Monday, September 12, 2016

The music we write about deserves a wider audience


It is ironic that my recent post on the decline of music blogging attracted a record readership. Unsurprisingly my trenchant post was assiduously ignored by the high profile blogs, despite generating so much interest elsewhere. But others ventured where the grandees feared to go. Cambridge University Library houses among its many riches the papers and manuscripts of William Alwyn, one of numerous neglected composers who have been championed On An Overgrown Path over the years. Writing on the Cambridge University Library blog MusiCB3 Margaret Jones observes that: "Blogging is dead? Well, perhaps not just yet. It can be an unexpected way into academia for music that is not mainstream, or is even considered 'dangerous'”, and Margaret punctuates her typically astute post with links to many useful and little-known music blogs.

On Facebook world music maven Joshua Cheek agreed that my pessimistic assessment of music blogging "sadly hits it on the mark". Significantly one of the most thoughtful responses to my post came from a blog covering music outside the Western classical tradition. The Free Jazz Collective and On An Overgrown Path share a passion for 'dangerous' music such as the album seen above - Jazz Meets India from the iconoclastic Swiss free jazz group the Irène Schweizer Trio. To be meaningful blogging must be passionate, and the dividing line between passion and self-aggrandisement is fuzzy. But the response of Stef writing on The Free Jazz Collective blog spells out very eloquently the reasons why I have blogged for eleven years:

The music we write about deserves a wider audience, and often we write for the converted, but at the same time listening and writing about it has widened my musical horizons, and together with the evolution of the music itself, our readership has gradually expanded too, reaching more people.

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