Re: How To Evaluate-Judge-Quantify

Aliyah Baruchin (
Wed, 4 Jun 1997 23:23:58 -0400 (EDT)

On Wed, 4 Jun 1997, Dick Higgins wrote:

> >At 07:26 AM 6/4/97 -0500, Dick Higgins wrote:
> >>
> >>Try William Billings and Justin Morgan in the eighteenth century, Carl
> >>Ruggles and perhaps Henry Cowell in the early twentieth century, etc. As
> >>you noted, many composers of "art" music have required "at least some
> >>training." Cowell was self-taught for the most part, studied privately
> >>witrh a few friends working on specific problems, and so on-but evidently
> >>never went past sixth grade on the formal level.
> >>
> >>Dick Higgins
> >>
> >I certainly would have mentioned BB King before I mentioned those guys.
> Fine, but is that the kind of thing he wanted to know about? King is fine
> and so are any number of great jazz and blues artists, but methinks that
> ain' what the guy was inquiring about, since those are not perople in a
> naive tradition-their art is or was untaught because of its genre, so they
> were nev er dismissed as naive within their genres.
> Dick

Good point, that last one. And by the way, I'm not a guy.

One other thing: people used to assume that singers like Ella Fitzgerald
weren't real "musicians", even though in reality Fitzgerald knew her way
very well around theory and piano (in addition to providing the world with
that voice). How careful do we need to be in making assumptions
about what kind of training musicians like BB King do or don't have? (I
ask because I honestly don't know what kind of training King had, or the
other blues musicians mentioned.)


> Curious about what I do? You can view some paintings at the Left Hand Books
> site, <> (these are for sale) and other
> things at the Ubuweb one, Ubuweb- <>
> (these aren't) among others. My next book that is coming out will be:
> MODERNISM SINCE POSTMODERNISM (San Diego: San Diego State University Press,
> June 1997). You can get it through Amazon Books, <>.