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The day the music died wasn’t 3/2/59,

with Buddy Holly’s plane crash in Iowa.  It was the car crash on 23/2/23, when Herr Sch√∂enberg drove Music into the cul-de-sac of Serialism.

Not that it wasn’t heading there in the first place, with more and more colour being slapped on the dolly, but he really did beach it on the speed-hump of Expressionism, and no amount of jiggling has been able to dislodge it.

And so, in a massive devaluation of musical currency which puts stock market crashes to shame, it was replaced with blues, and big bands, and jazz and RnB, and the spectrum of popular culture we have now, including musicals and film music.

So what?

So context is everything.
What mass do the names Haydn, Berlioz or Wagner carry in the average KS3 or 4 Music classroom? Just the father of Form, a conjurer with Instrumentation and the most skilful of all directors of music in drama. Not much perhaps, in the face of Bo Rap, Sgt. Pepper, and Star Wars (though perhaps my cultural references are showing their age now).

And context is nothing.
Does it matter that a bit of pop music is used to explain something if it gets the point across? The music has just as much integrity, after all.

Well perhaps it does. Procol Harum’s A whiter shade of pale or Simon & Garfunkel’s American Tune would’ve been nowhere if Mendelssohn hadn’t championed Bach. But standing on the shoulders of giants aside, some music has the power of endurance. Not only are Mozart, Beethoven et al still famous, but centuries after their deaths, people still hum their ditties.

Which leads to the much debated questions of what good music is, and who the grandees of the music world are and will be.

Turned out nice again

Not many people believe their horoscopes, whether they consider them to be compulsory reading or not.

And a weather forecaster in November is rightly reluctant to want to predict the likelihood of a white Christmas.

So why do educationalists put so much store by tests taken in Year 7 that it’s said will predict the results of exams taken 5 years down the line:

It’s beyond me! ūüėČ

The only measure of educational success is the progress each student makes. And the only way to measure that progress is to chart attainment over time, using a ladder of levels.

Who owns your ideas?

Well, as things stand, your employer does!

Some would say, “Since I had the idea, it’s mine; my preciousssss.”¬† But is that really true?

Maybe we take the last step of the ladder ourselves, but how much of the climb was as a result of our environment now, and our past journey through education, career and experiences. How much of it was down to our partner, or our colleagues at work, or even our mates down the pub?

And how can we be sure that no one else has had the idea before us?

If it’s such a grey area, is it right that anyone pro¬£its from it?¬† For that’s what this all boils down to, after all.

Creative Commons Licence
creative commons

So what about work done? Is that any different? What about the pop stars who did a week’s recording in their teens and are still pro¬£iting from it in their retirement?¬† When do those pieces that are so embedded in our culture move into public ownership?

Well, as things stand, in 70 years.