22 August 2007

Writing about music

Elvis Costello said, "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, it's a really stupid thing to want to do."

That sort of comment is cute, but not especially perceptive. After all, in principle a dance could as easily be about architecture as it can be about, say, a children's Christmas Party or a beautiful maiden magically transformed into a swan.

People in Mr. Costello's line of work would presumably like to see "writing about music" limited to, say, press releases advertising their gigs. Its critical writing about music about which they get grumpy.

That is, of course, the set-up to the wonderful movie "Almost Famous," where an adolescent boy learns how to write about music, and how to get an interview.

What about jazz music? Writing on that subject seems especially difficult, since the content is uniquely slippery, jazz musicians being perhaps uniquely wedded to extemporaneous creation.

Here, though, is a forum on the subject:


My point? Don't ask. I'm thinking aloud, you're just listening in.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.