Friday, July 22, 2011

A little more on this subject

Nothing gets my dander up in the alleged style wars like the “straw man” argument.

It goes like this: The public ignores new music (usually they mean their new music) because of those composers (straw person) who create dissonant/hard to understand music that turns audiences off.  This can also be combined with the university composer ivory tower slam.  The point is that accessibility and any other kind of music is incompatible or at odds.   


The ironies are thick here. The point of the straw man argument is to gain sympathy for the claimant being oppressed by someone who supposedly welds great power over them, yet the unnamed can't defend themselves. Nor do they. The final irony is that the claimant does not notice that this great power does not preclude them from going public and having success as there are no repercussions.

The new classical light composers claim that the neo-romantics are the problem just as the neo-romantics claimed that the atonalists were the problem.  The atonalists claim that the new accessibility is the problem etc.  It always seems that the problem with new music is somebody else. The older generation? Personal responsibility? Forget it.

The reason why the straw man arguments is used is that it works. That is the public believes it. One could ask why everyone is so inclined to take everything at face value? Where is the critical thinking? Anyway the Straw man argument is a fraud.

The bottom line is this:

The success of one does not preclude the success of another.

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