Different perspectives on how we perceive music

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The musical notation can be considered as technology, just like a computer can help in the development or in the work of men and his environment. As well as the things created by men for his benefit and that of his work, to make things easier. A table for example, it would look like a simple object, but infinity of things has made the man of it and with it.

The great composed works for symphonic orchestra such as a symphony, an opera. Large and long works could only have been composed and interpreted thanks to the development of musical writing. The music has also been able to travel the world thanks to the fact that it was printed on paper. The new generations will be able to know of the great composers thanks to the reproduction of his work.

We have to be aware that musical writing has only approximately two thousand three hundred years developing from the first alphabetic signs to our days. Before that there was only music. Remembering what Carlos Chavez says in “Toward a new music” about the language before the words, the noises of the people, the music that they practice. At the very beginning there was no idea of to where it was going to finish or to where it would develop the music and its musical notation. Passing through the language, the word, and the writing, the music reaches unimaginable places.

The musical phenomenon that comes from his writing along with the invention of electricity and the electronic devices that have continued to emerge has put us in a situation that in no way resembles what our ancestors lived in the musical field. Do we really know the music, pure and natural that exists? Why we continue to study works from over a thousand years ago?

This is an uncommon reflection about the way we perceive and study our profession. Is it that we are contributing something to our generation, playing Mozart, Bach, Beethoven? Or just we are avoiding its extinction.

The electronic devices came to change the direction of the music but also came to change the mentality of those who play it. We are experiencing a time of confusion between the past and the present of the music, without letting us go to the natural future of things. Do we do well in reading sheet music to play those old songs? We must play by ear? We should all compose? What is the present, the past or the future of a piece of paper in which the music is draw?

We must put our feet on the ground and realize where that beautiful music that makes us dream come from. “Toward a New Music” is a philosophical reading that shows us different perspectives on how we perceive music and how we make it ours.

IVAN LOPEZ

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Chavez’s foundation

I have never thought of Carlos Chavez as a writer of books, but apparently you can always be proven wrong. In his book “Toward a new music; Music and Electricity“, Carlos Chavez talks about perspective and physics in life and music, as well as other music based chapters such as music production and electrical instruments, all which culminate into the ideas presented in his book.

In his opening chapter, Carlos Chavez mentions the past and how it is now “history”, and he makes a slight hint that the public wasn’t “living” in the present as much as they should have been at the time. By this he means, that they were just not ready to try new things as composers were, he also mentions that sometimes the public is just not ready for a composer to be “recognized as an artist of today”. I find it very funny that he says this considering I have always thought what makes someone in history “great”, what is the reason for us to be studying them in musical textbooks or history books, or what actually make it “History”. We always say that these people have done something great, or achieve something only a few have tried. But have they truly achieved something great, or have they only bettered what someone else have already done or achieved?

In his chapter toward a new music Chavez immediately says that nothing is wholly new. He does a comparison of Bach to Vivaldi and how Bach will not be around if Vivaldi had not set the groundwork for him to achieve his status as a composer. This comparison reminds me of what came first the chicken or the egg, because if Bach was known as the “father of music”, what is to be made of the composers who came before, such as the Vivaldi. Does he not stand for anything?? Would Bach have written the way he did without his predecessor?

After talking about the evolution of instruments and sound amplification, Chavez mentions that “a composer who knew only the mechanism of the violin would be unable to write for orchestra or Opera”. What I believe Chavez is trying to say here is that I just because you know how something works does not mean that you know what it does or you know of its capabilities. I believe Chavez is trying to say is that it takes much more than just knowing the groundwork of how a mechanism or music for that matter works. as in you have to know how the music will be translated through the instrument in and ensemble, or through a sound amplification device be fore you can consider to composer music. Would you be able to drive a car if you only had the wheel? Everything must rely on something for its to exist in nature, the corporate world, and most definitely in music. Everything needs a foundation to grow upon, everything must happen for a reason

Many of the elements that Chavez uses and his book are really eye-opening, I am pleased to have read this, to understand a little bit more into the mind of Carlos Chavez, this was also one of the more enjoyable reads thus far. Although his book seems fairly straight forward in talking about music and its evolution I like that he leave us with still a few questions, maybe to have touched upon at a different time. Sometime later in history…

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-John Guevara

Carlos Chavez: Toward a New Music

It seems that Carlos Chavez has a passion for history, especially that of the native American Indians. In his music, he uses indigenous instruments and Indian rhythms. In his book, Toward a New Music, Chavez repeatedly speaks of the music of the Native Americans. He touches upon subjects that are all comparatively undiscussed such as the indigenous history of music and the development of music and sound physics through the ages. After having studied the music of Carlos Chavez for the past three months, I have noticed a trend: pioneerism with a homage to the indigenous Mexican past.

