what is good music?

opinions abound as to the merits of a piece of music. we all have our opinions as to music we like and dislike.

i believe there are two ways to judge a musical composition, namely, based upon the intrinsic qualities of the composition or by the reaction you get when listening to the music.

are there any health benefits to listening to a piece of music--physically or psychologically. such an approach relies on extrinsic criteria.

thus with each approach a piece of music may be jidged "good", as to composition, but if someone has a negative reaction to it, it could be judged "bad" based upon one's listening experience.

can a case be made to exclude either as a basis for judging the quality of music ?
IMHO the answer is 42
good music is like good sound
any music that 'moves you' is good music. its a spiritual thing
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 can't define it, but I know it when I hear it.

With respect and credit to Potter Stewart.
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!"
I've actually sat here for 15 minutes wondering "what is good music" and I really have no idea.
I do like chicken wings...............I'm hungry.
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.
What you enjoy.
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.
Good music is music that I like. Bad music is music that I dislike. So there.
good music is usually the one that last. A lot of music nowadays you wont hear them anymore after a year or so.
David Bowie good. Fifty Cent bad.
Beethoven good. John Adams bad.
DMBand good. Jimmy Eat World bad.
The Rolling Stones good. Yanni bad.

YES, there is good and bad music. No doubt.
I agree with Jond, except for the music that he likes but I dislike, which of course is bad music.
mrtennis, i'll bet you spent a lot of late nights in freshman dorm discussing profound topics such as god being dog spelled backwards and whether, in fact, earth is just a speck of dust on some giant's pimple in some alternate universe.
What is good reverb?
What is good harmonics?
What is good soundstage?
What is good detail?
What is good bass?
What is good damping?
What is good karma?

Can a case be made for excluding any of these for a good discussion thread?
Thanks Herman. I thought the response was on the level of the question.

What is good reverb?
What is good harmonics?
What is good soundstage?
What is good detail?
What is good bass?
What is good damping?
What is good karma?

I only know the answer to the last question:
Good Karma
That moves you from the inside.
That moves you from the inside.
And all this time, I thought that was just the curry at work.
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.

LOL at your response!

Before curry, Boa2, before curry, that's the only way you will find out ;)
No doubt, Quadophile. We can't afford to let the meal get in the way of the music.

You got me there ....that really is good karma!
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.
What is "good" in the first place?

Aha now we are getting somehwere.

But what is the first place? Is it the chicken or the egg?
Good music is music that emotionally moves one and that can also bring a tear to a glass eye.
"You Brought a Tear to My Good Glass Eye". Now that's good music!

Was that Boxcar Willie?

Personally, I like "Your Crocodile Tears Stained my Wooden Teeth Green".
All music is good, it just depends on whether YOU like it or not.
One mans' Spinach, is another mans' E-Coli.