“The introduction of novel fashions in music is a thing to beware of as endangering the whole fabric of society, whose most important conventions are unsettled by any revolutions in that quarter.”
Well, the guy could have been a record exec. What about a society whose conventions need a little unsettling? I think Plato inadvertently voiced music’s main function. I’m glad I looked up this quote, actually because I hadn’t quite put my finger on it. Music is communication and so you must free the music. It’s interesting that, for so long, people have had different notions of what music and art really are. Many regard it as a pastime; an entertainment, which is well and good because it is certainly that. It is regarded by many as a luxury sort of activity that is not really essential and so we see some states firing music teachers and shutting down music education. Economics is usually cited as the reason but is this really the reason, or are the people in power afraid that the ‘most important conventions are unsettled by any revolutions in that quarter?’
What are the most important conventions in our society? Well we certainly kill off enough people everyday and people ‘work hard’ to give the money to the government. We have atom bombs and we always have a war going on. While many people regard the arts as a sort of ‘artsy craftsy’ thing that some people in society busy themselves with, certain others have stated that art was a mirror, held up to society. I like this definition and I will go one further and say that good art is a visionary sort of thing. I’ll go so far as to say that, without visionary artists, a society begins to stultify and die; creativity goes down the drain and this is actually what causes economic downturn. Not hard to see; go down to your local mall and take stock of all the shops and booths that are selling the same thing, for the same bloody prices.
I don’t advocate violent revolution; I advocate mind revolution and we must free the music to shake up the conventions that have us stuck in one place, walking a treadmill that goes nowhere.