My philosophy on music reproduction and playback is one largely of accuracy, not content. That said, the content is, no doubt, what drives me to listen in the first place.
When accuracy is combined with pleasing content, you get 100% of the pleasure of listening.
First of all, songs are not necessarily music. Instrumental music is composed works, played (or programmed) by people, using instruments such as the piano, violins, the human voice, guitars, percussion, etc. This thought will enrage many. Music starts first with the arrangement of tones and time, then adds prodigious playing of instruments, highly accurate recording and engineering techniques, and finally, an accurate playback environment.
Selection of music sources becomes of utmost importance as the quest for high quality writing, arranging, performance, and accurate reproduction becomes the goal.
Playback is probably the most abused area of music reproduction in that you have to buy something to accomplish it. People are sold and incredible variety of stuff that is often touted as the best, when in fact it's simply not. Educated ears are the main source of truth here and people who listen to lots of live music in addition to recorded music can usually tell when music is being played back with high quality.
This philosophy does not address nor discount film scores and theater sound which are not necesarily tuned for instrumental music, rather to support the visual aspect of theater such as an earthquake, a car racing by, or the sounds of a factory. No doubt, films can be musical as well.
(to be continued...)