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Re: Non-loop content: ENO and U2

At 03:00 PM 4/21/00 +0200, you wrote:
>is there really anything to gain by trying to draw straight lines
>through history? connect the dots from sidney bechet to kid creole to
>louis armstrong to larry tremblay ;-) 

I agree that when trying to chart a linear progression in the development
of a musical style or genre, it tends to oversimplify the matter due to the
difficulty (or impossibility) of accounting for all of the factors that
influenced the musicians along the way, many of which weren't even
conscious to them. To me "straight lines through history" don't work; a
closer analogy would be the branches of a tree, but even with this more
complex model there's the danger of seeing a style as being a composite of
other known, visible influences. There are also other things to consider,
like geography, socio-economic factors, fortuitous timing, and so forth, so
musical evolution can be  a very complex thing to try to trace, and it's
not really an exact science.

But on the other hand, this sort of analysis has often made it possible for
me to hear some great music by little-known artists that I'd never have
otherwise heard of. (Remember those "Family Tree of British Progressive
Music" posters that charted the spin-offs and different lineups of various
groups?) I've often found investigating the musicians that influenced some
of the more well-known players, and in turn exploring THEIR influences to
be a very fruitful source of enjoyable tunes. A good example of this would
be Jimmy Page; I enjoy what he's done, particularly in the early days when
he was experimenting with interesting recording techniques, but I wouldn't
consider myself a big Led Zeppelin fan, and I don't listen to him/them very
much these days. However, reading interviews with Page over the years in
which he's talked about the musicians HE listens to has led me to
appreciate stuff as diverse as Bert Jansch, TransGlobal Underground, Nigel
Eaton, Scotty Moore, Link Wray, etc., and checking these players out has in
turn led me to discover OTHER music I might otherwise never have known 

So, while the musicological approach to the appreciation of music may not
be complete in and of itself, it can have its positive aspects as well.
Without historians, we forget what's happened in the past.