The November issue of Standpoint is in the shops now. My column this month takes a look at the concept of 'No Music Day' (21 November, since you ask...) - a phenomenon embraced by Scottish radio but, as far as I can tell, not much else - which isn't quite as crackpot a way of celebrating St Cecilia as it might sound.It's partly about how we listen, and the psychological factors, ranging from the everyday to the distant and discomfiting, that may influence this. And Madonna fans will like the picture.
The composer James MacMillan has contributed a must-read article: a large, detailed, fabulously written piece about music and modernity. It is supremely thoughtful and rather tactful and somehow has managed to tackle the subject of quasi-political control of styles in new music without touching upon the antics of BBC Radio 3 in the Glock era, though that probably requires a book to itself. The work, politics and influence of Pierre Boulez comes in for serious scrutiny and the UK emerges as quite a beacon of tolerance, diversity and open-mindedness compared to our continental colleagues. I was surprised by this, but suspect he's right; outlooks have changed a lot in the past decade, though perhaps news of this has taken a while to filter through to some of those still in charge of mainstream programming.
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
- Conduct Unbecoming: The Classical Commentaries of Norman Lebrecht in Standpoint
- Chronicling The Crash: A Standpoint Ebook
- Grounds for Hope
- Is Islam a Peaceful Religion? Daniel Johnson at the Oxford Union
- Standpoint's Autumn Salons
- Win Tickets to the Inaugural Standpoint Salon
- Is Hunter's History Bunk?
- Lawson Collects on Climate Change Bet
- Friends of Russia or Friends of Putin?
- Russia's Win-Win Election
- The Kremlin Plays Old Tricks With Pussy Riot
- A Pyrrhic Victory for Georgian Democracy
- Abandoned in Moscow
- Standpoint's New Facebook Page
- No need to pander to the Bear, Mr Obama
- Standpoint Recommends: The Tacitus Lecture 2012
- Goodbye, Vienna
- Friends Indeed â€” Daniel Johnson on Gertrude Himmelfarb
- New Culture Forum Lecture: Jeremy Hunt
- Kangaroo Courts Arrive Down Under
- The BBC's painful novelties
- Money can't buy you love - Nichi Hodgson
- World Youth Day Diary: Day Four
- World Youth Day Diary: Day Three
- World Youth Day Diary: Day Two
- World Youth Day Diary: Day One