For some reason, most of the best classical music blogs – On an Overgrown Path, Entartete Musik, others – rarely embed YouTube video (or audio-with-images). Bob Shingleton at OAOP calls those who do “creatively challenged”. Andrew Morris at Devil’s Trill agrees and says that he feels “slightly ashamed” when he does it, as if it was a sleazy personal habit. Alex Ross quotes YouTube often. Why can’t a blog be a scrapbook of things you like?
I don’t want to write a music blog. Others are doing them better than I could. But I don’t want to leave music out of this history blog. At a certain level of my psyche, I refuse to make a distinction between music and history. I don’t even have a “category” here for music.
I often embed music and other clips. Like most people, I usually don’t credit the original uploader. If one gives picture credits, one should give YouTube credits. And there is the question of the legality of some clips on YouTube in the first place. But I choose to regard that as a matter between Google, the uploader and the music industry. And yes, sometimes I realise that I am posting a clip because it is easier than writing something.
Embedding is sharing, like putting the clip on YouTube in the first place. I prefer YouTube to Spotify. Music must be shared, one way or another. I hate headphones. They are a negation of sharing. Air, not only eardrums, must vibrate. Sometimes I have things to say about the piece I am posting. Sometimes it is directly relevant to history.
Is it presumptuous to expect someone to stop what they are doing and listen to something just because you have posted it? Yes, just as it is to expect them to read what you are writing. You owe it to them to use as few words as possible.
This is a Gesamtblogwerk. Music is part of the great river. People can listen or not.
But there is a missionary element too. I’ve spent hours trying to get tone-dead (I wrote that, not tone-deaf) people, and those with different tastes from mine, to listen to things, usually unsuccessfully, and this is partly the last shred of those hopes. That may make me a bore. It doesn’t make me “creatively challenged”.