As a musical apologist — and I am certainly more of an apologist than a critic — I often have ideas about how to get great music into the ears of more people. Once it’s in the ears, my hope is always that it somehow makes its way to the heart.
What I've never had was a desire to restrict music. Even in the case of the often vilified “gangster rap” I'm pretty laissez faire. I don’t think getting rid of what I consider to be bad music changes the people who are listening to said music. If somebody is going to “Wang Chung tonight” then they’re going to Wang Chung tonight. I can’t stop that. If there were no Wang Chung then they would probably "build a city on rock 'n' roll."
Symphony No. 2
As bad as "Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” is, it’s still better than no music. Right? We can all agree on that one.
According to the Huffington Post, we cannot all agree on that one. In Britain there is a small but aggressive Islamic group trying to eradicate music in their school system. Apathy regarding classical music is bad enough, now we have to deal with active repression?
Religion and music have gone hand in hand for centuries with varying stipulations. Orthodox Judaism has some restrictions on instruments and gender when it comes to music. Protestant pop singer Amy Grant came from a sect of Christianity that banned all but vocal music. The trombone was once considered only for use in sacred music — until Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
"We Built This City"
However, all of these are still music. The aims of the British group, along with other jihadists mentioned in the Huffpost, is no music whatsoever because, “Music sows hypocrisy in the heart like water causes seeds to grow in soil.”
That little turn of phrase can be applied to anything. “Vitamin C sows hypocrisy in the heart like water causes seeds to grow in soil.” It’s ultimately nonsense, but as Stephen Colbert would say, it sounds “truthy.”
I’m proposing a counter measure to the jihadists. How about we increase our listening by 30 to 40 minutes everyday? I’m half joking because this anti-music movement doesn’t feel like a real threat, but it remains somewhat grotesque and in some areas, such as Mali and Somalia, the threat is real.
I’m listening to 45 minutes of a Glière symphony as a symbol of solidarity. Take that extremists.