Music is everywhere, but do we really listen? With high-tempo dance music in shops and computerised Mozart as we wait for a phonecall to be connected, it seems impossible to escape the relentless soundtrack to modern life. Indeed, with shopping centres piping classical music to scare off hoodies, and bored kids blasting tinny R&B from their phones on public transport, music often seems to be a weapon, used to mark out territory rather than played for the joy of it. Some argue that we are forgetting how to listen properly, and that ever-present jingles and mood music are contributing to ever-shrinking attention spans. Many champions of classical music even hate Classic FM, while MTV is accused of turning music into wallpaper.
Should we put a stop to muzak, and switch off that radio? Should we learn to relish silence, the better to appreciate real music? Or is this objection to ubiquitous music just a form of snobbery? Do people simply get used to unwanted noise, and listen attentively when there’s something worth listening to? Is it time to turn it off, or is it just a question of quality over quantity?
|Professor Colin Lawson|
director, Royal College of Music; period clarinettist; author, Mozart: Clarinet Concerto and Brahms: Clarinet Quintet
|Professor Stuart Sim|
professor of critical theory, University of Sunderland; author, Manifesto for Silence: Confronting the Politics and Culture of Noise
artist; founder, No Music Day, a five year plan to promote debate about our ever-shifting relationship with music
arts broadcaster, Resonance FM; writer on contemporary notated and experimental music
|Dr Claudia Molitor|
composer; director, Soundwaves Festival; participant in spnm's 2006/7 Adopt a Composer scheme
associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; author, That Existential Leap: a crime story (forthcoming from Zero Books)
|Dolan Cummings associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; author, That Existential Leap: a crime story (forthcoming from Zero Books)|
|Cara Bleiman teacher, Arnhem Wharf Primary School|
|recommended by spiked|