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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000175.txt from 1994/01

From: Jay Heiser <jayh@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: Jay Heiser's comments on performance (Art?)
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 10:54:45 -0500

-->As for Jay's other points, I have to backpedal. I don't know what is going
-->to happen in 1,000 years and I really don't want to get into a discussion
-->of such interplanetary nature. As for what is art, I am not qualified
-->to make any contributions to such a question.
-->
-->I am simply trying to understand a small area of music that particularly
-->pleases me; namely how to perform things in a way that makes them
-->consistent with what the composer had in mind.
-->
I warned that this was a dangerous subject. ;-)

I really wished that I'd saved an editorial section from the
"Washington Post" from last year during our latest NEA flap.
With a representatitive government like ours (for better or worse)
and a program intended to subsidize the 'arts', you don't have
much choice but to define art.

So the Post polled a number of experts. There was one beautifully
succinct definition that had to do with the attempt to invoke an
aesthetic response. This means that both 'good' & 'bad' art are
still 'art'; its just that some is moresuccesful than others.
Taste is also excluded from the definition.

[notes for non-US readers. National Endowment for the Arts is
the US Federal Govt's art subsidy program. It has supported many
wonderful things, and has also generated tremendous controversy.
Support for the arts is not necessarily a role that all US citizens
expect the central govt to undertake. A 'conservative'
senator from the South had a field day with the NEA when he
discovered that it was supporting the exhibits of a highly-
talented photographer whose work is perceived as pornographic
and/or offensive by a large segment of the US population.
The 'liberal' reaction is to label this as censorship, proving
that they are just as dumb as the senator. Final irony is that
the senator comes from a tobacco state and staunchly resists all
efforts of the fed govt to take a realistic look at the dangers
of smoking. The upshot of all this is that you either cancel
the NEA program or quickly develop a workable definition of art.]
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