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Cell Phones and the Symphony, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 528

Essay
  1. The role of the Chicago Sinfonietta orchestra was to play the Concertino for Cellular Phones and Symphony Orchestra, while remaining undistracted by the ringing of cell phones. The soloists were onstage participants who ensured the ringing of pre-selected ringtones at opportune times during the symphony.  The audience played an important role as well, as their participation involved the chaotic aspect which cellphones can create.
  2. Daniel J. Wakin, the author, presents the integration of cell phones with the symphony in an objective and professional manner, while portraying the music director and the conductor in a positive light. The music director, Paul Freeman, appears excited about encouraging audience participation with cell phones.  Both he and the conductor, David L. Baker, noticed that cell phones were becoming problematic with the not only symphonies, but in modern life in general.  Instead of banning cell phones altogether, they use them as art and integrated them in a symphony.
  3. Classical music is often perceived as a very controlled style. Everyday life is chaotic and random annoyances, such as ringing cell phones, always find a way to interrupt.  Instead of rejecting the randomness, the Chicago Sinfonietta embraces it.  Jazz music, for example, typically embraces randomness because it encourages improvisation from its musicians.
  4. In the late 1990’s, the act of “sampling” became popular. Some recording artists would take music that was composed by a former artist and place it into their song.
  5. The Baroque period would be an excellent source from which to sample, as its music is typically considered “spiritual.” The attachment that people have to their cell phones, could be described as religious in nature.  Bach’s Fugue in G Minor is a slightly solemn piece and could be strategically placed in the orchestra.  For a more energetic and mischievous piece, the Concerto for Violin in D, by Vivaldi, could be selected.
  6. As the director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Baker’s background was influenced heavily by jazz, a music style renowned for its unpredictability. His ability to take random improvisations and make them work musically with a group, was necessary for the success of this performance.
  7. Smartphones, which can access the Internet, could contribute to the orchestra. With streaming channels such as Pandora or music available on YouTube, popular songs can be incorporate at either pre-selected or random intervals in the performance.
  8. Freeman decided to integrate cell phones after seeing a symphony they continuously interrupted the performance. He successfully turned the annoyance of ringing cell phones into art, and was able to allow the audience to have fun as well.
  9. Similar to classical music, ballet is a disciplined art, leaving little room for improvisation. However, random freestyle dancers could be integrated into the mix.  Or instead of dancers, skateboarders could be used in the performance.  Audience participation may not be advisable due to the physical nature of the art.
  10. I thought this was an interesting idea and I admire these people for taking an annoying object of modern technology and converting into art.  However, it is unfortunate that so many people are so inconsiderate that others must adjust to their rude behavior.

Work Cited

Wakin, Daniel J. “Horns Up. Bows Ready. Cellphones On..” New York Times 03 October 2006, n. pag. Web. 3 Nov. 2013.

<http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/03/arts/music/03cell.html?_r=2&>.

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