When we went to Genoa, Italy to visit my grandparents, my father and his father challenged each other to sing the most popular arias. It was a great, unforgettable contest. Opera is part of Italian life.

After I married Kathi, I made a serious effort to understand classical music. She guided me patiently. As an amateur listener, I am intrigued by how much music has changed throughout the centuries.

Our local PBS station, unfortunately, seems to like only one type of music: baroque. When they play Debussy and Ravel they are really pushing it. Besides, they have four hours of news from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. It is a very unique programming, which I definitely abhor. Most people must like it, however, because it is the only station playing “classical” music in our area. Other composers exist besides Mozart!

What to do? Internet! I book-marked radio stations from Italy, Switzerland, BBC, etc. I connected a wireless transmitter to the audio port of the computer. I put the wireless receiver (they come together) connected to two speakers in another room. You can connect many transmitters-receivers by using a $2.75 audio splice.

Now I am happy. I can hear all the music I want, music I never heard before, very contemporary, with commentaries in several languages. Free!

This is the power of the global market and the global economy. The local PBS station, like all of us, will eventually be by-passed by the amazing delivery of products and services offered by the rest of the world. Sellers beware! The world is at your doors.

Listening to these European stations raises another issue. Is our market driven approach forcing us to a lower level of culture/education? Our market sensitive stations would never play this music. Baroque music is much easier to accept as “elevator music”. Are we left behind?

These European stations are subsidized by the government. Their audience, however, has the opportunity to keep abreast of new classical composers, musical trends, and authors. Culture and education do not come free. Some “seed money” is necessary.

(This Observations appeared in the 4-11-05 issue of The Peter Dag Portfolio ).

George Dagnino, PhD Editor,
The Peter Dag Portfolio.
Since 1977
2009 Market Timer of the Year by Timer Digest
Portfolio manager

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