Music connoisseurship is a man’s world. The logic and character of discourse is so masculine in character that a synesthete would say that arguments smell like locker rooms. Although I feel comfortable stating that as fact, here’s some evidence, anyway: Rembert Browne (blogging at 500 Days Asunder) created and completed a playoff bracket for songs by Outkast.
Seeds were based on the popularity of the song (determined by the author) and games were won or lost based on the author’s assessments of their merits. As subjective as this method clearly is, the text defending his picks reveals that he’s relying on a pretty standard discourse about what qualities a good song, a good rap song, and a good Outkast song, should have. That is, these picks are really not terribly idiosyncratic at all, although you’d expect individual brackets to play out quite differently from one another.
Here’s the initial bracket, and you should go to his website to read about his decisions as songs make it into the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4 and then the playoffs. I’ll even withhold the winner, so that you’ll read his work.
Of course, this is an exaggerated, heteronormative masculinity–one that prescribes all manner of social phenomena can be meaningfully analyzed through comparison with sports, war, and other competitive contexts. And I’m overdrawing the character of discourse among audiophiles and music lovers to claim that it is dominated by a single way of thinking, acting, talking, adjudicating. But as long as we’re in this wonderland of exaggerated gender norms, I wonder: what would music connoisseurship look like if it were a woman’s world? Instead of brackets, would we produce graphs of family lineages of sounds? Would we sort songs according to emotional states? What’s that picture?
h/t to GrandGood for the link.