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April 19, 1959 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-04-19

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Sixty-Ninth Year
ruth Will Prevail" STUDENT PUBLICATIONS BLDG. * ANN ARBOR, MICH. * Phone NO 2-3241
ditorials trinted in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.


Em pasis on ,I

)AY, APRIL 19; 1959


The Artist's Role
Reflects His Stage


IT TAKES an individual of courage as well as talent to face the world
today with his music.
For with each succeeding decade, the problems of the. aspiring,
young, frightfully naive composer of music grow more and more com-
plex and almost overpowering.
Discussing the problems of the creative mood, ohe person, Prof.
Ross Lee Finney, composer in residence at the University, noted that a
number of startling changes have taken place in the past thirty years
or so which have had a great effect upon the composer, and have, so to
speak, 'awoken' him.
The first may aptly be called the One World Idea. Because of the

SOONER OR LATER some young composer
will tape the noises of a satellite being
aunched, utilize it in an overpowering sym-
honic work, and become a national hero.
The contemporary version of the Overture of
812 should set a cultural landmark, showing
hat science and the arts can be combined in
he modern world. This should boost the crea-
ive role; art will have arrived, gaining prom-
nence through association.
For jalready, science has arrived. Until Russia
hot the Sputnik intp orbit, scientists were
trange out-of-it creatures, addicted to Buck
Zogerp/fever and doing all sorts of things of
o practical value. Suddenly, they became ac-
epted, respected and revered. As the nation
ost its complacency, scientists gained their
BUT TEE ARTIST is still looking. ie may
have had a respected role in other cultures,
r other times, but when art became art for
rt's sake ,it could not fit in with a practical
cation whose first question is "what's it good
.or?" ." -
To a certain extent, the question is being
nswered. The powers in Washington, one of
he few major capitals of the world lacking an
pera house and able to support only one
egitimate theatre, are beginning to regard the
irts as a potent weapon in the international
Concert and jazz musicians are sent swinging
round the world. Students are exchanged, a
ultural agreement is signed with Russia and
he Vice-President of the United, States pre-
aar s to fly to Moscow to open an exhibit.
At last, a nation, which except for depression
ra projects, never followed the European
ractice of officially supporting the arts, now
inds practical political value in these "im-
ractical" luxuries.
BUT THE right step is being taken for the
wrong reason. Even when -art, especially
iterature, has a dialectic purpose, it essentially
loes not serve practicality but simply a large

portion of man's nature. This provides its own
INTENSITY so often appears to be a quality
only of other people's lives, our own seem
humdrum. What others see as a frantic pattern
of living is, to the scurrying, only the same
old routine. What the observer thinks is ex-
citing is, to the participant, merely harassing,
nerve racking and tiring.
Thus, in times of the nuclear umbrellas of
terror and the danger of ;the world vanishing
in the most dramatic event imagined but not
still comprehended, men still savor the pause
before a curtain rises and the outburst of
applause when it falls on an exciting produc-
However, there often are not many applaud-
ing, and the art museums are not exactly filled
with throngs. Appreciation of beer, baseball
and broads still is more prevalent than that for
Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. And besides
fighting the "apathy of the masses," the artist,
has additional struggles within the "cultural"
world. The increased cost of doing anything,
whether producing a play, giving a concert,
or holding an exhibition tends to limit experi-
mentation and channel work into already ac-
cepted grooves.
But, each artist who manages to make his
mark represents a number of those who tried
and couldn't. The important thing is t)4at de-
spite the high mortality rate, the obstacles and
frustrations, there are still those willing to
ALTHOUGH the artist may never become fully
accepted in the society for the right reasons,
his mere existence indicates that this is still
society of humans. Once those things that re-
flect the emotions and reveal something im-
practical no longer flourish, the society is a
skeleton. The place of the artist in it is a
measure of the society itself. This nation falls
Editorial Director

POINTED TOE--This second place photo in the Union Creative
Arts Festival photography competition, was taken by Dave Giltrow,
Experience Heightens
Listeners' Enjoyment

rapidity of communication and the
undergone a complete change in
attitude toward her neighbors,
especially in the area of the arts.
The modern composer is now in
direct contact with the current of
contemporary thought in music-
He realizes that he is not just
writing music to please a small or-
chestra in his home town which
has no chance of ever being heard
elsewhere; on the contrary, he
must strive to ibring out what is
modern in his music, since it will
affect an international audience.
* * *
ANOTHER CHANGE in the past
number of years which has be-
wildered the young composer is the
transition and change in instru-
mental devices. From Ann Arbor
to home, from, Chicago to Milan,
music is being played over hi-
fidelity and stereophonic recorders.
The composer not only must try to
achieve success orchestrally with,
his composition, but must try for
further success on record as well.
The only answer to the musi-
cian's problems, Prof. Finney not-
ed, is that he find something posi-
tive in what he can do and say;
otherwise, he will be lost in the
transition or fad. Even though the
fad will superficially protect him,
in many cases, from having to'
make decisions, the avant-guard is
always a negative force, and the
composer must take a positive
stand with his art.
Adding another view to these
same problems, a group of music
composers in a graduate seminar
in Burton Tower emphasized that
the biggest problems of the young,
modern composer, are finding a'
place or studio in which to work,
and having enough money to have
time to do so.
ONCE THIS is worked out, there
is in addition the problem of per-
formance. If a composer can find
a symphonic group to play his
piece over the radio, for instance,
he himself must pay to have the
parts copied, and will get no
money for it in return.
And if a composer is young, the
graduates said, publishers look
suspiciously 'at him. The younger
he is, the more radical they think
he is, and thus; the more reluctant
they are to publish his work.
At the University, a composer
has the best chance of hearing his
work performed if he writes cham-
ber music; other than that, how-
ever, the best way to hear one's
work played, they said, is to win
a prize at a national contest. There

., . a positive stand in art


By Richard Taub
tor Panic'

PRING is here and the weather is easy. So
easy in fact, the time has come for many
ople to stop doing any work. This is espe-
ally true for the senior, who so frequently-,
s concluded his plans for the coming year,
d is only concerned about barely passing
s courses.
If he is a male, he may be still trying to
cide whether or not he wants to go out and
ce the hard cruel world, in short get a job, or
continue his education, which is so much
ore secure. Further, if he gets a job, the
ances are pretty good that he will be drafted
irly quickly. Of courie, he may decide to
y to "get into" the six months plan, so that
fulfills his obligation quickly,' before con-
wing in some form of advanced schooling.
The women have several choices too. Most
them camle here to get husbands, and for
ose who have succeeded they have two.
oices. Are they going to quickly get married,
tle down and begin vegetating? Those who
will most likely never use their minds again.
, on the other hand, do they want to do
mnething with their lives? Some girls might if
ey could find something to do and if their
sbands would let them. Immediately cries
reaction. What could be more useful than
ising children and contributing fine citi-
ns to society! This is all fine, but really with
the mechanical advances in the kitchen and
use, the woman has really been liberated'
m house work, and after all, the children
11 only consume some small portion of the
ne she spends in married life. In 'addition,
ere has been a'marked national trend, mov-
g the husband into the kitchen, further re-
ving the mother's burden.
So women have the choice of becoming
getables, which unfortunately so many be-
me, or doing something or other beyond their
usework, and work with the family.
REQUENTLY those who have not married
have special problems. Especially those few
Editorial Staff
itorial Director City Editor
Associate Editor
LE CANTOR..... ......... Personnel Director
AN WILLOUGHBY .... Associate Editorial Director
AN JONES ..................Sports Editor
ATA JORGENSON ........ Associate City Editor
[ZABETH ERSKINE ... Associate Personnel Director
COLEMAN ............... Associate Sports Editor

who are in no hurry. They have seen the girls
about them (and the men too), in the slightly
frenzied, sometimes almost hysterical game
of musical chairs which increases in intensity
as the end of the senior year approaches..They
see their friends now "madly in love," with
guys they would not have looked at as fresh-
men and sophomores. Oh, of course, they have
become more mature in their judgment -
but, they've also discovered the limitations of
their man-catching abilities and have set their
sights considerably lower. And they drop still
further as the conclusion of the senior year
approaches. But, of course, we must be fair to
many of these girls. After all, after graduation
they must return to small towns, where there
are few college graduates, and even fewer ell -
gible men. So they have to do the best they
can while they have thechance.
So the' girls who are not so eager to get;
married must stand by and watch all this, and
even the most determined become somewhat.
uneasy, as graduation day approaches.
1T'S NOT really the women's fault, of course,
and we must be sympathetic - it is really
to some extent the fault of the guys who are
now planning their futures, and also want to,
be secure themselves.
Further, the women have -some serious prob-
lems to cope with. What are those going to do'
who don't get married? The variety of jobs
open to them is not great. They may become
school teachers, librarians or social workers-
jobs which do offer some kind of intellectual
challenge. But otherwise, they can only be sec-
retaries or sales girls or something like that.
The avenue to success for the women is con-
siderably longer and harder than it is for men
-and as a matter of fact, men tend to resent
women in their sacrosanct domains.
The married woman also faces a predica-
ment: She must take some time out of outside
activities, to raise her children well. Psycholo-
gists claim that just being around is neces-
sary to provide junior with the necessary feel-
ings of security. And after that time, she has
lost the ambition to be useful, and at any rate
has become pretty stale. Society has not yet
learned to cope with the problems created
here by the highly technological society, and.
the woman who has raised several children,
and raised them well, while still following some
outside interest, and following that well too,
is rare indeed.
Oh, well . . . women are pretty good con-
sumers. And anyway, it's spring.
New Books at the Library

