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#61 Jazz, Jazz Standards, and Open Source

Dec 11, 2009, 05:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Updegrove)

"Well, sure, once you thought about it. And high school chemistry teachers, too, I expect. It's just that when they were spread around so widely, it was not so obvious to us, and a whole lot less remunerative for them. All of which brings us to the point where we can consider this equally obvious analogical statement: Standards are to classical music as open source is to jazz.

"Dig?

"No question about it. Classical music, like technical standards, is complex and developed through a painstakingly exact process. Needless to say, people wouldn't pay a dime to hear a musician implement a Beethoven sonata unless she did so with precision and utter faithfulness to the score.

"Even "Pops" orchestras choose to "up" orchestrate popular music rather than monkey with the presentation of classical material. Instead, orchestras compete through the quality of their implementations, the ingenuity of the programs of music they assemble, and the talent of their ensembles and soloists."

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