It began as the GODFATHER OF MATH, evolved into the GOODFATHER OF MATH. Now this. Go figure...


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The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = G. CARLIN...Stain glass, engraved glass, frosted glass
–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES...Music is the mathematics of the gods = PYTHAGORAS... Nothing is more fluid than language = R. L. SWIHART
I cannot live without the oxygen of laughter = DAWN POWELL + + + But please be sure to season that with the hydrogen of gravitas = PAUL OLIVERIO
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The False Dichotomy

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The classical orchestra and the jazz combo are fixed images of polar opposites.

Solid structure and loose improvisation may fit on the same musical globe but have the proximity of the north and south pole.  

Or do they?

THE CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA:      
Fifty chairs  set  in perfectly curved rows and columns  containing fifty tuxedoed musicians segregated by instrument: violins/violas in one  section,  cellos/double bass in  another;  upper-register wind instruments in the mezzanine, lower-register in the rear of the stage.

Behind them, tympani/percussion is placed diametrically opposite the Conductor. 

For every chair, a music stand with sheets of symbols demanding absolute obedience. 

What  is  the end product of this assemblage?
 
It is the music that the Gods listen to 
when they takes the phone off the  hook.  

The musicians will probably sip champagne after the concert.

 
THE JAZZ  COMBO:    
A piano,  drum kit,  and maybe a microphone for the stand-up bass player are set up on a small stage with poor lighting. Maybe a chair if the band contains a guitar and  maybe mikes for the horn section,  if there is one.

Possibly a singer will tell a tale of sexual promiscuity. Hopefully the club owner will pay everybody. 

What is the end product of  this  assemblage? 
 
This is the other music the Gods listen to 
only now they pull down the shades and tap their feet. 

The musicians will probably smoke a joint between sets.
 
And  the Gods  laughs  olympically at  the so-called  “improvising” of  the jazz band. As  if the musicians were making it up out of thin air when they’ve spent entire lifetimes preparing the sounds they are creating. 

Can this music function without a “Conductor”?
Definitely!

Drumsticks are transformed batons that become the two hands of a clock and every drummer is Father Time’s alter ego. 

And Father Time wears a Conductor's suit.
    
   
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Footnote
Originally written in 1998, THE FALSE DICHOTOMY is the copyrighted property
of both the LCSoL and The Neither/Nor Journal.
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