What is Music, who is She? or The Meaning of 'Song'.

Along with today's widespread fear and rejection of an almost obscene nine letter word - classical - shock horror!!! - goes the infuriating use of a four letter word - song - to describe anything and everything which has any sort of musical content, be it a brief piece for Japanese Nose Flute Sextet or a 90 minute Symphony. Our largely uncultured leaders regard many of the arts and it seems music in particular as trivial side issues beside the serious business of running the country - down. They seem wilfully to overlook the significant financial contributions made by the arts, film and music to our economy, (which you might imagine would speak strongly to their otherwise keen interest in matters financial) and as a result persist in under supporting this whole area to a disgraceful and indeed quite illogical extent. Music today exists with a boggling variety of styles, genres and cultural origins, amongst which the Western classical tradition forms just a part, but I would argue that as a western nation ourselves we should ensure that all children have at least a passing acquaintance with just a few of the wonders of western classical music created over the last 500 years or so, if only to show how much of today's world of Pop, Jazz, Folk, Rock, Blues, World ad infinitum would not exist without those centuries of creation and development behind them. In the process they could learn that one word does not sufficiently describe all music, that titles do matter and that all the variety of musical forms are not 'songs'; even if they make our hearts sing.
I have noticed responses to the very word classical vary from embarrassed laughter through hasty distancing to strident dissociation. Too many peoples definition of music refers only to that which falls within the whole wide range of 'popular' music and specifically rejects anything seen to lie under the 'classical' umbrella.
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Do you get paid for your work?

Do you receive money for your work or do you just work for free? If you fall into the second category join the host of composers and performers who are widely expected to work for nothing. The creative community does actually need to eat and drive and buy books or go to the cinema, but the fruits of its compositions or performances, however much the composer or performer might enjoy or even hate producing them are considered by many not to be worthy of payment. Writers, actors, painters, sculptors, film makers et al are accepted as valid recipients of money for their efforts but music, almost uniquely, seems not to warrant such largesse. The Web has a lot to answer for in this matter with the ubiquitous availability of free and peer-to-peer web sites, but all this work of whatever genre, which has been so lovingly and often laboriously created by an actual human being somewhere on this wide world is happily taken, one could say stolen by many as their right to possess - for nothing.
See what Rosanne Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash had to say before Congress on this vital topic yesterday at:
http://www.americansongwriter.com/2014/06/songwriter-u-rosanne-cash-testifies-congress-defense-artists-rights/
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Ding Dong Cottage - it's just a name

I must clear up possible misconceptions about my home address; why would any musician in his right mind choose to call his abode Ding Dong? Good question! When I moved into Ding Dong Cottage in 1958 with my wife Judith and our two small daughters that name was already given and it arises from the fact that this row of 4 miners' cottages were formerly, (back in the 19th century), the homes of people working in the nearby Ding Dong Mines; men, women and children, seeking copper, tin and other minerals deep in the Cornish granite beneath.
The Ding Dong Mines complex, now an Industrial World Heritage Site has been mined for tin, copper, lead and other minerals since pre-historic times and was reputedly visited by the Phoenicians for its valuable resources 2,000 years ago. The most remarkable thing is, that no-one seems quite sure about the name's origin or derivation, but this
is Cornwall! The expression 'ding dong' is sometimes used to describe something which is 'good', but that is the best I can offer. It is certainly true that this particular part of far west Cornwall has been spectacularly rich in minerals and until the far East started producing competing supplies in the early 20th Century was one of the main sources of tin and copper for the world.
A handful of wealthy owners made huge profits by comparison with the low wages and long hours suffered by their thousands of workers. In the 19th century a miners' average working life was over by the age of 29 and death by 35, although it has to be said that many people in this area from that period did achieve their three score years and ten or more. The 2 most common causes of death while working are said to have been from falling off a ladder (they descended more than 700'), or from contracting pneumonia after coming to the cold surface after many tiring hours of work in the hot subterranean labyrinth of tunnels which was their working environment.
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First Blog

At the age of 84 last week it may seem a little late to board the Blogging behemoth, but having started earlier this year to do just that on our Cornish Self Catering Holiday site (http://www.dingdongcottages.co.uk), I find the facility 'interests me strangely', to quote Ford Prefect.
I suspect my meanderings will often wander away from matters musical, as I hope to ponder many/any things which randomly or pointedly slip into my mind from this curious universe we appear fated to inhabit.
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