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Subject: Re: Nelson Eddy, etc. (formerly, OPERA/Lanza/Schmanza}
From: Dennis Ryan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Tue, 29 Nov 2016 13:54:47 -0500

text/plain (57 lines)

Hi, Y'all!  
    I realize that the quote below was likely intended  as a passing 
observation and as a sort of by-the-way reflection of the poster's  own taste.  
But it struck a deep chord in me, and I think that there is far  FAR more 
involved in the poster's thought than shows in the post.  
    When I was in sixth grade, "Shortnin' Bread" was in  our music text 
book.  The entire class loved it, most likely because of  that very same 
"catchy melody."  The entire class ASKED to sing it in every  class we had, and we 
did.  THIS is what is taught as "music" in our  schools, as a model 
embedded in elementary school students' hearts and minds,  class after class, year 
after year.  Most of us who studied piano as  children made over time the 
traditional progression from "Chopsticks" to  Chopin's "Nocturne in E Flat" to 
Mozart's Rondo alla Turca."  It is exactly  this "indoctrination" that 
listeners had as young people that leads  today's adult opera audiences to 
resist a great deal of our  so-called "modern music."  They have been actively 
"taught" for years  on end that melody, even "catchy melody," is the most 
important element in  music and the element that should determine first and 
foremost  their aesthetic response to music they hear in opera houses and in 
concert  halls.  As an elementary student, I was given music classes three days 
a  week for eight years. In NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM did a music teacher 
mention  the ROLE of harmony (even though we were, of course, taught to sing 
it,)   harmonic variations, harmonic modes, or how harmony and/or dissonance 
can create  musical expression.  When our teachers played "classical" music 
on records  for our classes, we got endless exposure to "The Nutcracker" and 
"Gaiety  Parisienne," but NEVER to Schoenberg's "Transfigured Night."   
Fast forward to today's mass opera audience, who in large part will line up  
around the block for "Carmen" but want no part of "Lulu" or  Wozzeck."   Ask 
any young person in today's opera audience if  he was ever exposed to 
Penderecki's "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima"  in elementary school.   
Today's opera audiences are simply enjoying  (and reflecting) what they were 
TRAINED to enjoy.  
    Dennis Ryan 
In a message dated 11/29/2016 7:11:41 A.M. Central Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:
What has always bothered me about Shortnin Bread is not how
well  it was or was not sung, but that anyone should bother to
sing it at  all.  Catchy tunes are irresistable, for a time ; they come
and,  thankfully, they go.

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