INCLUDED in almost everybook
written about jazz is the anec-
doteconcerning the stereotype
"society matron" who approaches
Louis. Armstrong and asks out of
the side of her monocle, "Young
man, just exactly what is jazz?"
To which, Louis Armstrong beams
back at her and answers, "Lady, if
you don't feel it now, you'll never
The point is that jazz is, to a
degree, , esoteric, But this older,
rather extreme view has been con-
siderably modified more recently;
the growth of this modification
being sort of proportional to the
level of cultural sophistication at..
tained by jazzmen. Today's jazz'
musician tends to be college edu-
cated (and all that that implies).
He speaks in panel discussions and
indeed does try to tell his audience
"just exactly what is jazz."
It is questonable, though, whether
much of what he says ever pene-
trates very deeply into anyone
except other jazz musicians, who
understood beforehand what it
-was he was saying, and now find
themselves not in the midst of a
revelation but rather a re-inforce-
ment. This leaves the rest of the
jazz audience-those who do not
practice the art -still somewhat
THE JAZZMAN usually argues
that jazz is an art separate from
other types of music and should
be accordingly judged by separate
(although vague) standards.
Probably the most important is
the "beat." Jazz must, in its own
language, "swing," although the
slight syncopations and varied sub-
tlties of its character are too much
for crude conventional musical
manuscript to accurately notate.
The jazzmen then points to the
criterion of improvization, tied for
first place with the criterion, of
swing. It is through improvising
that the jazz musician expresses
his individuality. Behind him, the
rhythm section provides the foun-
dation - the constantly flowing,
pulsating, swinging beat. Even if
the soloist never plays a note, the
music goes on. It is the harmonic
pattern, the chord changes, that
the soloist uses as his guide in im-
provising. The song's melody is,
for the most part, forgotten.
The soloist improvises and now
there is another composer.
He manipulates certain stylized,
phrases, altering them rhythmi-
cally and melodically. Occasionally
he invents a totally new melody;
he plays variations on his new-
born theme. He must have com-
mand of his idiom and use it as a
language. Like all creation, it is
exhilarating work.
* * *
FOR A LISTENER to appreciate
the musical complexities present,
he must be acquainted with the
jazz idiom, a difficult task, for it.
is constantly and rapidly changing.
He must get used to hearing the
diatonic scale with additions of a
flatted third. fifth and seventh. He

But why does jazz appeal to so
many listeners obviously not ac-
quainted with the idiom? Several
psychiatrists have offered a partial
explanation: The history of jazz is
associated with those factions of
society which run contrary to the.
American cultural values of prop-
erness, control, restraint, etc.
Therefore, it seems natural that
some of the people who identify
themselves with jazz should be
members of the major American.
protest groups: Intellectuals, Ne-
groes, and Adolescents.'
In this light, one sees why the
jazzman cringes as one of his au-
dience yells "go go go!" during a
solo. One sees him cringe as the
adolescent - still - in - college dons
dark glasses and says somewhat
hesitantly "real-cool-man." One
sees him cringe when the intellec-
tual reports: "Jazz? Why of course
I enjoy jazz-some of my best
friends are jazz."
And the jazz musician shrinks
away from his audience.
The jazzman's need to express
himself through his music is a
powerful drive. And jazz is a me-
dium which lends itself to deep and
moving expression.
The big glaring injustice is that
few people listen-and of those,
even fewer hear.

