23 June 2007

The Case Against Audience Tampering

I rarely engage in the typical inter-blog linking and back-patting behaviors, but I'll make an exception here. I've been a major detractor of pre-concert lectures and other such activities since I was a teenager (i.e. since people started trying to use it on me), and now Matthew Guerreri has a postup that supposedly explains why I enjoyed myself more without Joe Musiciologist helping me "understand" the music. Daniel Wolf also has a typically-eloquent take on the matter here.

Matthew, who I respect greatly as a writer, says that these findings contradict his personal experience. Conversely, they reflect mine very accurately. That two people would feel so differently on this ought to be proof in and of itself that listeners must be drawn in on their own terms, and that contrary to what pre-concert talks often assume, different listeners will be engaged by different landmarks in the same piece.

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