Stone age; bronze age; iron age. Surely the next ‘age’ to be recognised in human evolution is the ‘digital’ age. As far as music is concerned, the digital age affords seemingly endless opportunities to artists who would never have been heard without the advances in internet technology. Continue reading Digital Age
Category Archives: Musings
The Mute Art
Next to one of his own compositions on YouTube, Per-Olov Kindgren writes, “Ok, I’m doing it again. Telling my life with music. Sorry. If I was a writer/author, I would write a long story. Now I have to do this instead.” I say back to him, “maybe you would write a long story if you were an author, but how much more moving that you can say it succinctly in this mute, beautiful language that is music.” Continue reading The Mute Art
Music and Human Beings
For the last few days I’ve been transfixed by the videos of precocious young children playing piano music by Mozart, Haydn, Chopin, Debussy, etc, on YouTube. There are always comments under these videos remarking that the child in question is too young to understand such music, that there is a lack of expression, etc. But it seems to me that these young children do indeed understand the music and that there is hardly ever a lack of appropriate expression. Continue reading Music and Human Beings
It’s always interested me to notice that composers of film music have managed to help people tolerate dissonance in a way in which composers of concert music haven’t. Continue reading Film Music
Artificial Divisions in Music
I’ve just been listening to a classical guitarist on YouTube, well I should say “a man playing music on a classical guitar”. His username is ‘AndanteLargo’ if anyone wants to go and listen. He’s posted some wonderful videos of himself playing Bach and music by other classical composers – and they sound glorious – but he’s also posted videos of himself playing songs by the Beatles and other bands, some folk music, some songs and themes from films, musicals, etc, etc, which all sound equally as glorious. It interests me that his performances on classical guitar seem to put all types of music on an equal footing. Continue reading Artificial Divisions in Music
What style of music?
What style of music should pupils be taught in private lessons and at school? I think it’s the aim of any teacher who enjoys classical music to foster an appreciation of it. But I also think a child (or adult) who likes and wants to be able to play pop music, for example, should be encouraged in their endeavour. Continue reading What style of music?
Is pop music more honest than contemporary ‘serious’ music in that people want to listen to it and buy it and, unlike a lot of contemporary classical music, doesn’t have to rely on subsidies and grants? Continue reading Honesty
The problem with contemporary ‘serious’ music is that hardly anyone wants to listen to it. In abandoning functional tonality in the 20th century Western music squandered a great gift. I think we should make a return to tonality but without resorting to pastiche or the monotony of minimalism. Continue reading Tonality
What is the role of the performer when performing works by other composers? Is it to try to reproduce the work as the composer intended it to be (as far as this can be known)? Or is it the performer’s role to interpret the music afresh? Should the performer stamp his/her own personality onto a piece of music by Bach or Mozart, for example? Continue reading The Performer