Sunday, June 5, 2016

This is the Fifth Anniversary of the Music Salon!

Yes, the very first post was this one titled Welcome! on June 5, 2011. I just got up one Sunday morning and decided to do what I had been thinking about for quite a while: start a blog. That was 1949 posts ago and this will be post 1950. So what I want to do is reflect a bit about blogging and pick out a post or two from each year that was significant in some way.

First of all, what I think sets blogging apart from a lot of other forms of communication is its personality, that is, the way in which it comes directly from an individual (or, in some cases, a group of individuals) point of view. For quite a while and in a lot of posts I avoided being too personal, but it is the individual, personal element that authenticates a blog, gives it its imprimis. This is what sets it apart from all of those utterances that are primarily about expressing policy, manipulating opinion and perception, about promoting a product or making a bureaucratic ruling. The personal view is crucial, I think. And this dovetails well with the inherent purpose of this blog in particular, to reflect in an aesthetic way about music. Aesthetic judgment is a blend of the subjective and the objective, but the subjective brings with it its own authenticity. This is why an extended series of posts about my trip to Madrid is not so pointless and irrelevant as they might seem and why readers seem to enjoy them as much as the more objective ones about. oh, I dunno, the various ways Sibelius finds to reach symphonic closure.

Blogging has a spontaneity about it that is important too. This is another kind of authentication: we read what are real and immediate reactions to pieces of music, musicians, events and so on. But the spontaneity is mediated by a bit of thought: a blog post is not a Tweet, thank goodness.

What makes a particularly good blog, I think, is some devotion to principle, some overarching vision that, while it may not appear in an individual post, certainly has a deep influence on the whole shape of the blog.

Here are a couple of posts early on that revealed something of both the methodology and the whimsy of the blog:

Those two posts go together and expose in an implicit way, a lot of how I listen to music. In the first seven months of the blog I wrote a lot of posts, 304 in fact. This is because I tended to do more, and shorter, posts. This was probably due to the influence of one of my favorite blogs, Instapundit, who back then put up dozens of posts every day, most of them just a sentence or two and a link. It turned out that this is not a good model for what I am doing as there isn't that much I want to link to. So I settled into putting up one longer post every day. Here are a couple from the second year in which I talk about things that I regard as aesthetic virtues and sins:

with some examples:

Here is a post from 2013 in which I do a bit of analysis of a theme from Prokofiev:

One essential element of the Music Salon is the humor of which this is an example:

Another kind of post is the debunking kind, often satirical, like this one:

Here is a post from 2014 about the slippery ideology of music:

And another about music and politics:

From 2015 here is a post lambasting the intrusions of political correctness into music:

And another about the magical quality of musical instruments.

I picked these posts out somewhat at random, just to give an idea of some of the breadth of the posting at the Music Salon. Why don't you go back and delve into some back posts?

Finally, thanks to my readers and commentators because, without you, there really would be no point in blogging at all!


Ken Fasano said...

Congratulations and thank you!

Marc Puckett said...

Am looking forward to that guided tour through the archive; thanks so very much for your huge amount of work and all the interesting, challenging essays: to another five years! ad multos annos!

Bryan Townsend said...

Hear, hear! And thanks to all my readers and commentators.