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uploaded: Sat, Oct 18, 2008 @ 1:44 PM
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In the United States of the late 19th Century, immigrants streamed into the urban and rural areas of the country. Many people came without money, but with a desire to work to get ahead.

In the cities, a problem arose—where would children play?
This question, simple as it sounds today, actually marked a major reform in the way society viewed children. In a previous “ownership society”, the assumption was that poor children worked.

Children,then and now, face a fundamental disadvantage. In general, they don’t own much of anything. In the late 19th Century, it required a spirit of reform for urban land to be set aside to permit children to play.

Eventually, change came. In 1906 the Playground Association of America began, dedicated to the idea that society must share with its children places to play.
That paradoxical man-of-his-era Theodore Roosevelt said it in this way:
“Since play is a fundamental need, playgrounds should be provided for every child as much as schools. This means that they must be distributed over the cities in such a way as to be within walking distance of every boy and girl…”.

Now we think nothing of the idea that each community should have playground space for children—and that the donation of playspace for children is a powerful good.

We who believe in Creative Commons music realize that our own task involves the creation of a different kind of play-space.
We live in a time when music is not free for play, but instead has become a precious commodity. Far too many premium prices are charged for music—far too little music flows like an artesian well.

I see the mixter as a place in which we create playgrounds. Not the brick and mortar places of swingsets and see-saws—though I like to think we can create jungle gyms and slides with the best of them.

I meant instead that we can create music with which anyone can play.
We can create blocks for others to stack. Perhaps one block is a fleeting listen at the mixter. Perhaps another block is a viral video. Perhaps someone wishes to incorporate a block into a small business concept. Perhaps someone else wants to snip from a block to create new and unimagined new works.

This “Playground” is a spare, meditative piece—the playground of the mind. When making this work, the creator is thinking of how valuable attribution-only licensed material is to the remixer, the end user, and the re-creator.

This is my muted rumination that we, like the playground builders in 1906, can see our music less as a profit waiting to be discovered,than as a free sandbox,
a gift to others, to permit them to play as they will.

I look forward to the time when people think of sharing music on an attribution-only basis as no more odd or counter-intuitive than bulding a playground at a kindergarten—or a hiking path through the wildflowers in a rural Texas prairie.

by gurdonark

2008 - Licensed under
Creative Commons
Attribution (3.0)

Click here for how to give credit and other conditions.