Our whole music culture has grown out of our folk traditions. We can trace our whole understanding of melody, phrase, and musical expression through song. We are so limited now by thinking that you can only make the sounds that you can write. And that’s backwards, because you can make hundreds of sounds and the writing is like froth on the top of the wave. You can only write the least important part.
– Alice Parker
Music represented symbolically is regarded as more acceptable than music which happens in real time as sound. We have fallen under the sway of a strange inversion in which symbols are regarded as more real than the realities they represent. Music (or art, literature, science, technology) is often treated as a collection of works arranged in a historical timeline. The scores are regarded as having not only an independent existence, but a higher existence than a performance.
The strict division into groups of creative musicians (composers), performing musicians (singers, players), and passive listener (the public)… was unknown in the early stages of music’s development. Inventor and performer of a tune were usually the same person; often enough he was at the same time his own audience; who on repeated performances of this “composition” constantly made changes in it.
–Ernest Thomas Ferand, Improvisation in Nine Centuries of Western Music
An interesting article (“Interest in Arts Predicts Social Responsibility“) in Science Daily reports a U of Illinois at Chicago study. “People with an active interest in the arts contribute more to society than those with little or no such interest, researchers found. …. Participation in the arts predicted civic engagement, tolerance, and altruism.”
Tell me again why politicians want to cut arts funding and arts education? Cutting arts education to ‘save $’ is like cutting off your head to lose weight. Very effective for a very short time and then there is a terrible mess and problems for a long time afterwards…