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Critical Conversation
Classical Music Critics on the Future of Music


Reader Comments

The Purpose of Music
- Linda Rogers (08/06/2004 10:46 am)

Thank you to all
- Jennifer Higdon (08/06/2004 10:10 am)

To Corey Dargel and Kyle Gann
- Garth Trinkl (08/06/2004 10:00 am)

re: Where Are The Young Voices?
- Andrea La Rose (08/06/2004 9:21 am)

To Justin: Art can be entertaining, but it is notentertainment
- Arthur J. Sabatini (08/06/2004 8:42 am)

Where Are The Young Voices?
- Corey Dargel (08/06/2004 8:20 am)

Summing Up
- Brian Newhouse (08/05/2004 9:26 pm)

Classical Music Doesn't Fit The PR Mold
- Dennis Bathory-Kitsz (08/05/2004 9:18 pm)

Eclecticism Is Better Anyway
- Hale Jacob (08/05/2004 7:40 pm)

What Is Live Performance, Anyway?
- Steve Layton (08/05/2004 7:34 pm)

Some Simple Gratitude
- Mark Stryker (08/05/2004 4:06 pm)

But What of the Squeakfartists?
- John Shaw (08/05/2004 2:42 pm)

Who Said Anything About Pop Musicians?
- Garth Trinkl (08/05/2004 11:43 am)

Gann's Got It Right
- Jan Herman (08/05/2004 8:33 am)

Big Ideas? How About Melody?
- John N. McBaine (08/05/2004 7:20 am)

so what's the big idea?
- John Shaw (08/04/2004 4:28 pm)

Point of Clarification
- Marc Geelhoed (08/04/2004 2:41 pm)

A Little of This, A Little of That
- B. Fleming (08/04/2004 2:20 pm)

Paging Arthur Sabatini...
- Gary Panetti (08/04/2004 2:18 pm)

Lists, Categories, & Big Ideas Miss The Point
- Joan La Barbara (08/04/2004 2:09 pm)

Education & Audience Engagement
- John Shaw (08/04/2004 1:59 pm)

A Matter of Education
- Beata Moon (08/04/2004 8:41 am)

Back to Big Ideas
- Garth Trinkl (08/04/2004 8:31 am)

Another Composer's Viewpoint
- Beata Moon (08/04/2004 6:37 am)

Insulted Concert-goers
- Marc Geelhoed (08/03/2004 11:14 pm)

Critical Civility
- AC Douglas (08/03/2004 7:11 pm)

apologies
- John Shaw (08/03/2004 7:10 pm)

Mr. Context
- Arthur J. Sabatini (08/03/2004 7:09 pm)

All American Music
- John Shaw (08/03/2004 2:40 pm)

"Big Ideas" - Which Direction?
- Steve Layton (08/03/2004 2:28 pm)

Seeking: Multiple Judgments
- Garth Trinkl (08/03/2004 2:26 pm)

John Rockwell on Gann and Ross, and Greg, too
- Arthur J. Sabatini (08/03/2004 10:08 am)

Glad to be that somebody
- David Carter (08/03/2004 7:14 am)

Big Idea? Not
- Nicholas Kenyon (08/03/2004 7:11 am)

Big Ideas... Who Needs Them?
- James Weaver (08/02/2004 11:26 pm)

To Greg, Justin: Hermetic Music
- Tom Hamilton (08/02/2004 7:30 pm)

A Problem of Marketing
- Corey Dargel (08/02/2004 5:59 pm)

Of Sheep Heads And Music
- P. Bailey (08/02/2004 5:56 pm)

Re: Kyle's Listening Examples
- Steve Layton (08/02/2004 9:51 am)

Marketing anyone?
- Dennis Bathory-Kitsz (08/02/2004 9:26 am)

A Post-Literate Musical Future
- John Halle (08/02/2004 9:12 am)

Where do new musical ideas come from?... Follow the architecture
- Garth Trinkl (08/01/2004 2:19 pm)

How Do Ideas Get Big?
- Arthur J. Sabatini (08/01/2004 2:14 pm)

The Next Big Idea
- John Heins (08/01/2004 2:11 pm)

