Sunday, February 1, 2015

No, Bach Wouldn't Play a Laptop



One of the silliest tropes among many music writers and fans is the insistence that if Bach (or fill in the blank) lived today he (or she) would be experimenting with electronic music -- as if the thing to know about Bach is his newness, as opposed to his love for melody, counter-melody, interlocking rhythmic form, and the sonority of acoustic instruments such as we hear in this concerto; as if, if Bach were alive today he'd be manning a laptop in front of a sun- and ecstasy-baked crowd in Ibiza or maybe playing lead guitar in a progressive heavy metal band; as if he would no longer care for the sound of an oboe. If anything, if Bach had the option to be alive today, he'd probably say, "No, but thanks for asking. I'm good where I'm at."

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