Bah Humbug! Live Music’s Best!!

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Scrooge illustration

[News Item: Computer scientists are striving to accelerate the Internet to enable musicians in distant cities to collaborate in real time, as if they were playing in the same concert hall. — San Jose Mercury News, 11/30/14.]

Twas just before Christmas and all ‘cross the ‘Net,
Scientists were scheming: How fast can it get?

If virtual connections were quicker on-line,
Musicians could collaborate – wouldn’t that be real fine?

A cellist in Boston and violist in Rome,
Could perform a duo – virtually — without leaving home.

Long-distance signals now too quickly decay,
Resulting in too long of a sonic delay.

Over 20 milliseconds and this duo is ruined,
‘Caus the human ear is so acutely fine-tuned.

In fields beyond music, speed can help achieve wealth,
Quicker YouTube downloads and even good health.

For financiers, day-trading stocks faster earns cash,
Fortunes are won – or lost – in a flash.

For docs, speeding a remote diagnosis,
Can improve the odds of a healthy prognosis.

But for music, we wonder, if such speed has a place,
Can’t music be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace?

Instead of endorsing these virtual connections,
We’re raising some Scrooge-like, sincere, strong objections.

If the ‘Net accelerated more, reaching light speed,
And this idea carried further, where could it lead?

Instead of attending your local orchestra or band,
Watch holographic musicians streamed live on demand?!

Soon the ranks of professional musicians could thin,
The sonic delay’s vanquished…but what did we win?

We like high-tech stuff — how it helps us do more,
But we wonder, deep down, what’s the racing all for?

We’re not Luddites — it’s not technology we’re cursin’
We just believe live music’s better IN PERSON!

Holiday tidings we’re spreading to every city and town,
Cherish live music…and don’t be afraid to slow down!!

[To read the newspaper article that inspired this poem, please click here.]

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