The majority of Chavez’s compositions contain indigenous materials and Indian rhythms. Sinfonia india, Chavez’s Second Symphony and his most famous work, have these materials riddled throughout the piece. In Toward a New Music, he mentions how the development of understanding of physics has progressed music for millennia. I have spent much time in the second year of my masters studying the history of wind bands and brass instruments. It is interesting to me that Carlos Chavez approaches this fact with a study of physics. As physics developed, so did the ability for better musicality and expression through a stronger understanding of what the instrument is doing. I have never heard or read much about this approach before, so it begs the question, why?

Carlos Chavez spends his first Chapter discussing the habit, especially in music, of studying the past instead of studying the present. I believe that we spend more time studying physics of today instead of science of the past. Once we entered the age of the valve, or even before the chromatic keys on instruments, there was not much of a desire to study the non-valved brass instruments and keyless woodwinds. We may study the music still, but we do not speak of the instruments and the physics behind them. Some ensembles around the world focus on early music, playing on early instruments. The University of North Texas has an early music ensemble that includes early versions of the string family, playing music of the Baroque era.

The chapters of Carlos Chavez’s book that I read mostly spoke of pioneerism through the ages, beginning with early music until the modern era in which he wrote the book. He obviously had a strong interest in electronic music and recording as he mentioned this is the only way that music can be a permanent art, much like that of architecture. It is interesting to see how much we have developed since his day; we now have amazing ways of recording music. The University of Texas at El Paso now Facebook live streams their concerts and graduate and faculty recitals so that the public that is unable to attend (or wishes to just stay home for the night). YouTube has millions of videos on the website collection, many of which are recordings of classical music, live performances, and other musical sources. You can download music directly to your computer and your phone in almost an instant through our technological advances.  The earlier methods of mass-producing recordings such as vinyl records and then the later counterparts of tapes and compact discs would have been exactly what Carlos Chavez was speaking of.chavez album cover

I believe that Carlos Chavez would have been extremely impressed with our technological advances that we have made today. His desire to have a more perfect way to produce, record, and broadcast music has developed in an unimaginable way. I have always wondered what Mozart would have thought about our current modern music, not even having been able to even compose with the assistance of a lightbulb. Carlos Chavez, of course, had the technology of a lightbulb, but computers were just beginning to be mass produced for the public at the end of his life and internet was only a thing in the military. I would love to see the smile on Carlos Chavez’s face if he were alive today, watching a live streamed concert of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

 

Joshua Lott

Thoughts about -Toward new Music by Carlos Chavez

Thoughts about – Toward new Music by Carlos Chavez

Carlos Chavez was a renewed composer, pianist, conductor and music educator and he wrote this book where we can know a little more about his personality and ideas.After reading Toward New Music by Carlos Chavez, some thoughts started to come to my mind, and to explain a little about his work and my thoughts, I am going to start with the first chapter called “Seeing the Present in Perspective.”

In this chapter Chavez  explains what he thinks about the present time. For example when he says, “The present is a very difficult period for us to observe because we are inside it” that occurs because it is easy to talk about the past when you know everything about it and since it is  over already you can philosophize about it.   But what would it be like if you were living at that time ? Things would be different.

Carlos Chavez says “Masters of music always were considered ahead of their time” but for Chavez,  it was actually the opposite.  The masters were not ahead in the time, but their  public was too behind, and to explain why this occurs  Chavez says,  the “public like to live in the past” and that is why the composers of yesterday are recognized over artists of today, but not in their times. That makes me think how many more geniuses and artists are not being recognized right now, and won’t be until  after they die. It is like the case of Mozart, he suffered so much during his life, with so many problems and now everyone loves him.  I feel bad for Mozart; how would he feel seeing how important he became to the world ? And I feel bad for the new composers that after so many years still the same, still being Mozarts years after years. I don`t really think the audience is  behind the masters, but I do think it is too difficult for  the audience to admit that a living  person like them is a genius.

