Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Short Thought On Children And Culture

My paternal grandfather, born in Glasgow in 1907, was a very accomplished violinist. Born into perhaps not grinding or abject but certainly a degree of poverty (I have little time and less sympathy for that most irritating of Glaswegian habits, the prolier-than-thou plumage display), we don't know where or when he heard the Bruch violin concerto that he could play by ear.
Scroll forward a century. I can turn on my TV and get both BBC Four and Sky Arts. Virtually every other TV set in the country has at least one of those channels, and most have both. Shouldn't this immediate and almost universal availability of culture, unprecedented in our history, mean that we should be rearing the most cultured generations ever to have existed? And if that's the case, why don't I see the evidence of that around me?



Blogger PJMULVEY said...

Martin: Unfortunately, high culture competes with low culture in an era of 200 channels. In addition, if the importance of high culture is not reinforced in the home and in schools, what hope is there? An adolescent boy given the choice or hearing (and watching) Katy Perry or Emmanuel Ax performing will choose the former 99% of the time. I exposed my older children to classical music since they were infants and many years later they are at least not adverse to this type of music when I play it during their visits and they can actually recognize a Mozart or Beethoven melody. However, their current first choice of music is pop whether house, country and reggae. Hopefully, when their youthful enthusiasms pass with age they will embrace beautiful music that transcends the the zeitgeist and is more in harmony with the internal music of their own souls and those of their children. All the best, Patrick

21 February, 2011 14:38  
Blogger Martin said...


Since writing this post, I have become sware that the BBC broadcasts a childrens' TV show about a reggae playing rodent. Its name is 'Rastamouse'.

21 February, 2011 19:52  
Blogger Foxy Brown said...

Cultural relativism means that high culture is no better or worse than low culture. Unfortunately the latter has triumphed.

21 February, 2011 21:37  

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