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Author Topic: The death of classical music  (Read 20034 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2007, 06:43:20 AM »
Thank you, Florestan, for endorsing the opinion I expressed one or two posts ahead of yours! Maybe we get to the bottom of this issue yet!  ;)

Thank you, too! You posted while I was still typing. :)

I'm glad we agree on this subject and also glad to see that many other posters share our concern. But I wonder whether we can really do something about it or not.
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. --- Victor Hugo

Offline Florestan

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #41 on: June 02, 2007, 06:51:24 AM »
a quote from Gerald Schwartz: "they teach Shakespeare in Highschool, so why not Beethoven?"

They teach... but how many pupils pay attention and how many of them really learn Shakespeare?
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. --- Victor Hugo

uffeviking

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #42 on: June 02, 2007, 06:52:39 AM »
And you, Floristan, expressed the same doubt I had. There already is a generation of grown-ups, with children, who had grown up with a lack of music education, education in the classics, not Rock. How can they interest their kids in Tchaikovsky if they don't even know he is a composer not a new garage rock band?  :'(

Offline 71 dB

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #43 on: June 02, 2007, 06:56:21 AM »
Thank you, 71.

You are welcome, Larry.  ;)

Classical music is not easy to "find". I was an ignoramus myself 15 year ago.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening. Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural and less tiresome in headphone listening.

Offline Florestan

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2007, 07:08:53 AM »
And you, Floristan, expressed the same doubt I had. There already is a generation of grown-ups, with children, who had grown up with a lack of music education, education in the classics, not Rock. How can they interest their kids in Tchaikovsky if they don't even know he is a composer not a new garage rock band?  :'(

Sad but true. The same phenomenon happens here in Romania. I wonder if it's just another phase in the history of mankind or it is something deliberately planned. I am no conspiracy theorist but when I look around and see the dumbing-down marching on at a fast pace and on all fronts, I sometimes cannot help thinking that it's a vast universal plot to turn humankind into a mindless, soulless, easy-manipulable cattle...

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. --- Victor Hugo

Offline stingo

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2007, 07:14:19 AM »
I am active on a Finnish hometheater forum. Only a few members on that forum admit listening to classical music sometimes. I started there a thread "Why don't you listen to classical music?" Many answered simply they think classical music is elitistic and it sucks. They want to listen to metal. On the same forum we have a thread for new CD purchases. People buy Napalm Death, Dream Theater, Ozzy Osbourne, Sepultura, System of a Down, Megadeth, Metallica, Eagles, ZZ Top, Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Prince, Guns N Roses, Anthrax, etc.

Some of the members mock me for listening to classical music and being elitistic. The truth is good music is rarely popular. The best club music isn't that popular, quality pop isn't often popular. Classical music isn't popular. We have to accept that and enjoy the music!

 :)

Gotta love reverse snobbery/elitism - if you didn't listen to their music out of hand like that you'd be labeled a snob, but apparently the reverse is ok.

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #46 on: June 02, 2007, 07:19:49 AM »
If it wasn't for the internet, i wouldn't be listening to classical music at all. I think it's safe to say classical music is completely absent from the general consciousness and exposure it completely dependent on luck and type of community you've come in contact with during your lifetime.

Heather Harrison

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2007, 07:30:48 AM »
You probably have a point; many of the younger people I know who are interested in classical music came upon it by accident.  This was true in my case; as a child, I "discovered" classical music by rummaging through my mother's small collection of LPs, where I found records of music by Bach and Mussorgsky that provided endless fascination.  If not for this, I wonder if I would have ended up in the desolate world of simplistic pop.

Heather

Offline 71 dB

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #48 on: June 02, 2007, 07:39:43 AM »
Gotta love reverse snobbery/elitism - if you didn't listen to their music out of hand like that you'd be labeled a snob, but apparently the reverse is ok.

I think the rules are more like this:

If you don't listen to/like metal you are weird.
If you listen to/like classical you are an annoying elitist.

People are stupid and don't understand that these rules are set by greedy media utilizing our superficiality.
People think so little! People question so little!
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening. Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural and less tiresome in headphone listening.

Steve

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2007, 07:51:31 AM »
I think the rules are more like this:

If you don't listen to/like metal you are weird.
If you listen to/like classical you are an annoying elitist.

People are stupid and don't understand that these rules are set by greedy media utilizing our superficiality.
People think so little! People question so little!

One has to acknowledge, I would say, that there is an intellectual barrier, which makes classical music (like canonical literature) inaccessible to many.

What really surprises me is just how many of my friends who are more likely to be found discussing a scholar of old, then watching a sitcom, don't bother with classical music. For some reason, they will make the effort to appreciate great literature of the past, but with regard to music, the its only listenable if its new or cutting-edge. I've never been able to explain this disparity.

