There are times when I wonder if one category of music (say, orchestral) is
ahead of others in general understanding. It is commonly accepted that chamber
music has an esoteric quality -- if only from the intimacy of the sound -- than
music for a crowd of around eighty players engaged upon a late 19th century
or 20th century symphony for full orchestra. Undoubtedly, those on the fringes of
listening/appreciation are more inclined to surrender to the greater array of
colour swirling around their ears.
I have heard all too often the slightly sour response from experienced listeners
to the need of the less experienced group struggling for an illumination they are
encouraged to seek in great music. Only recently, a lady 'learner' spoke bitterly
of her problems. No doubt they exist, and no doubt there are the superiors amongst
us who take pride in such knowledge for providing a one-up-man-ship
certificate in musical experience.
Maybe we should all take notice of those who seek help in the early stages of
responding to music. As we tread this route there is no excuse for impatience or
indifference for those who come later. Music reaches a global audience reacting
enthusiastically to the classics in all categories. Thousands -- perhaps millions --
tremble on the brink of a personal discovery of Music as an art form at some time.
To illuminate the mind requires time and sensitive assistance from those of us who
have travelled the path and know the way more clearly. It is so tempting to shrug
off this help for those who come later. Many stride this route firmly and reach
the goal; others need help if they are to succeed.
Copyright © 18 October 2002 Basil Ramsey,
Eastwood, Essex, UK