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Re: [OT] Vivi, the Virtual Violinist, plays LilyPond music

From: Kieren MacMillan
Subject: Re: [OT] Vivi, the Virtual Violinist, plays LilyPond music
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 07:15:02 -0400


> Has that happened with books?  Have stories become
> total crap over the past 10/50/200 years?

Actually, yes: no author made a million dollars writing a Harlequin Romance 
novel in the 1500s.  :)

To be clear, I'm not saying -- as many, many music lovers do -- that "good 
music" stopped being written when Brahms died. Anyone who knows me well knows 
it's quite the opposite: 99% of the time, I would rather listen to music "of my 
time" than of some past era. What I *am* saying is that just because my 
neighbour can now "write and perform a symphony" (quoted for a reason) in his 
garage does not make it "good music".

> Does the amount of webfiction (including fanfics and original
> material) available on the internet mean that we can no longer
> distinguish between good writing and bad writing? I don't think so.

I *do* think so -- and recent studies on youth support my belief with evidence. 
On the music side, consider the fact that recent studies have shown a majority 
of young people prefer the sound of compressed audio (e.g., low- to 
medium-bitrate MP3s) to uncompressed audio. [Pause here to fully appreciate the 
horror of that statement.] Independent of the content of the music itself -- 
the debate about which is far more subjective -- many listeners can no longer 
appreciate what music is physically supposed to sound like.

A lower barrier of entry by definition allows people to "get into the field" 
with less experience, less training, less discipline, less persistence, and so 
on. Are there some benefits to this? Sure. Does it increase the amount of crap 
we have to wade through. Absolutely. I have yet to see any field -- athletics, 
art, construction, law, comedy, whatever -- where a lower barrier of entry 
doesn't increase the amount of crap. And, unfortunately, I also see in the 
audience for that field a concomitant decrease in discriminatory powers.

C'est la vie, I suppose…
But saying it isn't so doesn't MAKE it not so.


p.s. I know I'm generalizing here... but that's what this kind of thread 
encourages, so if you don't like it, you can take your ball and go home.  :)

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