Eighth blog post

One of the most interesting things about music (for me, at least), is how certain works can have such an incredible emotional impact on a person – and how a particular song can have an impact on one person, but another person will have no reaction whatsoever to the same song.

So this leads to the question: what makes a piece of music good?

I’m convinced that the answer to this question, ultimately, is: If you like it, it’s good.  (Ignoring the basic question: what does good mean?)

Of course, being a jazz musician, this means that to most people, I don’t play good music – but I try not to think too much about this part of it.

Instead, I like to think about the next question: what makes a piece of music great?

I would answer with the following: a truly great piece of music is one that can be appreciated (and liked) on several levels – upon the first superficial listen, as well as after deep and thorough analysis – and continue to be appreciated and liked for many years, even after many generations.

Sure, this answer means that no new music can be great, because its greatness can only be granted retroactively, with the perspective of the passage of time, but I’m ok with that.  And in the meantime, we can sure speculate!!

Anyways, here is a list of my top 5 favourite songs.  I’m not claiming any of these are great (well, a couple of them I think definitely are) – I’m just letting you know that these are songs that have always had, and continue to have, an emotional impact for me.

Top 5 Favourite Songs

So In Love (Curtis Mayfield, America Today)

It’s Alright (Graham Central Station, Ain’t No ‘Bout-A-Doubt It)

A Song For You (Donny Hathaway, Donny Hathaway)

And I Love Her (The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night)

I’d Like That (XTC, Apple Venus, Part 1)

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