Music Ratings are Complicated!

I have a quite extensive and varied collection of music which I keep in iTunes, and this in turn allows me to rate each piece which, in turn, makes my listening pleasure more versatile.

1 – star rating = waste of time listening. These will be the first to go if memory space is ever an issue.

2 – star rating = Okay, but dispensable if necessary.

3 – star rating = Quite nice but nothing soul stirring.

4 – star rating = Really nice.

5 – star rating = Excellent.

What I have found interesting is the variety of 5 – star ratings. How do Belinda Carlisle’s “Leave A Light On”, Gustav Holst’s “Jupiter”, Bee Gees “First of May”, Clannad’s “Buachaill an Eime” etc. etc. all get 5 – stars? So far I have not come up with a clear answer, except that there are variables.

An instrumental piece could present a reaction based on melody, or structure (build ups/crescendos), or mental images created (“dreamscapes”).

As soon as vocals are introduced, so are many other variables. I could get absorbed by the lyrics (Moody Blues – “Watching and Waiting”), or by the vocal sounds (Lisa Gerrard – “Sanvean”). Then I have foreign language songs that I do not understand (Celine Dion – “Pour Que Tu M’Aimes Encore”).

Looking at the “big picture” of my music, does it really matter? In the context of listening pleasure, I don’t suppose that it does… but then … how does yesterday’s 4 – star song become today’s 5 – star song? The obvious response is probably my mood. Today my mood could dictate sensitivities that perhaps were subdued yesterday. At this moment I am listening to Al Stewart’s “Lord Grenville” and I am sitting in a Toyota dealership while my car is being serviced. Perhaps after paying the eventual bill, I shall drive home listening to Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”?

Rating all my songs is important enough to me to spend a lot of time on it, but really? Can’t I just remember what I like? Is this really a good productive use of my time?

I am now going to listen to “To Turn the Stone” by Anni-Frid Lyngstad… and it’s not because of the lyrics. Perhaps its the arrangement after 3:00? Next up is “The Hills of Glencar” by the Ars Nova Singers/Bill Douglas, to be followed byΒ  “Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren” (from Der Rosenkavalier), and sung by Teresa Stich-Randall and Christa Ludwig (this version is tearful after 2:25).

This is so complicated!

16 thoughts on “Music Ratings are Complicated!

  1. I feel quite antiquated, my CD’s are stored rather haphazardly in Rubbermaid photo and media boxes. I am in awe of your rating system, never mind the time you must have put into it. I usually choose whatever strikes my fancy at the moment, a mood or what is close at hand. I do have a propensity for classical, always have but more so these days. I think that if your system works for you, then your time was spent productively. If it doesn’t work, your free to change or modify the system until it does…or try something else! Thank-you for an entertaining post!

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    • The beauty of having it organized on iTunes is that I can easily scan for “What do I fancy listening to now?”. Having it rated allows me to play “all 5 star” tracks; all Moody Blues albums; all violin concertos etc. It is convenient, especially because I have an iPod which synchs with my laptop. πŸ™‚

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    • If it makes you feel better Ellen I am antiquated as well!
      Our CD’s are nicely stored, though we are running out of room! Brad used to think he had the biggest CD collection, but I think Colin has him beat. πŸ™‚
      I am the only one in the family that doesn’t have an Ipod. So I have no need to make a playlist. πŸ™‚ It is Okay, for when the kids are at school and Brad is at work I can put whatever CD I want in the stereo or turn on Pandora.

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      • Based on what I know of Brad’s broad taste in music, he will have a humungous collection when he gets to my age! As for not having an iPod? It’s lovely to be able to take my complete music library into the car with me, or out into the garden… or someplace where I expect to be waiting for a while!:)


        • LOL! Yes I think you are right abour his collection becoming humungous! At times he will look at my bookcase and how it is overflowing and start to say something BUT all I have to do is look at his CD’s and yeah…he can’t talk. πŸ™‚
          I can understand how its nice to take your music library with you when you go out. You have a point. I do love music, but I guess I have the habit of just.grabbing a book to take with me for those times that I have to wait. πŸ™‚


  2. Your thoughts make me smile. I think it is really impossible to stick with your own rates in each and every moment. I used to make theme playlists with my favorite songs. And of course, I only put in there the songs I really like. But even then I got tired of some and thought “why did I add that onw?”,,, lol!

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  3. Lovely. Perhaps we have emotional heartstrings which vibrate. 🎢🌹🎢🎸
    For me, some music comes and goes … washed up with the tide and then forgotten. Other music becomes part of everything I am. Music of the spheres. I can’t readily express myself at times I find, but friends like you know exactly what I mean.

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