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.
 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.