Music at home – how we banish boredom
In urban history, music at home has a story at the very least secular. It is the tale of desire to master a musical instrument. This fashion explodes after 1830 in the restricted space of urban aristocracy, the preferred instrument being the harpsichord, later on replaced by the piano. Professors from Vienna or other areas of central Europe, Italian or French maestros, all easily found an incipient career in the two Principalities.
The end of the 19th century and the inter-war period was the most abundant age for the cult of music at home. It is the time in which Ciprian Porumbescu, George Enescu or Dinu Lipatti received musical instruments as gifts when they were young children. Yet many children from the cities of the small kingdom enjoyed the beauty of music played at home. This is why doctors’, engineers’, lawyers’ etc. orchestras appeared. The young people who, although embracing a liberal career, did not forget their love for music. It is less about the music listened to than the music learnt over a longer stretch of time. It’s why there were generations more open to dialogue, more prepared to understand any social or personal change.
After 1947 private piano or violin lessons become a typical bourgeois habit, officially stigmatized for a very long time. Even if the love for music has been fragmentarily recovered through music schools.
The development of audio technology, the industrial manufacture of pick-up radios as well as professional devices, the large scale development of tape recorders and cassette players made it more popular and easier to listen to music than practice it. This phenomenon can be observed among the members of the generation born after 1940-1950, although many of these devices remain quite costly to own.
The situation changes after 1990 when, for the very first time, in the course of only one generation, music becomes accessible, spatially and temporally. Each one of us can listen to the music we like on our way to school or while heading for the office, without bothering others. This accessibility had been inconceivable in the 1980s in Romanian cities, and still difficult to obtain in the 1990s. It became truly common after the 2000s.
The future belongs to nanotechnology and access to music will be made possible through a simple cortex-command. The bond needed to obtain the melodic range desired by our state-of-mind will form instantaneously and musically based nano-players will emerge to develop this technology.