Ah, Im back...I have been away and have been very busy. Today I went to see Phantom of the Opera in Manhattan, and It was great..Id say more, but Ill cut to the chase and Ill make this message brief, as most of what Id say Ive said before.<P>I think the quality (both artistic and not) music has degraded. With the exception of music that is very deviant (rape, murder, etc.), however, I would not say that music has gotten worse. To me, there is a difference, a very fine line.<P>I consider, as will many of the people here, classical music to be of the highest refinement, complexity, artistic quality, and to me, basic quality.<P>I have described two types of quality, and I feel that they are different but can be related. When I say artistic quality I mean the quality of the music as an art: its craftsmanship, if you will. When I refer to the other kind of quality, I mean a quality that is much harder to describe. To put it simply, it is the quality that is being described when someone might say, when referring to a song by the Beatles, "Thats good music." This, in my opinion (of course), is different from artistic quality.<P>Having said that, I will answer Leslies question again: I feel that the quality of music has degraded in the artistic sense, but very little in the "non-artistic" sense.<P>However, there are many exceptions. And Ill give you only the first one that comes to mind quickly:<P>Rap.<P>I hate rap, completely and utterly. This is one of the few examples of a genre where the artistic quality as well as the general quality has degraded. Its lucky that the definition of noise is worded the way it is, else I would barely call it music.<P>As for whether or not music affects people, I myself am not sure. For the longest time I only felt that people who were already mentally unstable would be affected by various kinds of entertainment (TV, movies, music, video games), and this is basically how I still stand. If someone did commit a horrible crime after listening to Mahler very often, or any other composer for that matter, and he was (somehow) affected by it, then yes, I would be willing to conclude that perhaps the music had something to do with it. Just because I love early music doesnt meant that it is exempt from my scrutiny. However, I feel that music affects someone only very little when compared to the effects that serge referred to.<P>I feel much more strongly that someone is very heavily influenced by childhood experiences and upbrining, which, I feel, will affect someone less and less, until they reach around 16, when only strong traumatic events will change what is rooted in someone. But here is the question that I will pose that has nothing to do with music: If we are the product of all of our experiences, then is the way we act within our control, and is the way our kids are brought up whithin our control? Is any of what happens within our control. I feel that it is not, and if anyone wants to email me I will gladly argue my case: email@example.com
.<P>Id better sign off for now, and everyone have a great morning, afternoon, or night, depending on where you are.