The Transformational Decade

Daniel Asia

It is now official- hip-hop "culture" is worthy of serious study at the university level, and has found its first home at my place of employment, the University of Arizona! I trust you will all be as excited as I am at this glorious news.  This new program was featured in our local newspaper in the accompanying article. Yours truly is quoted as saying that perhaps, just maybe, this isn't the best of ideas.  Might we next sign up for Sex Week?  If it plays well at the Iveys maybe it will do well here.  In the meantime we have hip-hop, with its lurid language, siimpleminded music, and a lifestyle predicated on base and superficial premises. The situation continues to get sillier day by day- but the battle goes on. 

For those of of you interested in the fate of serious music in the larger culture, and academia for that matter, you might wish to peruse two articles of mine on the Huffington Post. The subject matter is the relative merits of the music of Igor Stravinsky and John Cage.  I assumed that only a few people would take interest in the initial article, but much to my surprise, it went viral, creating a veritable firestorm in the new music world. You might wish to follow a few of the threads on the Huffington Post and at the New Music Box to see what the academic music environment has wrought.  

Lastly, our good friend and board member of the NAS has a recently released book, The Transformational Decade: Snapshots of a Decade from 9/11 to the Obama Presidency. You should read it, and/or also read my review of it in the newest New Criterion.

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