Should we make general claims about art?

Short thought: I hear a lot of composers today claiming that they can’t say much about what’s happening in music today, not even in their own discipline. There are just too many things happening they tell me. There is no possible way to start making these kinds generalization. They are not accurate, truthful or desirable.

If the point of art is to say something, to respond to questions, to promote dialogue, to provoke thought (not necessarily all at once), how can it be meaningful to say something without knowing what kind of conversation people are having?

About JoeL

I completed a Master of Music degree from McGill University. I am currently working towards an Artist Diploma also at McGill. I like to do philosophy as a hobby.

1 thought on “Should we make general claims about art?

  1. Well, what if your music, for example, is not intended primarily to make a contribution to the academic field of music composition, but you want it to speak to a certain audience (academic and/or non-academic)? I think it’s safe to say that in the vast majority of cases, this job will be better done if the artist is in dialogue with a variety of artists from past and present in his or her discipline (and probably also outside his or her discipline), but this is quite different from being able to give a summary of the current state of the “field,” no?

    Likewise, I suspect the response to your question would be that there are so many conversations that it is simply impossible to follow and understand them all. The best one can do is enjoy and find stimulation in as many old and new conversations as one finds fruitful.

    Liked by 1 person

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