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.