Why Music Cannot Be Given A Definitive Grade

Music is one of many formats that has been internationally reviewed and criticised for years. There may be some misinterpretation as to the real purpose of review in terms of music. There is a little more to the process than just whether a piece of music is ‘good’ or ‘rubbish’. It is a reviewers job to provide a fairly informative overview of the pros and cons of the piece. Can any critic really give something a definitive grade?  After all, music cannot be weighed or measured, it is a piece of art – and art is open to interpretation. There are a number of factors to consider when assessing this topic. These include:

  • Location
  • Situation
  • Personal taste
  • Mood


Location plays a huge part of every persons life, and music is no exception of this. If the sun is shining and it’s warm, then feelings of happiness and light-heartedness may be increased. This works the same as if it was cold, dark and wet, then feelings of lack of energy, not a great mood and more hardship may be increased. The reason why this is all relevant, is due to the individual. An individuals location helps to shape their mood in one way or another and that in-turn will influence how they take to certain things.


A location with a huge crowd in itself may be overwhelming and put someone in a good mood, regardless of how they feel about the music being played.

The current, previous and even future situations can alter someone’s perception of a piece of music. For example if someone has had a bad break-up with their partner, they may be less inclined to hear a genre of music that talks about relationships more (Pop to name one). This aspect is very important as it can completely illogically shut-out certain kinds of music that a person will listen t0. The fact that this could happen, could then remind that individual of certain events every time they heard the song after that, tainting it forever.

Personal Taste

Perhaps one of the more obvious ones, personal taste is paramount in both how the review is conceived and perceived. If someone’s usual musical tastes completely differed from a piece then they would probably be less likely to to take to something. It’s simple really, it’s easier to get into a piece of music that’s closer to your current musical tastes. A particular case in which personal taste can influence someone’s perception of a piece of music is that of those who take music at face-value. There are numerous people who may not appreciate the complexity of the music they listen to, some people just aren’t fussed about music – as long as they can enjoy it, and have a dance, then it’s all good. These people may just prefer a piece of music that is stimulating in some way such as being catchy, fast, loud or heavy.


Mood is something that the three previously mentioned factors all contribute to. A persons mood at that one moment when they experience something, completely moulds that persons outlook on that piece of music. We are all only human, and we cannot help but have emotions that fluctuate to some degree. It just so happens that every experience from the moment we wake up adds towards our mood, and this is the wonderful unpredictable nature  that makes life so exciting.

The conclusion

What is the conclusion? Well given the factors considered, I would say it’s a safe to say that critics and reviewers all over the world are a little like other media outlets – They’re great for providing different angles to consider and add to the over-all picture of the piece, but when it comes down to it – it’s personal choice.

What do you think? Get involved and have your say!

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