Wednesday, 31 March 1993
25 Years of Looking to the Future: Critics Panel|
"Music and Technology: The Future of Music"
With the approach of the millennium, questions about the future of
music seem to be on the minds of critics, academicians, and musicians.
At the beginning of the year, New York Times music critic, Edward
Rothstein, observed that "we are entering a different era, an odd, uncertain fin-de-siècle."
- Earl Arnett, Moderator, Peabody Conservatory of Music Criticism Faculty
- James Pritchett, Musicologist
- Stephen Wigler, Baltimore Sun
- Kyle Gann, Village Voice
- Robert Haskins, Columbia Flier
Adding to this uncertainty is the rise of digital technology in the
1980s and with it the question of how technology will fit in with the
concert music of the next century. We live in a world where electronic
instruments, home computers, and other technological aids are being
assimilated by a large population. How will this impact concert
music? Will these technologies affect how music is presented?
The critics assembled for this event are from diverse backgrounds so
as to provide several different points of view on the future of music.
Some of the questions to be asked of the panelists include:
- What is your vision of the nature and role of music in the
- Do you think that the terms "art music" and "serious music" will
have meaning in the future, or will such current distinctions
- With the development of home theaters, multi-media technologies,
and holographic presentations, how do you see the future significance
of live performances? Orchestras?
- As computers make it increasingly easy for all of us to
manipulate sounds and make music, how do you see the role of musical
training and education in the 21st century? Will computers make us all
musicians? What opportunities will there be for professional.
composers and players in the next century?
- In a world of many musics from diverse cultures around the
planet, how are we to choose between good and bad music? Does
anything go, or can we establish useful criteria for judging music?
Should we judge music?
- Does the development of the music video mean that we will listen
to music, always accompanied by visual images, or will there be
interest in the twenty-first century for unadorned sounds, significant
Open rehearsal for Dance No. 4 by Philip Glass. Robert Haskins,
synthesizer. Juliet Forrest, Choreography; Juliet Forrest, Theresa Merenda,
Cynthia Plavier, Dancers.