I've been reading this whole thread for, like, a half hour, and I've lost the plot, though this spoke to me:
The objective truth of the matter is that both objectivity and subjectivity exist, and are complimentary, rather than negatory. There is no "vs.".
...and though I INTUIT that Bach is 'better' Britney, I'm not sure how to 'prove' it, beyond recourse to complexity. Even more interesting to me is, could we prove that Slayer "Angel of Death" is better than say "World Painted Blood" [whoops, I haven't ever heard the latter]?
Someone pointed out that music has functions, different tracks serve different functions, and we judge the track by it's effectiveness towards that function. Like, as I type this, I'm listening to Comsat Angels (some '80s proto-INDIEROCK), because it's destracting to have Immolation blasting while I try to formulate sentences. The latter is better when I'm able to focus completely on the melodies, intricacies, and textures.
3. If you look around these forums long enough, you'll realise that we do have formal methods for judging the objective quality of music, people just tend to ignore them.
Could you direct us to these formal methods? I looked around and haven't found them yet.