Saturday, September 22, 2012

Classical Music Twice Removed

The phrase "second cousin twice removed" always fascinated me.  Now I know what twice removed might mean.  Take Classical Music.  When it was new it wasn't classical, it was just music. 

We are removed from it because we are not there as it is being created--time has removed us.  Classical music is, as it were, frozen.

We have been twice removed by the canning process whereby durations are determined by the dimensions of LPs and CDs and the sounds subjected to the distortions of microphones and speakers.

Can we restore the missing elements?  We can unfreeze it by exposing our ear to immediate sound sources, i.e., live, close-up playing.  Actually that will also let it out of the can, so to speak.  

This involves taking some risks: Intimacy, for one.  A feeling that this music really does concern you as an individual as much as it touches the player who is playing for you.