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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Jul 25, 2017

Music and Characters.

In space, no one can hear you sing. But for Starfleet’s best and the brightest, a passion—and preferably talent—for music is practically an occupational requirement. From Spock’s harp to Riker’s trombone, Data’s violin to Harry’s clarinet, Star Trek’s characters have carried on playing for more than half a century, filling the silent void of space with a rich medley.

In this supplemental episode of Primitive Culture, recorded at London’s Royal Festival Hall during a performance of Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage, Duncan Barrett is joined by Clara Cook to discuss the importance of music in Star Trek’s technologically sophisticated future. With all human—and alien—culture available at the mere press of a touchscreen, what does it mean to put in the hours of practice necessary to master a musical instrument? And can a symphony performed by an android truly be considered a “live” performance?

Intro (00:00:00)
The Virtues of Live Performance (00:03:05)
“Virtuoso” and Elitist Snobbery (00:05:40)
“Lessons” and Talent vs. Passion (00:08:55)
Jazz Standards and Improvisation (00:17:08)
The Instrument Maketh the Man (00:22:55)
The “Classical” Music of the Future (00:26:15)
The Consolation of Romantic Music (00:31:50)
Folk Music and Raw Emotion (00:39:20)
Hopes for Discovery (00:46:05)
Filling the Void (00:48:24)
Closing (00:52:17)

Duncan Barrett

Clara Cook

Tony Black (Editor) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)