Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Jan 16th 2008 10:00AM by James Sullivan
Should Jay-Z be responsible for the financial well-being of the Roches? Could Rihanna keep the Fresno Philharmonic in cheap tuxedos? A recent column in the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper weighed the merits of a pop music tax that would subsidize more modest-selling forms of music, such as folk and classical.
Inspired by an NPR interview in which the author of 'Music and Revolution: Cultural Change in Socialist Cuba' explained that Cubans are, in fact, subject to such a tax, the Guardian contributor applauded the prospect. "What a great idea!" she wrote. "A minute or two of serious music education in a state school could come from every hour your child spends plugged into his or her iPod." She took pains to point out that "elite" culture isn't necessarily "better" than pop, just that it requires "more education or cultivation."
Nevertheless, the article evoked a shrill cacophony of voices in response, from lovers of music of all kinds. Some pointed out that Mozart and Strauss were simply the pop artists of their day. Others noted that the major labels have been subsidizing their classical departments with pop profits for decades, and one suggested that a classical concert featuring the music of "long dead composers" is probably much cheaper these days than concerts "by the nearly dead Led Zeppelin, Police, Rolling Stones et. al."
One classical fan professed to love pop as much as the next username, but then concluded that "it's a musical snack, not an emotional adventure." Whoa! Fifty million Celine Dion fans can't be wrong ... can they?