"To put it briefly, I think the limited resources of
history-preservation are best spent very prudently when it comes to such
"luxury" human activities as commercial recordings."
This isn't really the kind of sentiment I would expect to see expressed
on the ARSClist. It sounds like something an administrator who is
cutting funding for audio preservation would say. There are a lot of
very boring documents out there being very well-preserved, while most
recordings are not. If it were possible, which would you rather have
today - a recording of some ancient Greek music, or a bureaucratic
report on ancient Greek aqueduct maintenance? We devote a lot of time
and money to the modern equivalent of the latter. There is also a lot
of art that was viewed as worthless at one time that is now priceless.
Van Gogh only sold one painting when he was alive. Good thing his
brother didn't pitch 'em all in the dumpster.
In the West, things like music are regarded as a "luxury." In other
cultures, music is integrated into everyday activity, is an important
social record, and isn't just considered an "idle pleasure." And many
of these cultures are much more impoverished than we are here the U.S.
If it ever gets to the point where listening to or creating music is no
longer viable for mankind, then I question whether mankind is worth