Of Social Complexity And Other "High" Arts
- John Shaw (08/01/2004 8:39 am)

Two Important Threads
- Jonathan Gresl (07/31/2004 5:57 pm)

Why Is It "Classical"?
- Sophia Loke (07/31/2004 5:56 pm)

A Still More Disturbing Question
- Brian Newhouse (07/30/2004 7:25 pm)

Wow!
- Jan Herman (07/30/2004 11:24 am)

Quit Complaining, Start Writing
- Marc Geelhoed (07/30/2004 10:59 am)

Defending Kyle
- John Shaw (07/30/2004 10:54 am)

Un-Self-Consciousness In Seattle
- Gavin Borchert (07/30/2004 10:51 am)

Kyle, I Hear You!
- John Shaw (07/30/2004 9:23 am)

Money Vs. "Music that Matters"
- Richard Einhorn (07/30/2004 7:49 am)

Critics - Flogging For Novelty?
- Joanne Forman (07/30/2004 7:45 am)

Jazz - MIA?
- George Hunka (07/30/2004 7:25 am)

Pop is not off topic
- John Shaw (07/30/2004 12:29 am)

Time Is Not Of The Essence
- Tom Myron (07/30/2004 12:13 am)

Not one line in the sand
- Molly Sheridan (07/29/2004 3:02 pm)

Waiting for Godot
- Colin Eatock (07/29/2004 1:48 pm)

No More Historical Progress
- Richard Einhorn (07/29/2004 1:44 pm)

Re: Pop Innovation (Alex Ross)
- Jeff H. (07/29/2004 1:24 pm)

A Musicologist Crashes The Party!
- Robert Fink (07/29/2004 11:19 am)

Classicaly Not Pop
- AC Douglas (07/29/2004 10:49 am)

If Wishes Were Ideas...
- John Harris (07/29/2004 7:11 am)

Is Hip-hop The Big Idea?
- Tim Rutherford-Johnson (07/29/2004 7:07 am)

What Do The Critics Want?
- John Shaw (07/28/2004 7:03 pm)

Ideas From Critics?
- Jan Herman (07/28/2004 1:14 pm)

Where's Music's Toni Morrison?
- Gary Panetta (07/28/2004 1:11 pm)

Where Are The Women?
- Virginie Foucault (07/27/2004 6:50 pm)

CRITICAL CONVERSATION

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ABOUT THIS BLOG
There was a time when great cities had multiple newspapers and culture was hashed out daily in the press, strongly-held opinions battling for the hearts and minds of readers. Today it's rare for a city to have more than one or two outlets where culture can be publicly discussed, let alone prodded and pulled and challenged... More

THE QUESTION BEFORE US
If the history of music is the recorded conversation of ideas, then where do we find ourselves in that conversation at the start of the 21st Century? In the past, musical ideas have been fought over, affirmed then challenged again, with each generation adding something new. Ultimately consensus was achieved around an idea, and that idea gained traction with a critical mass of composers.

Now we are in a period when no particular musical idea seems to represent our age, and it appears that for the moment at least on the surface that there is no obvious direction music is going. So the question is: what is the next chapter in the historical conversation of musical ideas, and where are the seeds of those ideas planted?

Or: Is it possible that, with traditional cultural structures fragmenting, and the ways people are getting and using culture fundamentally changing, that it is no longer possible for a unifying style to emerge? Is it still possible for a Big Idea to attain the kind of traction needed to energize and acquire a critical mass of composers and performers?
More

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MOST RECENT POSTS

READER: The purpose of music
- Linda Rogers (08/06/2004 10:46 am)

READER: Thank you to all
- Jennifer Higdon (08/06/2004 10:10 am)

READER: To Corey Dargel and Kyle Gann
- Garth Trinkl (08/06/2004 9:21 am)

READER: re:Where Are The Young Voices?
- Andrea La Rose (08/06/2004 9:21 am)

READER: To Justin: Art can be entertaining, but it is not entertainment
- Arthur J. Sabatini (08/06/2004 8:42 am)

Final Disinformation

- Kyle Gann (08/06/2004 8:41 am)

