No Respect (2019Oct06)

Sunday, October 06, 2019                                       4:52 PM

No Respect   (2019Oct06)

As I’ve often said, our politics are just a symptom of something much more endemic. Take music, for example.

While copyrights have been in the forefront of every labels’ and publishing companies’ legal department, it wasn’t long ago that they were trying to steal artists’ intellectual property for themselves—and that continues, more subtly, while they add this ‘frenzy’ of defending their hoard from interlopers as amoral as they are.

Meanwhile, the mighty computer (which can supposedly play chess and run a factory) cannot help YouTube differentiate between my homemade videos of a Bach composition—and the same piece played by a world-famous concert artist. They send me emails, telling me I have encroached on their copyright of piano-works which have clearly aged into the Public Domain—which would only apply if it were not me at the ivories. Stupid, bad computer—try again.

As well, I watch this Music Choice channel (now the Stingray channel) which plays recordings, a la radio station—sans visuals. Except for the Titles! Each piece is identified by Name, Composer, & Performer(s)—but not always correctly.

Am I so expert? No, but I don’t have to be. When a Bach piece is credited as a famous pianist’s recording—and one clearly hears a harpsichord; or when a Debussy piece is credited as a famous pianist’s recording—and one clearly hears an Orchestra playing a famous transcription of it; it takes no scholar to understand that the database is corrupt.

Naivety might lead me to suggest that centuries of musical genius, the sonic treasure-house of Western Civilization, recorded painstakingly by talented stars who’ve devoted their lifetimes to this music—might be worthy of respect. But I don’t ask for respect.

I ask only what computers are supposed to be good at—accuracy. If computers’ precision exists only for accounting—and none of the other arts or sciences—then what the hell good are they?

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