While I was reading "Music: A Very Short Introduction" by Nicholas Cook, and it really made me think about pop music's and classical music's lasting qualities. Thinking about most popular music, a song will be listened to and spoken about for certain amount of time, but all of a sudden, no one will ever speak about it after a few months or a year at best. If you think about Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, and any of these "classical" geniuses, you realize we are still talking about their music almost 300 years later. Even if you think about certain jazz musicians such as John Coltrane, people might say that he is a "legend" or a "genius," and he died over 40 years ago.
I don't want to say in this post that classical music or jazz music is "real" music and all others have no lasting qualities, but I just want ones reading this post to think about how we treat music. Do we listen to something like we are reading a book, and never read it again? Do we treat it like a movie, where we watch it once, might watch it again because it was so deep that we missed a few things so we rewind and replay the scenes? Do we treat music like text books, to sort of "show" that we are educated - like certain pieces we have heard or studied show a right of passage in a way? Sometimes if I'm learning a piece of music or studying/transcribing a solo - another fellow colleague or one of my teachers will be impressed by this "work" that I did, almost showing an accomplishment instead of just an enjoyment of diving deeper into the music by just understanding. Also the way we may play a concert, we may never look at the piece/sonata/symphony again after a one time performance - either because we are sick of the piece, or because the audience that listens to us doesn't demand of it.
The common listener who might not know much about music does not have to necessarily hear a piece and think about all these things, but I just want everyone to realize and be aware of the evolution of music, of how we think about it and how we treat music and their musicians. Look at our public schools for instance, it is not important I guess to have music or art in a child's life because the schools don't want to spend the money because they can't afford it, and it is the first program to cut because it is considered the least important and just an extracurricular activity. There are many talented musicians out there, but they don't receive the great recognition they deserve, many musicians out there are poor, and part of the reason for this is because our society places it as a low point to other things in the world. Music has been an important part of my life, and I want others to experience this joy that I have received through music.
Is it a big deal that we think of music differently today and we treat music as a "one-hit wonder" or talk about an artist's music hundreds of years after they die because we realize how important these composers are to music history? I also want to pose the question of how we will think of the popular artists today 50 or 100 years later, and will certain history books speak about how Eminem, Lady Gaga, or Jessica Simpson were powerful figures in the early 2000s and late 1990s. I was listening to Jamin' 9.45 one early afternoon, and heard "Back in the day Buffet," and they played a Ludicris song from 2000, and said that this was "old school." I feel definitely feel old, and when I think of old school I think of Mozart symphonies or even John Coltrane's Giant Steps not Ludicris' "What's your Fantasy."
These are just some things I thought about when reading about popular music and classical music in this week's reading. I hope some of you guys can build upon this thought or agree/disagree with what I am saying.
Matthew's Link from the Previous Post