The West’s dirty secret
It dawned on me today, that Western Music is deeply rooted in what one might call, globalisation. I hate that word, globalisation, so I’ll just say the humanities, for short…
I had openned up the score for J.S. Bach’s solo violin masterwork, the ciaccona, and I was trying to feel the dance in my feet, before picking up my fiddle.
It’s a strange exotic rhythm, and the piece only works after you ‘feel’ this dance in your bones.
A little bit of waving my hips, I closed my eyes and tried to think back to all the performances I’ve had with it. Then, I started to recall all the little nuggets I’ve learned about these Bach dances. The ciaccona is imported from South America, I remembered… it’s a loose, rustic dance from another land.
This led me to thinking about Bartók’s violin ciaccona, and I thought, gee whiz, here’s a guy who went out of his way to delve into European folk tunes, and rustic dances — his ciaccona has to be the most multi-layered, worldly mashup in a single piece! Just think for a moment: a dance, imported from South America, laced with a tapestry of Slavic and Hungarian impulses, all within a Bachian wrapper.
The West is your friend
I’ve seen a disturbing trend in the last fifteen years. In short, Western Culture is being thrown under the bus.
The reasons for hatred against Western ideas are many, but I find them mostly invalid. Simply stated: there’s something false about throwing all things Western out, in favor of nouveau, modern, post-modern.
Western Art has always been about the human experience. And this experience is not pigeon-holed to the West, at all. It’s universal. Go figure. And that’s why I have to laugh when I see anti-Western sentiment. You see, there’s nothing orthogonal about the anti-Western newcomer, because, the West has already been there, done that.
Self-hating westerners are upset at something. But it sure as hell can’t be about the achievements of the West as it pertains to lifting the human spirit, mind, and condition to ever higher places.
Through technology, art, culture, the West paved way for humanity to sit on a more lovely plateau. To disregard this fact, may be inconvenient for self-hating westerners, but deep down, I think they reluctantly know this to be true.