Table Music

Courtney Taylor Taylor of the Dandy Warhols made a post on their site yesterday about their latest music project, and I’m tingling with anticipation.

One of the only baroque records that I truly love is a collection of tafelmusik by Johann Heinrich Schmeltzer. Back in those days the very wealthy and powerful would hire their favorite composer to make music to dine to. Thus tablemusic became a genre.

Recently we have begun recording some very cool music that I’m hoping will become an album of perfect modern tafelmusik. Somebody’s gotta do it. We have a lot of dinner parties so we’ll be able to take it for a lot of test runs. Fun. As we go, I’ll put little thirty second bits of it up that FatHead records live on his laptop microphone.

It encourages the question of how music’s function has changed in today’s world. Audio recording technology has transformed music from a intrinsically social experience to an increasingly individual experience.

Today, music tends to be counter-productive in social settings. In clubs and bars, the music is too loud to carry out any actual socializing. At quieter performance venues, everyone is expected to remain quiet. Elevator music and department store piano players aside, there isn’t much social background music left. It will be interesting to see what the Dandys do with it.

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