Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The preservation of music

In addition to our class discussion, I wanted to expose another point of view to the future of classical music. This perspective is given by a person of perhaps somewhat critical position in shaping the future, composer Kaija Saariho. A blog maintained by Teosto (the Finnish copyright organization for composers, lyricists, arrangers and music publishers) features a speech by Saariaho after receiving the prestigious Polar Music Prize on August 27. In her speech, the successful contemporary composer expresses her concerns of the preservation of art music:

“The Polar Music Prize is especially remarkable because it’s given to two different musicians, the message being: all music is important.
Music has the infinite capability to vary and find its place in all human societies. Let us treasure this variety, but not by measuring the value by economic profit - the most valuable things do not have a price tag.
Humans have destroyed many species, as well as many languages and cultures. I hope that new, inventive and unexpected art music will not disappear because of commercial formatting and narrow minds.
Today we celebrate musical creation, and I dedicate my prize to futures of music that will conscious of history and rich in innovations.”

Agreeing with the threat of commercialism is surely common for most of us. As the world through globalization is becoming more and more homogeneous, making effort to preserving all music is more important than ever. The history shows us that some of the pieces we consider the greatest today were not appreciated at the time of their making. Therefore, we should indeed treasure even the less commercially profitable music, and guarantee its passing to the next generation. Because they may be the ones who can identify, “understand”, and take that music as their own, and discover new additions to the gallery of masterpieces.

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