[LAU] ASCAP Assails Free-Culture, Digital-Rights Groups

Joep L. Blom jlblom at neuroweave.nl
Sat Jul 3 07:30:44 UTC 2010

david wrote:
> Joep L. Blom wrote:
>> david wrote:
>>> drew Roberts wrote:
>>>> On Thursday 01 July 2010 17:51:18 Joep L. Blom wrote:
>>>>> drew Roberts wrote:
>>>>>> Someone else having some thoughts on jazz and copyright:
>>>>>> Are Bad Copyright Laws Killing Jazz And Harming Jazz Musicians?
>>>>>> http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100615/0255059823.shtml
>>>>>>> Joep
>>>>>> all the best,

>>> And here I thought jazz was dying because most of it is boring and 
>>> ingrown, and the vast majority of players have become 
>>> indistinguishable from each other? ;-)
>>> Note the winking smiley. I like traditional New Orleans jazz. I like 
>>> some jazz performers, but think that most could be replaced with no 
>>> one noticing.
>> David!
>> Don't tempt me. Either you have never heard a good jazz performance or 
>> you simply don't like it (that's possible).
> I've heard good jazz performances. And as I mentioned above, I like some 
> jazz performers.
>> But boring!! You know what is boring or, better monotonous and 
>> repetitive, the endless lookalike pulp which is called pop-music 
>> that's presented as the main music and nothing else exist thanks to 
>> the big companies and their slaves (i.e. the radio and television 
>> companies).
> Or (to me) the endless soundalike lookalike stuff that passes for way 
> too much jazz these days? Sorry, to my ears, the days of jazz performers 
> that actually sound like themselves seems to have passed. Too many 
> players now seem to be trying only to sound like someone else.
I like your opinions (especially the last sentence of your mail!).
What you write is essentially that any musician must be sincere in his 
approach to the music he performs and must not try to mimic others.
> (BTW, I find that very disappointing in any musician or artist, 
> regardless of style of music or art. Be yourself, not someone else!)
>> Moreover, boring is a quality in the mind of the person and has 
>> nothing to do with the music (or literature, or dance to give other 
>> fields).
> I would say that "boring" is something that is perceived by the mind of 
> a person. It is, after all, just an opinion. I doubt that there's any 
> "objective" measure that defines "boring".
Agreed. I wrote that also in another mail.
>> I have heard a lot of nonsense about jazz but not that performers 
>> could be exchanges without notice.
I didn't mean your remark as nonsense, I meant that I heard in general a 
lot of nonsense about jazz.
> Not nonsense, just my opinion.
>> Yes, pop-singers OK, but that is a completely  different league.
> Yes, singers are a special case compared to instrumentalists. No two 
> human voices are alike to the degree that instruments are.
Well, you had me fooled. Pop-singers - in my opinion - are pressed into 
"voice-casts" to sound as much alike as possible, I agree when you talk 
about others (classical, Jazz even folk).
> Again (particularly about pop singers), while I may think well of a 
> singer who can successfully sound like someone else, I'm still 
> disappointed that they don't put the same effort into sounding like 
> themselves.
> There's a Christian band I know of called Apologetx. They are skilled 
> enough to sound note-for-note like practically any other band in 
> existence, and specialize in redoing other band's secular songs with 
> Christian lyrics. They play skillfully, but someday I'd actually like 
> them to write and play their own music instead! I'd like to know what 
> their own sound is!
That depends. Some bands like to sound exactly as others. You have in 
America a competition for Glenn Miller Bands who try to sound like the 
old Glenn Miller orchestra from the forties, using the original 
arrangements. We sometimes also play these arrangements ('In the Mood' 
is on of the most famous pieces) but your remark is right. They should 
let you hear " the way they really play".
>> The beauty of jazz is that you can play the same tunes every night but 
>> each time it is completely different
> Really? Hmm, haven't noticed that. (Well, I've heard a number of jazz 
> performances where NO ONE was playing the "tune", if there actually was 
> one.)
> (And it has nothing to do with presence or absence of improvisation. 
> During my own piano studies, I studied improvisation, enjoy it and value 
> it highly. So you'd think I'd like the improvisational aspect of jazz, yes?
I'm curious to know where you studied the piano as in classical 
education improvising is currently strictly forbidden (in contrast to 
the practice 150 years ago). Did  you followed lessons in jazz piano?
>> and playing the same tune with different personnel makes a great 
>> difference. Last Friday and Saturday I played with my Big band but we 
>> had some difference in personnel. Although we played the same tunes 
>> the sound was completely different.
> If you say so.
>> The only problem with jazz is that it is no easy music (just as 
>> classical music, especially from the 20th century).
> Some of which I do enjoy.
Yes, I do too.
>> You have to be prepared to follow the sometimes very convoluted 
>> harmonic and melodic ways that are played (listen e.g. to John 
