Hi all, i have been wondering whether anyone knows of some good resources to help with how to critique music and what i should be looking for. Perhaps some websites? I love composing music but am finding that i have little to offer in terms of listening and giving constructive opinions on other peoples work. I feel quite limited when all i can say is that i 'like' something or not. I have done some music theory but would love to improve my education in this area. I think it would benefit my own music composition too. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks and happy composing!

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  • Hi guys,


    Looks like I've hit a sensitive topic! Some interesting points of view. Well, thanks for giving me some things to think about. If anyone does have any links/good books etc that you recommend for me to have a look at on this topic, I'd be very grateful. I think some of you are understanding what I'm getting at. I really don't want to be putting other people down or setting myself up as the one who 'knows it all' (far from it!). I'm just interested on how I can do better at this and, if anything, improve my understanding of the music world - which I love! 


    Thanks again all.


    Beth Patterson

  • re-post (typo)

    I think the key to learning how to critique, is your own self-awareness. It takes time to become a good listener, someone who sees all of the details that create a powerful whole. On a daily basis, begin questioning all that you perceive on an aesthetic level. That sounds like a HUGE task, but even sitting in front of a TV exposes us to images and often music. When something hits you as amazing or ugly or whatever, begin to ask yourself what exactly it is that is affecting you. For example, I was impressed once by a BMW TV ad. I liked it because it had an interesting electronic/percussion background that was out of the ordinary- surprising. After a while you'll come up with an understanding of what elements have various effects. I think there are universal experiences that most people appreciate, like the qualities of: surprise, drama, unpredictability, familiarity, increasing tension, resolution, and contrasting energy levels, -just a few elements that you might consider important in the construction of a composition. When viewing the world in aesthetic terms, always ask yourself WHY you like or dislike something. This will form a basis for establishing your own aesthetic criteria for judging a work.

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