2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

psychological aspects of western art music, and a historical response to the 'free enterprise" nonsense

Reader comment on item: You Need Beethoven to Modernize
in response to reader comment: Western Music not really necessary for Modernity

Submitted by frank (United States), Jun 6, 2011 at 15:05

If one studies, for example, the development of music education and the construction of concert halls, conservatories, etc that trained teachers, performers and composers of western classical music in Meiji Japan and Ataturk's Turkish Republic, one will quickly notice that both founders placed a premium on Western art music.

Why? Both nations' founders believed that western classical was the highest expression and organization of aural sound. As such, this cognitively sophisticated and abstract form of sound, would expand their citizens' cognitive abilities. In fact, the same importance was given to both music education and the construction of conservatories, concert halls, etc. by Soviet styled societies, the Scandinavian and Germanic nations; this emphasis was also supported by many industrializing Francophone nations.

Today, cognitive scientists have measured the human brain's responses to listening to Western art music and they have consistently found that such practices both enrich the brain's communication between neurotransmitters, train the brain to focus, and quickly learn skills related to abstract thinking and higher levels of cognition.

These experiments have been studied by the affluent and educated elite in the successful state capitalist nation of China. That is why many parents of this social class make their children take western classical music piano lessons. In fact, the demand in China is so large for piano teachers, many of Russia's well trained pianists are setting up shop in China.

The parents of these children do not drop their children off to take their piano lessons. They actually stay with their child during the lesson and take volumious notes during the learning process.

By the way, there was a comment given by a typical Anglo-US ethnocentric responder. "Free enterprise" never existed. The nations that gained great wealth within the world capitalist system have done so because their wealthy oligarchs and oligopolists successfully used the state to fight wars or use diplomatic methods to expand their markets, controlled the government to esure their increasing share of government contracts, revenues, subsidies, bailouts, and so on.

Many governments have (and do) take the initial risks of setting up the newest technologies, production facilities and the required appropriate infrastructure. If the new techo-industrial system seems to work, the government usually hands this system to the most powerful of the economic elite to profit from.

In the pre-capitalist world, individuals would use the sword to gain power and thus enrich themselves; in the capitalist world, private corporations gain wealth and then grab power over both their government's sword and purse strings.

Too bad economic and business history is not taught in either the U.S's HSs or in that nations institutions of higher learning. All one gets from most U.S.economic dept.s is neo-classical ideology and its selected religious scriptures. In otherwords, market fundamentalism.

The presently successful capitalist economies are state-directed and they compete in the global market as if they are at war. Most economies are actually neo-mercantilistic. If their economies are dominated by the central planners of the U.S.-dominated World Bank and IMF (or the German and/or French central banks), they are forced to lower their defenses via privitization, deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy. That recipe leads to their economic spiral downwards.

However, how long such success will last is up for discussion. We may be observing the final collapse of world capitalist system.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to psychological aspects of western art music, and a historical response to the 'free enterprise" nonsense by frank

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)