MUSIC AT THE CROSSROADS by Abram Chasins

MUSIC AT THE CROSSROADS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Translating music director and critic Chasin's hyper-euphuistic rhetoric into plain English yields the following observations on the current music scene: avant garde classical music is academic and sterile; rock (""that infinitely aleatory, ecstatic potpourri, this psykaleidoscope of collision"") is where it's at; the so-called ""cultural explosion"" is a myth. On the other hand the university scene is beginning to loosen up a little and rock may have reached its own dead end. Under advice to young musicians: Though there are fewer jobs than ever, a really talented and well-trained instrumentalist will be able to find a niche; whatever you have hear, there is no racial discrimination in the New York Philharmonic or elsewhere; competitions have replaced the New York debut but are in no way an automatic guarantee of professional establishment. Music students blessed with a tin ear for prose may be able to find a few more vagrant scraps of information here -- on managers, declining concert audiences, the futility of working for a Ph.D. in music, etc. Chasins professes to impart the ""blunt cool"" but it's been said often enough before (more concisely by Alan Rich in Careers and Opportunities in Music [1964] and in his New York magazine columns) that American music is in a bad way.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1972
Publisher: Macmillan