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Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Sam Whiting, Lecturer – Creative Industries, University of South Australia


Everyone has a favourite band, or a favourite composer, or a favourite song. There is some music which speaks to you, deeply; and other music which might be the current big hit, but you can only hear nails on a chalkboard.

Every time a major artist releases their new album, the critics are there to tell you exactly how the artist got it right – or how they got it wrong. And the fans are there to tell the critic how they got it right or wrong, in turn.

So if we all have our own opinions on music, is it ever possible to judge it objectively? Or are we all subject to our subjective disagreements forever?

We asked five music experts to let us know what they thought. Here’s what they had to say.

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The Conversation

Sam Whiting receives funding from Creative Australia and the Australasian Performing Right Association.

Catherine Strong receives funding from the ARC and the VMDO.

Charlotte Markowitsch, Laura Glitsos, and Timothy McKenry do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

ref. Is it possible to ‘objectively’ judge music? We asked 5 experts –