In the chapter “Music and Physics,” Chavez explains how all the arts have physical phenomenon happening, music soundings and vibrations,  and he says “ No art exists without physics happening all the time.” He says with the new technologies we were able to get better and develop great instruments. In my opinion he gives to much credit to the physics and rational things and forgets the most important thing: it doesn`t matter if  you have the best violin in the world and the better tools for it if you don`t have a good violinist.  Chavez thinks too much about the tools but forgets who is using the tools. As humans we are not as precise as the physical reactions;  we are extremely inconstant living beings following our emotions all the time and a study about the humans felling’s using their instruments  would be more creative in my opinion.

In the Chapter “Production and Reproduction” Chavez explains that humans have developed music as the  languages for necessity. In  my opinion we for sure got better with the evolution and new possibilities, but music is not only about that. We are not only animals that got better than the others, we are much more than this; we have different conditions by nature that others animals don`t have and never will. We want to try to get better, we want to impress and give our best always, and animals just want to live with only instinct.

In the chapter “New Music” Chavez explains that  new music  didn’t exist in many cases,  and the only one who really created music was Bach, who was able to bring something new to life . Bach was able to take  advantage of the instruments in his time and create new things,  similarly to Chopin, who changed the piano world. It is very curious when Chavez  says it music doesn’t exist without an artist. That made me think, what is an artist today and In that time ? I would say many people  can make music today without being an artist so it is a very relative word nowadays. He also explains the difference between  commercial music and  educational music. The first one is always a success and the second delayed because it is new and shocks people. Chavez finishes by saying “Don`t be afraid of doing new things because the new is always a surprise   and can be brilliant since is new”.

To conclude, I would say it was very  interesting to read this book that was published in 1937 and now we are reading it in the 21th century in 2017 and we can see exactly the same things happening. Last week I went to a lecture of this professor from Juilliard and he just said exactly the same “ Classical Music can be reborn”. Before reading this book or going to the lecture I already knew about “new music” with  my  own experiences as a musician. Chavez says nobody recognizes the composers now, only when they die and nowadays this is still happening.  Two weeks ago I went to Portalles to perform my professor’s composition quintet; he is  a genius and all the musicians recognize this, but  unfortunately we didn`t have much of an  audience  to listen to one of the most beautiful quintets written nowadays. Will we have to wait for my professor to die for him to be recognized? How can we  still permit  this to happen?   We can  clearly  see a repetition with what  happened with Mozart, it happened with Carlos Chavez, and it happens with my genius professor;  nothing  is really changing  even after trying hard to create new things, so maybe besides knowing we need to be new, we should try go more to the media and explain why these  people   are geniuses. In my opinion,  musicians should  invest more time divulging in media such as  Facebook, Youtube, TV, and radio, and convince people to go  to concerts and recognize the new music.

Johanny Barbosa

Chavez,CarlosToward a newMusic:Music and Eletricity Published in New York,1937.

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Ongoing Issues in Film Music

It is interesting to read about the Apparatus of the Sound Film according to Carlos Chávez seeing that he never actually wrote a successful film score try as he might. It is clear that Chávez has a wealth of knowledge on this subject and many of the issues he discusses in Chapter 5: The Sound of Film, relate to the present day. I am going to discuss some of the issues he presents, specifically focusing on dubbing in film scores and the ever-present issue of popular music versus western music.

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“In movie slang, dubbing means the joining together of those practices and procedures of re-recording necessary for the montage of a film which are not precisely those related to the synchronous taking of sight and sound. Dubbing includes pre-scoring, and the various kinds of re-recording.” – Carlos Chávez

 

Dubbing is still relevant in music today. It is a delicate process that requires the balancing of various elements at the same time. For example in a movie there could be a scene that includes dialogue, musical background, some sort of atmosphere (such as a storm or murmuring) and incidental noises. The dubbing mixers proceed to balance all of the elements together and then record the finished soundtrack. Dubbing has taken on a new meaning today, it is often used to enable the screening of audiovisual material to an audience in countries where the audience does not speak the same language as the performers in the original production.

 

Chávez presents an argument that really hits home today. In his section The Films and Contemporary Music, Chávez delves into the never-ending battle between contemporary and more traditional music.

