Succinct title is succinct.
Over the course of the last week, there has been a discussion about live music versus recordings spurred on by some very engaging posts over at On an Overgrown Path, with the general consensus being summed up by the title of the initial post: “If classical music is not live it is dead.” Here is a brief excerpt from the post:
To date classical music has actively courted new technology as a desirable and superior partner. But is it not time to rethink this position and start driving home the message that anything other than live music is actually a poor substitute? Marketing and social media could play a big part in the call to action in the concert hall. How about aggressive collegiate marketing campaigns for live music built around straplines such as ‘Test drive a concert hall’, ‘Live classical music is louder than your iPod’, ‘Play an instrument not Facebook’ and ‘If classical music is not live it is dead’. And why not attention getting offers such as discounted concert tickets for anyone trading in iPod earbuds?
Several of the comments have taken it a step further, essentially claiming that recordings have little or no value and that any and all marketing energies ought to go towards the promotion of live performances. There is talk of the communal and social aspect of a performance, the unreasonable expectation created by recordings for “perfect” performances, etc. With all the concern over fidelity of sound, purity of intent, and true realization of musical concept, it seems that one fundamental element has been missing. If Shostakovich is performed in Moscow and I live in Kansas City, did it really make a sound? Continue reading