Should we call the tune? Issues of artistic patronage

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Does financial support for the arts carry the right to dictate content? In the capitalist world, state patronage has traditionally carried no preconditions. Yet it might be argued that just this untrammelled freedom has disrupted the contract between composer and listener. If there was ever such an agreement between the makers and consumers of music, there are signs that it may be reviving: sounds that are variously rhthymic, 'spiritual', amplified and so on have recently been challenging the traditional avant-garde. Is this an artistic reaction against modernism, or just a belated response on the part of composers to the loss oif their former mass audience?

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This event was on Fri, 23 Mar 2001

piers hellawell

Piers Hellawell

Professor of Music

Piers Hellawell is a composer, writer and photographer. He is Professor of Composition at Queen's University in Belfast and was the Gresham Professor of Music...

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