Mystery score

Mystery score

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Widening Gyre

UPDATED: Because I forgot to link to Anne Midgette's article. Would love to see a graphic showing the opposite of Andy's.

Remember Mark Vanhoenacker's Slate piece the other week? (Link is to this blog.) It looks as though there will be some arm-wrestling about the current state of classical music after all. See the following:





8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Folks, let's maintain some perspective.

What is art music for? Fun. Entertainment. And NOTHING more.

But this romantic notion of sacralizing art means artists and musicians cannot accept the plain truth that they are entertainers and nothing more. It is also precious, arrogant and absurd.

To seek classical music as other than mere diversion is to put too much expectation on it.

Tom DePlonty said...

That you post that anonymously means you're a coward.

That you post it here, anonymously, means you're a troll.

That you can't tell the difference between, say, the Bach B-minor Mass and the next X-Man movie means (to put it charitably) that you're not very thoughtful.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Anon, I have no idea what you are responding to in this posting, which isn't about individual artists, isn't about "sacralizing" anything, and isn't about the value of one style over another. It's about the crazy idea that classical music might somehow be dying and why such ridiculous notions need to be dealt with head on.

You know, until I wrote the above, I wasn't sure whether I agreed with Tom or not, but now I have to say your comments do sound like trolling.

(Nota bene: I have anonymous commenting enabled because there were folks who were having trouble getting past the authentication process.)

Anonymous said...

Tom,

Of course I know the difference between a Bach Mass and a pop culture work. But this doesn't change the fact that music is useless in terms of human evolution and development. At the end of the day it's a trivial amusement that just happens to tickle several important parts of the brain. Its value doesn't go beyond the rush of dopamine it inspires.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Please demonstrate that music has no value.

Not to mention, you have evidently missed a bunch of stories about the role music has played in human social and possibly biological evolution.

Tom DePlonty said...

Anonymous - we know humans have been making musical instruments for at least 40,000 years - nobody knows how long we've been singing - and music-making is considered a human cultural universal.

You're confusing evolutionary "purposes" (which aren't really "purposes", and are often the subject of vigorous scientific debate) with human purposes. The fact that evolutionary biologists are puzzled about the relationship between music and human evolution is in no way proof that music is "a trivial amusement that just happens to tickle several important parts of the brain", and the history of music in human culture suggests pretty strongly otherwise.

I'm not commenting on this again, because as Lisa points out, this issue really has nothing to do with the topic of the post.

Anonymous said...

Tom,

None of that changes the fact that music communicates nothing but formless emotion.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Shrug. You're welcome to keep believing that.