Poof! 40,000 years of music-making goes down the drain

Music has been an active, participatory activity in human culture for at least 40,000 years. (Here’s the evidence.) People in every culture, and in every time period, sang and played instruments as a vital, life-affirming part of their daily lives. They sang while they worked, played, rejoiced, and mourned. They passed their long evenings by playing violin, flute, or whatever instrument they had available. Best of all, there’s no indication that they felt self-conscious or nervous while doing this. They simply made music as an accepted and important part of their lives. Every day.

Until now. The 20th century saw a gradual shift in music-making, with the rise of a “music is for experts” attitude. This shift paralleled the widespread popularity of recordings, which really took off during the 1950s. The need for being perfect trumped the need for self-expression.

So now, instead of saying “I want to sing”, we ask “Am I good enough to sing?” And most often of all, we don’t sing.

What have we lost?

As I begin my new era of daily blogging, I’ve decided to “go for it,” and try to help as many people as possible. Music, and particularly improvisation has the power to transform lives. I can’t do it alone, but together we can spread this message and inspire as many people as possible. Please share this post with your friends if they love music as much as you do. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Poof! 40,000 years of music-making goes down the drain”

  1. It’s the classical folks that have done that to us jazz folks, just kidding, and probably can’t overgeneralize genres, but seriously—-there’s an uppity attitude about going to school for everything, including the human needs of creativity and just being alive and accepting ourselves—with millions of parents, teachers, doctors all full of it and giving us advice when they should be setting the example themselves, and a lot of them are rich hypocrites too. Thus we are even more divided into rich and poor, along with the music field, nothing is sacred and everything balkanizes us, truly….


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