Experience, knowledge, sensibility
Imagine to let someone who has never heard music, to listen to any melodic piece of music, regardless of the song, the listener will remain fascinated.
This happens because a person who has never heard music, is easily kidnapped by the charm of the new, a charm that maybe cannot exercise on those who have already heard hundreds of songs. This person, having no other terms of comparison, can be define generically beautiful everything that is new and easy to him.
Anything that adds something new to our wealth of experience, as well as every kind of experience, changes our way of judging. But it’s not over. We also need to know how something is done to be able to fully understand it.
Imagine now to see a person with some experience, listening a classical piece or a very complex avant-garde song, maybe atonal. Suppose it does not remain impressed. This happens because the complexity affect the judgment of the amateur, who as an amateur cannot move properly on that floor of complexity.
A musician or an avid music listener, are each able to understand certain nuances that instead can escape to the other.
We talked about the concept of novelty and perspective. These two concepts are closely related.
Imagine to listen for the first time a piece of rock music taken from an album just come out; from our point of view, that is the listener’s point of view, that song has a certain load of novelty that directly affects our judgment. But the song that we consider innovative, revised from an historical point of view, it could easily turn out to be something trivial, even as a shameless plagiarism.
Seems clear that historical knowledge can seriously affect or even completely reverse our opinion.
There’s another magmatic factor to consider: the personal sensibility.
One thing is certain: it’s not possible to quantify or define it precisely, because each sensitivity is the manifestation of the sum of all cultural backgrounds that we carry on with us from birth; are our education, our life experience, our disappointments and our victories, our joys and our fears.
However with the passage of time and the widening of our experience, we are subject to a gradual and inevitable process of de-sensitization. It follows that: the greater our experience, the smaller the influence that sensitivity has on our judgment.
What happens when we see so many movies, listen countless songs or read a lot of books? So what’s the evident consequence of the increase of our experience?
Think of your first kiss. The first time we do something, our emotions greatly affect the experience. Of our first kiss we usually keep a good memory, even if it’s not the best kiss in terms of experience. The same thing happens to books, songs or movies of when we were kids; they have a special place in our heart, because we associate them with our early life experiences.
In judging, our sensitivity swings the reliability of our judgment within limits of amplitude that are directly proportional to the degree of knowledge and experience acquired.
This obviously doesn’t mean that kisses after the first one will not be exciting; Will be simply given and received with greater experience and knowledge. Indeed, moving our sensitivity on a new dimensional plane, broader and more complex, can make us enjoy some shadings that otherwise we couldn’t see.
Now we can almost easily identify the 3 macro-categories that affect every type of judgment.