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Critic's notebook: Technology is infringing on classical music

August 27, 2011 |  6:30 am

We cannot, we should not, we dare not turn back the clock. That, of course, is assuming you’ve still got one and don’t rely on your cellphone to tell the time and tell you just about everything else about what is going on around you. 

Beware of the smartphone's power to enslave. Beware of letting it be your eyes and ears. Business in broken bones is booming, with orthopedic waiting rooms full of patients who were looking at phones instead of where they’re going.

Beware of technology meant to make all musical experiences the same, of limiting choice in the deceptive name of diversity. Can you spot Spotify?

Beware of tapping on a lighted screen in the concert hall. Beware of the promotion of diversion parading as engagement. In the political sphere, that is a tried technique of oppression.

Want innovation and independence? Trust artists not marketeers and profiteers, I advocate, in a Sunday Critic’s Notebook.  


Orchestral liquidity indeed

Classical music waltzes with digital media

Should phones be turned on at classical concerts?

-- Mark Swed

Photo: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg