5 August 2004
One of these things is like the others
When a critic says a work is "derivative," what does he mean? If he's talking about a musical work, Lynn's on to him:
Derivative [is] a favorite word of those who look down on anything composed after 1930 or so that has an actual melody.
Oh, my. An actual tune. Nothing innovative here. Let's give it a brief, superior sneer and move on to this piece for percussion ensemble and tuba, written by an expatriate Lithuanian lesbian in response to the cruel treatment she received on a visit to Baltic Avenue in Atlantic City.
Dissonant? Atonal? Cacophonous? You betcha. But it's not derivative, and that's all that counts.
(So much for my future as a music reviewer. And Lynn's better at it anyway.)