Saturday morning quotes 2.52: Live music is best
As the final post for our second full year of Saturday quotes, we tap into a few sources – old and more recent – that have to do with the experience of hearing music.
The more we perform, the more we are convinced that the phenomenon of recorded music should be over. Done. Put to rest. What follows is a manifesto of sorts in favor of live music, complete with supporting words from enlightened commentators.
“The discipline of music is diffused through all the actions of our life. First, it is true that if we perform the commandments of the Creator and with pure minds obey the rules he has laid down, then every word we speak, every pulsation of our veins, is related by musical rhythms to the powers of harmony. Music indeed is the knowledge of proper measurement. If we live virtuously, we are constantly proved to be under its discipline, but when we commit injustice we are without music. The heavens and the earth, indeed all things in them which are directed by a higher power, share the discipline of music, for Pythagoras shows that this universe was founded by and can be governed by music.”
- Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus, “Of Music”, Fundamentals of Sacred and Secular Learning, circa 520 AD
Does music really affect our senses?
“The very world and the sky above us, according to the doctrine of philosophers, are said to bear in themselves the sound of music. Music moves the affections of men, stimulates the emotions into a different mood… It influences beasts also, serpents, birds, and dolphins, at its hearing…”
- Aurelian of Reome, The Discipline of Music, 9th century
How do we get some of that?
“To enjoy the effects of music fully, we must completely lose ourselves in it; to judge it, we must relate it to the source through which we are affected by it. This source is nature. Nature endows us with the feeling that moves us in all our musical experiences; we might call her gift instinct. Let us allow instinct to inform our judgments, let us see what mysteries it unfolds to us before we pronounce our verdicts…”
- Jean Philippe Rameau, Le Nouveau Systeme de musique theorique (1726).
What sort of person bothers to play music?
“There’s a sensual pleasure involved in making sounds, harmonious sounds, that I just can’t get, and I don’t think anyone can quite get, from acting.”
When did public concerts begin anyway?
“…here it was that the masters began to display their powers afore the wise judges of the towne, and found out the grand secret, that the English would follow musick and drop their pence freely; of which some advantage hath bin since made.”
- Roger North, An Essay of Musicall Ayre c.1715–20
What does it cost to attend a live concert?
“By setting prices at $170 (£110) for a cheap seat, $635 for a top seat or up to $2,000 for a VIP ticket, [the Rolling Stones] alienated blue-collar fans who have kept their tours profitable through the decades. Their 2005 tour grossed £350m.”
- Edward Helmore, The Observer, Saturday 4 May 2013
Can we get real?
Our concerts cost quite a bit less than the Rolling Stones, and we aren’t extremely old guys who wear spandex and pretend to be cool.
Live music is best. Recorded music is nothing more than an audible moment in time captured for posterity and, unless the musicians are ridiculous and unreasonable purists like us, it is usually severely messed with for commercial reasons. Attending live concerts enables the listener to experience real sounds as authentic sound pressure and it also encourages musicians to continue creative endeavors by enabling them to partake of nutrition and pay bills.
Our music is best experienced live. Check out the possibilities.