If You Play Contemporary Music And No One Comes, Is It Still Good Music?

Birmingham’s Floof! Festival of contemporary music was first rate. But there was no one there to listen. “The trouble with Britain is that it has a showbiz culture, and things are not regarded as worthwhile unless they fill halls. It is important for those involved in contemporary art music to push home the notion that small audiences are acceptable, that new music deserves a protected status, that it should not be judged by how many bums are affixed to seats. This is reasonable. But while it is fine to accept the position that new music can be a minority interest, which ought not be judged according to popularity, it by no means follows that we should be satisfied with that.”