Entropy

Everything decays. Everything, even the universe itself, falls apart in time. The sun will die one day, so will all the stars. No matter how good or popular, eventually things decay, die and cease to be.

We are in the midst of a sea change of taste, values, and expectations regarding singing and music generally. Educated, sophisticated taste is harder and harder to find amongst those who are in the profession, sometimes even at a high level. In any style, classical or CCM.

To some degree this is a consequence of population growth. In my lifetime the population of the USA has about doubled. The planet has grown by more than a couple of billion people. With that many people, everything is effected. Since there isn’t more land, we are more crowded. Since there are no more “natural resources” they are being used up more rapidly and since it is harder to feed more mouths with the same animals and crops we have room for, we see many problems in various areas all over the world.

You simply can’t educate children in music and art if there are a lot more children and not a lot more money. If there isn’t very much money to pay for music education, you create an entire generation or maybe even two or three generations that has very low level education, or none,  in public school. Then, they don’t care much about music so they don’t put money into music education. Then you have a self perpetuating negative cycle.

The few people that do study music may or may not actually get decent information. And, sometimes people who end up being successful in the music business are self-taught. What they know is anyone’s guess. When these folks are “in charge” what happens is rarely good.

I know this from personal experience. I have met numerous people in my professional life who held positions in various areas of the music world, who were unqualified to do the job they had. Through a circumstance of luck, personal help or some other fluke, they found themselves in a job they probably shouldn’t have had.

It’s fine to watch contest shows, and reality shows, and award shows. Most people find them entertaining. I find them distressing, so I don’t watch them very often, as they remind me that our standards, across the boards, are going down and down, due, I suppose to entropy. Nothing to do about that, except notice it.

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2 thoughts on “Entropy”

  1. Thank you, Jeannie. I think your observation is keen. Having more people around probably has led directly to a more dilute general education, in particular regarding fine arts. In my rural private music teaching studio, I work on cultivating excellent listening skills, musicianship and small ensemble playing in each of my students. I have confidence that they will ultimately recognize great music and great performance for themselves, no matter its form or its origin. This is my hope, and I think that serious music and serious performance will perpetuate itself as long as there are some who are discerning.

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