Monday, March 03, 2008
Art is Not Oil
Music is art. Selling art is not like selling oil. All oil is the same. All art is different. Each batch must be sampled. It's like a wine tasting. The customer needs to have the chance to take a sip of your wine without being charged $18 for the chance. Radio used to be the "wine tasting" for music. Radio, thanks to Reagan and Clinton's FCC, is dead.
But more important, you need a culture and society that treasures, celebrates and FUNDS the arts, including teaching kids prowess on instruments like violins, violas, drums, french horns, tympani and the human voice ... skills that take years of practice to master. And giving these kids an audience to play for. Which means a society that likes, and appreciates, and has the time, and wants to listen to ... live music. My nephew and niece love to play music. They bang on my instruments when they are up here at my house. Music is a massive societal plus and good. It is worth paying for. Or as Frank Zappa said, what you get for not investing in music and arts education for children is an impoverished, illiterate and dead culture feeding off the floor scraps of the past. We can do better than that.