Santana: Black Magic Woman, and the Isolation of Academia

This week’s music alluded to in the novel The Ten Weeks is Santana’s “Black Magic Woman,” a song that got a good deal of radio play at the time the novel is set.  But I’d like to digress a bit and use it to illustrate how academics (and I am one, part time at least) can be out of touch with reality.

My wife is an independent music teacher, has been for many years, and is a member of the Tennessee Music Teachers Association.  I usually travel with her to their annual meeting, which allows me to take in the piano recitals and other cultural events.  For the most part, music education in the U.S. (esp. at the collegiate level) is centred around what is improperly called “classical” music, even though that style of music is about 5% of what people actually listen to.

With the cultural events come the feeds.  (I mean the eating feeds, not the RSS ones.)  One year we were at one function where the opening entertainment was done by a member of the jazz faculty of the local university.  That was a nice treat, but at the end of the performance he had to excuse himself because he wanted to take his son to hear Carlos Santana.

One of my wife’s college faculty colleagues turned to me and asked, “Who’s Carlos Santana?”

The video below should explain it all…

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