TO REMEDY the situation, the
Union contacted many depart-
ments and students to see if there
would be any interest in an all-
campus festival. The results were
Not only did departments such
as speech, with two one-act plays,
music, with concerts and forums,
and architecture with their ex-
hibits cooperate, but outside or-
ganizations also contributed dis-
plays like the Mathew Brady Civil
War photographic collection and
the Leonardo da Vinci working
The festival certainly' was a
tremendous success, if success can
be measured by the numbers of
people viewing the exhibits and at-
tending the programs" and the
manynfavorable comments heard.
In the future, the Union plans
to expand this cultural week into
a creative and scientific arts fes-
tival ,which will incorporate many
things in, science and technology
plus the fine arts.
* *' *
THE UNION is to be highly
commended for its service to the
entire University for encouraging
this type of week when students
can find out what is happening in
the arts and it is to be hoped that
in the future many more depart-
ments will realize the value of
participating in the festival.
Possibly, for instance, the many
departmental open houses includ-
ing the well - attended Medical
Center open house could be sched-
uled during the Creative-Scientiflc
Arts Festival, and even more out-
side contributors might be con-
tacted for their many travelling
displays, to enhance the general
The Union has made an ex-
cellent beginning. Now, with the
planned future development; the
week should become one of the
most looked - forward - to at the


... exhibited last week
are about ten such opportunities
each year.
Nevertheless, the fact that there
is still a vital, living desire to com-
pose and, despite the unending
maze of problems, a continual suc-
cession of individuals who do so
is optimistic in itself. A little
idealism keeps those going whose
art is really good.

Local Theatre Offers Varied Opportunities

Daily Staff writer
LTHOUGH far from New York
and the bright lights of Broad-
way, Ann Arbor is still fortunate to,
have theatre opportunities which.
cause theatre enthusiasts in many
larger cities to sit up and take
The Speech department's Play-
bill series offers seven attractions
during the regular school year--
five plays and two operas-which
play for either three or four suc-
cessive evenings. The Playbill pro-
ductions are the top level of stu-
dent-acted University theatre.
In addition, such special events
as MUSKET and Gilbert and Sul-
livan productions offer variety as
well as quality to to the local
theatre bill of fare.
On a more city-wide scope, theo-
retically at least, the Ann Arbor
Civic Theatre presents five plays.+
throughout the year, drawing
heavily from University talent.
Operating on a somewhat different
scale than in former years, the
Dramatic Arts Center works pri-
marily in the area of children's
drama, although the Center Work-
shop does occasional things such
as, the Ionesco play, "The Bald
Soprano" which just closed its
two 'performance run.
The breakdown of the Center's
adult theatre group in 1956 was
and still is a definite loss to Ann
Arbor dramatics.
THERE RUNS a certain parallel
between the Ann Arbor and New

The main focus of this experi-
mental theatre is on the Speech
Department's Laboratory Bill, The
Bill is a series of one-act plays
ranging all the way from the
Ionesco "Victims of Duty," staged
last week "in the round" to such
things as "Dr. Faustus" which will
be performed early in May. Stu-
dent directed as well as student
acted, the plays are attended al-
most solely by speech department'
faculty and students. This is un-
fortunate since it is 'experimental
theatre which may eventually point
the way to the "'new dramatic
form" needed if the future of
drama is to be as rich as its past
has been.

the Drama Season hits town.
Bringing with it five top plays
with top stars "direct from Broad-
way" the Season begins early in
May, playing six nights a week
for five weeks.
In past years this has not been
as much of a student drawing card
as it should have been. This is
because at least one of the plays
runs during the examination per-
iod and another runs after school
is officially over for most students.
Realizing, however, that the
Drama Season comes to Ann Arbor
because of and not in spite of the
efforts of the University, Season
officials recently announced a new
ticket policy. Students will be able
to purchase tickets to any three
shows of their choice at a reduced

It would, of course, be wonderful
if the dates could be moved up so
that all plays fell within the school
year, but the Season is so tightly
sandwiched in between the May
Festival and Commencement that
any rescheduling is too much to
manage at the present time.
All of the theatre opportunities
offered in the area are directly
provided by the University or ini-
tiated with an eye to student pa-
But many of these students are
letting the theatre slide right by
under a maze of books, activities
and movie dates. Actually, a little
culture has never hurt anyone yet,
and in fact often opens up new
vistas to those who see fit to in-
dulge themselves. The play may
be and often is just the thing. ,

:., . a

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