla. We don't need the because they are indeed in the sphere of subjective perception - just like the appreciation of music!
Yes, it's a Basil Fawlty position all right. "I could spend the rest of my life having this conversation."
Am I really debating with someone who doesn't realise he is using his own evidence against himself?
And with his supporter, Chris, who thinks space travel is possible without relativity, so clearly doesn't understand it; who thinks the theory of gravity or any theory is not proven; who doesn't understand the meaning of a word even after posting the dictionary definition of it; who quotes the theory of a philosopher he clearly does not understand?
At least Manuel had the excuse that he was from Barcelona. What's these jokers' excuse?
Or perhaps I'm the bonkers one for expecting an informed, consistent, logical debate?
Still, it keeps us off the streets and out of mischief.
Good morning Vic. The posts are flying fast (too fast for me) on this so I should clarify here that I am replying to your post No.11 on page 12 of this subject.
Are you seriously trying to suggest that in order to say that greatness can be objectively assessed we must be able to line up every work in a linear order of greatness?
Vic: Yes I am saying that if greatness can be objectively assessed we ought to be able to line them all up as you say. It's a nonsense isn't it? The reason why it's a ludicrous proposition and we can't is because greatness cannot be objectively assessed! That's my argument!
Excuse me Vic, but it was you that demanded this specific challenge. You set up phantom targets and then you shoot them down. I specifically wrote that this was an irrelevant comparison. However, I don't accept that the reason it is irrelevant is that greatness cannot be objectively assessed.I'll ignore your barbs about relativity etc. You missed my point completely so I'll repeat it here. We continue to use theories that have been proven false simply because it is convenient (useful). But I must again ask you once again: please the post, not the poster.
Chris: We are not engaging in science.
Vic: Yes we are. Your definition of "objective" is correct and locates this discussion in the realm of science.
Well, here is the crux of 'our' argument.
You define 'objective' as being in the realm of science (as above, and I refer others back to your post).
Subjective, I believe your definition is given in this quote (square brackets my insertion into your text): 'I suggest most would believe it [greatness in music] a matter of opinion and that that is enough for them, probably because they regard the opinions of their fellow men and women as due the respect they would want for their own.'My problem is this. The limiting of the discussion you would impose with these definitions seems to leave leave out the core of the discussion, the substantial part of what I (and I believe others) thought was the subject of the debate. You ignore most of the points I made in my main post, and it's possible that on the terms you impose you may right to do so. (But I reserve judgement even on that). It is not the main issue for me, nor I think between Parla and posters other than yourself. But, rather than you and I continuing arguing on this, I would really like to hear the opinion of others on this point. It really seems to me that you are trying to drive the discussion into a dead end. Let's see what others have to say, and if no-one is interested, then perhaps we should stop anyway. In the meantime I must reply (separately) to Tagalie. We were delayed last night by a different shared interest.
I like this game, ok here we go.
Beethoven is better than Mozart (yes)
Beethoven is better than J.S.Bach (yes)
Beethoven is better than Brahms (yes)
Beethoven is better than Mahler (yes)
Beethoven is better than Paul Simon (ummmmm....Yes)
Beethoven is better than Lutoslawski (ha ha ha .... Yes)
Chelsea are better than QPR (ha ha ha, that's even funnier, Yes)
Chelsea are better than Barcelona (Yes, oh yes diddley yes)
I don't seem to get as many draws when I do it.
I like this game too! Okay, here we go:
Dr Brodsky is no better than Magnus Opus.
Magnus Opus is no better than Pablo Largo.
Pablo Largo is no better than Vic Gay.
Vic Gay is no better than Gottfried Houven.
Gottfried Houvenn is no better than Devon Farmer.
Devon Farmer is no better than Rastafaright.
Rastafaright is no better than Yorkshire lad.
Yorkshire lad is no better than Uber Alice.
Uber Alice is no better than Hugh Farquhar.
No better at disguising himself, that is.
(Did I miss any out comrade Brodsky?
I couldn't possibly comment victor.
Excuse me Vic, but it was you that demanded this specific challenge.
Good morning to you Chris.
What "challenge" did I "demand" here?
What do you think is the grammatical function of the words "if" and "ought" in that quote of mine?
I'm sorry Chris, but I have to say, I don't think you even understand the argument here.
