Thursday, February 03, 2011

Glorious Milton

The end of the Milton Babbitt essay that I mentioned in the previous post has something to say about the duty of care that society has towards art and culture that might not have much mainstream appeal (the “why should Jack Vettriano fans subsidise abstract expressionism?” argument):
Admittedly, if this music is not supported, the whistling repertory of the man in the street will be little affected, the concert-going activity of the conspicuous consumer of musical culture will be little disturbed. But music will cease to evolve, and, in that important sense, will cease to live.
But does the man in the street still whistle? I haven’t heard him do it for years.

4 comments:

Annie said...

I don't know. I can tell you that 6, 7 and 8 year old kids still whistle though. They do it under their breaths constantly when you're trying to teach, & it makes me go postal.

blackwatertown said...

I do, but no doubt I'm a nutter.
I guess music in your ears while you walk means low muttering has replaced whistling.

Tim Footman said...

So if you hear the man in the street doing it, Annie, just kick him.

BWT: Better music in your ears than instructions from the CIA.

LadyGirl said...

The other day somebody told me that Thai people can't whistle. Maybe this is why you haven't heard him do it for years