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October 21, 2005
Vol. V, No. 21

"Rude, Crude and In a Mood"
As I was walking to work the other morning, I was nearly run down by a man driving a big, black car who had punched the accelerator in order to make it through a red light, that's right, red, not yellow, and came very close to losing control of his car. Coincidentally, I had just been ruminating on an article that claims that Americans are getting ruder, and contemplating whether New Yorkers have actually become nicer.

Anyway, with my heart pounding in my ears, I concluded that New Yorkers are just as rude as ever. Sure, there are plenty of nice people here and, to be fair, there's a good chance the driver of that car was from New Jersey, but the fact remains that New York still has its fair share of socially disfunctionals. What the article makes clear, however, is that New York no longer has a monopoly on the situation.

I doubt if Bach was ever rude but he certainly wasn't the picture of humility drawn in this article.
It's clear that Bach knew how to be gracious but to say he was humble is a lot of hogwash. Humble men don't end up in jail over a job dispute. Perhaps it was a result of Bach being principled or greedy or proud or all three for that matter but no matter how you stack it, it spells a heap of trouble. Certainly not humility.

It just goes to show that you can't believe everything that's in print. Here's another article that belongs in the circular file. Funny that the title is Strike Up the "Lyre":

The writer is trying to make a case for contemporary worship music, framing the argument as new versus old. I don't believe it's a case of new versus old, I believe it's a case of quality versus, and excuse my Norwegian, crap. Fads come and go but quality persists. A diet of quality-deficient music has the same negative effect on the soul and mind as a diet of nutrient-deficient food has on the body. You are what you eat.

Plus, I don't agree with philosophies of inclusiveness because then everything is valid and you suddenly have no differentiating criteria. If you say that no one thing is better than any other then of course you are saying that all things have equal value. However saying that all things have equal value only succeeds in making all things valueless precisely because no one thing is better than any other.

Great men like Bach and E.M. Skinner achieved greatness because they never compromised on quality. Great men tend to give to the world a great deal more in their lifetimes than they take. And, finally, great men know that no matter what heights they may achieve, we are all just visitors here on Earth so you'd better not be rude!

Musical Question of the Century -- VOTE NOW!!!
If the universe is in a musical key, what key do you think it is in?

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Susan Burkhalter
"Organists' News" - OCTOBER 10TH, '05
Before I expound on the topic of "using CD's", remember how I am learning how to...
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Victor Frost
"IX 05/ Preludes IV" - Resuming my discussion of the organ music available for free download at this site:
I am addressing my 24 Preludes in groups of four, and make...
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Vic Kovacs
"Times In The Life of An Organist" - My job situation has not improved any. I am trying to look past it and work toward the new positions that I am seeking. I am constantly studying and thinking about my audition pieces. Lately it seems that an incredible demand has been placed on me to...
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RAMPAGE FLASHBACK (It was four years ago today, about)
"Rededication" -- October 12, 2001
"With recent events in mind, many of us are taking the opportunity to reevaluate our priorities. When the organ or choir notes fade and we leave the bench, put down the baton or take off our headphones, we all have other interests and activities that we enjoy in addition to our love of music: family, friends, careers, hobbies, or, with any luck, perhaps all of the above." Click the following link for more:

WHAT I'M READING..."The Life and Work of Ernest M. Skinner" by Dorothy J. Holden.
This book provides another way of studying the development of the organ in America, through the prism of Skinner's life. His life had an interesting parallel to Bach's in that he never compromised on quality or his ideals, even if it meant that trends passed him by. Skinner created the ultimate theater organ but it was roundly rejected because it was too sophisticated sound-wise and didn't offer enough "bells and whistles." Also interesting is Skinner's contention that he could have reached even greater heights in organ building had he not had to waste time on salesmanship. It staggers the imagination. Click the link below for more information on this book:
Click this link to see all selections in Dan's Book Club:

Have a great week!

Dan Long

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