Sunday, July 31, 2005

Baseball? Really?

It's almost one o'clock in the morning, and there is a television show on right now that appears to be a baseball talk show. With actual Britons discussing actual baseball. Very weird.

In other news, I spent the last few days reading and processing Lydia Goehr's The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works. My random thoughts:

1. Goehr was apparently chair of the Philosophy department at Wesleyan. Who knew?

2. The book is not really musicology, it is full-fledged philosophy. I realized this when I started to get a headache midway through, and realized it was actually a painful flashback of my undergraduate introductory philosophy class. Academic philosophers are a bizarre set of people, with a writing style that boggles the mind. Every possible aspect of an argument must be explained in excruciating detail, and with frequent recourse to strange metaphors. My favorite: in trying to explain the idea of compliance (in other words, how correct does a performance of a musical work need to be in order for it to qualify as that work. Does it need to be 100% Is it Beethoven's Fifth if you only get 50% of the notes? ) Goehr compares the situation to a balding man: how many hairs does he need to lose to be considered bald?

In summary? It's a really tough read, and it probably isn't necessary to read every chapter, but it is worth every musicologist's while to sit down and read as much as one can thoroughly. It's smart, valuable, and provocative.

No comments: