There’s no such thing as “neutral territory”…. where music is concerned; or indeed where anything else in life is concerned.
We often hear parents speak of “allowing their children to decide for themselves” ? In such cases the parents have already made a very important decision for their children. And the decision is not “neutral”. It is one firmly placed on the solid ground of “decision-making”.
I think the same holds good for many decisions to be made in life. Everyone has a “point of departure”. There is nobody without a background. So what, you might say?
Well the “what” is as follows: On occasion, my views regarding music and music education have come face to face with criticism regarding my lack of “neutral” territory. I come from the standpoint of one who believes in the metaphysical; in what we do not see, but which, to my way of thinking is much more REAL than the visible. How do I react to that criticism? Well, those who criticize me for this are absolutely right! That is my position. But what we must remember is that those holding a differing viewpoint are also coming from their own particular standpoint. They are not neutral either. As I said at the outset, neutrality does not exist. “Neutrality” is the action of firmly taking up position. It is active!
So, I shall continue to hold my position regarding the necessity to deal with content in music, holding, as I do, that it is much more important than form. One could say that there are two opposing opinions here, neither of which is “neutral”. Just that, (and here’s my gripe) one position seems to have more attention in academia on the grounds that it is NEUTRAL!
But, and this is an important point…… It is not true to say that, where form and content are concerned “never the twain shall meet”. Of course they shall. We live in material world, as the song goes, and the material is certainly not inherently “bad”. Of course not. But, when deprived of its inner nature then……
That’s my position which, essentially, as far as this blog goes, concerns music.
“Mozart’s music is so pure it seems to have been ever-present in the Universe.” Einstein