Tag Archives: Kate Soper

Guest Post: Why Beethoven Is Not Enough, by Curt Barnes

Copper Multiphase 2 (acrylic on laminated birch) © Curt Barnes, 2002. With kind permission.

Copper Multiphase 2 (acrylic on laminated birch) © Curt Barnes, 2002. With kind permission.

. . . my own involvement in the art world has helped me find connections with music, not so much in content as in a preparatory attitude.
—Curt Barnes

Having encountered our remarkable host here in an online music course and continuing some very interesting conversations thereafter at the Great Composers Appreciation Society,  it was inevitable that I’d become a regular visitor to her blog. When she asked if I’d be interested in contributing something here, I said yes, without thinking exactly what. As a professional artist I’ve had a longstanding interest in music but no expertise in the subject whatever; I can’t read it or play any sort of instrument, just love listening. It occurred to me that my own involvement in the art world has helped me find connections with music, not so much in content as in a preparatory attitude. A familiarity with music history is indispensable, certainly, but sometimes even more important is working through irrelevant assumptions and fostering an elasticity of mind to access the new and often difficult. Here, then, are some thoughts on how to approach new music. Maybe some of you will make additions to the list in the comments, or critique what I provide. I’ve numbered the items to give the illusion of order. Continue reading