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What Makes Art Good?

What Makes Art Good?
When answering the daunting question of what is good art, one can easily be deceived by
the commercial success and popularity of the work. If more people enjoy a certain piece of
music or literature, that doesn’t necessarily denote its quality, rather it indicates its accessibility.
Almost all forms of art, especially today in the modern age of digital media, are subject to fads
and passing trends, so if something can catch on with the masses then it will become popular.
That being said, the true value of art can only be determined if it passes the test of time. Only
Art that is scrutinized outside the context of the time period of its creation can be subject to a
fair evaluation.
With the conditions of judging art now established, the criteria by which we judge good
art must be determined. Generally speaking, a great deal of artistic merit falls on the creation of
something new and the personalization of familiar styles. Jazz is a genre of music that is
constantly evolving and changing, and because of the individuality of the styles of great jazz
musicians and the creative leaps they take, Jazz music is a higher art form. Avant-garde jazz is a
form of music that is characterized by its experimentation in unconventional forms,
instrumentation, and harmonic and melodic content. To the untrained ear, it may sound like
banging on a piano or perhaps the warmup portion of a middle school wind ensemble rehearsal,
but with closer analysis the music is very complex. The expertise of the masters of experimental
music is what sets them aside from the experimentation of mediocre musicians even though their
compositions may resemble each other at first listen. The difference between the two is that a true
artist must have been at the level of the art that came before them, created art in its style and
understood it, then deviated from it in their own way.