Straight Lines Aren’t as Bad as All That

In Chapter 6, Ingold sets up the straight line and attempts to knock it down.  He paints a picture of constraint, rigidity, and modernity, as if that’s a dirty word.  He looks at curves and lines of that nature as soft, expressive, and postmodern, as if that word is somehow not dirty.  However, he overlooks, you know, facts of life.  He uses straight lines to show a human form with upright posture, and then he later says that straight lines are artificial and do not come from things that grow but from things that are made.  Apparently, humans don’t grow and are artificial.  Interesting.  Or perhaps he is insinuating that straight posture is artificial even though keeping good posture clearly aids in a healthy human back and spine.  People with scoliosis will, of course, remark how keeping one’s back straight is healthy and helpful, but I guess they are just speaking in artificial terms.  He also uses a musical score to illustrate how things that don’t use too many straight lines look “more real” or “more alive (emphasis original)” like the following score:

A hand-written score.  Gorgeous and easy to read, huh?
A hand-written score. Gorgeous and easy to read, huh?

He, of course, fails to ask any music professional if he or she prefers a hand-written or professionally printed score because no one prefers hand-written scores or considers them to be more “alive.”  I played in school bands for six years, a jazz band not associated with school for three years (my junior and senior years of high school and freshman year of college), and I played in the Wind Ensemble, which is the highest level of musical performance here at Purdue, my first semester here.  You want to know what a hand-written piece of music was greeted with in the classroom space and outside of it?  Groans and pleas to play something else.  No one likes free-handed scores because they are impossible to read, and they inevitably lead to misread notes, missed entries, and general unhappiness in bands which, in any other situation, would perform well.

Ingold also says that free-handed sketches look more lifelike, but is that true?



No.  No it is not.


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