There were a couple of insights along this line in this month's iWord magazine, Grace Slick said something about there being millions of people who want to be musicians now, whereas there were just 20 bands back then and they all knew each other and what they were doing and got plenty of work, whilst Brian Eno said that the depressing thing is that he gets sent lots of music which is 'kind of OK', and that 'really awful' would be much better.
I suspect that Garage Bland has much to blame for this. I blagged a sample copy of a book on Garage Bland from a friend who had a fine selection of review copies of Mac books, but recoiled in horror.
In many ways this was why I got rid of my synthesiser, that I thought I could probably produce semi-decent music with it but that actually I had nothing to say.
Having said this about there being lots of semi-OK music, I have a game I play with the free music CDs that come with iWord magazine. I listen to it with the aim of listening to at least one minute of each track and then allocate points as follows
1 - could not stand a minute
2 - stood a minute but gave up before the end of the track
3 - managed the whole track but would not want to hear it again
4 - would listen to it again and would possibly consider mentioning to other people (e.g. t__m__i )
5 - would seek out further music from the same artist / band
I usually do this in the car so am not able to make tasting notes, so I think I need a voice recorder or to do this at home. The average score per CD must be about 2, but then the music is a little too 'Radio 2' for my tastes (yes Virginia, there is clear blue water between Radio 2 and 6 Music - possibly not quite enough but it is there).
Not, you understand, that I have anything anyone being in music (or writing, software, making toast, whatever) for the money - just that in the case of music I suspect it isn't very good. In the case of writing I suspect that people who 'want to be writers' rather than 'to write' just don't write (I don't want to be a writer, I am also quite lazy so don't write very much, but the novel does have a bona fide plot now).