A musical ray of hope
Roger Waters, one of the masterminds behind Pink Floyd, has written music for an ambitious opera about the French Revolution. It sounds excellent and shows once again what Western culture lost when the progressive rockers of the 1970s were hounded out of existence by greedy radio station general managers who wanted music to be almost as short as, and indistinguishable from, the commercials being played on their stations; rock critics, who were stupid, bigoted, failed English lit majors who wouldn't know a diminished chord from a major chord, attacking progressive rock in the pages of the Village Voice, Rolling Stone and major newspapers; and the demise of music appreciation courses in public schools that, in turn, spread ignorance of music theory to levels we haven't seen since the Dark Ages.
These factors fed into technological and economic trends as our public radio airwaves corporatized, a phenomenon that produced Madonna in the 80s, where marketing a personality became more important than the music (Does anyone play Madonna records from the 1980s' in their car or home these days? Not many, I bet). Worse, there is now the music-killing machine known as rap that spews forth nearly everywhere in corporate-owned media, including Disney Radio and its television programs. Disco in the '70s was bad enough, but rap is even worse in its degredation of music. Music has become merely a commodity no different than peanut butter. It is now almost impossible to imagine that there were bands like early Genesis, Gentle Giant, and King Crimson, or Emerson, Lake & Palmer and early Yes.
Notwithstanding the above rant, I have no idea if Waters' opera will be well-written and inspiring from a musical standpoint. I was not as impressed with "The Wall" as were many others; I'm more partial to earlier Pink Floyd works such as "Meddle" (1971) or "Atom Heart Mother" (1970). In any event, I look forward to hearing the opera and hope it may yet be brought to the US for a live performance. If it is well-written and inspiring, it may cause some of our nation's youth to want to learn and appreciate quality music.