Monday, December 14, 2015

a few links from here and there

Scott Timberg can probably go back to resenting Taylor Swift now.

more from the vault, Noah Berlatsky on why writing for hire is not spiritual debasement

The part about losing your voice by writing in another ... eh ... not sure about that.  Everyone imitates and your voice is your voice even if it turns out to be derivative in some fashion.  It's not like Mozart stopped being Mozart because he emulated Haydn, for instance.  There's a possibility Berlatsky didn't necessarily raise that might be worth raising, maybe some people discover through years of imitation that that imitation has become their voice.  They didn't "lose" their voice, they just found out what it was and didn't like what they heard, perhaps?

And as a Haydn fan just about everything Haydn ever composed for the Esterhazy court could be considered "work for hire" in the sense that he was compensated for labor rather than pieces of music in particular.  As H. C. Robbins Landon summed it up, many a Haydn composition that was published in the composer's life got published by what would now be considered pirated versions.  Since Haydn got a pretty boss financial compensation package he could literally afford to not care a huge deal if his work was pirated out to places where he became a celebrity.

The tension between artistic freedom and financial compensation will probably never go away.  Maybe all we artists and writers and musicians and composers want that unicorn of complete creative freedom within a world where we get paid and get famous.  Yes, well, only a tiny number of people were that lucky ... and Haydn was apparently one of them. 

as "caught between to ideals impossible to realize in the real world", Kyle Gann has sounded off a bit on a history of American symphonic music and American music criticism over here

Critics could create this amazing double bind in which if an American was too obviously indebted to Beethoven that was slavish imitation but if the music spurned the influence of Beethoven it did not pay homage to the eternal verities.  Not a bad gig for the critics who would eat their cake and have it, too.

Kinda reminds me of Richard Brodypraising Spike Lee's new film for its righteous preachiness while having condemned Inside Out by Pixar for being ... propaganda.  This is the film critic who declared that Michael Bay has and gives more fun than George Miller.  Well, I saw Fury Road and Age of Extinction and there's no deoubt in my mind which of those two movies I'd be happy to see again and it isn't the Transformers one. :(

will "happy birthday" finally public domain?

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