Trumpet Discussion Discuss the music business is collapsing in the General forums; As a previous poster commented, most of todays music consists of a few guitars, electric bass, and drums/keyboard. The only ...
As a previous poster commented, most of todays music consists of a few guitars, electric bass, and drums/keyboard. The only trumpet player I have heard in a club in a long while is a local that justs sometimes sits in with the band.
When I was growing up, my folks ran a couple of night clubs that featured live bands and trumpet players were often playing there. In fact, my mother once married one of them. (My father also played trumpet, so I guess she had a thing about trumpet players) A singer and his CD machine often is the music heard in cubs now.
I used to play rodeos often, but now even the biggest one we have uses canned music instead of a band. Even in New Orleans, it seems most of the music heard along Bourbon St is rock with the guitars, etc. At one time, Dixieland was heard up and down the street, most using good trumpet players.
A trumpet playing friend of mine who has a degree in music commented to me that his wife has one job and he has about seven, but his wife makes about twice what he does. I told him "welcome to the music business."
Several years ago while I was spending a couple of weeks at the Armed Forces School of Music, one of the instructors who was a trumpet player was talking to me about a friend of his who played professionally and was at that time with the Harry James Orchestra. Considering all the expenses his friend had, this guy was making quite a bit more money and had 30 days paid vacation a year and complete health care benefits for him and his family.
Making a living at music has always been difficult, and these days, with more and more really good players coming along, it is even more difficult. Music is a great hobby, but it can be a lousy vocation, unless you are amoung the very best.
I have to weigh in in order to somewhat disagree with some of the posts.
First, I disagree with the notion of intentional dumbing down of a society. People have done a rather dandy job of doing that all by themselves by rejecting information. When you have a free public education and you choose to not reinforce that education at home by watching over your child and his work, that's a choice ( and please, spare me the standard lecture about disenfranchised poor people not having a choice. My father who spoke very poor english would strain his brain cells trying to read to me from my school books because he wanted me to do well in school and while we weren't dirt poor we were lower working class in a poor neighborhood. Poverty is not an automatic ticket on the Stupidity Express). When you are told over and over that you need to study to excel and you decide not to, you dumb yourself down. If you have a teacher who is just marking time while others work hard to educate, that weakens the chain by one link.
Shunning culture has always been popular. Anyone who likes cultural things is assumed to be a snob or gay and that's been the way here since the who knows how far back. At first only the well off could enjoy cultural events and that's how that stereotype started since it's always been fashionable to hate the well-off. It's been perpetuated by any number of media... commercials, movies, radio, TV.
For many years, now, cultural organizations have been bending over backwards to show how inclusive art events can be, Student rush, massive discounts of various types are all designed to get new butts in the seats. In the same way that I was chided as a young man for not speaking street talk in school and actually having a care about how I spoke and wrote, people's perceptions of cultural events are hard to change.
It was stated that people's attitudes about cultural events became different in the early 80's. Well, that would mean that those college students were born in, what, the mid-sixties? That was right at the time of the "Great Society" of Lyndon Baines Johnson. The National Endowment for the Arts was a part of that! What happened?
We spend more money per student than any other country. That's not the way you intentionally "dumb down" a country. This "dumbing down" didn't happen in the last few years.
Although W has raised the budget of the NEA every year since he's been in office, it's less than he wanted because congress at first didn't approve the amount of money he proposed because they said it was too much! Doesn't sound to me like he's trying to eliminate it. To tell you the truth, I'm not an NEA fan. I think it's too much money to the wrong groups and not enough to the ones that can use it. Karen Finley, Mark Serrano, and others like that don't help the cause much.
Why don't communities hear the great orchestras anymore? Because it's so bloody expensive to tour you see fewer and fewer domestic tours. We also have price ourselves out of the recording market as a whole. Minnesota is an exception as we are recording steadily. In Minnesota, we have a tour sponsored by "Arts Across Minnesota" that takes us to tiny rural communities almost every year. We have a program that ensures that every third grader in the Twin Cities will hear one concert a year at Orchestra Hall. Now THOSE are good uses of public money. We don't need the Fed for that, just people who care. That includes parents above all.
When we speak of the dumbing down process we are not speaking of academics, book smarts or whatever you want to call it. We are speaking of the inability of people to think creatively and take charge of their lives through their ability to educate themselves. For more on this do a Google search of John Taylor Gatto and read some of his findings. They pretty much line up with my thoughts on the matter. Poverty has nothing to do with this. (We agree) It is a matter of control. (We disagree)
While shunning culture has been an ongoing thing, I personally see much more of it than in the past, especially from the upper middle class and upper class who traditionally were big supporters of the arts. The media, namely television, at one time broadcast many cultural events, from theatre, to jazz and classical music. This is gone from today's society because the public would rather be put into a coma than view a performance that stimulates their thought process.
Peoples perceptions of cultural events are hard to change, yet they have been changed, for the worse. Cultural organizations have failed miserably in combating this phenomenon.
The NEA and LBJ's visions have, once again, failed. As far as putting a date on it, 1980, it is only through my own observation that student's parents from that era are particularly clueless.
Spending money has little to do with it. Neglecting the educational process may actually help people become more self-sufficient and foster the ability to think instead of force feeding the student and creating the illusion that parental involvement is not needed. Throwing money at a problem is not the answer.
The NEA isn't one of my favorites either, but no one here is Bush bashing. I said elected officials, and that certainly includes congress, which merely reflects the views of their constituents.
I love to hear a great performance by world class artists. But the real shame is the death of the local performances by local muscians, actors, and artists that used to be an integral part of society. Second line musicians were at one time important to the community. The effort required to attend and participate as an audience is simply too much for an audience that feeds on Desperate Housewives and "reality television". I applaud programs that bring arts to the community. As I said in my last post, It is up to every individual musician to reach out and touch the lives of young people to educate them to the value of the arts, or we will lose it all.
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