Music and the public good

 

Sir, – In the debate surrounding the two national orchestras and the justification of their public subsidy, via RTÉ, the words “privatisation” and “commerciality” are thrown about frequently. This is yet another example of the constant undermining of what public money can do for public good. Without subsidies, small-scale Irish farming, which is similarly vilified by free-marketeers, would not survive. Those farms that might stay afloat would be forced into mass-industrialised, commercialised food production. No more artisan products or craft foods, no more organic Irish vegetables or meats, no more pride in our small Irish food exports. In musical terms, the orchestras would be playing Strauss waltzes, opera snippets and blockbuster film themes every week in order to be commercially viable. Without the diversity that subsidy offers, it’s a bland and tasteless musical future we face. Even those with simple tastes will eventually lament a menu that never changes. – Is mise,

KAREN DERVAN,

Rathgar, Dublin 6.