This is a cracking read for all the wrong reasons... Schoenberg gets pissed on and pretty much blamed for everything that is wrong with serious music today. Some of the discourse is so bad it's actually heeeelarious. And the "cracking read" bit is because it is making me think long and hard about what “classical” music could be in the new age we live in.

What does the modern ear wish to listen to? Should that even matter or influence anything? Does the music have to be “smart” and “new” and “codified” to be worth anyone’s time? It’s kinda funny that I’m reading this collection of essays now, when next on my pile of books to read is Schoenberg’s own “Style & Idea” collection. For now I will remain as confused as ever over postmodernism, and what the hell that word actually means.

In the meantime, I love this quote by Roger Scruton:

“ ...the elements of musical order still retain their appeal. Even in the accelerated conditions of modern life-- and especially in those conditions-- people understand repetition, they understand the rhythmical figure; they respond to the pure intervals of fifth and fourth; their attention can be captured by strophic melodies and dance rhythms. To use these as your raw materials is not to cheapen music, but to begin from the point where music makes contact with life.”