Theses on Sustainability- Where does Music fit in?

Dang! My first post on this blog in over a year.  Just seems like the right place for these ruminations

So in our Music Department, I’m chairing a committee on Sustainability and Music.  Which is a great excuse to think about the future of everything I do- teach, perform, compose- and how it is going to look in 50 years.

This pursuit embraces a whole bunch of interesting topics and blogs.

On one of them I read the

Theses on Sustainability: A Primer

by Eric Zencey, which was published in the May/June 2010 issue of Orion magazine

I’m particularly interested in # 6.

[6] SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY describes a state in which a society does not contain any dynamics or forces that would pull it apart. Such a society has sufficient cohesion to overcome the animosities that arise from (for instance) differences of race, gender, wealth, ethnicity, political or religious belief; or from differential access to such boons as education, opportunity, or the nonpartisan administration of justice. Social sustainability can be achieved by strengthening social cohesion (war is a favorite device), through indoctrination in an ideology that bridges the disparities that strain that cohesion, or through diminishing the disparities themselves. (Or all three.)

So I’m wondering if a role for music (and a possible relationship to the topic as a whole) might be to help bring about social sustainability.  It can 1) strengthen social cohesion  2) communicate ideology (at least in a broad sense).  I don’t know that it can on its own diminish disparities in a society, although it has forever been used to advocate for such.

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