2015 UPDATE! This idea has been taken up by a BBC writer. Read his ideas here.
Over that last week I’ve been trying to make a note all of the music that I hear (from whatever source) and a few things have become apparent; primarily that music really is everywhere. I tried to remember what I heard but we simply can’t keep track all of it: the Postman whistling, the local youths in their asinine cars playing D&B, the cardboard muzak in shops, the incidental tracks in film & TV, it’s all over the place.
This might have lead to the point where we are at the moment. I’m not going to go down the road of berating the Yoof for listening to to tripe. God knows my Dad hated my music (and HE listened to Jim Reeves *sigh*). I believe that it’s partly the JOB of youth to play stuff “we” don’t like. They keep us on our toes and we show them the error of their ways. It’s a partnership 🙂
No, the problem I have with this immersion in music is that it’s taken away some of its “specialness”. It’s so easy to get now that it’s not important enough to search out anymore. The advent of MP3 players (and the like) have given us the opportunity to pick and choose from the repertoire. To not have to work at the difficult bits. Albums like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon are a complete work. One listens from the beginning to the end. The same is true of all great albums as the way that one track moves into or lays a foundation for the next is planned. A lot of thought goes into it. Imagine going to a performance of Mahler’s 7th and leaving after the third movement (don’t like the last bit?). It simply wouldn’t do. We listen to the WHOLE work (1).
I know a chap that has only ever heard “Jump” from Van Halen because it was on his iPod. He’s never heard the whole “1984” album (including the shocking intro to “Hot for Teacher“) What is he missing?!
Maybe we need to “Tune Out” for a while to make the music special again.
For now, have a lovely track by The Knife: Pass This On
(1) It has to be said that the Classical community doesn’t help itself by releasing “Best Of” nonsense like this: Beethoven & Rattle.