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Re: Electronic music (was Re: Is there a moderator here?)

At 11:59 PM -0800 11/17/02, Mark wrote:
>I think I disagree with you Richard.  Not that I think your list isn't
>great, I just think it's important to start with people that are more
>current ..Then you go back and find the root, when you have some 
>context.  No?  When I've tried to go to the root of things without 
>an understanding of what's
>happening, I find myself having a difficult time getting a fix sometimes.

De gustibus non est desputandum.

My own taste in research is to go immediately for the root as soon as 
I'm aware of its existence. Sometimes one discovers these roots 
through references from more familiar artists, as I learned of Varèse 
from a quotation on the first Mothers album and I learned of 
Stockhausen from a mention on the second Who album. Once I knew that 
Stockhausen existed I immediately bought the DDG album containing 
"Gesang der Jünglinge" and "Kontakte" and WHAM! I was hooked. It was 
1966. I was 20 years old at the time and playing in a folk rock band. 
There simply wasn't any contemporary "mainstream" electronic music at 
the time.

Similarly when I first became conscious of Indian music through 
George Harrison's use of the sitar on Norwegian Wood I immediately 
bought a couple of Ravi Shankar albums and listened to them over and 
over. It really wasn't that much of a stretch, as long as I kept my 
ears open (unlike my stepfather, who on hearing one of my raga 
records during a visit home for the holidays, referred to Sharkar as 
"Johnny One-Note").

But again, "De gustibus..." While I think that most of us have 
absorbed, at least subliminally, such a variety of musical sounds and 
styles throughout our lives that nothing we hear can be truly that 
surprising, perhaps many people are too set in their musical tastes 
to plunge headfirst into the abyss. I admit that it took me a while 
to hear blues as more than primitive three-chord vamping. All I was 
hearing was the surface. And I didn't have a true appreciation for 
African music until I actually learned to play it from a Ghanaian 
master drummer.


Richard Zvonar, PhD
(818) 788-2202