Wrong note on great music

March 1, 1996

Malcolm Miller has missed the point of my article in Early Music (THES, 23 February). "Great" music becomes great and stays great not "transcendentally" (his theory) but consensually: if enough of the right people agree it deserves the label. Today the right people are more likely to be broadcasters and CD executives than musicologists.

When musicology turns from an independent critical discipline into a media support service, when musicologists collude too willingly with richly contributing record companies to help them "authenticate" consumer goods (for fees of course - there's the "hidden agenda"), then I think we have a problem worth pulling out into the open and discussing.

ANDREW PINNOCK Music department, Arts Council of England

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