>> Coltrane and the great difference with Coleman Hawkins, or Errol 
>> Garner and Art Tatum).
> Those are past-days jazz greats, not their modern descendants. I like 
> Coltrane and Tatum, don't know the other two.
I'm amazed you haven't heard from Coleman Hawkins. He was on of the 
giant saxophone-players and played with many bands from the 50ies and 
later. The same goes for Erroll Garner, a pianist from the 50ies with 
his own very distinctive style (you can look him up on Youtube).
>> I could go on but I stop.
> I think that any kind of music that has wrapped itself up so much in its 
> own internals and demands that others change to accommodate it is just a 
> self-absorbed niche. That's OK if that's what one is interested in. But 
> if one is trying to make money from music, I think one is intentionally 
> limiting one's financial success, and really has no right to complain 
> that people aren't buying enough music to support one in the way one 
> would like to be accustomed to.
> IOW, if you want money for your music, offer music that people with 
> money are willing to give you money for. Don't complain that they're 
> "ignorant" or "don't know better" or that the music they like and PAY 
> FOR is "boring" (it isn't to them) or they're being held prisoner by 
> big-media music distributors.
About this, although I'm retired I still get paid for performing, 
moreover, I will not play if no financial reward (the amount is 
irrelevant) is given as, simply stated, if people don't want to pay they 
don't appreciate your music (exceptions are of course beneficial and 
promotional performances).
> I'm also not a fan of visual arts (painting, sculpture, etc) that 
> require you to read a multipage statement about the item to get any 
> communication from it. What my artist daughter calls "spot on the wall" 
> art, some of which is by famous artists, hangs on walls in world-famous 
> museums, and (in America, typically) is USUALLY supported by Arts Grants 
> or one sort or another. (Music of any sort doesn't suffer from that 
> problem, perhaps because sound has inherently more power and effect than 
> a brush stroke on canvas. Assuming one isn't deaf, of course.)
> I like visual art, too, but find Andy Warhol's art boring. At Pompidou 
> Center in Paris one year, I saw a Japanese painter who "painted" by 
> slashing his bare feet with razor blades, then hanging in a bosen's 
> chair over the canvas spread on the floor and painting on the canvas 
> with with his own blood. Found that more a sign of mental illness than 
> art. (Must be something wrong with me, I'm sure, couldn't possibly be 
> anything wrong with the artists.)
I agree completely with that. What is called "The main stream" is a 
cunning system of greedy people selling air to people with way to much 
money and no erudition or taste whatsoever.
The tragic reality with that is that many really talented painters are 
in the same position as many musicians.
We buy more or less regularly paintings from talented artists in Europe 
(mainly the Netherlands) not needing the "explanation" thought of by a 
skilled "art-specialist" who tries to speak and write with sentences 
using many neologisms with the intention to let you feel a stupid 
ignoramus when you don't understand the art he wants to sell.
>> I hope I made your error in judgement clear.
> I've been through it with jazz folk before - been insulted, called 
> names, etc. Been told by some jazz players that the ONLY REAL MUSIC IS 
> JAZZ (usually their particular idea of what JAZZ is, played the way they 
> do it), that if you're not playing jazz, YOU'RE NOT A MUSICIAN!
Agreed. Jazz musicians are only people and narrow-mindedness is as 
common as in other groups. The "you're not a musician" is one of the 
most stupid remarks I know to say to a listener of course!
  Heard that most recently three years ago, from a man, BTW, who is a very
> skilled, well-trained, experienced and deeply-disturbed (in the clinical 
> psychological sense) musician. Perhaps jazz is his way to deal with the 
> severe childhood abuse he suffered that left him so disturbed?
> Although he has so much rage inside that I could picture him as a 
> first-generation punk rocker, before punk went commercial. ;-)
> No "error" - just different opinion. I have all sorts of music in my 
> personal collection, including jazz, lest you think I'm an "it's gotta 
> be popular music" person. My parents have jazz records in their 
> collection dating back a good long ways, like early Louie Armstrong 
> recordings. Someday they'll probably end up in my collection.
> (I will admit that I have ONE song each from Britney Spears and Madonna. 
> My only complaint about Michael Jackson's death is that he didn't take 
> them with him.)

What I wonder is how you think about classcial music where a performer 
plays exactly the music that's written. If I understand you correctly 
you think that not interesting (boring?) as the performer plays exactly 
what the composer wrote. (I myself like it very much, visiting regularly 
concerts, but will never perform in public although I play regularly for 
myself, from Bach to Milhaud with much of the french impressionists in 
To come back to the original topic: that music is not copyrighted any more.

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