Thursday, October 25, 2007

Weaving the Web Wider


Diversity is the lifeblood of music. I was reminded of this when reading the following in Robert Maycock's thought-provoking, but opinionated, book Glass - A Portrait:

"Unfortunately the dream of twentieth century music became corrupted. With hindsight the corruption was inevitable, because there was never enough money for everyone who wanted it. The system required selection and the exercise of power. These were the factors that brought about the rise and fall of 'the twentieth century music' that became so familiar during the century's final decades, because in narrowing the field down to one that was financially supportable, it also narrowed down the musical options.

Judging the claims, making the choices, redirecting the money: traditionally these would be grounds for exercising a Solomon-like wisdom, purified by detachment from the circumstances. The trouble was that it was becoming hard for non-specialist officials or members of committees to grasp the musical issues, particularly when it came to new music as it burgeoned off into the intricate and unfathomable realm of post-war modernism. They needed guidance. They went to the people who knew this world best, the people it had trained. Experts in new music were invited into the system. And that was how the system came to be run by those who benefited from it."


Is Robert Maycock right? Just a few years into the new century is the cycle repeating itself? Are the musical options narrowing? Are the experts running the system?

If music blogs are an indication the answer is yes. The Blognoggle elite are getting bigger, and are now part of the system. And sure, I include On An Overgrown Path in that statement. I am frequently contacted, via the blog, by journalists wanting background on music news stories. Flattering, but also frightening.

Where are the new blogs? Where are the musical options? Where is the risk-taking? Where are the young Turks ready to challenge the so-called experts? Where is the diversity on the musical web? Please email me with more newcomers like this one, this one, and this one.

Photo credit Spiderz Rule! - diverse but definitely not for arachnophobes. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

2 comments:

Chris Foley said...

On the classical music blogs pagecast I created a few weeks ago, there are bookmarks for 177 of them and counting. I notice plenty of startups in the field--some of them will grow into maturity, some of them will be abandoned.

That being said, it isn't hard to notice that nearly all the top classical music blogs are of the class of 2004-5. My guess is that the field is a bit more cluttered now than it was when most of the top blogs were created and it's probably more difficult to get noticed than it was two or three years ago.

Pliable said...

Chris, excellent contribution, thanks.

Here is the link to Chris' classical music blog aggregator, which featured On An Overgrown Path a few weeks back.

http://www.pageflakes.com/chrisfoley/14649039