i am not sure that what you want to learn would be found in a transcription

at least it would be difficult if you are going to try to set everything neatly into some fixed scale

song was once learned from the ocean; it swelled and pulsed like the waves, through many songs, through many hearts, through many dreams. but now that you’ve put it to your guitar and given it something like a fixed melody, it’s held into channels that deprive it of life. you’ve traded the ocean for a ditch, my friend, traded the ocean for a ditch

but you know that ditchwater is useful for irrigation, for factories, and for other industrial pursuits. it’s tamed. and it’s teachable in the constraints of school times and learning outcomes

right. school times and learning outcomes. now you can measure that the children are learning “music” in the “mother tongue,” a language which neither they nor their mothers speak very much; but we will overlook that, because in our current accounting, if they learn to stutter through the song lyrics transcribed into chinese characters in ways that make the pronunciation as crazy as batshit, well, at least the mother tongue is still not vanished is it? it will appear in the school books. we can say they learned x number of songs

hell, the kids would be better to spend afternoons at their granny’s or great granny’s betel stand and hum along as those elders sing. but that wouldn’t be measurable, would it?

this is how languages and musics achieve a zombie life, through the benign attentions and governmental practices of preservation, as much as by assimilationist policy. should i be happy?