Curating The Week: Bach, Radiohead, Music And Violence


An article about the lessons of Bach’s music.

“What Bach teaches us is the primacy of the musical material, the value of each note and each combination of notes, of each melodic line and each combination of melodic lines. The beauty of Bach inheres as much in the parts as in the whole. Every separate line possesses its own interest, vitality, and autonomy; every moment is capable of standing alone before music’s and Bach’s God. Thus what we learn from Bach is that every note, every player, every musical thought counts.”

An article about the music of Radiohead.

“Through their music, the band quickly became reliable purveyors of self-actualized individuality, and in exchange for that feeling, in order to make it more than what it was (a commodity), the band demanded you work for it.”

An article about the literature on music and violence.

“We resist evidence suggesting that music can cloud reason, stir rage, cause pain, even kill. Footnoted treatises on the dark side of music are unlikely to sell as well as the cheery pop-science books that tout music’s ability to make us smarter, happier, and more productive. Yet they probably bring us closer to the true function of music in the evolution of human civilization.”

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