I mean a government education expert once argued that children should be taught that Schubert was better than Blur. I think that's knee-jerk snobbery and that children should be taught to consider the issues and decide for themselves. But I don't really want school children being taught that everything is of equal worth either .
In fact there was funny ending to to the Blur/Schubert story, when someone on the radio dug up an obscure Schubert song that sounded very similar to Blur's House in the Country. Suggesting Schubert is no better or worse, but the same as Blur.
There was a great deal of music written 200 years ago. Most of it is forgotton. Most of it, probably rightly so. Schubert's work, by virtue of having survived, has a strong claim to a high "worth" rating. The educationalist was doubtless reacting to a music curriculum which he perceived as dismissing such music in favour of today's ephemera.
There is a great deal of music being created now. Some of it will survive. There's been a Top 20 chart since 1952 which, until recently, gave a pretty accurate picture of what was being most listened to. Look it up. Which "hits" DID survive? (Which have been recycled by later performers?) Which of today's popular songs do we think will be played in a few year's time? Does this mean they have more "worth"? Surely it means they have more SOMETHING?
Why are many people so passionate about their musical preferences? Is it about the music, or about its social connections?
Schubert's songs are often performed using a vocal style which can come across as mannered, serving the voice rather than the music. Compare this with the vocal styles of some of today's singers ("I will always love you-u-u-u-u-u") or Bernstein's "operatic" recording of "West Side Story".
It's a pity to cop-out of all these facinating topics by giving all music a blanket "equal worth" rating!