AndreiKrylov wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:40 pm
"A taboo is a vehement prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred or too accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake. Such prohibitions are present in virtually all societies. The word has been somewhat expanded in the social sciences to strong prohibitions relating to any area of human activity or custom that is sacred or forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs, or cultural norms. "Breaking a taboo" is usually considered objectionable ..."
Isn't it a really good description of things about opinion/belief which dominates classical guitar culture/society relating to subject that we are discussing here?
Nope, because its a purely practical matter; if you want to get a certain result you do a particular thing, and if by some rare happenstance you happen to need to do a different thing to get that result, then you do that different thing. Then if you are signing up for an education you have to expect to be guided by various means to work to do it the way you are most likely to benefit, and then maybe one day it will happen that you will under your own guidance find a different way, and if you are good enough perhaps that way will spread and pretty much everybody will do it and consider it the new normal.
Players used to try many different sitting/standing positions and doubtless it worked for many but then for various reasons - mainly, increase in technical demands, and concern for tone quality, along with increase in guitar body size in my view - one or two players came forward who were good enough to influence everybody, and they used a footstool and were called Tarrega and Segovia*, and effectively everybody found that way was best for them until they didn't anymore and some players started using cushions and other guitar rests and some people even started standing up with a strap, for reasons they can explain and demonstrate the benefits of if they like, please do, but it doesn't change the fact that for many standing up doesn't work.
So its a practical, not a value or moral question; does it work
? We might say there is a classical guitar taboo against metal strings, but no its a practical question because the sound is different, and nails are unlikely to survive so many players would never go there. If the taste in tone, and the use of nails, changed sufficiently in the coming decades that players and audiences started wanting metal strings in classical guitar music, it could happen, probably if somebody good enough came along to act as catalyst.
The Wikipedia entry cited really doesn't compute here. A taboo of a purely practical nature might be incest, where we can clearly understand the reason its a bad idea, and most if not all cultures have long had that taboo, whether they arrived at it after the practical results became clear they just thought it was icky who knows. Pretty much all the other usual kinds of taboo are arbitrary and arise from some variety of cultural artefact lost in the mists of time, e.g. are fundamentally irrational. An example of taboo within our sphere might be Segovia's antipathy to amplification; he couldn't understand how it could have been of assistance in his concertos etc, but even here, one can see that there is a germ of rationality if we think of him growing up in a time when amplification was largely extremely poor quality, and was associated with the pop music he detested and did not want to allow to be associated with his art.
* yes I know neither was the first to use a footstool.