Saturday, January 09, 2016

Little things with Natalie

Coming back into the house just now, I heard music coming from Natalie's room: the soundtrack of Hamilton, which both of my kids have been enjoying in the privacy of their own earbuds ever since the CD that Beth sent came in the mail some time back. There is something exceptionally joyous about hearing music played aloud by these kids whose musical culture has been almost primarily individual (although they do listen to the same songs and like to sing along at times).

To digress slightly from where I thought this post was going when I started 2 minutes ago, I wonder how the fundamental nature of pop music might have shifted due to this change in mode of consumption. It kind of reminds me of the shift Ian Watt details in his 1957 The Rise of the Novel, which looked at how the novel, as it emerged in the 1800s via Samuel Richardson, Daniel Defoe, and Henry Fielding, marked the emergence of the bourgeois individual, as it was the first major narrative art form to be ingested and digested individually, as opposed to collectively (think drama). And the novel of the time focused on the inner world of individuals.

So if teenagers get their music primarily from earbuds, is the narrative content of music shifting? And the relationship of the consuming individual to that narrative?

Blah blah blah

She also watches TV shows on her phone and her new laptop in her room, but she watches with Mary and me in the rec room a little. I think I may have mentioned how much fun it is to sing along with the theme song of Parks and Rec with her.  Another thing we enjoy together is, when Netflix (really I think it's Time Warner) is having buffering issues in the middle of shows and we get a little status bar at the bottom of a black screen that tells us that the show is loading, each time the bar moves a little Natalie and I have a little game of saying "It moved!" to celebrate its progress. It freaks out our cat a little. Oh well.

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