103 • A Nocturne by Frederic Chopin can not and never will be transferred to MP3.

Not because because of compression rates, not because of the absence of overtones, not because of sound quality in general, but because of the words of Herbert Marshall McLuhan: The medium is the message. McLuhan thundered that prophetic notion half a century ago and it strikes true more so today in the 21st century than ever before.

Add Marcus Aurelius: Look to the essence of a thing, whether it be a point of doctrine, of practice, or of interpretation.

What is the essence of MP3, what is its purpose?
What is the essence of a Chopin Nocturne, what it its purpose?
And how does MP3 connect with what Chopin intended with his Nocturnes?

Compare ear-buds, point selection, and background music to everyday life (walk man, now iPod) with the intimate and subtle expression of an artistic soul of epic proportions in a personal setting, a singular event, human to human. I'd give a year of my life to hear Chopin play in person in his apartment in Paris. A Nocturne by Frederic Chopin can not and never will be transferred to MP3.


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