Roger Scruton on the Tyranny of Muzak


From an interview last month with Roger Scruton:

CWR: You are a famous critic of modern pop music. How were you able to construct such a sympathetic and insightful portrait of one of the main characters in your novel, The Disappeared, who is both an ardent fan and performer of heavy metal music?

Scruton: I wanted to enter the soul of someone whose sense of his masculinity had been damaged, and who compensated through this kind of dramatization of the primordial male. I also think that metal is the creation of people with real musicality, who have developed the muscle of music as though by weight lifting, and lost that beautiful, inner, female thing, which is the sung melody.

CWR: How can young people be best introduced to good music at an early age? What is the optimal way to inoculate them against the adverse effects of bad music on their souls?

Scruton: I think it is very important to learn to sing in choirs, and if possible to learn an instrument, even if only the recorder or the guitar. To read music, to play for yourself, to sing melodically — all these establish the link between music and the inner life which will serve to inoculate the young person against the worst kind of musical influenza.

And now you can listen to an MP3 of Scruton on BBC Radio 4 on “The Tyranny of Pop.”

Keeping in mind that Scruton is talking about bad music, how is it possible to disagree with him?

UPDATE: the BBC transcript is also available.


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