Bach and Beyond could be Exhibit A in the case against
today's recording industry. Not because there's anything wrong with
it; there isn't. But if the bully boys and girls at the RIAA had
existed a few centuries ago, an album like this would never have been
possible. Hell, Bach himself would have found it hard to create music
if he'd been hampered by the record firms' insistence that music be
captured in amber and preserved, untouched, forevermore.
Improvization and manipulation of what came before is at the heart of
music, and always has been. What's changed is the technology, and the
ability of big companies and their abusive legal representation to
stomp out hundred, likely thousands, of years of tradition.
Their behavior sucks. And it would have done more than suck in Bach's
time; it would have deprived us of our musical heritage, just as
Disney and friends continue to co-opt our storytelling tradition and
put that too under lock and key. Maybe some day we'll realize what
we're losing and take back our heritage. But probably not.