Friday, April 22, 2005

There's stuff besides music?

Helen was inspired by Julliard President Joseph Polisi's push for broadly educated musicians. She came up with a quiz to see how liberal arty you are. I'll get to my results on the quiz in a second, but first I want to point out how large this trend is. Double degree programs have blossomed in the U.S., including a brand-new push at Kyle Gann's Bard College. About ten years ago the Eastman School of Music created the Bachelor of Musical Arts degree, reducing the number of music courses from the typical B.M. so the student can take more Arts Management and humanities courses. We've had a similar degree here at DePauw for even longer (take that, Eastman!), which has become the most popular degree for music students. I think this is a sign that the traditional path of the musician, conservatory-trained and hired immediately by an established ensemble or become a touring soloist is becoming extinct. Instead, musicians are expected or required to carve their own niche in performing culture. This means that the musicians need to have a detailed awareness of society to carve wisely. This awareness comes from knowledge of the other arts and humanities, from science and technology, and from the social sciences. In other words, a fine liberal arts education.

Now to the quiz: I've indicated whether I knew the answer before specifically searching, and then what field each question is testing on.


  1. On the day of the Prague Invasion (August 21, 1968), what happened in the Royal Albert Hall? No idea. A little searching suggests this is pop culture.
  2. What is Empfindsamkeit? This one I know (music history).
  3. Which major 20th century arts movement occurs in literature, music, painting, film and architecture? I also know this, I think. I'm not positive about the architecture part. (Arts)
  4. What was unusual about the Original Dixieland Jazz Band? I also know this (music history again.)
  5. Complete the phrase "God save the Queen, / She ain't no human being, _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ " I didn't know this (pop culture).
  6. What is "an artist's response to just criticism"? What was the criticism? (score 1 for each part) Yes, (music history)
  7. Who were the Medicis? This I know (humanities).
  8. Which of the following have you read: Great Expectations, Les Liasons Dangereuses, Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina, Don Quixote, The Waste Land, Death of a Salesman, Waiting for Godot, The Tempest. More than two, score one point: full house, score two points. Great Expectations, Don Quixote, The Waste Land, The Tempest. (Literature)
  9. Who was shot on the Upper West Side in 1980? I know this (pop culture).
  10. Name a pop artist working also with classical musicians. Gosh, many have. (music/pop culture).
  11. What is Le Moulin Rouge? The movie or the dance hall? (I know it.)
  12. What is utilitarianism? I know this (philosophy/aesthetics).
  13. In literature, what does the female hysteric have to say? I don't know. (literature)
  14. In which art form does one find 'Dogme 95'? I don't know. (film)
  15. How did Orpheus persuade Pluto to return Euridyce? I know this, but more from music operas than from reading Greek mythology.
  16. What is the divine right of kings? I know this (history/politics)
  17. The three ways musicians physically and principally remember music are - ? Hmm, this seems to be a specific music pedagogy. I could think of three, but I'm not aware of the specific pedagogy referenced.
  18. What was Rock The Vote set up to do? I know this. (Does this count under pop culture, politics, current events, or history?)
  19. Who most famously espoused the Noble Savage myth? Yes (philosophy)
  20. What am I talking about, if I mention the "tragic flaw"? Yes, (literature/humanities).
So, I score 15 points. Apparently I'm Jonathan Miller. However, I think the test is still too music-biased. It should have some social science and physical science questions.

No comments: