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How do critics stop themselves from having too much bias?

I'm a student doing a project for school about critics. I was wondering how critics are able to review pieces of art without being influenced by things outside of the piece of art. student

I started reading a really neat book called "Better Living Through Criticism," that explores your question a bit! It talks about how we all have a critic within us and also talks about how criticism affects how we think about art. Corina C., Admin
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Daniel’s Answer

Hi Gabriel, very interesting question. There's always going to be some degree of bias in everyone, due to background, age, geography, personal experiences, personality, etc. So an opinion about a piece of art, is always something that went through the lens of that person .

One personal example, a few years ago I released my second jazz guitar trio album (guitar, bass, drums). One friend, piano player, told me it was good, but it could have really used a piano - no wonder. Another good friend not really into jazz but more into blues, told me the real music is always based on blues. Funny enough, my album included 3 blues tracks, just not in the BB-King way that I guess my friend was expecting it, but more in the jazz blues kind of way. Then a jazz magazine critic gave me a good review of my album, comparing it to some jazz trio albums he had listened before, able to relate my sound to specific guitar players, etc. And that was because he had a lot of specific references on jazz guitar trios, so he could relate my work to specific things. Then another jazz music critic gave me a so-so review, that music critic is more into avant -garde and electronics music, so, again, more music background just not specific to jazz guitar.

Then my former jazz guitar teacher gave me another review, highlighting the improvements of my sound/compositional skills etc and also giving advice on things that could've gone better. Finally, a friend and music engineer gave me good review on the album, only based on the recording process, he didn't care too much about the tunes, the melodies, harmonies, interplay etc but more about the quality of the mix, mastering, etc.

I've also received good reviews from musicians I don't know, from other countries.

So, bottom line, take what's good from a critic, but don't take it too personal or serious, every critic comes through the lens of the person giving it, and that's ok, that's human.
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Vivian’s Answer

I feel like critics are always influenced by outside things, however, they try to see it without bias. I guess in some ways that they do this is to look at art in a more general perspective through what all the colors, figures, and etc. are doing in the painting instead of basing it on what they already know. It's almost like food critics and how they need to taste the food in order to say something about it. They will often rinse their mouth with water if they had something before and I guess you can say the same for art critics.
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