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November 20, 2011


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Excellent background story about Jordi Pujol.
He does what the US music industry should do to preserve Americas most important art form but all they know is the song"money,money,money".
Its really a shame.


Nowadays, it's impossible to go anywhere, from grocery stores to doctor's offices, without being blasted by annoying pseudo-music. Parks are one of the last remaining refuges of relative quiet, marred only by traffic noise and screaming children. I have to give a thumbs down to the idea of installing muzak zones. Besides, these would just become another place for people to sit and stare at their smart-phones. Conversations about the music, if any, would be conducted by text message.

Bruno Leicht

ABBA's other famous song is "Waterloo"; let's hope that there won't happen some "Waterloo" to music, as Marc is so pessimistically suggesting.

From my point of view, as a musician, it's not the audience who wouldn't be interested in (good) music of all kinds, it's the media, some of the - sorry, Marc - journalists, and the record industry themselves who are presenting the very same stuff over and over again, the major "hypes", or what they suppose "the people wanna hear".

There was a report on Harlem (NY) on German radio this morning. It began with a brutally bad cover version of Frank Sinatra's & Tommy Dorsey's "East Of The Sun", even Bunny Berigan's solo was played note for note by a non-swinging trumpeter; and the word "jazz", or "jazz musicians" was only introduced/ mentioned one minute before the 'round 5'30'' report was over.

The very first thought which would come to *my* mind, when I hear "Harlem" is jazz, or swing. It's deplorable, but that's our times.

Chris Galuman

Thought provoking column, Marc. I've got to share this!

John P. Cooper

I would like to see the return of the community sing.

30 years ago, I went to a film show by Mark Cantor. He ran a sing along/follow the bouncing ball film of "I Wished On the Moon". To my amazement, much of the audience began to sing along. Had I known the tune, I would have joined them.

Folks go to screenings of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE and THE SOUND OF MUSIC and they sing along with the film. Marvelous!

Keep public music alive! Bring back the community sing!

Cha Cha

You mentioned being a pushover for the song, "This Could Be the Start of Something Big". It may be moot, but have you heard Mark Murphy's version which he recorded in 1959? If you have, I would be interested to learn what you think of it.

Jery Rowan

"Is music's influence in American society dwindling?"

It's my opinion that music as we know it is not only dwindling, but being destroyed by pop icons and their masters who really don't know what "music" is in the first place.

I support this claim by pointing the blame at programs like The X Factor, America's Got Talent, and others of their ilk that bury the art in no talent singers, deafening sound, strobing lights, and over-the-top choreography by dancers with no real reason to be there in the first place, cluttering the stage in awkwardness.

Today's music is all sizzle and no steak. The soul of the sound isn't allowed to breathe. Lyrics aren't listened to, melody isn't meaningful, intonation isn't important.

And it's such a shame!

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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