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Re: music is political

>having the view that looping is politically subversive as it is non- 
>mainstream music, and at least for me associated with ideas such as
>improvisation, subversion, personal freedom and individual
>expression, i thought this series of articles might be of interest to
>some on the list.
>i understand that some people are put off by political and/or
>theoretical topics. would they limit this list to discussing multi- 
>thousand dollar commercial products and their merits? to me music is
>political, so to be concerned with music is to be concerned with
>politics. besides, it's interesting ;)  so, why not have a discussion
>with like-minded "musical subversives"? or just read the article.
>this list is for sharing things of "value" with others, and i found
>this series of articles quite valuable.

ok, I'll join in :-)

Musicians have a very fine tradition of completely ignoring political 
Check out a map of the world, lot's of sharply defined political lines.
Then listen to music from all around the world, and note how it 
changes with the geography, you'll find you can have a pretty good 
guess at where music comes from by just listening to sound. For 
instance you can neatly plot music from Afganistan being between 
middle eastern and indian.

Politicians can take an interest in music though. Music of a certain 
type is banned fairly regularly. While the music of "free expression" 
is anathema to some regimes, it's just as likely that the genres that 
are prohibited promote a fixed cultural identity. When Attaturk came 
to power in Turkey (around the end of WW1) he tried to ban quite a 
lot of the indigenous music because he wanted to promote a forward 
looking secular state.

Politically motivated music is somehow deeply bland, whether it's 
government sponsored cleaned up versions of traditional musics, or 
pointy finger agit punk. Isn't it true that the best musicians simply 
have to create without needing some intellectual reason?

Well, anyway, the article's an interesting read, but I have to say I 
despair  at such attempts to re-write musical history just using the 
critics' favourite artists. The author puts a load of quotes at the 
end to make it all seem "academic and proper"  , but somehow manages 
to miss out Edgard Varese
(" The International Composers Guild disapproves of all 'isms'; 
denies the existence of schools; recognizes only the individual.") .
Likewise, the cool and trendy Velvet Underground are mentioned, while 
previous experimenters with noise the Mothers of Invention are shunned.

oh well...that's enough

andy butler
ps here's stuff about Varese, claims he's the father of electronic music