Re: fwd: A view from the middle

David Labell (
Fri, 27 Jun 1997 21:07:59 -0400

At 10:20 AM 6/27/97 -0700, wrote:
People are changing. Music is changing. Music institutions
>are frozen. A long summer is upon us.
>Paul Mathews, DMA Student: Peabody Conservatory / JHU
>Adjunct Faculty: UMBC, BCCC, Peabody Elderhostel
>Webpage: <>

Well said, Paul.

Remember something about work in general. 500 years ago, the highest
respect was given to expert bloodletters, calligraphers, and bricklayers.
These trades exist today only as menial labor for a small minority of workers.

In the same way, music copying, arranging, transposing, and accompanying
have become marginal trades.

Songs are simple, written by musical illiterates. However, I often give
"When I'm 64" as an example of one of the two greatest rock songs.

The song is inimitable. It has highly complex arrangement, a distinctive
sound, and a high level of craftmanship. Yet, it was written by a musical
illiterate. A guy whose tape recording is his score. Isn't it time to stop
criticizing him for composing that way? I love listening to "When I'm 64."
I'll alternate between Beatles and Mendelssohn on my Walkman.

Yehudi Menuhin said that music is a natural human language we all learn as
we learn to speak. When people begin admitting to me that they know nothing
about music, I always respond with many examples of what they do, in fact,
know. This is what you've done for your students. Don't stop. You're on the
front lines, soldier.