> Yet another trend: very few people I know play any instrument, > professionally or otherwise. Is it the cost of lessons, the time that > few of them have to devote to learning an instrument? I'm not sure what > prevents more people from learning to play an instrument even just for fun. > I'm not sure what is to credit for these changes, but it seems to me that > the discussion of SCD music and costs must be somehow related.
The answer to this one is easy. I was lucky enough to go to school when
there were free band lessons with high-quality teachers and equipment.
Now, at least in post-Proposition 13 California, these are few and far
between. I was also lucky enough have part of my secondary school
education in England, where music theory and appreciation were both
required courses. Even when music was commonly tought in American
schools, theory, beyond the minimum required to play in a concert or
marching band, was not. That took -- expensive -- private lessons.
This also explains why British rock bands are, frequently, so much
better than American ones (compare the sophisticated melodic structures
used by Dire Straits or Richard Thompson -- who frequently uses
strathspey rhythms in his work -- to most American fare). In Britain,
even the secondary school garage band would have a certain minimum
knowledge of music theory.
Donald F. Robertson
The known is finite, the unknown is infinite; intellectually
we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of
inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to
reclaim a little more land. --Thomas Huxley.