Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I Suppose I Will Never Understand...

This article in the Times about a newfangled instrument. I get why people have to invent new toys, and very much approve, but why does it have to spiral into a tendentious discussion about "traditionalists" (damned with faint praise) versus "progressives?" The new toy so gallantly addressed here stakes its claim in being able to be used by people with no training. So what do the traditionalists have to do with it? And why inovke the theramin, the instrument that still remains an oddity--albeit a fascinating and worthwhile one--in the classical music world?

It just baffles me: any time anything new comes along, someone's gotta jump out and claim it as the top of the heap method to create high art. Perhaps this question is naive, but why cannot it just BE rather than roll out its new life with some vaunted (and inevitably doomed) aesthetic mission that reads more like an advertisement trying to simultaneously give it both credulity and wings than an actual piece about a newish instrument? I guess we just want progress so bad, and every journalist wishes to be in on the ground floor when it happens.


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