Militant Democratization

No, this is not an Iraq post (However, I will point out a concise defense of the effort by Christopher Hitchens here). It is a post about a extremely intriguing new music software which will, as Alex Ross describes it, "allows you to enter into a recorded track, separate out notes within chords, and change them at will." An impressive demonstration is provided here.

I view this as yet another development toward the militant democratization of music and the obliteration of the notions of talent and authorship as we had previously understood them. At one time, in order to create music, you had to have an ability, a physical ability to play or sing. In addition, you had to be able to read music and understand music theory to compose complex pieces. This is patently no longer the case. Now, the only thing that is required is a mental inclination toward music, the right technology, and the capability to use it.

This is not to say that the classic sense of talent is inconsequential. It is just that suddenly that the pool of potentially worth-while music-makers will continue to expand and that their amount of raw material has suddenly increased significantly.

It is very unlikely that you could sit just anyone before a piano and have them play Liszt or compose a Liszt-like piece. It is also doubtful that they could come up with something interesting. However, it far more likely that you could sit someone in front of a computer and that they might come up with something intriguing and also take a Lizst piece and remix it. Now, they will not be able to remix it, but adjust it, revise it. Note-for-note. As Glenn Reynolds might say, bring it on.

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