Thursday, October 16, 2008

Delta

I don't believe in fate, or synchronicity, or whatever you want to call it. But sometimes you have to wonder.

Christopher Small suddenly seems to be everywhere. I'd never read a word of his before last week, when one of those chains of link following that you do sometimes led me to his book Music, Society, Education. Reading it, I had the sensation of both elation and crushing disappointment, that someone had articulated thoughts and ideas that I've been half-having for years, much better and more cogently than I have, and 30 years earlier. And suddenly I seem to see references to this book, that I'd never heard of (why hadn't I heard of it?) and its author, here and there and everywhere. There's that sudden relief in knowing you're not alone, and that sudden disconcerting realisation that you're not alone. And all this is coming to the surface even as I write a whole series of pieces that touch on a lot of these ideas about performance, tradition, the whole question of what the Western European musical culture is, and what it needs to do to stop its slide into utter obsolescence. Or if it can do anything.



I don't believe in fate, or synchronicity, or whatever you want to call it. But sometimes you have to wonder. Sometimes things seem to pop up at an alarmingly prescient moment.



(By the way, is classical music dead? some people ask. The pedantic, correct answer, of course is that it died in 1827.)

1 comment:

bobbins said...

Musicking - yeah, a good book - had to read it recently as part of a course I was doing. If you buy Small's argument that musicking is a way of affirming your values then you ought to take heart that Western art music is never going to die out, there'll always be people who'll support it because it fits in with their "image", for want of a better term.