Rating a Music

If you say “IT is Good”, you mean “I like IT”.
If you say “IT is bad”, you mean “I don’t like IT”.
If you say “IT is the Best”, you mean “I like it very much”.
If you say “IT is the Worst”, you mean “I don’t like it at all”.

By which I mean the fact is that IT is not good, bad, best or worst. Always IT is what it is but it is we who have different perspectives on everything based on our knowledge, prejudices and biases by which we classify something as G/Ba/Be/W. The problem props up only when everyone tries to prove that his perspective is the absolute truth about something that we give opinion on. Arguments and debates are always set to convince others and make them accept it, to get himself convinced that what he feels is right.

IT that I mentioned in the initial lines can be replaced with anything in the universe that is
opinionated or that falls into the perception of a human being. IT can be he, she, it, music, dress, colour, book, painting, country, religion, language, religion, god, sea, river, lake, park etc.,
If you feel that I sound too philosophical them blame it on all those with whom I have debated about music. It is through those debates on music I learned this ultimate truth. I have been writing reviews for almost two years and mostly I write reviews on music albums. Every time when I admit some music as best in my review, there is at least one reader to oppose me. I often wonder how a normal human being can hate such a beautiful music. On contrary, when I say something as bad, there is always a group of people who like very much the same. After facing all these debates and conversations I realized that each and every one enjoy something based on what they know, what they already observed and what they think as best and no one can be blamed for it. IT is again …..(Read Line 1)

Measure of Quality of Music

Now let us concentrate on only one of the ITs that is Music. I am going to contradict myself by saying that there must something called a higher (beyond one’s opinions and likeability) quality (benchmark) in everything especially in Music there must be a ???? Music. This ‘?????’ cannot be good, bad, best or worst. It can’t be anything except ‘Timeless’. I finally ended up in finding a measure of the quality of music. Time is the measure of the quality of music. The life of music determines its quality. So what I mean is that you can’t absolutely say that any music is great or classic immediately after listening. By doing so we are actually predicting it. With this I mention whenever you come across my opinion on music, take it only as “My Opinion” and not an absolute verdict of music which no one can say can ever give. By this I don’t mean that no one has the qualification to rate or review music but I just want to say no one has the right to declare the final verdict on music, they only can post it as their opinion.

The western classical compositions are perfect examples of such timeless classics. Still our cell phones play Mozart’s symphony and Beethoven’s piano pieces as ring tones. They have crossed 100s of years and still attract every living being all over the world. No music is born classic. The beauty of music gets amplified as it gets older. Why we still enjoy listening Star Wars main theme, Beethoven’s Fur Elise, Senthamizh Then Mozhiyazh, Pyar kiya to darna kya, Ek ladki ko dekha to, Dr.Zhivago’s love theme, Lara’s theme, Kalayum neeyae malayum neeayae, Kalangalil aval vasantham, Malarndhum malaradha, Mozart’s Sym.25, Pon malai pozhudu, Kannae kalai manae, Kadhal Rojavae, and add all you personal favorites in the list. These songs remain in our soul even after centuries and decades.

One of my roommates feels that the western classical symphonies as mere noise produced by hundred instruments but he likes the songs like “Appadi podu”, “Annanodu pattu”, “Seena thana”. He literally closes his ears every time I play symphonies or OST albums. He will go outside when I play “Polla Vinayaen” from “Thiruvasakam”. What can you say about him? We can just ignore these guys. These people have got the guts to admit that they don’t like it because they don’t know about it. The problem is with myopic elite people who are obsessed with one particular form of music and who feel other forms of music as mere noise. Just because they like one form of music so much, they will degrade others. This is what that happens most commonly in all music discussion forums. No body rates a music for what it is, every rating and reviewing is based on something. A music album should be rated for what it is and not for what we think it should be. The “based-on” concept should never come as a hindrance for a music album to get its due.

This is how we (includes me) rate and review a music album

Based on the level of Standards that the composer has set for himself
Just think what your rating would be if A.R.Rahman did a “Barsaat” and Nadeem Shravan did a “Yuva”

Based on what you like and what you don’t like or what you know and what you don’t

A classical music fan cannot give correct opinion on a rap / pop / rock album unless he has an open mind to any form of music. He should either stay away from the album and even if he listen to it, he should stay away from giving opinion on it as he/she doesn’t know anything about the intricacies in other form of music.

Based on Expectation
Expectation is the most dangerous word for both an artist and critic. The album may actually be good, but due to sky high expectations, we will get disappointed and hence rate it very low. You can’t get a classic every time from a composer.

Based on Biases / Prejudices
Some of us have bias on one form of music or a musician. We will straight away criticize anything that comes in this form or from this musician. Also we tend to offend when a composer who is doing well in one style of music suddenly switches his style of composition. Even though it is good, we would feel that he should have stuck to his own style. Say, if Ismail Darbar scores a pop album with full of techno and DJ works, what rating we would give it?

Based on strange liking/dislike towards a composer
Sometimes we give high ratings to even average efforts of our favorite composers but give low ratings for even good efforts of composers whom we don’t like for some strange reasons.

Finally you can see that the actual music is considered only to a small extent while rating an album. I have done all the based-on mistakes that I have mentioned above in one or the other music reviews that I have written. But now I have broadened my mind to listen and enjoy a wide variety of music without any based-on factors in my mind.

I have not written about how to rate or review a music album (which i think nobody can tell correctly) but i have written just how we have been doing it.

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