I further believe that you do not understand the science you refer to in your latest post.
And further to that, I am not shifting or ignoring any aspect of the discussion: I centre it firmly and exclusively on your (and Parla's) claim that greatness in music is an objective concept. If you cannot comprehend the implications inherent in the word "objective", I cannot see how further discussion is possible.
Well you could if you wanted to, my friend. But then, if I were in your position, I wouldn't want to either.
Victor, we have already agreed that the theory of relativity and atomic theory etc are theories, they are knowledge based on opinion (this opinion is of course also based on knowledge) but they are held to be true not because they have been proved to be true, but that they haven't been proved to be wrong. They fit, they seem to work, they may be discredited in the future but for now they are 'true' and stated as 'fact' and used in science as so, we trust the theory (because if we didn't we would be fools) Likewise Beethoven is better musically than Paul Simon, in as much as e = mc2, in as much that gravity holds you to this earth, in as much that protons and neutrons circle the whatever they circle with the electrons, not sure what they do. To state that Paul Simon is musically on a par with Beethoven is to suggest that gravity doesn't exist, that einstein was a fool and that electrons are wasting their time. Victor, gravity exists. Victor, Beethoven is better musically than Paul Simon. That is knowledge, based on opinion, based on knowledge. Or to put it another way, A FACT.
Vic, that is the question I asked of others. Is your definition of objective the same as the one we are all using in this debate? I knew already that you think so and I suppose everyone else knows that too. You and they also know that I think differently. Let's hear from others...? As to your other comments about my interpretation of the argument, well, you are entitled to your beliefs. Again though, I'd like others to enter into what will otherwise become a largely sterile debate. That's not personal, but if it's only to be an argument between you and me, perhaps we'd be better for everyone's sake discussing something else.
......... and anyone from Barcelona who thinks that Barcelona are better than Chelsea and they 'were robbed' is welcome to come to Munich on the 19th and argue with me over that matter in person. However all arguements will have to end by 19:45 GMT as we have a prior engagement. Oh yes diddley yes.
Now I reply to Tagalie (his post no.8 on p12. Incidentally hasn't something happened to these numbers. Am I mistaken or weren't they consecutive and continuous until recently).
Good morning anyway Tagalie. A great match yes. It's good to see United taken down a peg from time to time.
You raise interesting points here, and for some reason, the way you posed them put a different thought into my mind, which may not be completely irrelevant. We have concentrated on the perception of greatness by the listener. I still submit that we can define and gain an understanding of our initial subjective responses by examining the musical bases for our responses in the score. You are right that some devices, to use your word, may seem original at first but pall on later hearing. But if we still admire the work, we will probe into the score to see why. And most works in the literature have been subjected to detailed analysis in numerous music journals and books, and the many distinguished authors of these have contributed significantly to 'objectifying' our subjective responses to the music. I chose the Schubert just because it was an example where we can pinpoint a single instance. [As an aside, if you are intersted in that song, you should seek out the performance that Britten accompanies (John-Shirley-Quirk is the singer). The way Britten picks up on the chord I mentioned is.... well, amazing... and it shows that he recognised this moment].
As I tried to emphasise, a central problem is that we are always dealing with a mixture of subjective and objective. And this is compounded when we try to test 'objectivity' with absurd 'tests' like compare Bach B minor mass with Beethoven Missa Solemnis. Interestingly, Hugh, in his tongue-in-cheek parody of my little subjectivity test, was sensible enough not to ask "which is better, Bach or Barcelona?"
Now, I wonder if some of the assumed difficulty in discussing whether we can objectively assess greatness arises because we unwittingly confuse the listening with the composing (and in music there is also the art of re-creating).
Can we rationally reconstruct the act of creation of a work? And is this different from analysing what makes a work what it is? Popper writes (about science, but he continues about other subjects too) "I shall distinguish sharply between the process of conceiving a new idea, and the methods and results of examining it logically."
What I had hoped to stimulate was a discussion of the latter. I'm interested to hear your comments on this because, as I posted above, I think Vic's approach would remove the most interesting part of the discussion.
Finally, an complete irrelevance. One other contributor to this forum, the ******1 who doesn't like anything I write, is also the one who might know which team I shall be supporting on Saturday.
I'm taking a rest for now. Bye.