7 March 2006

Kill, kill

The stupidity of the concept of the noble savage in music ("don't learn to read music! it will ruin your natural skill!!) set bare by Gershwin [ via Alex Ross ]. This has long been an irritant to me primarily because it's born of ignorance and passed on like folk wisdom fighting against the Big Bad Intellectuals who complicate what's just basic common sense. The fear as it is manifest in the Fine Arts possibly originates with the artists' understanding that inspiration is fleeting. Examine it too closely and you may purge the force that through your inner fuse drives the art. And there's the real issue of too incisive religious examination purging the force of belief, as was recently outlined in The Washington Post's article on Bart Ehrman, author of Misquoting Jesus.

The writing of those who have spent time researching their subjects to the point of obsession provides a more clear truth. I recently listened to Sarah Vowell dissect the history of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Her love of historical nuance provides a more nuanced understanding of the subject. And read any Feynman essay or Brian Greene book to feel their deep love of natural science and the workings of the universe. The capacity for appreciation, and belief, is proportional to knowledge.

[ posted by sstrader on 7 March 2006 at 12:46:16 PM in Music ]