Jun 16, 2012

Not Your Father’s Music

“Hey dad, your music sounds so old fashioned!”

Now there’s a nice Father’s Day greeting! Not! Even famous musician fathers have not been able to escape this kind of abuse from their kids. Of Johann Sebastian Bach’s many children, five of them became well-recognized composers and performers in their own rights. W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, G.H. Bach, J.C.F. Bach and J.C. Bach all achieved prominence during their lives, but legend has it that they viewed their dad’s music as quaint at best and just too old school at worst.

This brings me to a point I made in one of my previous blog posts, namely, what I believe is the irrelevance of when a piece of music is written. I pointed out that most people do not hold prejudices regarding the age of a piece of jewelry that strikes their fancy. It really doesn’t matter if the piece of jewelry in question was made in 2012, 1930, 1785 or the year 300. Assuming we can afford to buy it, the date of manufacture is not an issue because the piece of jewelry simply pleases us in some visual way. It stands on its own merits.

I want to again make a plug for treating music at least as fairly as we treat jewelry. If we want to really be fair about this, and more importantly not deny ourselves the pleasure a piece of music might bring us as listeners – regardless of when it was created – we must take music on its own terms. We need not compare it to some other piece of music. We need not dismiss a piece of music out of hand, based on its age. . .at least until we have listened to it a sufficient number of times to understand it!

So here’s a Father’s Day 2012 Contest! If you can:

  1. identify by title the blog post in which I first wrote about taking music on its own terms and
  2. correctly decode the initials by providing the full names of Bach’s composer/performer sons listed above…

…The Discovery Orchestra will send you an autographed DVD copy of our Emmy-nominated public television show Bach to the Future! Happy Father’s Day! Supply is limited and this contest expires on 6/30/12, so email your entry to: info@discoveryorchestra.org today!