[LAU] re Subconscious Affecting Music

Louigi Verona louigi.verona at gmail.com
Thu Sep 2 07:59:44 UTC 2010

On Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM, david <gnome at hawaii.rr.com> wrote:

> Louigi Verona wrote:
> I think J. S. Bach and most of the classical composers would disagree with
> you about that. As well as most musicians who still enjoy studying and
> performing and listening to performances of such music. Similar for most of
> the great painters and sculptors. The great classical oil paintings were
> pretty much all commissioned pieces of commercial art, as was "The Lady and
> the Unicorn" tapestry. But it is still one of the great examples of tapestry
> art.
> "Commercial art is not art" is a bit of something from the Romantic
> movement that I think is completely wrong. "Art for art's sake". That is
> often a cover for arrogance, egotism and elitism. "My art is so deep that if
> you don't understand it, there's something wrong with you." That is pure
> egotism. The Romantic period was a time when many artists basically said,
> "I'm special, I'm God, it's all about ME, if you don't agree with me, you're
> ignorant/stupid/bourgeois/worthless." Despite the thousands of years of
> history worldwide where art was always part of something (society, etc)
> rather than standing out in field trying to be the one important thing.

I think we are talking about different things here - seriously.
There is an inherent difference between commissioned art and commercial art,
as I mean it in this conversation. The problem I have with the latter is
that it has profit as a motivator to begin with.
It is difficult to explain it further. I am sure there are people in this
discussion who understand me. Think of it as a difference between profession
and business. Both seem to do the same - do some work and get money. But in
the first case profession means more than just means of getting money, it is
what a person is, his mark in life, something he does, while business is an
activity done for profit alone - meaning, the whole motivation is to get
more money, not get something useful done. Something useful is done only
because it brings money.

As for musings about Romantic movement, of which I know nothing, it is a
known fallacy of taking someone's statement, labelling it with some term and
saying that it has been proven a long time ago to be wrong. I do not stick
to any movement, I am just saying what I believe in, and I believe in it
because it is part of my life experience.

But with my argument that with time thinking changes, you yourself show it
in your words. You say that art can be a cover of elitism. And indeed it
can, but the mark of today's time is that it is seen solely as something
about the artist. The figure of the artist is blown up way beyond what ever
was during times of Bach. I cannot imagine composers giving interviews back
then. Everyone was too interested in music. They would make a standing
ovation, yes, the composer can become famous, yes, but he would be just a
part of the equation, the main variable there being music, not his

In fact, today music is not about music at all, it is about the personality
of an artist.

And finally, when we say that understanding art at times requires experience
and maturity, we have to understand that while it may be the cover for
elitism, in many cases it is actually not. A lot of things in life require a
lot of learning to be mastered. We cannot expect a person who has never
listened to classical music to understand the beauty and complexity of
Rachmaninov's second concert. Having listened to minimal house all his life,
he might also say - you are being elitistic, go away with your arrogance.
But in reality, it is he who is arrogant if he believes he should be able to
instantly understand every form of art without any prior experience in
admiring it.

Cheers! Hope this conversation is pleasant and not irritating to all.

Louigi Verona
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