George Orwell has a lot to answer for. His compelling, fearful look at 1984 casts a grim shadow over the rise of technology. Happily his dark views have not been completely realised, and the march of progress has brought some incredible new technology into the hands of musicians. The development of the digital recording techniques, computer music and MIDI bode extremely well for the future, allowing us greater freedom and flexibility in the writing and recording of music. This creative aspect is developing by the day and the only point is the failure to educate the new musicians so that they can make proper use of these new advances as compositional and recording tools. There must be a case for manufacturers to begin to turn their attention to educating the new musicians of tomorrow. Not only would this provide them with future consumers for their products, it would also generate a whole new world of design, communication and comment from an educational standpoint. The education systems of Europe have been long in penury, unable to meet the demand for knowledge into high-tech musical equipment. This is not solely a financial situation either - there simply are too few musicians/technologists/teachers to provide the courses.
The recent television series 'Rockschool' touched on this area, among its' capable and sensible looks at techniques, but this was a drop in the ocean. With the development, and popularity, of the video, we now have the potential for those few teachers to reach a massive audience, not only among individuals, but also in schools, colleges, universities and other public establishments. The question remains: Who will set the ball rolling? At any rough estimate, the production of, say, 5,000 video cassettes (and that is a conservative estimate) plus the pre and post production costs required, makes the whole idea uneconomic. But there must be a case here for the casting of bread upon the stagnant music waters of the 1980s. Correspondence on this would be especially welcome here at E&MM, and perhaps we can generate some sort of interest and interface between all the various factions involved.
Meanwhile, we must look to our own house. With tastes and fashions in music, equipment and, again, technology changing so fast, we'd like to know what you want and need from E&MM over the coming year (and beyond). To help us in this, we have printed a special Reader Survey. It is on pages 59/60. Please help us to help you by filling this in and returning it to us.
It only remains for all of us here at E&MM to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a creative and prosperous New Year.
Next article in this issue: