Well, awesome. After I posted a few days back suggesting there should be a National or Global Day of Music, Kristie Addison from Transit of Venus posted a link to the website of the International Music Council (a body I’d certainly never heard of before) – specifically a page describing an International Music Day proposed by Lord Yehudi Menuhin in 1975.
The intention of this day is to encourage:
- the promotion of our musical art among all sections of society;
- the application of the UNESCO ideals of peace and friendship between peoples, of the evolution of their cultures, of the exchange of experience and of the mutual appreciation of their aesthetic values;
- the promotion of the activities of the International Music Council, its international member organizations end national committees, as well as its programme policy in general.
Coooooooool. Roll on the 1st of October. 8)
The idea was:
We hope that this first International Music Day will constitute a major achievement among our’ activities, and that it will become an annual event for the propagation of greater knowledge of our art, arid for the strengthening of the bonds of peace and friendship between peoples through music.
And I think that’s bloody brilliant. 8)
Conversely (perhaps), Steve Silberman today tweeted a link to an article in the New York Times: “In Mobile Age, Sound Quality Steps Back”
“People used to sit and listen to music,” Mr. Fremer said, but the increased portability has altered the way people experience recorded music. “It was an activity. It is no longer consumed as an event that you pay attention to.”
Instead, music is often carried from place to place, played in the background while the consumer does something else — exercising, commuting or cooking dinner.
I’ve noticed this in my own habits recently. I don’t tend to sit and just listen to music anywhere near as often as I used to; rather I have it on while doing something else while riding the train to work. Sad, really. I’m not so concerned about the sound quality issue the article describes – except for the loudness wars: over-compressing everything till all dynamics are lost and the damn song clips. I’m thinking it might be best to steer clear of “remastered” classic albums for that very reason. Anyway, personally I think a decrease in quality is perhaps a reasonable trade-off for ease of access, and getting more people experiencing more music.
… Except that they experience it as background, as wallpaper. Hence in fact the driver for the loudness wars, because if your song isn’t as overall loud as the next guy’s, it will be experienced as lesser – or perhaps entirely missed.
I don’t really know the answer, but pushing this International Music Day might be something. Getting people to see music as something special, not as background, and to celebrate it again, would – I think – be a really great thing.
So get to it folks. 8)