Insisting on seeing music

August 21, 2007

I know that Renewable Music and Loose Poodle have blogged on this topic, but I find myself in a funny quandry if I think too hard about the success of YouTube. I have had a blessed life in having had many, many wonderful premieres and performances of my music, many of which were recorded. However, only a handful of them, some of my GALA cantatas from the early 90s, were ever video-taped. So I guess that puts my music in the pre-YouTube generation and therefore relatively unavailable to that generation. I notice from my own blog’s statistics, that people rarely seem to click the mp3 players to listen to musical examples I’ve put up. This is discouraging to me as I would really like to return to posts with musical examples, but if no one listens to them, why waste my time? I have to find something on YouTube in order to get anyone to listen. Music has to be SEEN nowadays, and not just heard. Does this bode well for live performances? Maybe, maybe not.

Daniel or Peter told me once that they have little use for listening to film music by itself. It wasn’t meant to be listened to that way. My friend David has an enormous film music collection and he listens to it all the time, without the visual images that original inspired it. However, in my flu induced weekend, I decided to revisit the first 3 Harry Potter films. The music, beautifully written and orchestrated, always fits the scene like a glove, and watching how it does so adds another dimension to my appreciation of the movies. Would I want to listen to this score away from the movies? Well, maybe, sometimes, but now agree with Peter and Daniel that it is best appreciated in context.

At UCLA, we offer our students the option of video-taping their recitals, even though they have to pay extra for it. I’m not surprised that they nearly all opt for this.

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