Donald Clarke <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>I suspect it comes down to marketing, or lack of it. Movie theaters,
>radio stations, dance halls etc were all competing with one another
>in the business of trying to excite the public with something new;
>the division between "highbrow" and "lowbrow" culture in the USA
>by the mid-19th century (the terms from crackpot anthropology of
>the period) meant that concert halls could become museums: just by
>presenting the "classics" they could help the audience convince
>themselves that they were a cut above the hoi polloi. It worked for
>generations, but now they've run out of audience.
I would agree, and I also wonder if we have run out of a culture where
social climbing and the elitist mentality are not as widespread and that
the real crisis comes from the attempt to cultivate a segment of society
not inclined to such notions. If the elitist donor based has dwindled,
how do you market to the have nots without chasing away the social
climbers and dillitants?
Perhaps if one were to market the music on its own inherent value, you
might have a more lively cultural milieu...or would the exploitive bean
counters try to make their killing and then move on? I am reminded of
our new art museum that has yoga classes to increase the use of the
building and supposedly, "expose more people to great art."
And, on the subject of new music, earlier today, reading in Tawa's "
From Psalm to Symphony," a quote from Copland written in the 1940s, "The
radio and phonograph have given us listeners whose sheer numbers in
themselves create a special problem. They can't be ignored if musical
creation is to flourish. More and more we shall have to find a musical
style and language which statisfies both us and them. That is the job
of the forties..." This coming from the man who wrote Connotations and
Inscape some 20 years later. Most curious.
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