Writings About Music

Spiritual Entreaties

I suppose there is an element of absurdity about the preference for European classical music of the past here in America leading to such comic efforts. It never happened with the greatest jazz artists, with the notable exception of Dizzy Gillespie, but I personally don’t feel those episodes were worthy of his music genius. And it would never happen with the greatest Indian classical musicians because they take their music very seriously; the point being they are performing music authentically theirs both in content and moment in time.

Elaborating on how Indian classical musicians "take their music very seriously", performances are actually musical prayers to the presiding deity of the raga. Similarly, the great European classical composers of the past viewed their efforts as spiritual entreaties. And the same holds true for our greatest jazz artists.

Those who know me know I have a good sense of humor. I also admire the artistry of the pianist included in the link above.

For those who follow the above link, there wasn't opportunity to reply to the two persons who replied to my original comment. In brief, both persons were unresponsive to my main point. One misses the true significance of Gillespie while voicing nostalgic and stereotypically unfortunate views; the other wrongfully assumes I don't believe there are elements of humor in European classical music.

- Michael Robinson, February 2019, Los Angeles


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Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).