 

“It would be easy to content ourselves with the answer that there will always be an elite music for the minorities and a popular music for the masses, and let it go at that. But this over-simple answer will suffice only with difficulty, for it requires us to believe that the most cultured and intelligent artists, the so-called geniuses of art, those who have created its progress, have always produced an art for minorities, and the majorities have been able to like and make use of lofty human conceptions.” – Carlos Chávez

 

This is an ongoing issue today. The idea of those that listen to cultured music as being in the minority has been a continuous pattern for at least the past 100 years. As a classical musician, I will never truly understand why this is. Why the majority seems aloof and disinterested in western music.

 

– Jamille Brewster –

 

 

 

 

 

The past and present work well together!

“We call a piece of music beautiful when the emotions, feelings, and ideas of the creator approximate those of the listener” ~Carlos Chavez

                Connecting with Chavez’s music has been a challenge for me. While it is of my knowledge that Chávez’s music has been a tremendous addition for the development of the arts and music, finding a piece that truly moved me took quite a journey.   However, after listening to several of Chavez’s  works, one stand out and made me completely feel in awe. It was Carlos Chávez’s Upingos, a piece composed in 1957 for oboe solo.

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The beauty of music is capable to provide moving experiences. However, the way one appreciates music, has not been an overnight process. Not art in the world exists without physics. It is fascinating to learn that instruments, and sound collections that we found pleasant to our ears now, have taken been a process of hundreds of years.   According to Carlos Chavez, the present is full of remainders of the past.  At first I thought this was a negative idea, but now I realize that this was not the case. For example, the collection of twelve notes that one is taught at music schools, a person from the past had to come up with that. If we would not have had those collections decided, a musician would have to pick random sounds, organize them, and figure out a way to notate them.  Fortunately, composers do not have to worry about that. Composers can work around pre-established guidelines and keep developing the future of music from that point. On the other hand, instruments are part of the past; composers do not have to necessarily worry creating a new instrument.

As technology keeps developing, new instruments can be created, but there is a probability that previously existent instruments would be a starting point to create a new one. For example, the electric guitar, while it uses electricity, it is built in a similar way than an acoustic guitar. On the other hand, the Theramine is another electronic instrument, but the pieces performed in that instrument mostly follow a traditional scale pattern. All the physics studied in the past are valuable, and they served as starting point to keep developing how music in made.

In terms of composing, Carlos Chavez works with elements from the past. In the piece Upingos, he uses an old instrument –the oboe. Chavez. The piece seems to combine a pentatonic introduction, followed by a development section, and comes back to the pentatonic section. Chavez was innovative in this piece especially rhythmic elements. While I do not have access to the score, I can tell Chavez changes meters often, and/or the piece is written in a candenza style. Upingos, also features a hint of Mayan music because of the syncopated rhythms and simple melodies. Chavez’s Upingos moved me because I think I understand the music. I am so thankful for all the contributions that many people have done in order for me to enjoy this piece music: the people that invented music notation, the person that invented the oboe, all the people that made contributions in technology so I can enjoy the music on my computer,  and Carlos Chavez for choosing the right collections of notes and rhythms that moved me.

 

By Sandra Rivera

Toward A New Music: What?

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After reading the three chapters on Chavez’s Toward a New Music it brought me to thinking about everything I’ve ever thought about when I think about what type of choir I want to run when I get older. Why does this matter? Chavez explored the ideas of electric instruments and the uprising of new music being performed more often. Little did Chevez know, this is the pop culture we see today. We’ve come from a time where you had to be of importance or know someone of importance to get your music heard by the public. Today, we can login on some sort of social media and hear anyone’s music should they put it out there. It’s great! It’s great because anyone can be a musician and with that, more people (I hope) love the arts of all types. He talks about incorporating music that is newly written for these new electronic instruments like the Theremin. He also took up the idea that these instruments would replace the performers and as a future educator it gets me thinking.

I can’t help but think “Should I have my children skip the Shanadoh phase of learning how to sing and go directly to the Glorified Karaoke phase?” I have always believed that learning about the history of music is important because it shows the kids how far we’ve come. They need to know that even though music might not sound like this currently, it is still the basis and we can find similarities in tonality or form within music today.

