Natural selection -- the musical journey
As the world sails steadily into the 21st century it is natural for some
of us to look ahead with curiosity about music's future course as a
serious art form. There could be an assumption that an age so locked into
scientific and space-age exploration will progress largely through its technical
research and development.
But there has been similar progress with the arts, although the form
it takes is obviously different. Music challenges every listener by its
ever-changing style and presentation, making it daunting for some and utterly
impossible for others. It is the musically inclined listeners experiencing
an alien style that seem to suffer exasperation, as though the presumed
shortcoming arises from weakness in the composer's perception.
As I went through this journey when I was much younger, the experience
was close to despair as I failed to understand that musical language and
its treatment by most composers was constantly evolving. I believe it was
the glimpse into an alien territory from the comfort of a world of my own
making -- and therefore supposedly secure -- that triggered fear.
One eventually passes through these phases to the point where the lessons
are learnt and new territory rolls out for us to explore. This, from experience,
often brings the listener to another stage, no less daunting, yet by now
partly understood as a step on the way.
This cycle of experience continues and we understand its relevance in
the manner by which our musical feelings sprout like a plant and blossom.
The process is similar.
Copyright © 7 January 2003 Basil Ramsey,
Eastwood, Essex, UK
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