Sunday, March 29, 2009


Sommerzeit, the local version of "Daylight Savings Time" has just begun in this part of Europe, extending daytime by one hour. Try as I may, I cannot imagine making music to be played in daylight -- even my out-of-doors music prefers the night --, so this supposed energy-saving measure registers as more of a music-saving measure, with the lengthened afternoon shoving the prime concert time into ever-later and, for working people, marginal hours. There are, perhaps, composers and musicians with sunnier dispositions, who know how to make the magic of a musical performance function under natural light and before an audience which is fully alert and awake (unlike the evening audience, advantageously prone to reverie and other semi-conscious states), but I am not one of them. Even in musical traditions -- those of India in particular -- in which modes and compositions are designed for and understood as belonging to particular hours of the day, the bulk of the repertoire is evening music, suggesting that the musical advantages of the early darkened hours are widely recognized.

See also this item from 2007: Nocturnal.


An Anaphorian celebrating Autumn said...

Perhaps the decreased visibility is more ideal for music and the use of our ears.

sfmike said...

Let's see how you feel after you turn 50 or so. As a former night-time person, I've started going to old lady matinees for operas and concerts in San Francisco and quite loving it. Everyone's awake and alert.