Chavez made the point that if electronic music could replace the performers then the music would be perfect every time. He made the point that he could have a perfect recording and then give that to the people so they heard perfect music every time. It made me realize that I hope musicians never go out of work. It made me realize it is totally 100% without-a-doubt alright to dream about what the future of music will be. I can’t be afraid of losing a job or having “odd” music being a norm when I program music for my students. I get to teach my students about theory and how to perform. While this is article is all over the place, understand that I come here with love in my heart. I learned that Chavez had good points about the future of music. He said there would be a lack of performers because there wouldn’t be a need. Now, we have EDM (Electric Dance Music) where it’s a person using a computer so there are no mistakes to an extent. What I believe he missed, is that music will always exist with the intent of being music for people. There is always going to be someone, regardless of their position in the music making process, that needs that music. So with that being said, if you’re reading this as a musician; be not afraid of the music, for the music speaks. If you are a spectator who randomly ended up on this blog; support local art, go to see the local high school, listen to your son’s band, and be open to experience music.

Best Regards,

Corina Villarreal

 

*This uncle went on to become one of the members of the Glen Miller Orchestra so I guess it wasn’t that bad.

Toward a New Music: Music Should Be Shared

 

In Toward a New Music, Carlos Chavez brings to light many different ideas about new music and the future of the musical world in general. Although he wrote this book to bring attention to the possibilities electronic instruments brought to music, he focused on other points that interested me and opened up my perspectives on these topics. Many issues he brings up have a lot of relevance in today’s world, almost ninety years later. Chavez communicates that not only is music created because of humans need for expression, but it is produced and reproduced in order to share and educate the world through all types of media distribution.

Within the first chapter of Toward a New Music, Chavez mentions public perception of new music and how the public frequently lives in the past. During this time, it was difficult for new artists and composers to get their music performed because the public simply wasn’t open to the new sounds they were creating. I think this is even true today. We’re still stuck in the past and it’s sad to think that the music of composers from 100 years ago is barely becoming relevant and accepting of audiences today. It’s easier for us to want and like something we’re use to rather than be open to change. Unfortunately, it takes people way too long to realize the beauty of music as it’s happening, especially when it’s something they don’t understand.

Music has always been a way for humans to express themselves and meet their needs for expression. Chavez touches on how production and reproduction of music depends on this natural need for expression. This need fuels people to create and discover new concepts, instruments, and music. We wouldn’t have the music we have today if reproduction wasn’t a necessary and desirable part of life. We also always want to hear or have music reproduced, but we’re selective about the content. When Chavez wrote this book, the radio was a new means of reproducing and distributing music. He provides several pros and cons about radio usage that I think are relevant to today’s use of media. Radio increased audience attendance and brought music to a larger and wider variety of people. This holds true today with the capability of creating Facebook events, texting, calling, websites, TV and radio commercials/advertisements, and the newest thing, live streaming. Through all of these forms of communication, we are able to reachnew music a larger audience but does a major form of distribution- concerts- become obsolete? One topic Chavez brought up was the idea that the concert has social value and brings people together whereas these other types of distribution have the opposite effect by creating isolation.  I believe this is an interesting point because although we are reaching more people, they now have the ability to pick and choose what they listen to or how long they listen for. They can simply turn off the radio or livestream with the push of a button, whether it’s because they don’t like the music, are distracted by something else, or they even find something better to spend their time on. People who attend concerts aren’t necessarily “stuck” listening and staying until the end, but they are more inclined to sit through it because of its social value; getting up to leave in the middle of a performance isn’t as easy as pushing an “off” button. Live streaming is a really innovative way to reach people across the world, but is it really educating and spreading our music the way we want it to? Yes, the videos have thousands of views, but how long were those people actively watching? Did they really sit through a two-hour concert or did they comment or “like” it for social status?facebook-reactions-animation

As with all things, there are pros and cons to everything we do. Just as the radio transformed the musical world and its exposure, media has continued to do the same today. Music has always been present throughout history, circulated in diverse and new ways, allowing it to reach people that know nothing about music. I believe our job, as musicians and even educators, is to share music with the world, whether it is liked or disliked and no matter what the outcome may be. Without the production and reproduction of our music, we can never fully express ourselves and use music in the way it is meant to used.

-Katy Andrade

Bibliography:

Chavez, Carlos . Toward a New Music: Music and Electricity. Translated by Herbert Weinstock. 1st ed. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1937.

Toward a New Music: Are We There Yet?

