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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000722.txt from 2004/10

From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: Re: [kl] Appealing to the superficial
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 21:09:48 -0400

I wrote:

> The question thus becomes: What is
> appropriate given your audience?

Tony Pay wrote:

> No, it doesn't. The question becomes, what is
> appropriate to your vision of something worth
> communicating?

I can agree with this, but with the proviso that communication is a
two-way street. The people need to understand each other's language at
least well enough for one of them to recognize when a miscommunication
has occurred. In other words, each person needs to take his audience
into account to some extent, at least.

Music doesn't use the same 'logic' as language does, and perhaps a
musician needs to know less about his audience than a writer does. But
(imo) the need to take one's audience into account still exists. And
this need may be greater in some situations, such as kids who've heard
only rap, than in other situations, such as adults who've at least heard
Glenn Miller.


I wrote:

> One of my English teachers assigned the
> class to read Shakespeare in its original
> language. One of the passages mystified
> me. I couldn't figure out what the character
> was saying. So I raised my hand as we were
> reading aloud, and I asked "What does this
> mean?"

Tony wrote:

> But, what happened then? Did you find out
> what the passage meant, between you and
> the teacher? Were you interested in that
> process?

I don't think that my response proves anything, but I shrugged my
shoulders and moved on.

The reason that I remember this incident is that 4-5 years later, in
college, we were assigned to read Chaucer in original old English. I
remember remembering the Shakespeare incident from high school, I took
one look at the first Chaucer page, I said to myself "Not again!", and I
almost transferred out of the class.

Fortunately for me, I thought about what my parents would say, and I
stuck with it. I remember that, towards the end, I noticed that I was
reading old English easily and I was enjoying the sound of it (the sound
that I was echoing in my mind as I read).

Thus, all told, I'd have to say that it was a very close call. If I
had been (say) suffering from a hangover on that particular day, "the
classics" might have lost a student for keeps.

As with everything else in this world, the *distance* to be covered in a
single leap makes a difference.

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