Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What should our Wikipedia article be like?

I too, am confused of how we might give any coherent sense of a future of classical music with so many reports from the front. That is assuming it is a possible to construct a coherent view of the future of classical music, which there is really no reason to do. There are probably many threads of musical development, with the victor only being made clear in hindsight, in history. For our wikipedia article, do we attempt to list all these different threads? Do we attempt to identify the forces acting on music today so that somebody reading our article might be able to form their own view of the future of classical music? I think this is ideally the best way to go. But it is difficult to consider all the relevant forces. For instance, Cook gives a few examples, like market economy and certain ideologies. We also might not be able to identify important ideologies because we are so immersed in the times or tradition we don't even notice them. But I think we should attempt to give a somewhat comprehensive view of important forces. Given that, I think we have been focusing too much on “liberal” issues in music to the exclusion of examining “conservative” views on music. We have examined some conservative views, such as 19th-century snobbery, but they were only discussed in contrast to the more progressive views we were talking about. In not thoroughly examining the influence of conservative bastions (such as conservatories, and I don't even know the identities of other ones), we are only giving them more power. It may be that only “liberal” stuff makes the news, so those are the only things we have been reporting on. It is more difficult to examine the less visible influence from “conservative” sources. But we should, otherwise our article might end up too optimistic, like those past grand predictions for our time that we laugh at.

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