Eminently True of Music

December 28, 2010

It’s a grave mistake in publishing, whether you’re talking about Internet or print publication, to try to play to a limited repertoire of established reader interests. A few years ago, Bill Gates was boasting that we’ll soon have sensors which will turn on the music that we like or show on the walls the paintings we like when we walk into a room. How boring! The hell with our preexisting likes; let’s expand ourselves intellectually. — Denis Dutton, founder of Arts & Letters Daily, who died today

His doctrine does not in the least contradict the value of the “long tail” or of “niches” — so long as you include the niche of people who are intellectually curious.

Noël!

December 24, 2010

The Non-Specificity of Music

December 22, 2010

This heart-warming Coke commercial uses the theme music from the movie Inception, which is creepy in its native context. And it works perfectly well.

Some Things Do Get Better

December 21, 2010

The indefatigable Stephen Hough reminds us of a kind of snobbery, both musical and social, that held sway in Britain not so long ago.

Sutherland_Memorial_Book

Hat-tip: Robert Francks

What is Music?

December 17, 2010

The Australian National Arts Curriculum defines it thus:

16. Music is the imaginative process of creating, performing, and responding to sound and silence for personal and collective meaning. Through the processes of creating musical works, performing with voice and instrument, and responding to our own and others’ music, individuals and groups communicate meanings, beliefs and values. Music engagement shapes our thought and activity, and is evident from the earliest stages of life. People turn to music at times of emotional, physical, and intellectual need. Music is a pervasive feature of contemporary life. In a mobile digital age, music engagement both underpins and accompanies many of our day-to-day activities, and, marks the significant moments of individual and collective life.

Thoughtful discussions of that definition here and here.