An adult brought up on Mars asks “Posh music?” What’s the best answer?
Schools grind out Peter and the Wolf or Carnival of the Animals saying kids respond best to a story. Both fail twice over: neither is memorable and it isn’t music’s job to tell a story. Most story-telling (ie, programmatic) music tends to be inferior and, if music has a job, it’s to evoke emotions. Strong melodies do this best.
Melodies can be sad or rambunctious (I don’t go for humorous). No point in saddening our Martian so let’s opt for the latter. And for the moment exclude the human voice. Because we’re conveying the quintessence, abstract music is our best bet. A voice brings too much to the party.
Here I’m saddling up my hobby-horse. A concerto simultaneously demonstrates the individual and the group and is usually by definition dramatic. But what instrument? I must confess that neither Mrs LdP nor I, as complete novices, responded well to the solo violin however much we embraced it later. It’s gotta be the joanna.
And, since I’m writing the post (though anyone can later disagree) I want something that says, “If you don’t get this you’re not of our species”
Here it comes. Horns and piano trading bars. Hinting: Bom, bom, bom, bom-di-di-di, bom, bom! Brahms two!
By some diabolically competent Russian – Emil Gilels for choice. But EVGENY KISSIN (see inset) will do. Welcome to our civilised but emotional world.
HOW MUSIC’S MADE. A tough act to follow but The Crow saw this on the US’s Public Broadcasting channel and wondered if I’d be interested. I was. Anything that blows away music’s apartheid is commendable and this celebrates an important moment in American musical history. Click GERSHWIN.