[Dixielandjazz] Charles Babbage's comments on Street Musicians - slightly OT?
tubaman at tubatoast.com
Wed Oct 28 16:41:09 PDT 2009
While doing some other research, I happened upon a portion of a book
by Charles Babbage (known as the inventor of the "Difference Engine" -
a very early sort of mechanical computer ) that is a very longwinded
argument against the common London street musician of the mid 1800s.
(you might need to have a Google account to read it. ) Here is a snip:
> During the last ten years, the amount of street music has so greatly
> increased that it has now become a positive nuisance to a very
> considerable portion of the inhabitants of London. It robs the
> industrious man of his time; it annoys the musical man by its
> intolerable badness; it irritates the invalid; deprives the patient,
> who at great inconvenience has visited London for the best medical
> advice, of that repose which, tinder such circumstances, is
> essential for his recovery, and it destroys the time and the
> energies of all the intellectual classes of society by its continual
> interruptions of their pursuits.
> Instruments of torture permitted by the Government to be in daily
> and nightly use in the streets of London.
> Organs. Bagpipes.
> Brass bands. Accordions.
> Fiddles. Halfpenny whistles.
> Harps. Tom-toms.
> Harpsichords. Trumpets.
> Hurdy-gurdies. The human [ Shouting out objects for sale.
> Flageolets voice in \ Religious canting.
> Drums. various forms. ( Psalm-singing.
> I have very frequently been disturbed by such music after eleven and
> even after twelve o'clock at night. Upon one occasion a brass band
> played, with but few and short intermissions, for five hours.
> Encouragers of Street Music.
> Visitors from the country.
> Ladies of doubtful virtue.
> Occasionally titled ladies ; but these are almost invariably of
> recent elevavation, and deficient in that taste which their sex
> usually possess.
> The habit of frequenting public-houses, and the amount of
> intoxication, is much augmented by these means. It therefore finds
> support from the whole body of licensed victuallers, and from all
> those who are interested, as the proprietora of public-houses.
I wonder what he might have thought about jazz musicians !!!
more on Babbage here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Babbage
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