Arin the Eloquent wrote:Why would I find something like making music "fun"? I'm in it for the business ethic, otherwise what's the point? And I'm probably going to get the comment "that sounds miserable" and what not, but honestly, that's just the way the world works.
Within the world, there are a lot of reason to make music beyond just business/money. (Actually, there are many reasons to do lots of things beyond business/money).
All those monks who were writing chant weren't writing it for the business ethic, because there was no monetary transactions involved. They made music to glorify god.
All the African Americans who were enslaved made music, not for the business ethic, because they weren't even considered people and it was illegal for them to own anything. But in order to survive the horrible situation they were in...and sometimes as a form of resistance...or instructions to others on how to escape and make it to freedom.
When I was in the Army and we made music while marching, we made that music in order to encourage unit cohesion and to help us survive 20mile marches, or long runs. When I composed new cadences for my unit it was as a means to gain respect of my peers.
Some people make music for fun.
Some people make music that they know won't make them money because what they are doing just isn't commercially viable, but they find a patron (back in the day it was the church or a noble, now it is often a university, or an arts organization, or some rich person) who will fund their ability to make things that may not fit with business, but that fulfill some other function: pushing boundaries or extending techniques, challenging people, saying something profound, whatever.
When Jews in Concentration Camps or Japanese Americans in Internment Camps made music it wasn't for the business ethic...it was help survive. To remain human in place of barbarism.
Some people make music only for the money just like they would make sandwiches....and many great works of art have been made in a factory sort of business process (Bach, Telemann, Motown, the Brill Building, etc)....but that is not the only way the world works, and that is not the only motivation to play or to compose.
Music has been used to bring joy or to protest injustice. Music has helped people survive in bad situations. Music has helped people understand the human condition...or at least contemplate it. Music has been used to create nations, to create citizens, to create communities. Music has been a way for people to find and articulate identity...or to disidentify. Music has also been used to torture people, to whip up hate, to whip up violence. Music is something very powerful indeed. It is not just a cog in a business ethic...although it can also be that for people who choose to interact with music that way.
One can see music as just a commodity. Though philosophers like Theodor Adorno, writing in the 1930s, saw music becoming that and did not have positive things to say in response, he felt the commodification of music was leading directly to fascism. I don't agree with him, though and am spending a great deal of the book I'm working on arguing against that position.
That said, here are a few quotes about music I think are good to contemplate:
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”--Plato
“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without”--Confucius
"Pop’s inability to change the world is compensated for by its ability to articulate and alter our perceptions of that world, and perhaps more importantly, to give a glimpse of other, better worlds."--John Street