I couldn’t agree with you more on almost everything you said, especially about music being a business. It’s the “abstract” thingy that I think you should take a broader look at before you throw it under the bus. This would put you on track for one of life’s learning experiences, i.e. “life is a learning experience”. Just in my short lifetime, marketable music has progressed, grown and evolved from Big Band to what it is now, and another topic might well be – “Just What is it Now?” – ‘cause I kind of fell off the train at Hip Hop. Every step of the way older generations have deplored the “new music” on the horizon. I think abstract may be a one finger attempt to tell the older generation to…well, I don’t use that kind of language. I am the older generation now.
Mose Allison, whose is 83 now, a tremendous jazz piano player, would play with his forehead on the keyboard, about middle C. I saw him perform at a jazz club in Palo Alto in the late 60’s. Very moving, and bit abstract.
I once read a Beethoven biography, a big thick volume of page after page of European history and Beethoven’s squalid lifestyle. At the time, composers competed for time with the queen and royalty. They composed and performed for the queen at tea. Composers were natty dressers, supported by the state. Commissioned, if you will. Mozart was a favorite. He and Beethoven lived and composed during the same era in the same area, but Mozart, more for his style than his music was the overwhelming choice of royalty. While Mozart tinkled the ivories in the queens tea parlor, Beethoven, a few blocks away, scruffy and unkempt, would lie on the floor and write symphonies. He preferred laying down to sitting on a stool and thus sawed off the legs of his piano. Did I say that Beethoven was deaf as a door nail. He was. Amazingly abstract.