Thursday, December 13, 2007

Silence of the Pianos

Is it me or is "live" music disappearing from the world?

The reason I ask is I remember hearing it once as a child growing up in Philadelphia. Sometimes I would walk down my street and hear actual piano music being made. Sure, it wasn't original music (like the kind I teach) but of course, that didn't matter.

I marvelled that someone could create something so beautiful and that I could hear it on my own street.

Today, I walk down my street in San Diego and often hear the blaring sounds of Rap, Rock, and other music screaming from car loudspeakers. What I don't hear are any "live" instruments being played by real people. It's as if the music has really died.

It doesn't even have to be piano music. Any music would do. Silver flute, violin, cello ... all innocently absent for any human being to hear. What a loss. And what does this say about our society as a whole? Your thoughts, of course, are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. My husband Rick and I are very fortunate to have stumbled into a large group of friends many years ago who often gather for parties where we play acoustic music of all kinds (mostly folk, swing, standards, bluegrass). We also can jam every week with a group of neighbors--I play harmonica and a washtub bass I built, Rick plays guitar. (I'm not competent enough as a pianist to play well with others, although I just got a good quality keyboard-style melodica which is tempting me.) And I'm regularly invited to other venues where amateurs (even rank beginners) and semi-pros get together to play.

    I live in a rural area of southwestern Oregon, but when I visit the small city where I shop and do business, I sometimes see and hear musicians on the street. Rick practices his violin everywhere from parking lots to library garden benches. The other day the owner of the local bagel shop was playing his trumpet between meals at one of his sidewalk tables.

    Maybe big city folks are more self-conscious and don't want to be heard by others if they're not as good as the recording artists we hear all the time (just as we might feel bad that we're not as rich and/or good-looking as celebrities). It's too bad. Playing for one's own enjoyment is a wonderful thing.

    But don't despair. Real, live music is alive and kicking, if only in the country.

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