If you haven't gotten your fix of articles lamenting the death of music lately, composer Glenn Branca provides a new option. Writing in the New York Times, Branca doesn't just blame file sharing or Schoenberg for ruining individual genres, but sees death in every realm of music:
Orchestras are struggling to stay alive, rock has been relegated to the underground, jazz has stopped evolving and become a dead art, the music industry itself has been subsumed by corporate culture and composers are at their wit’s end trying to find something that’s hip but still appeals to an audience mired in a 19th-century sensibility.
Of course, if you're sick and tired of these articles, as the commenters on her article are, you might want to pass it by. "Curmudgeons are eternal," proclaims one reader, while another suggests that Branca "get back to composing," as "his music is most likely an improvement on his prose." As for Branca, he's not sure whether "people just don't want to hear anything new" or music-makers have just "swallowed the pomo [post-modern] line that nothing else new can be done," but he knows this much: that stuff you hear "blaring in shopping malls" isn't fresh or real. The music industry makes a killing off of old albums and recycling old material--an activity in which readers think, at least in his op-eds, Branca overindulges as well.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.