Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Wing and a Prayer

Reading this post made me think about some of the ideas I've been having lately about what music and/or composition is actually for. Especially this bit:

"it's a tremendous loss that nowadays most people solely consume music,
rather than try to make music themselves. "


I'm reminded of something Ives said: "Can there be any such thing as bad music?" There's such a huge amount of judgmentalism in music, especially classical music. People who sit around comparing different recordings of the same piece, rather than thinking about the piece itself. Who go to a live performance and compare it to an old recording (always unfavourably, of course). I feel sorry for such people. They are missing the point in a spectacular manner, dwelling in the tombs of their recordings when they could be out with the living.

An old colleague of mine used to say, "Professionalism is the enemy of music." And the more I dwell on this sentiment, the truer it seems. I've nothing against professional performing groups, but it seems very unhealthy that the audience is increasingly regarded as a passive absorber of product. Music should be something you do, not something you consume.

Take a stand. Buy a cheap instrument (you can pick up a ukulele for about 20 quid, and they're very easy to play) and make a noise with it. Sing along to your records. tap out a rhythm on your table. it doesn't matter what it sounds like. It just matters that it's a sound you're making.

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