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  Still relevant today?  MartinY at 17:48 on 11 March 2012

The following passage from Johann Joachim Quantz (1697 – 1773) On Playing the Flute (1752) has just been posted on the lute net. Is the idea that the audience all have to be experts as well as the performers not one of the issues in contemporary music??????

…Music is nothing but an artificial language through which we seek to acquaint the listener with our musical ideas. If we execute these ideas in an obscure and bizarre manner which is incomprehensible to the listener and arouses no feeling, of what use are our perpetual efforts to be thought learned? If we were to demand that all our listeners be connoisseurs and musical scholars, their number would not be very great…

If, on the other hand, every amateur knew as much as the professional should know, there again would be no advantage, since there would be little or no further need of the professional artist. Thus it is most important that the professional musician seek to play each piece distinctly, and with such expression that it becomes intelligible to both the learned and the unlearned, and hence may please them both.