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October 29, 2007

<< The Way | They're All Unique... and Scary >>

Music and Movement

So true:

Some of the strongest bonds in our society are formed by people who march together in military units, as William McNeill, the historian, has pointed out. Members of orchestras and performing groups today likewise develop bonds. As Frank Zappa told me years ago, playing music with other people can be more intimate than any other activity. The turn-taking and accommodation involved call for great amounts of empathy and generosity.

Hmm. By this logic, the strongest bonds of all must be formed in… marching band!

Posted October 29, 2007 at 12:52 | Comments (3) | Permasnark
File under: Braiiins, Briefly Noted, Society/Culture


"You have the conception of New Orleans jazz: group improvisation, cooperative ensemble playing, which functions exactly like a democracy. Which means each person has the right to play what they want to play, but the responsibility to play something that makes everybody else sound good. So, it's the way that these horns related to the rhythm section, it's like a musical example of how a democracy works." -- Wynton Marsalis

This is unbelievably cool. Print-it-out-and-post-it-on-the-wall cool.

I think the jazz-as-democracy trope originally comes from Ralph Ellison. I'll try to track it down.

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