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Re: music just for musicians?

Greg said:
>>If you people want to see all of the manufacturers run and create 
>loopers I 
>>will tell you what it will take: Not the esoteric kinds of things that 
>>all love to create and listen to because we know what is good, but 
>>that the great unwashed masses can enjoy as well. 

I'm not sure that's encessarily fair.  Just because a market is small,
doesn't mean it has to die.  Out of interest, how many JamMen were sold
compared to hour high-end reverbs?  The market for those must be tiny (What
do you think, dear - change the car or buy a Lex 300?).

What we need is a new Brian May!  No, not Nuno Battencourt.

Mickey, in reply to Greg:
>I posit that, despite fantastic technological advances, we live in an
>era of mediocrity and sameness, perhaps even shallowness.  I think
>there is a great hunger for depth and quality, but I think the pace
>of late 20th century life makes the search for meaning very costly,
>perhaps even frivolous.  Very often there is not enough time to
>search beyond the obvious cookie-cutter solutions, so we grab for
>the salient stimuli that are easily within our grasp.  Life seems to
>work if only we can keep up with the maddening pace of progress, if
>only we can swim with the pack.  Very often this can feel like a no win
>game.  In the face of enormous challenges and enormous potential, the
>lowest common denominators often rise to the top.

I think this has always been thus.  A century ago, in Britain, the chief
form of entertainment for "the masses" was the music hall - simple,
throwaway songs with lewd lyrics and singalong choruses.  Serious music
existed of course - what we now term "classical" - but it was only listened
to by a small minority.  Today's music hall stars are Oasis and Bush, but
nothing much has changed except for the visibility and earnings of those
stars.  I would expect that the lot of the "serious" professional musician
has changed little in that time.

>I know about this phenomenon, having a 12 year old son who pounds this
>stuff out on his white stratocaster, exclusively.  While respecting his
>individuality and accepting his taste as his own, it is hard not to wish
>more for him.  

With luck, as he grows he will shift into more demanding music - he is only
12, and much of the music we discuss here is quite "mature".  I revealed my
own deepseated prejudices when I was astounded to find in GP that our Andre
is "only" 21. 

>Although we speak here about music and the almost magical technology that
>becomes our artist's palette, I cannot help but to be drawn to the bigger
>picture of the times in which we create.  Is it historical "business as 
>that substance gives way to fashion?  The 60's did not feel that way to 
>but no doubt I am myopic and biased by my own experience.  I feel that the
>US, and perhaps much of the world, has become more conservative since 

I don't really follow what you're saying here, not having experienced the
60s for more than a month, and then only as an embryo.  Could you

>I'd like to hear the thoughts of others.  Do we just detach ourselves
>from the mainstream, and just do what we do?  Perhaps this is best.  Or
>do we have a *responsibility* to do more.

I don't think we _can_ do more.  Public taste will always be with the less
demanding musics.  And as one controvercial PR officer once put, "remember
that 50% of the population have below average intelligence, by definition".

>Some years ago, I studied with a very talented jazz guitarist and soulful
>human being, Ted Dunbar, at Rutgers University.  He used to say that 
>will save the world".  And he was never speaking figuratively.

Yeah - but who's going to save music?


Dr Michael Pycraft Hughes      Bioelectronic Research Centre, Rankine Bldg,
Tel: (+44) 141 330 5979        University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, U.K.
    "Wha's like us?  Damn few, and they're a' deid!" - Scottish proverb