What Is Good and Bad Children’s Music? Exploring Quality and Value in Music for Children

John Vinge


This article outlines and discusses various aspects of quality and value in children’s music. Quality is defined as something performative—that is, characteristics within the aesthetic object that gain significance and value through interaction with listening subjects. The article argues that the judgment of quality in music is always relative, depending on the listener and the criteria in play, and when it comes to children’s music, a variety of participating subjects and possible criteria could be involved. This pluralistic, relativistic concept of quality allows the author to theoretically examine quality perceptions of children’s music by employing different sets of criteria significant to the aesthetic object and its various functions and, philosophically, through the viewpoints of different agents in the field of children’s music. Through this analytical exercise, the article contributes to the categorization and understanding of various logics underpinning normative judgments of children’s music.


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Copyright (c) 2017 John Vinge

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