Thursday, September 2, 2010

And In This Corner . . .

There's something of a flame war going on in the musical blogosphere. In one corner there's Greg Sandow, whom I've linked to a number of times. Championing the opposition is Heather Mac Donald in this essay. It's got people riled up. One blogger I follow regularly (and think of as normally mild mannered) allowed as how Greg is a "windbag"(!) a ways down in this multi-topic post.

I see it all as froth on top of the tidal shift in the culture of music making brought on by the advent of recorded music. There are good points to be made on both sides of the issue, which has to do with whether or not classical music is losing its audience. A lot of music specialists can talk a long time about music without ever mentioning the audience, because the music itself is what they are about. For me as a music therapist, it's how the audience is experiencing the music that's the salient point. So I find this discussion very interesting because of all the talk and conjecture about the audience. It's also interesting that the discussion has tinges of what's usually associated with discussions about politics and religion.

Pliable over at On An Overgrown Path touches on this subject from time to time as well. In this post he quotes composer Jonathan Harvey:

'Young people don't like concert halls... and wouldn't normally go to one except for amplified music. There is a big divide between amplified and non-amplified music... The future must bring things which are considered blasphemous like amplifying classical music in an atmosphere where people can come and go and even talk perhaps.. and certainly leave in the middle of a movement if they feel like it. Nobody should be deprived of classical music, least of all by silly conventions.'

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