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Colin Johnson’s blog

Archive for March, 2011

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Sunday, March 27th, 2011

“Colin Johnson is Jonathan Meades for the working classes”

Family Fee Divide

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Talking to a group of parents of prospective students at lunchtime today. Several of them had children who were going to University this year (under the current fee regime) and also those going in a couple of year (under the new higher-fee regime). One of the discussions that we had was that, despite the increase in cost, they felt that they had to encourage all their children to go; it would seem “unfair” that the younger children missed out on university because of the fee change. I wonder if this will provide a smoothing effect on the transition to the new system – families with children who straddle this divide will feel it is unfair to be biased against the younger children going, and by the time we have gotten through such families, we will be at a point where the generation coming up have little idea of the old fee regime?

Moment Form and Dementia

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Momentform is a description of a style of musical composition devised by Stockhausen and first used in his piece Kontakte. The key idea is that a piece is constructed so that each moment is appreciable in its own right; by contrast, most traditional musical forms are based around the idea of some kind of temporal structure such as narrative or development.

I wonder if there is some scope for this as the basis for a musical form that would be appreciated by people with memory problems and dementia. One of the features of many kinds of dementia is that patients find it difficult to form a coherent structure from what is happening in the world. Perhaps, rather than trying to force a narrative-based musical form on such a person, we should be inventing forms that are appropriate for them.