How Syrian refugees are changing a Midwestern orchestra

A fascinating progress report on Kalamazoo’s Orchestra Rouh:

More here.


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  • John Borstlap says:

    That’s how it should be done.

    Also in Europe there are many initiatives to support refugees, who will then become Europeans, with or without head scarf. Since music is non-conceptual, it can form the bridge between people.

    • Ellingtonia says:

      Your second sentence defies belief, nay, arrogance……….or as we say here in the North, “dream on sunshine!”

      • John Borstlap says:

        Apparently, there’s not much light in the north.

        Just think about it: music operates through sound and interrelated tones, creating emotional effects, with infinite variations. That’s why western classical music is so popular in China, an entirely different culture drenched in confucianism and communism. Music does not communicate a description of the thing that makes listeners feel joyful, but the joyfulness of things. It bypasses the literalness of language and the outer forms of culture, or ethnic appearances. So, it is perfectly suited to create emotional bonds between people in a way that is much more difficult if tried with words.

        • Ellingtonia says:

          There may not be much “light in the North” but what we do have is a sense of realism and a propensity to discard pretentiousness and people who have a tendency to speak out of their “rear end!”

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