Saturday, July 26, 2008

haut huit nous

Sometimes you don't realize you're on hiatus until it's already happening. I've been wanting to blog about lots of things, but haven't found the time or discipline to get the words together. Hey, it's summer.

Anyway, one thing I have been thinking about and wanting to "unpack" is the whole problem of modern music that Joe Queenan addressed here. I was let down a bit by Terry Teachout's response which simply pointed out that Queenan had painted with too broad a brush. However, Kyle Gann, a self-titled "postclassic" composer whose tastes are much different than mine, has written a very nicely nuanced exploration of the "complex music" problem over here. The fact that it took him more than 4000 words just to get started makes me feel better about the fact that I couldn't bang out my ideas in one little post. The important take-home points: "Proposition 1: not every thorny, complex, difficult-to-understand piece that's been written is a masterpiece, worth listening to over and over again...Proposition 2: at least some thorny, complex, difficult-to-understand pieces are beautiful and profound, and those listeners who come to know them well derive immense pleasure from them." It seems simple enough, but too many arguments about this topic fail to take both of these propositions seriously.

However, since I'm apparently on hiatus, I'll just leave you to sift through Gann's treatise.

Back later...

4 comments:

Amybeth said...

So this is unrelated to your post, but the other day I was fantasizing about outrageous things I could've done in college, and said to Andrew Trepanier that "I wish I could get a Monroe (piercing) and got my dreads back."
But he thought I said "I wish I could get to Monroe and get my dress back." And he was thoroughly confused and a little worried about you and why you would have my dress, and why you would need it.

Then he told me I should tell you about his mistake. =)

MICHAEL MONROE said...

Yes, and I'm sure Andrew also told you to tell me about this misunderstanding in the most public forum possible. However, here you have failed, because I don't think all that many people read my blog and, after all, I'm on "haut huit nous." Perhaps you should get in touch with the Boston Globe - they'd probably be thrilled to publish a story about a Gordon prof who's out of line.

P.S. I left the dress on the window outside my office...

Amybeth said...

I'll get right on that. Right after I take a picture of it next to your labeled office door to put in with my Boston Globe article.

Amybeth said...

Haha. I just realized how awful his misunderstanding might have sounded. He meant because he thought you were WEARING my dress for something. I suppose that's no better, but it was funny to think that you might need it for something, like playing an evil step sister in La Cenerentola or something.