Mu­sic isn’t wall­pa­per – it’s a civil­is­ing force

The Guardian - Journal - - Letters -

I’m fairly sure that many pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians will share my hor­ror on read­ing the ar­ti­cle by Jake Hu­lyer on “The (quiet) rise of back­ground mu­sic” (The long read, Jour­nal, 6 Novem­ber).

I’ve spent a very large part of my life try­ing to per­suade peo­ple to lis­ten care­fully to mu­sic so that it be­comes an in­te­gral, civil­is­ing fea­ture of their lives. The re­search into its com­mer­cial us­age shows it be­ing down­graded to an en­vi­ron­men­tal level that many find pleas­ant, but oth­ers of us re­gard as in­tru­sive and de­bil­i­tat­ing.

Lorenzo in Shake­speare’s

The Mer­chant of Venice said:

“The man that hath no mu­sic in him­self, Nor is not mov’d with con­cord of sweet sounds, is fit for trea­sons, strat­a­gems and spoils.”

Is that the world we want to cre­ate?

Meirion Bowen


I love Felic­ity Cloake’s recipe ar­ti­cles usu­ally – but “ready-to-roll ic­ing” (Mas­ter­class: Christ­mas cake, Feast, 3 Novem­ber)! Where’s the royal ic­ing? No fon­dant ic­ing should come near a Christ­mas cake. Ever.

He­len Mar­riage


If this is to be a “sport” (What’s the thrill of the kill?, G2, 5 Novem­ber), let there at least be a level play­ing field. For ex­am­ple, for lion hunt­ing let the hunter go out alone us­ing a bolt-ac­tion ri­fle and wear­ing two large steaks around his neck.

Ken Ducker

Yorkley, Glouces­ter­shire

Is there some­thing wrong with me? Blue-light LED screens send me to sleep (Let­ters, 6 Novem­ber). A game of soli­taire on the iPad or read­ing on the Kin­dle guar­an­tees shut­eye within five min­utes.

Jen­nifer Hen­ley


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