i've been on and off moving some things around in our house during my jazz listening today (so the currently upbeat good ass Patrice Rushen tracks are helpful) and my brain, when directing my body to do repetitive low attention tasks like "move stuff from a to b", wanders.
today it wandered to family music.
so, while I'm taking a break from wearing a path in some floors, I'm going to ramble, thread-style.
there's a social dynamic that's arisen over the last 20? years maybe wherein two acquaintances might find themselves at a conversation point where one asks the other "so, are there any musicians in your family?"
and then the other participant will either list off a sibling or two who played in band in school, maybe a parent who sings.
and then it's off to other topics, often, as I've seen it happen anyway.
so teaching each other music, and practicing music together, became part of social things, so that music could be shared. it's always been that way for sung music, but with the advent of the industrial revolution and some other economic changes it became easier for common folk to get inexpensive instruments. and they did - they loved it!
with the rise of consumerism and institutionalized learning and some other things, music started to become an add-on activity to life.
some people do music. other people don't, they just listen to music.
and everyone said "well, of course - some people just aren't good at music. they just aren't meant to be musicians! and that's okay!"
like I said, not all of my greats and grands were good at making music, but they did it.
some were - my aunt Minnie played church organ for fifty-some years without missing a single solitary week.
but it didn't matter either way - they learned because they did it together, they were shown and they practiced, not formally, just together as a family.
@djsundog We, as a culture, have become very failure adverse.
There's this myth of being "good" at a thing, and that that somehow happens automatically, or not at all.
My grandfather is a world class piano player (and all around not great dude) but he's not a "natural" piano player. He's been playing nearly every day for 6 decades. He aught to be good by now.
“...simply moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but world's champions.... A moderately gifted person has to keep his or her gifts all bottled up until, in a manner of speaking, he or she gets drunk at a wedding and tap-dances on the coffee table like Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. We have a name for him or her. We call him or her an "exhibitionist." How do we reward such an exhibitionist? We say to him or her the next morning, "Wow! Were you ever drunk last night!”"
it was twain or vonnegut who left an impression on me long ago, saying something like the worst thing on the planet would be having to listen to the drama/tellings of random Russian princesses &c. just like, being subject to the drama/bs from all over.
@djsundog I'm listening to Mississippi John Hurt right now.
He's a moderately talented vocalist, and an okay guitar player.
He just plays folk blues.
Would he have learned to play had he been born 10 years later? 5?
@djsundog and the same thing could basically be said about most prominent blues musicians, and a fair number of folk and country performers.
You played because you played, the fact that people paid for it was a bonus (and an anomaly)
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