Carlos Chavez had many profound ideas that he shared in his book Toward a New Music: Music and Electricity. The portion of the book that caught my attention was Chapter 4: Electric Instruments of Musical Reproduction. Though the book was first published in 1937, Chavez already had a premonition about the direction the musical world might take. In our present year, 2017, it’s safe to say that some of Chavez’s thoughts are accurate but thankfully some traditional ideas have remained in tacked.
Chavez explains that machines could enhance our musical experiences. He foreshadowed musical machines performing compositions to a perfection level that could not be accomplished by humans. When I read this I instantly thought about the evolution of the player piano (the pianola, which he does discuss) and how we currently have digital pianos that not only sound and feel more like an acoustic piano (added bonus, they never have to be tuned) but can also play more notes at the same time than any human could ever do alone. These digital pianos have the capacity to program and record whatever you “punch in.” The computer program itself does the “written” work for you.
He does bring up the fact that these musical machines could also eliminate the human performer. To some degree, this has occurred. Take for example pianists that accompany instrumentalist and vocalists for school contests (UIL Solo/Ensemble). There are now computer programs (example: Smartmusic) where a student can play with a digital accompaniment that follows along with the student’s tempo tap. And of course, some people would rather use an MP3 player with a pre-recorded accompaniment to assist with these competition events. This option does come in handy because sometimes there are just not enough pianists to go around. Rather than pay a human accompanist, it is also cheaper and easier to just “press play” on a device and not worry about scheduling rehearsals. In this case, perhaps a “musical machine” has its benefits but will it eventually replace human accompanists? And what about computer programs that use algorithms that compose music for you? Imagine if all of Beethoven’s music was composed by a machine? Beethoven wouldn’t exist. Would some of us picture a computer while listening to his music instead of visualizing Beethoven’s tumultuous life? That added inspiration would not be there.

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That being said, I always thought creating music was a HUMAN characteristic? I believe that our capacity to create music and art is one of the things that sets us aside from other animals on this planet. How can a machine “feel” the emotion of the music? It cannot (at least not yet…yikes!). Chavez delves into the idea that these musical machines would “eliminate the personal factor of human interpretation.” I convey this message to my music students quite often. What is the purpose of learning to play an instrument? Self-expression is one of the main reasons. Humans need an artistic outlet and music serves its purpose in this regard. Most people listen to music, learn about music, play music to feel alive. But if Chavez’s predictions come true, will our musical humanity die out? The good news: in 2017 our society is still willing to hear real-life human performers. We are still willing to learn how to play an instrument for enjoyment and we still find value in the arts. Who knows if there will come a day when machines (robots) take over our artistic creations. The thought is frightening and fascinating at the same time.

-Laura Aguirre

What Would Chavez Say Today?

IMG_0135I recently attended a lecture given by Greg Sandow; a composer, author, critic, and faculty member at The Juilliard School. He spoke on the diminishing health of classical music, an issue that is on every musician’s mind these days. Throughout the lecture he gave historical examples and timelines that explained what exactly has happened to the popularity of classical music over the past century. As fascinating as that was, what motivated the audience were Sandow’s suggested solutions to the problem. His ideas were centered upon “outside of the box” creativity and approaching classical music from new angles.
Over the past week while keeping this lecture in the back of my mind I have been reflecting on the book Towards a New Music by Carlos Chavez. It is a rather short, essay-like publication on the future of music. Even though the book was published back in 1937, there is definite synergy between it and the Greg Sandow lecture.
Towards a New Music discusses the issue of living in the past. I believe the most influential section of the book is the very first chapter, for Chavez brings multiple points to the table for thought. First of all, he addresses that humans tend to dwell in the past instead of focusing on the present. I believe this is especially true for classical musicians. If you observe what is often focused on in most of today’s concert halls, you will no doubt see works performed by old European masters such as Bach, Beethoven or Brahms. This speaks in itself in regards to how often we musicians dwell in what’s behind us. Yes, many organizations and ensembles are focusing on bringing newer music to the stage, but our attraction to that which has been done countless times greatly outweighs them.
Chavez argues that on top of having great respect for the old we must find a way to create an everlasting view that is always moving forward. This would bring a more healthy and balanced approach to how we nurture our music. Being 1937, Chavez believed this forward-facing view was acceptance of technology in order to create new kinds of music. Obviously he hit the nail on the head, for countless styles and genres of music have appeared in last century due to the implementation of technology. However, we have “seesawed” (in Greg Sandow’s terms) to one direction and the old ways are being forgotten.
I cannot help but ask myself what Carlos Chavez would say if he could see the state of our musical world today. Would he be thrilled to see the shift in popularity from the old to the new or would he be concerned about the dying flame of the old ways? Either way, I think his input would be welcomed by all.

-Nathan Black