JB: Possibly Music (1961)
Jacques Barzun, Introductary Remarks to a program of works produced at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, given at the MacMillan Theater of Columbia University on May 9 and 10, 1961
What . . . is the decent, reasonable attitude to adopt? Very simple: make the assumption, first, that the old style—whatever it is—has exhausted its possibilities and can only offer repetition or trivial variations of the familiar masterpieces. I do not suggest that you should be convinced that your favorite music is obsolete. I invite you to assume that it may be. . . .
We are entitled to ask the old questions—do we find the substance rich, evocative, capable of subtlety and strength? Do we, after a while, recognize patterns to which we can respond, with our sense of balance, our sense of suspense and fulfillment, our sense of emotional and intellectual congruity? . . .