It's not the
musician's fault that the music we make nowadays is less
moving than what the great masters of the classical period
listener's fault, really, and the fault of those in charge of
our culture. By those in charge, I mean every producer,
director, moneybags, educator, actor, singer and artist.
Everyone in the
modern art world, including music, has succumbed to the lure of
money and advancement, and the paleness of their creations shows
it. The listeners
have become mere consumers, accepting the dreary garbage the
greedy music producers put out without question.
struggle every generation to separate the false from the true in
their musical culture of bands and singers. Older people have
stopped buying records because there is no menu at all for them:
music producers can think of no other way to get the adult
dollars than to repackage oldies.
can't hide the motivation behind a piece of music. If it was
composed for love, we will sense it. If it was composed to be a
hit song and make money, that, too, will be obvious to the
careful listener. This difference in emotional quality may not
be apparent to the average listener, but it is to real
Beethoven and Kenny Rogers, the now faded country star.
Beethoven's music is entirely genuine, composed from a
passionate need to express the feelings of a great soul.
Kenny's tinsel displays a cleverly appealing get-rich-quick
veneer of Nashville-Hollywood production but has little
underlying emotional value.
And it's not
the genre at fault. There are great country and pop artists
whose music is genuine and moving, composed from the same need
to express deep inner feelings. Early Elvis is an example of
genuine expression. Late Elvis is a perfect example of fake, or
at least real dulled by the fakeness of druges.
To return to
the present, there is no reason for a talented person to become
a composer in America today. There is no audience, there is no
support of any kind in terms of a mass audience. All the
infrastructure, the piano companies, the teachers, the press,
the stars, the records have disappeared as music companies came
to be ruled by the money men, who sold out your culture to
Disney and other conglomerates to be used as background for
their violent, lucrative creations.
Now all that
great piano culture is gone forever, and those who try to revive
it are sidelined by the very academics that should be supporting
efforts to popularize real culture. Academics now spend their
time getting tenure, paying the mortgage, and advancing
themselves, not finding ways to spread the knowledge they
There are no
record companies that produce anything except rap and pop junk.
There are very
few classical radio stations, as WQXR in New York City was
recently abandoned by its owner, the New York Times, revealing
that the Times has sunk to the greedy level of everyone else in
the media. If the Times, bastion of culture that it once was,
rejects classical music, there is little point in seeking a
career in it if that is a barometer of America's regard for
The next time
you want a spot of culture, don't ask me.
Books, or Disney.
They own what
is left of your culture, and will never give it back unless you
pay to admire what you already own.