Monday, April 20, 2009

Tomorrow the Teacher is the Student in Arts Reviewing/Reporting


Double bassist Reggie Workman, tenor saxophone...Image via Wikipedia

I have a hole in my claims to be a Rockin' Renaissance man; that is, I don't rock. Not even a little.

I won't call myself a Musical Illiterate, since my impression is that many fans of popular music aren't that well informed about the specifics of the craft and/or art of what they enjoy.... Okay, of course, I *am* a musical illiterate. It's just that I am also -- in comparison to everyone else, it seems -- a Musical Indifferent. I mean, I like music. I'm not tone deaf. I don't turn away in disgust. I tap my foot and bob my head. I have quite a few classical CDs and quite a few jazz CDs, though we don't listen to them that much. Actually, I haven't put on a music CD since Christmas when we listen to all the wonderful holiday dreck.

I don't have any music on my IPod. Though we have symphony seats on and off and though occasionally we go to a jazz club, music remains something I *intend* to get into.

I really like "Lament for Beowulf." It's literary, and it's loud. My wife says my tastes in classical are vulgar, 19th Century, Russian for Chrissake.

As for rock/pop/rap whatever. Pretty much indifferent. In the car, I roam the dial, find a song to listen to, enjoy it very much -- and when it's over keep looking for NPR.

So now deep in the semester finally we will do a music review. I told the students: Tomorrow, you bring a favorite music review of some music you really like. (We've done that before with films, TV, drama, the visual arts.) But when class starts I'm just going to sit there. You go up to the front of the room -- one? ensemble? -- and explain to me what it's all about. Because I really don't know. And there's no point in my being ashamed.

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