Blog Post 1: Emma
Gumbrecht seems to be exploring how music, specifically jazz and ballet in these two examples, can affect and inform the whole human experience – the body itself, the mental and emotional capabilities, the sexual desires and also influence the listener with some racial undertones that don’t quite take a back seat. In the section “Dancing” the author explores the sexual nature of dancing ballet and how one person’s experience can be informed by both the visual ballet and the music. Rather, in the section “Jazz” the focus is all on the rhythm of the music. The author doesn’t say it explicitly, however alludes to the whole point of music is the beat that holds the rest of it up. The quest of music as the pulse of life is described, “Our age seeks art not in expression, not in form, but in matter permeated with rhythm.” This idea is echoed throughout the passage and goes on to discuss jazz and reasons for and against the acceptance of jazz.
The two books compliment each other in ways to record music history, or really any type of history. While Gumbrecht does it so in evocative stories, Presner/Shepard/Kawano create this system of highly organized information that tells the viewer so much and in many contexts. The later example can incorporate the Gumbrecht idea of stories and include them in their creative process. This would serve as a useful model for music historians because they can take the music and data out of the pages and spreadsheets and create an experience. Just like the information synthesis we will be doing in our project; the static, unmoving sheet music and information can suddenly be an interactive way to explore just about anything. For music historians in particular it can help incorporate the audio and sometimes visual aspects of the music. It can take on the rhythm of life as described by Gumbrecht. Technology allows us to view music in a way unlike any other format, second only to actually attending a musical performance. It makes music more accessible to all.