Taste and Art
I know what I like. You can lock me in a chair where I have to listen to your favorite music, but even after days and weeks of this torture, I’m not likely to appreciate your taste in music.
Humans tend to calcify their tastes rather early in life. As the current trends in which their awareness developed drift farther afield, they become less interested. But that’s pop music, and we do have a body of scientific research which has identified a type of music which is of such genius, it manages to work for just about everyone at any time in history after its publication. This sort of thing comes from people who don’t suffer that developmental calcification.
Head-bangers can be made to tolerate, even appreciate, carefully selected Classical pieces. I’ve done it myself. It’s the same musical pieces Chinese audiences in remote regions still like.
When you ask the aficionados, you aren’t likely to get a safe consensus on what’s truly genius in art. Too many of them are unable to pull back with that separate category of genius which notices the human response. They only understand the depth of passion with which they are moved, and simply do not accept the idea you aren’t so moved. Thus, a huge swath of good art is really just popular with the “in” crowd who are allowed to announce their tastes. This is why many “great” novels are boring, because politics had much to do with their selection. Yet I can sit down children from almost any subculture which understands my American English tongue, read Dickens, and they’ll be absorbed. (Okay, I do have some skill with dramatic reading.) Dickens tends to be actually great, drawing approval across generations and cultures. He even translates well into other languages, I’m told. Simply because we understand the part played by some “great” writers during the various periods of English Literature does not mean they are going to reach across the ages of the English language and entertain everyone. We don’t deny the greatness of their art, only note it’s not quite in the same class of genius.
It won’t matter what the experts say from within the field of a given art form, if no one else pays any attention. It’s not a matter of my tastes, either. It’s the question of how easily we can draw at least a modicum of interest across cultural barriers. This eliminates mere passing fashion and taste as a factor. Perhaps the artists themselves would not be able to tell you how they did it, but we recognize Beethoven as one of them, along with Dickens, da Vinci, and so forth.
It’s okay for you to ignore the experts. Don’t let them intimidate you; their position is often wholly political in nature. Politics is more often wrong than right, and when right, often so completely by accident, as if it were some sort of error.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
I moderate comments. Take a moment to scan the "Readers Note" tab on the menu bar at the top of the page.
As a minister of God, I do accept donations. Please click the "Donate" tab above.