Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Standards? Who Sets Them?

Talking casually with a bunch of musicians (not classically trained but musicians nonetheless) the subject came up about the effect of recordings on generations of players.

I know that classically trained pianists bend over backwards to sound like recordings they have heard, even though many of those recordings were made in the days before microphones could pick up bass sonorities.  So there is only treble.

The others were talking about highly skilled guitarists who picked up the details that distinguish their playing by imitating recordings some of which don't even maintain a constant speed.

This technology business is severely life-threatening.

Though I recall a brilliant conference back in the 80's on the subject of "Technology and the Rest of Culture" which treated, in addition to railroads and steam engines, the alphabet and the fig leaf.