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MMD > Archives > December 2005 > 2005.12.03 > 03Prev  Next

Mechanical Music for Teenagers
By Matthew Caulfield

Andy Struble's message in yesterday's MMD ["The Future of Mechanical
Music - Museums"] raises a concern that troubles me now and then as
I see the reaction of people listening to our band organ music.  Most
teens seem totally unmoved by the music, and if they are moved to
comment, it is something like, "Do you have any good stuff?" or
"How can you listen to that all day?"

For the Fourth of July, I try to play "God Bless America."  But if
that gets any reaction or sing-along response, it is always from older
people.  Which leads me to wonder how many kids even recognize the
melody.   Where is Kate Smith and what must she think?  (Incidentally,
I once spent a night in her Park Avenue apartment, but after she was
long gone).

Likewise with the "William Tell Overture": while the music is rousing
and people of all ages do get caught up in it, the associations we
geezers have with the melody are just not there for them.

For the young, modern crowd, our music is dying on the shelf.  The only
hope is that they will learn to recognize some of it -- and to like it
-- as they mature.  I'm afraid that arranging modern stuff for them
will simply repeat the cycle in another fifty years; their music will
mean nothing to the youth of 2055.

What was there about Tin Pan Alley music that made it last?  Or didn't
it really?

Matthew Caulfield
Irondequoit, New York

(Message sent Sat 3 Dec 2005, 14:44:11 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Mechanical, Music, Teenagers

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