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Some Interesting Words from Arturo Sandoval

GCinCT

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I wasn’t sure where to put this, but I find it interesting. The great Arturo Sandoval talks about the lack of artistry in today’s music. Whether you agree or disagree with him, it’s fascinating and worth the read.


I've been tempted to write about what's going on with today's musical taste. I know well that it is a very rugged subject and somewhat difficult to explain. I beg God to allow me to express my point of view without offending anyone; it is not my intention to create any controversy about it; it's just my point of view. I started to play music in 1961, which means I have been making music uninterruptedly for 60 years. From the beginning, I always knew that instrumental music had three fundamental ingredients: MELODY, HARMONY, AND RHYTHM; and in the case that it had a text, we would add a fourth element, no less important. It has always been obvious that all these factors are invaluable to the composer's creative process. Now, as a faithful lover of music, how can we appreciate a musical work if we are in the presence of a song without a well-structured melody, a total absence of harmony, and a subject without content and full of sexual innuendo and expletives?; For me, all this goes against the most elementary principles of what we have learned for so many years about what is something very sacred: MUSIC. My main concern is to see how the youth consume and digest what they promote as "today's music" and the total absence of music education. It is a serious mistake not to have music education programs in schools. If children are not exposed to the rich legacy of music from composers like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Copland, etc. as well as introduced to the rich legacy of Jazz artists like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Cole Porter, Gershwin, and so many other great Jazz innovators, they will not appreciate more complex music. They will only be exposed to music made for mass appeal—music with a less artistic and aesthetic level for the sole purpose of "selling" a product. That is not art, in my opinion. I consider it an obligation to call attention to this practice and defend one of the blessings that life offers us: MUSIC, which is the one, the only that comforts our soul and causes us indescribable sensations that make us better human beings. I have always felt sad that I have never seen a television program showing true musical works with high artistic and aesthetic values except for some pop music shows. I seriously consider that Jazz has been a great contribution to our country's universal culture, without a doubt; I am sorry that it does not have the dissemination and support it deserves, which I consider a "crime." For example, in our country's case, if we ask a young man who Duke Ellington was, would you know how to answer? or Mozart? as well as the great songs of Stevie Wonder? These are just a few examples; this list could be endless.
 

Dibbs

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Although some remains true, that sounds like an opinion formed 30 or 40 years ago and never updated. I find young people today have been exposed to, and appreciate a far greater breadth of music than the average young person in my youth.
 

JamesOxford

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Oxford, UK
If you go on to any music video on YouTube: Jazz, Blues, Death Metal, Northern Soul, Indie Rock, Celtic folk, half the comments will be: "Thanks for posting this, this is the REAL music, not like the rubbish they make now."

As far as kids not being educated any more, my son learned about Bach, Debussy, Erik Satie, Bob Marley, Radiohead and his pentatonic scales at school. Access to musical knowledge has never been greater or easier.

If your musical world stops at Dizzy Gillespie and you consider modern music is just what is on your TV you will have no idea of the huge breadth of innovative, experimental, pioneering music that is being created today or the channels on which it exists.
We have this thing called the internet now and musicians are collaborating in ever-new ways, across continents and styles. There are kids in bedrooms making intricate nuanced, operatic works.
If Mr Sandoval pauses from shaking his fist at the TV and goes on Reddit/Twitch/YouTube he will discover a very rich world of musical activity, not selling product, and much of it informed from the musicians he mentions.
 

Clivey

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Although some remains true, that sounds like an opinion formed 30 or 40 years ago and never updated. I find young people today have been exposed to, and appreciate a far greater breadth of music than the average young person in my youth.
Yep. So much more to listen to and most of it free. Hmmm ?
The lack of an audience is often behind this type of attitude and is sometimes accompanied by a pretty big sense of entitlement.
There's no shortage of gifted content providers and soloists, Cheap technology and Instruments has made participating in the once extremely elitest and exclusive pastime of music creation open to far more people and genres.
Of course commercial music is out to sell product. that's why it exists but occasionally it will crossover into the art realm.
We player types really should know all this of course.
 

Halfers

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60 years a musician and still a virgin?!?

60 Years a musician, but he needs to work on his paragraph structure :)

I've never knowingly listened to Arturo Sandoval, so that's a bit of morning listening.

I suspect he's not alone in his views. It's possibly as much a part of being his age as anything else. There's loads of good stuff around. Loads of rubbish too. More of everything..

I'm constantly surprised at the music my kids know.
 

mizmar

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Maybe Mr. Sandoval is employing fiendishly clever reverse psychology,...
maybe it's just the Philosopause? Or just grumpy? Or, as an asylum seeker, he's just pandering to the host establishment?
The really sad thing about the text is that all the names given are just the headline name from the western classical and jazz traditions. Nothing from the latin world, Africa, China, Middle East; let alone later popular western, traditions. And this from someone with a solid Cuban background.
 

JamesOxford

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Oxford, UK
all the names given are just the headline name from the western classical and jazz traditions
Exactly this, the traditions he mentions is a narrow subset of music, our kids music education is much broader.
It is ridiculous to think MELODY, HARMONY, AND RHYTHM (his caps not mine) isn't being taught.
Here's a 10year old British Girl doing all 3:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpCJ-8ZdN7E

She may or may not know who Charlie Parker is, but she is enjoying music and building a relationship with her instruments. As are Medieval Sackbut players, Japanese Taiko drummers, Norwegian guitar loopers. Also lots of Sea Shanties, lots.
Not to mention all the people in their 50s/60s/70s taking up Saxophone for the first time.
Music education is fine, the main problem I see is the revenue streams for professional and independent musicians being eroded through Spotify etc.
 

Clivey

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Music is very much in the "folks" hands these days and that is fantastic. But. as usual the dough goes to a few lucky individual "token champions" of the "plebs".
"Naught changes in that ancient Roman order of things",
On the other hand. I can't remember ever hearing that Music was a lucrative or easy way to make a living .
.It's a wonderful thing "to be definite", and if a player can make a bit of cash on the way well thats bonus. Things such as the perceived monetized value of music has changed beyond what it was even as recently as pre "Spitify".

Even busking will have to change ,less and less cash carried so. You better be out doing your thing what ever that may entail, because you love it, as less tips may be the future.
"Function and wedding bands" the same. There's been far too much pressure on young couples and corporate to overextend in the past. Crazy out of control consumption bad for everyone and the planet. This "virus", "ahm"?. Appears to be resetting everything.
Rant over
 

JamesOxford

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Oxford, UK
a few lucky individual
Very true, wealth is becoming more concentrated. The way streaming services operate, i.e. players having revenue from people who listen to them shared by some algorithm to more popular mainstream acts is giving less people the chance to build on their initial successes.
I am just a hobbyist, but feel for professionals and people for whom music is a calling, who have dedicated their lives. Traditionally being a musician has never been a lucrative business except for those at the top of the tree.
For those who don't expect riches but want to make an honest living it seems to be getting harder.
 
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