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If you've just written, or are writing, a piece of music (or any other work of art, for that matter), how do you decide whether it's good or not? Do you ask other people, and if so, who? Your friends? Your family? The people in the pub? A professional? Do you use your own criteria, and if so, what are they? Do you use different criteria for different pieces, and if so, how do you decide how to categorise a piece? If it's a 'serious' piece, should you judge yourself against the greatest exponents, and if so, should you use their apparent criteria? Is justification necessary, or should we just do what we want whatever anyone else thinks?

What about pieces that might be good in one way but not in another? Good for a social gathering but not for a funeral or a wedding? Should everything be categorised in this way? Are there any criteria to which such categorisation does not apply, and if so, what are they?

Justification is a central issue in any creative work. Think about it before you say... 'well, it's a fugue, isn't it?' Does it matter whether it's a fugue? Is it a good or a bad fugue? Does it fit its purpose (whatever that might be)? You could say, 'well, my friends like it!'. But which friends and are they only saying that so they don't offend you? What do you want to do with your creativity?




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