Thursday, November 16, 2006

Asians and Classical Music

My TANDY-Tracker internet spy engine allows me to observe how web-surfers arrive at my Classical Pontifications blog. You’d be surprised at some of the Google searches people execute. It seems that our society will express ideas through Google that would be absolutely unacceptable to express in public.
For example, yesterday I discovered that one of my readers wanted to know why Asians are so slow to accept classical music. I don’t believe this is true. According to Tom Gulick, Executive Director of the Honolulu Symphony, “[T]he Asians understand what people get from the study of classical music. A training of the brain.”
If anyone is slow to accept classical music, it is the young people of the United States. They’re too busy calling in their votes to Dancing with the Stars to attune to the complexity of intellectual music. Classical music is not easy to dance to. It never has been. That’s why it’s called “classical music” and not “ballroom music” or “boudoir music.” Exercising the mind and exercising the body are two entirely different processes that must be executed separately if at all. You wouldn’t expect a scientist to base his study of global warming on what happens as his bowl of ice cream melts, would you?! For the same reason, we shouldn’t mix music and pleasure!
Young people, when you find the time to put down your text messages and pick up your books of piano etudes, remember that it’s important to analyze the etude before you attempt to play it. Your fingers need a workout, but first you need to exercise your brain.

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