March 28, 2007 at 4:39 AMLast week I was trying to tell kids the value of a classical education, but on Tuesday I heard an eloquent explanation, by a 2007 Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award recipient and soul great Booker T. Jones.
"I had not yet met my own standards," Booker T says of his decision to pursue a Bachelor of Music Education at Indiana University, even though he'd already had much success as a musician. "I wasn't yet writing the music I was hearing in my mind; I had a classical background and a curiosity for all the European greats..."
At Indiana, "I spent many hours listening to the old masters: everything from Bach, to Stravinsky, to Chopin; learning that music and learning how it was put together -- and studying."
Check the interview; Booker T offers a lot of musical wisdom.
In the late 60s there was an act of Congress, I think, that was the beginning of public radio. I think the original intent of it all, or the ostensible intent, was to provide something a bit closer to public access. I think it was usurped by private interests and that the reason they play classical is that it gives them a more solid position; you can't undo the national institution that plays classcial music; it's bigger than life. In turn, I suspect the reason for the popularity of classical music has to do with publishing companies not having to pay royalties to authors; the same reason "It's a Wonderful Life" became an instant classic Chrismas movie. I might be wrong, but I just might be right - because these are very obvious and excellent business strategies.
Of course some of it is the interviewer's ploy, to act sort of as an audience surrogate and play a bit dumb. What she is saying, in taking that pose, is that people don't appreciate the genre for the complex kind of music that it is.
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