Music is not a destination but a journey


"I am in many ways surprised and not surprised by what seems to be today your choice of music you cover and likely listen to" writes a longstanding reader. Music exists only in constant flow and flux, which means the music I listen to is also in constant flux. Alan Watts described how conventional music has given us prejudiced ears, so that we treat all sounds that do not follow their rules as insignificant noise. Challenging our prejudiced ears is an essential part of the lost art of listening; because it gives a fresh perspective on the familiar. Yesterday, after listening to unfamiliar Arabic-Turkish court music, I returned with heightened awareness to Bartók's familiar String Quartets - there is a connection - and moved on, with great pleasure, to Elizabeth Maconchy's less familiar Quartets. Jan Willis writes: "Ultimately, what I have come to know is that life - precious life - is not a destination... life is the journey". Today the demand for instant gratification means classical music is viewed as a destination to be reached as quickly as possible. Which is sad: because I now realise that music, like life, is not a destination, but a journey on an overgrown path.

Header photo was taken on my recent journey to Sidi Ifni, Morocco. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use", for the purpose of critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.


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