IMHO the answer is 42
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OK, I'll bite. If the music is good, from moment to moment I don't know what is coming next.
This doesn't hold true for recordings I've listened to many times, obviously. For these, I think what makes them "good" is the elegance I perceive in the artist's solutions to the problems posed by the musical structure.
If that doesn't make sense, what I mean is this. Each musical moment is a statement. The next moment has a relation to it. The artist's decisions about these relations are what I am calling solutions to problems. The sum of all these relations or connections is musical meaning.
Somebody has said the above, and more, much better elsewhere, but hey, I bit.
I find "good" is not the right word. By your definition something like Schnittke's 2nd violin sonata would be "bad" music, which this piece is anything but. It is highly dissonant, highly atonal ( though it is not readily serially atonal), there is no melody. In fact near the end,
the accompanying piano strucks in the C major key, the basic C chord in all its glory and loud. Wow! Here is the most basic of basic stuff, and it was so out of place! Probably the most gratifying concert I have ever been to yet the piece played would hardly be called "good". So it is more of the aesthetics of music as art, that determines whether the piece is "good" or "bad".
In the world of Adorno, the dialectical master of musical aesthetics, the commercial side of music, he deemed corruptible and not worthy of being considered, it was all "bad". However I take a different take on commercial music, it is just a form of entertainment, just like TV or football, whether it is the Beatles or Nirvana or James Brown or any rap group, its only entertainment in the form of music. So enjoy it and relax, and as the Stones' said..."it's only rock and roll!"
Classical music is filled with examples of pieces that were not received well upon first hearing, heck for several years in some cases ... so I don't think initial listener reaction is a good guage of worth or value. I'm sure many of us have had the experience of having an album grow on us. Often it takes time to understand/appreciate the structure and logic of expression.
Anything that people want to hear or appreciate. Your first question seems to be the dichotomy of cerebral (brain) versus carnal (soul). To truely be good it needs a blend of both cerebral and carnal appreciation. The examples that show (not prove) this is some 20th century "classical" music that is just a bunch of noise (I'm talking the stuff that is WAAY out there, not merely just atonal, dissonant, or lacking melody). Such music might not offer much carnal pleasures (but maybe not?). Or take some Britney Spears or some "thump, thump, thump" dance music (some rap music actually has merit regardless of what the close-minded says) whose appreciation is mostly carnal and not cerebral (Beethoven it isn't).
I approach it the same way I do with food and cooking. I find the path is both educating and training myself. It's an outward expression of something from within. It's an art. I'll leave this one to the philosphers.
I only know the answer to the last question:
Let's see if I can anticipate the response from Mrtennis (who's name, by the way, is Roy Harris):
You are all wrong because you offer no proof -- just opinion. And opinion is just that. There is no factual basis for what you say. If you repeatedly strike the same key on a piano, is that good music? To a 2-year-old, it may indeed be good music, but the toddler wouldn't be able to define it as such, so it is actually not good music. It is just a note being played over and over and over. (Much like my posts are the same thing over and over and over.)
If, however, the youngster were to inadvertently strike several keys, he may end up with a chord -- let's say a diminished fifth -- and now we're getting somewhere. But this is not something that can be proven, so, again, you are all wrong. Oh, look at the time already. I'm missing my nap.
First, the music has to be a good song. A great original song by a mediocre singer or musician can still be good. It becomes great music when the musical performance is as great as the song. A great performance can be good music even if the song is only mediocre, such as Stevie Ray Vaughan playing "Mary had a little Lamb."
Really, good music needs a good song and good musicians playing it. What isn't good music is performers of marginal talent playing formula music, such as market created "boy" or "girl" groups, Britney types, or most rappers who cuss about "ho's" while having no soul or any musical talent whatsoever.
Most popular music is not good. Most is created by talented producers who have the pattern down and can put out a professional composition with the instruments in the right places, find an attractive singer, and fix his/her vocals wth modern technology. There is little soul or edge to most of it, basically phoned in. A lot is absolutely awful. The good thing is a lot of music is made so it is possible to find good music. Most of the best selling music is the worst, that was true even in the 60's.