Is Pomomodernism In Music White-On-White?

newmusicbox November 10, 2007

Rock evolved along with the mass media’s domination our lives.  Broadly speaking, this moved rock’s locus away from its black origins and centered it in white suburbia.  In some respects, Third Stream music seemed more transgressive than postmodern fusions of rock and classical, because jazz influenced music crossed both class and racial lines, while rock/classical fusions are merely white suburban low art meeting white suburban high art.  Over-simplified, Third Stream is black on white, but rock/classical fusions are for the most part white on white.

I notice this when people address the elite, white character of classical music.  The old Third Streamers take the idea in stride, and in fact, they even exploited the contrasts with “low” black culture.  On the other hand, the postmodern folks seem to get a little uncomfortable when white elitism is raised, even though they are usually politically progressive.  Is it something about the white on white character of their fusion experiments?  It’s hard to say.  Just a thought.