By Orrin Keepnews, Bill Grauer
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Additional resources for A Pictorial History of Jazz: People and Places from New Orleans to Modern Jazz
It is instructive 29 30 An outline topography of musical accessibility in this context to relate the discussion of uses9 of music to Weber’s four fundamental kinds of social action (1971: 80), which he identiﬁes as: 1. 2. 3. 4. Action for a purpose (such as saving money in order to buy something). Action for (moral) values (such as giving to charity). g. 10 Traditionally orientated (according with the customs of a society). Weber makes the point that it would be unusual to ﬁnd cases of social action motivated in only one of these ways (1971: 81).
When we pick up a music book which claims to make playing the piano ‘accessible’ for our child, we are not puzzled, although we might open it to see by which miracle this will be achieved. When a newspaper article reports on an opera company making their work ‘accessible’ by offering free entry to some performances, again, we are likely to accept that this is a perfectly clear and appropriate use of the word. Yet, although these three examples all refer to accessible music, it is obvious that they are about entirely different types of access.
Music recorded using over-dubs, sequencing, sampling, and extensive digital editing and signal processing may be difﬁcult to replicate live. Indeed a live performance of such work will tend to attempt to reproduce the recording rather than the other way about. 12 Meanwhile the copy is no longer even an object, but a trace, a silicon chip memory amongst billions which can be sent around the world in an instant and appear in several places at once, effortlessly replicating itself if required. It ceases to represent an original.