What Have People to Expect from Music?

Suppose a man comes back from Mars. Would you expect him to tell you a Hollywood love story?

pic by Dragon-Wing-Z


Every work is a particular case, and only if a work were perfectly unoriginal would there be a slight possibility to imagine it before hearing it.

Therefore the only correct attitude of a listener has to be, to be ready to listen to that which the author has to tell you. . . .

Suppose a man comes back from the moon or from Mars, or any other planet. Would you expect him to tell you a Hollywood love story, or would you not be without any idea what you are going to learn? . . . Is it not the duty of every artist to tell you what you do not know, what you never have heard before, what you never could find out or discover or express yourself? And is it not the duty of the listener to be open to what he has to tell and not to provoke disappointment by expecting things which the artist does not intend to tell?

Nobody can imagine music which he has not heard before, and therefore nobody could have the right expectations before listening to it. . . . The only correct attitude toward a new or unknown work is to await patiently what the author wants to say. In this case, you have the opportunity to receive what art can give you: things which nobody can imagine, but what an artist can express.


Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Music Copyright © by Matthew Arndt. All Rights Reserved.

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