READER: Where Are The Young Voices?
- Corey Dargel (08/06/2004 8:21 am)

Over and out - an anti-rant rant
- Justin Davidson (08/06/2004 7:05 am)

READER: Classical Music Doesn't Fit The PR Mold
- Dennis Bathory-Kitsz (08/05/2004 9:21 pm)

READER: Eclecticism Is Better Anyway
- Hale Jacob (08/05/2004 7:41 pm)


THE MUSIC CRITICS

Greg Sandow
  The Wall Street Journal
 - To Justin: Hermetic
    Music

 - Performance ideas
 - Truly big classical
    ideas

 -
Another view

Wynne Delacoma
  Chicago Sun-Times
 - Composer bashing, female
    critics, form and content
 - Big Ideas--Who Needs Them?


Alex Ross
  The New Yorker
 - Clarification, Departure
 - The New New Thing
 - Provocation!
 - To AC Douglas
 - Pop Innovation
 -
A Potential Goldmine
 - To Rockwell: Styles, Not
     Politics

 - Listening for Passionate
     Engagement


Kyle Gann
  Village Voice
 - Listening examples provided
 - Queries for John Rockwell
 - Unfair on my part
 - Composer bashing
 - Inside a big idea
 - Names & Their Inadequacies
 - The Idea & Its Conditions
 -
The Next Medium-Sized Idea
 - Alternate Universe

Justin Davidson
  Newsday
 - Thanks, Kyle
 - proposal
 - To Kyle
 - Who's saying give up?
 - Some Things Are New, Actually
 - High/Low Redux
 - pop envy
 -
Where was THAT in Classical
    Music?

 - Apology & Comment
 - How Big is a Big Idea?

John Rockwell
  The New York Times
 - Reply to Kyle and a Plea
 - Arghhh, or however you
    spell it
 - The Magpie
 - Brahms and Wagner
 -
Question for Kyle
 - To Alex, Justin: the pedant
    at work

 - Initial Entry

Scott Cantrell
  Dallas Morning News
 - What's success?
 - Pop music precendent
 - Multiculturalism
 - Fragmentation
 - Female Critics
 - Movements & Media
 -
A Blurry Patchwork

Charles Ward
  Houston Chronicle
 - Jotting IV: Grab Bag
 - Jotting III: When John
    Rockwell...
 - Jotting II: I'd Rather Not Get
    A Call From Stalin

 -
Jotting I: We Do Have A Big
    Idea


Anne Midgette
  The New York Times
 - What's the big idea?
 - A Few Responses To
    Other Postings
 - Back to Fragmentation
    for a Minute

 - Gender footnote
 - Another preamble


Andrew Druckenbrod
  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 - Composers are Composers
    but Distinctions are
    Worthwhile
 - No apology to pop and
    film

 - Taking Issue With The
    Question


John von Rhein
  Chicago Tribune


Kyle MacMillan
  Denver Post


Joshua Kosman
  San Francisco Chronicle


FROM READERS

The Purpose of Music
- Linda Rogers (08/06/2004 10:46 am)

Thank you to all
- Jennifer Higdon (08/06/2004 10:10 am)

To Corey Dargel and Kyle Gann
- Garth Trinkl (08/06/2004 10:00 am)

re: Where Are The Young Voices?
- Andrea La Rose (08/06/2004 9:21 am)

To Justin: Art can be entertaining, but it is notentertainment
- Arthur J. Sabatini (08/06/2004 8:42 am)

Where Are The Young Voices?
- Corey Dargel (08/06/2004 8:20 am)

Summing Up
- Brian Newhouse (08/05/2004 9:26 pm)

Classical Music Doesn't Fit The PR Mold
- Dennis Bathory-Kitsz (08/05/2004 9:18 pm)

Eclecticism Is Better Anyway
- Hale Jacob (08/05/2004 7:40 pm)

What Is Live Performance, Anyway?
- Steve Layton (08/05/2004 7:34 pm)

OTHER RESOURCES

- Discography of Minimalist and
    Totalist music

- Kyle Gann on Post-Minimalism
- Kyle Gann: Following the
    Classical Script

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- Zhou Long
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