Everyone will probably agree that no great musician has been as frequently accused of bad taste as Liszt. And everyone will probably also agree that these accusations have had no effect on his stature as a great musician, even among the accusers. So what is bad taste, then, if it is so easily separable from artistic stature? It is a concept that has been poorly historicized or contextualized, if at all. This paper is an attempt to start the process, using Liszt as bellwether.