I think sometimes that originality and creativity in the arts are being
overwhelmed by the sheer volume and easy access to worldwide arts. In
the 1800s, someone could start off an idea for a melody, share it would
someone else who thinks it's pretty new, and develop it into a
composition. Now that same person might have a melody, share it with
someone else, and someone else might say, "Oh, that sounds like [some
obscure band in the back side of obscurity], here's their YouTube link",
and the person who had the melody idea thinks, "Oh, it's been done
before, I won't bother."
Now we all know that's simplistic and naive, but I think it gets the
idea across. I live in the USA; on the mainland, 50 years ago I would
have had very little opportunity to hear popular music from places like
Korea, Japan or India. Now they're all just a few clicks away via the
Internet. I can click from a Welsh men's choir to Gregorian chant to
gangsta rap. Kind of easy to fill your head with everyone else's music,
and crowd your own out.
Compared to the 1800s, we have music all around us, nearly all the time
- radios in passing cars, Muzak in elevators and offices, cellphone
One reaction to having a plethora of material (both modern and
historical) is to "compose" by essentially remixing different things.
Even the classical period did that (stylistically) with pieces "in the
Italian style," "in the German style," in the English style.
>> 3. The 'greatest' wars that humans have ever fought happened in the 20th
Human warmaking technology has attained heights in the 20th century that
no earlier human culture ever did, and human population count long ago
exceeded that of any preceding era. So it shouldn't be any surprise that
the "greatest wars" (if you go just by numbers and damage done) would
happen now, when the most effective killing machinery devised intersects
with the enormous selection of available targets ...
authenticity, honesty, community
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