Recieved permission to post this with the first several paragraphs and a link to Empowered GA where this was published. Another piece by Peter Smagorinsky at UGA. MANY variations on this theme, the first I remember was the story of the dentist responding to the suggestion that he be rated the same way as teachers. Peter’s is a nice addition:

I used to be a regular listener of Michael Feldman’s humor, interview, and
quiz show radio program, Whad’Ya Know?

During one show, a member of the audience asked, “How do you know
when jazz is bad?” As a jazz lover for over 40 years, I had to laugh. A
complex music form that stretches boundaries can be difficult to evaluate.
“Smooth jazz” is probably the most popular form within the genre, but hard-
core jazz fans consider it boring because it eliminates all the challenges.
But the most challenging jazz can be atonal and cacophonous—it might
sound terrible to ears that aren’t ready for a wild assault on conventional
sensibilities, and sublime to those that are prepared and receptive.

Does Counting Notes Measure Music?
A friend of mine in a university music department once complained mightily
about the dominant research approach in his field, which was to measure
learning in music by counting notes: how fast they are played, how many
can be remembered from a musical score, and so on. To him, such
research missed the point of making music, because it measured what was
most easily quantifiable instead of what mattered.

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