A banjo through time

Why Art Survives

I recently found myself in conversation with a new violist friend about the push-and-pull that all classical musicians experience: What are the merits of protecting traditions of the past when balanced against our desire for today’s audiences? We all may lean to one side. Maybe you believe in the idea of art for art’s sake. Or maybe you have a passion for an entrepreneurial revolution. But before long, as I realized with my friend, at the core we care about the same thing: the survival of our art.

In our March issue, Why Art Survives, we meet Dale Henderson, founder of Bach in the Subways. This global movement was born of Henderson’s conviction that the music of J.S. Bach uplifts and inspires, and as such, must both endure and be made accessible for all.

We can learn from other musical traditions that have survived through generations, like Andean panpipe, or siku, performances. Ethnomusicologist Thomas Turino examines modern siku ensembles, and how their practices have both evolved and remained the same. 

Finally, Mike Block argues in his TALK21 for the pursuit of a more holistic experience of music, one that moves forward by embracing change and cultural differences. 

So why does art survive? Perhaps different art forms are not as wed to any one time period, tradition or culture as we might think. Whether the art of our choosing is new or old, we can let it help us connect to ourselves and to the world around us. 

Thanks for joining the conversation,
Mark Rabideau
Director, 21CM

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Mark Rabideau

Mark Rabideau is a cultural entrepreneur, busy re-imagining how we must prepare musicians to thrive within the shifting marketplace and cultural landscape of the contemporary moment. …more 

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