LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

L.M.N. writers "extremely skilled at dropping names ... actually know next to nothing about music itself."

I was disappointed in the November article, "Louisville: Birthplace of Ragtime," by Joyce Trammell. The historical perspective of the article was interesting and thorough; and the story of Ben Harney, local composer who supposedly wrote the first ragtime music, was fascinating; but the article has to be considered incomplete. Nowhere was the reader able to learn what a "true ragtime tune" is. Why wasn't the author able to give us a definition of ragtime so we would know what we were reading about?

This seems consistent with L.M.N. writers in general. While they are fairly knowledgeable of the contents of certain songwriters' repertoires; while they have a fair idea of the history of certain types of music; and while they are extremely skilled at dropping names; they actually know next to nothing about music itself.

Well, here it is: Ragtime A style of dance music from the late 19th century until the early years of the jazz age. It used such rhythms [ ] and various kinds of syncopation against a regular 2/4 or 4/4 time. From The New College Encyclopedia of Music, J. A. Westrup, F. Ll. Harrison, eds. Rev. W.W. Norton, 1976.

I feel the Music News and the L.A.S.C., in trying to improve the musical climate in this town, should focus more on music itself rather than the aura which surrounds it. I also think the organization's general musical tastes should improve. This comes naturally with increased technical knowledge.

There is more out there than those three-chord, endlessly strummed ditties with "clever" lyrics about the Kentucky Derby, or somebody's brokin' hort, or whatever, of which the L.A.S.C. seems so fond. It is nice to see articles such as the one on ragtime, but it would be nicer if the writers knew what they were talking about.

Ed Jackson

Louisville, Ky. 40215