Saturday, October 22, 2011

Re: Kristina's "Personal music"

In Kristina's post, "Personal Music" she ends with the question "Does a personal connection to music speak to the aesthetics of that piece in anyway, or merely to the listener, or the performer?"

In order to answer this question accurately we must first determine if aesthetic qualities are merely perceptions or if they are physical manifestations that we perceive. The distinction being that the beauty is in our minds or in the aesthetic work itself.
If we are to go with the first idea, then yes a personal connection to a musical piece may change the aesthetics of it. People enjoy the music that they grew up listening to. Perhaps this serves as an explanation as to why we have a connection to the music that we have listened to throughout our lives -- because it symbolizes our life. Music seems as though it can have the same connection to memory as scents do. One "wiff" so to say, can send you back to another time. A song can remind you of a specific person or time in your life. My brother likes to make mixed CDs for his car, and whenever he makes a new one he titles it whatever the current month and year is, as if he is marking that CD with the time in his life. Does the music we listen to at any point in our lives say anything about us at that particular moment? We all have memories of childhood that deal with pop culture such as remembering that we used to collect Pokemon cards and Bennie Babies, or remembering when "Who Let the Dogs Out" was first played on the radio.
If we go with the second idea, that the aesthetic value is in the work itself, then no, the aesthetics of that piece will not change. With this theory, something's aesthetic value cannot increase or decrease if the external properties do not change. If a connection is made and there is an increase in its appeal to the listener, then it may be the memory that the song is tied to rather than the song itself that adds liking to the piece.

Question: Are aesthetics in our mind or physical properties?