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July 19, 2005

Word without thoughts never to heaven go

Let's not also forget that that the true measure is the state of the art of music, not the state of music criticism. London may have had the most vibrant critical scene, but it hasn’t had the most vibrant compositional scene despite outstandingly supportive institutions. The vigorous state of criticism in London may be a better measure of its democracy than of its art, particularly as far as composition is concerned. That isn’t entirely the critic’s fault. Producing the sort of society which values music is more than critics can achieve. It goes to much deeper values built up over time and is particularly complex in a modern metropolis, which, of its nature, has several powerful forces which are somewhat antithetical to art. It also has the critical mass to enable diverse artistic activity to take place but, as we would all be aware, there are also many deadening effects. In the long term it is the art that is important, not the critics. Criticism is a good measure of social a democratic health but that doesn’t automatically imply artistic health.

Posted by pmccallum at July 19, 2005 05:48 AM


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