All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations.
My favourite creation myth: God made humans just so he could listen to the music we make. Turns out nothing else – good, evil, whatever – matters. Just the music. Go play.
My current enthusiasm is for music from the Levant: gypsy music from the Balkans, arabesque pop from Turkey or rai from north Africa. The place to hear it is the annual Guča Trumpet Festival in Serbia. Particular favourites playing in Britain these days are Orkestra del Sol, The Baghdaddies and Paprika Balkanicus. See also Kazum! for events in London.
A longer-standing love is of early twentieth-century chamber music: Bartók, Kodály, Hindemith, and Janaček. Kodály’s “Sonata for Unaccompanied ’Cello” Op. 8 and Hindemith’s “Sonata for Viola & Piano”, Op.11 N°4 are special favourites.
Late Junction on BBC Radio 3 is my best source of new music.