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Editorial Musings with Basil Ramsey

A gruelling test

As the deluge of music generally classified as 'classical' now rains upon our ears day and night, may there not be moments of hesitation when we question the desirability of an unstoppable flood? Water is essential for human survival; music is a powerful tool for Man in need of qualities beyond basics. Nonetheless, do we not fall prey to an almost manic desire for the music beat that seems elemental to the ear and heart of mankind? It is universal and as powerful now as ever it was.

A challenge to Man lies in the concentration demanded to comprehend Music. About twenty seconds after it starts our concentration is liable to lapse, then discipline is required to maintain a Quixotic mixture of 'on' and 'off' until the piece's conclusion.

The destructive challenge to music from those who listen is found in this test of 'approachability'. Breaking into a new piece is like walking unknown territory, and a large percentage of listening is inhibited by this unavoidable process. All too often, the listener backs away -- even if he eventually returns. The astonishing fact remains that Music survives this gruelling test, and millions of devoted fans are ever ready to submit to Music in the knowledge that it is unique and, at best, an overwhelming human experience.

Copyright © 5 August 2003 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK



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