when no one tells you about something

neon-open-sign-1404389631jnSI’ve created this blog to share with music students things that I’ve read, things that I’ve listened to, and things that I’ve thought about. There is simply not enough time during classes for university lecturers to be able to share everything that they want to share. There is no such thing as a ‘standard set of topics to cover’. It used to be so – in the olden days it was considered appropriate to teach a range of music history and music theory courses focused solely on western art music, moving through the time periods from the Renaissance to the 20th century and beyond. The study of indigenous African music or pop music, to name just two examples, was considered something ‘different’, something ‘extra’ that you can study after you’ve covered the so-called ‘basics’. This is fortunately not the case anymore, but with all thing being equal it’s just not possible to cover everything. Information can be found anywhere at the click of a button. Classes are there to focus on selected topics, and to use these topics to teach students how to use information, be it in the technical sense or the critical.

I really don’t like the title ‘professor’ because it implies that you are a ‘spreader of wisdom and knowledge’. I would much prefer to be called a ‘knowledge consultant’. Specialist medical doctors in the UK are called consultants, and in the case of some specialities assume the title Mr or Ms, rather than Dr  – other than being the epitome of ‘cool’, it implies a kind of brotherhood/sisterhood and humbleness. Any good professor should be able to use the term ‘I don’t know’ when they don’t know something.

All of this being said (and before I get more off-track) there are many things that you won’t come across if no one tells you about it. And that is what this blog is for. Read what I have to say, leave comments, and feel free to share things with me that I can go and read about, listen to, or think about. I aim to keep to the use of language in this blog as jargon-free and as simple as possible so that it doesn’t read like an academic text.

By the way, ‘Kit’ is short for ‘Chris’ and ‘screen’ simply refers to, well, a computer screen. I now declare this blog open for business.