Head music and epic theater


According to Michael J. West regarding “melodic, listenable Miles” Davis

He had every right to make his music so easily appealing, and you have every right to enjoy that appeal. The unfortunate part is really an indirect side effect: see, jazz is what they call “head music.” It’s important that listening to it presents a challenge, because it means you have to put some mental muscle into listening to it and comprehending it. Now you do have to exercise your brain to listen to Miles, but you do so in rather subtle, and, honestly, conventional ways. It presents a false standard for how jazz should work. And it can make it harder to appreciate more abstract, difficult jazz.

According to Bertolt Brecht

The theater-goer in conventional dramatic theater says:

Yes, I’ve felt that way, too. That’s the way I am. That’s life. That’s the way it will always be. The suffering of this or that person grips me because there is no escape for him. That’s great art—Everything is self-evident. I am made to cry with those who cry, and laugh with those who laugh.

But the theater-goer in the epic theater says:

I would never have thought that. You can’t do that. That’s very strange, practically unbelievable. That has to stop. The suffering of this or that person grips me because there is an escape for him. That’s great art—nothing is self-evident. I am made to laugh about those who cry, and cry about those who laugh.

According to University of Southern Queensland

Although epic theatre is often perceived as lacking in emotion or entertainment value, Brecht was actually intent on creating a theatrical experience that entertained, educated and provoked thought. This misconception seems to stem from the notion that entertainment and education cannot co-exist. However his productions used intelligent humour, dance, music, clowning and colour to tell stories with high political and social content. After all, theatre is supposed to represent life, and life is derived from [a] combination of the personal, social and political climate of the time.

According to Ellen Handler Spitz

The book will intrigue, delight, and puzzle children. (Where did the pig go? What is he standing on? How did the wolf really eat the pig if he goes away? Why does it say so?). Wiesner’s tale turns back on itself to reveal its form, and to show that a story can be protean, metamorphic, and infinitely malleable. We have to co-construct it. Indeed, one of its boons is that, since there is no right way to read it, adults, too, are put to the test intellectually, (Wiesner’s pigs are not just children). The book can be seen as an unexpected lesson in the ethic of storytelling.

But has something been lost? Fear, after all, has been drained completely away. By letting the pigs out of the story, Wiesner has pushed us out as well. We have no need for empathy, no real worry any more about their fate, or our own, or about good or evil. When bad comes along here, you simply jump out of your story into another one: Click. Evil is therefore unreal. The pigs get away, but the wolf cannot. He exists only in the story. Unlike the pigs, he is trapped. And this is a deprivation. By eschewing an incantatory mode, by not luring children step by step into a transparent world and holding them spellbound as in a dream, this postmodern tale, artful and ingenious, wakes us up, and provides its own useful challenge to understanding. But there is a cost. The risk with the cyber-genre is that, with all its glitz, we lose the pity and terror which Aristotle extolled and Plato feared.

Water is too hot


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