But now, with YouTube, we can spend whole afternoons listening to unfamiliar music. Hear a rumor about a band? Listen to a song. Simple as that. YouTube is very limited in some kinds of music I'm interested in, especially folk, but even so it is enormously richer and more diverse than the whole radio dial. And if you find something you like, you can hop over to iTunes and, much of the time, buy it right then and there. Just the one song, not a cd loaded with 40 minutes of filler. I know some music industry people are worried that YouTube will hurt their sales, but I have bought more music this year than any of the previous dozen.
I was thinking about this, and I remembered that there was a fragment of Sophocles about the power of music, and using that other modern marvel, the internet search engine, I tracked it down:
By Memory's daughters, the Muses,
Forgetting, named Lethe, is hated
And not to be loved. But for mortals, what
Power there is in songs,
What greatest happiness
That can make bearable this
Short narrow channel of life!