Offline 71 dB

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #50 on: June 02, 2007, 08:21:04 AM »
One has to acknowledge, I would say, that there is an intellectual barrier, which makes classical music (like canonical literature) inaccessible to many.

Are you saying there is an IQ limit you have to exceed in order to enjoy classical music? I see the problem being in attitude and conceptions. You can't enjoy a piece of music if you keep telling yourself it sucks. Open mind is needed. Of course some people are unmusical and have difficulties understanding musical structures.   

What really surprises me is just how many of my friends who are more likely to be found discussing a scholar of old, then watching a sitcom, don't bother with classical music. For some reason, they will make the effort to appreciate great literature of the past, but with regard to music, the its only listenable if its new or cutting-edge. I've never been able to explain this disparity.

New "cutting edge" literature is not marketed to young people as shamelessly as new "cutting edge" music. So, if new literature is not made to look superior it's ok to enjoy old literature. Also, you can read books without drawing attention but if you listen to music your neigbour will hear it.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening. Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural and less tiresome in headphone listening.

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #51 on: June 02, 2007, 08:21:30 AM »
From my perspective, as newcomer to classical music, I believe that one of the key elements and therefore "drawback" (in relation to the OP) is the width and breadth of the classical music genre, be it in terms of periods, composers, recordings, artists, etc.

Like many said previously, you can be introduced to that world by your relatives or friends who already know about the genre and had LPs/CDs, and that will give you guidelines to carry on with.

But if you don't benefit from the introduction above, you will most likely first meet classical music by :

- a TV ad background theme
- a movie soundtrack
- a phone "on-hold" muzak  >:D
- a dance remix (William Orbit and the adagio for strings...good'un, mind you !)
- Katherine Jenkins singing the welsh anthem on telly
or anything else....

Either any of the above will leave you cold and you'll move on... or that will tickle your curiosity and you'll take a step through the classical door ... The "crossover" classical is as big as it is (and will use most of the columns inches) because it is an "ear friendly" first step where most of the "general public" (not to be read in a derogatery way)  will stop at, once they have that curiosity tickled. They will not have the urge to go further because that is enough for them to know of/about, or maybe will stop by being put off by the width and breadth mentionned above . They will stick to that "comfort zone" because where do you go from there ??

From there it takes a bigger effort and dedication and patience to dig further across the genre, because it is really daunting initially ... but boy, has it got its rewards !!  Despite the undeniable charms and pretty voice of Katherine Jenkins, i'll go now for Mahler 2nd any time (the first exemple that came to mind ;D ) ... That "negative" reaction to the crossover is only existing because people who have made that further effort know or feel that there is something else out there more rewarding, but you have to appreciate that some are content with "crossover" as well.... frustrating it may be but there you go.

As for the snobbish aspect, it is like any other hobbies and its direct "competitors" (headphones Vs Speakers geeks anyone   ?? ;D)... Classical Music (maybe Jazz to a lesser extent) suffers probably more of this image again because of the width and breadth of it... The other musical genres do not offer as many approaches and multiples recordings to a piece of music (usually a studio and a live version, maybe an unplugged one, by the same band...very seldomely covers by others artists). Therefore, Classical music offers more grounds for discussions, debates and other heated arguments over such recording, conductor or orchestra. Non classical music listeners will be (rightly-so) oblivious to that side of things, but will maybe wrongly take the reductive step of calling it snobbish gobbledeegook, when they catch an argument over what Beethoven's 9th symphony or Elgar means to you (exemples for Argument sakes ;) )

Anyway, that was my (long) 2 cents.

As long as everyone enjoy some music of sorts, that's all that matters !  8) ;D


Olivier
Olivier

Steve

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #52 on: June 02, 2007, 08:27:22 AM »
Are you saying there is an IQ limit you have to exceed in order to enjoy classical music? I see the problem being in attitude and conceptions. You can't enjoy a piece of music if you keep telling yourself it sucks. Open mind is needed. Of course some people are unmusical and have difficulties understanding musical structures.   

Absolutlely not. I'm only implying that classical music requires a certain intellectual effort to really appreciate. Great pieces of classical music don't reveal their worth to the coplacent listener. Listening to classical music is an active experience.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 08:35:27 AM by Steve »

mahlertitan

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #53 on: June 02, 2007, 08:31:20 AM »
Are you saying there is an IQ limit you have to exceed in order to enjoy classical music? I see the problem being in attitude and conceptions. You can't enjoy a piece of music if you keep telling yourself it sucks. Open mind is needed. Of course some people are unmusical and have difficulties understanding musical structures.   

I don't think that's what Steve meant. "Intellectual" doesn't mean your ability for math and reasoning, it can be anything that engages you intellectually.

Offline 71 dB

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #54 on: June 02, 2007, 08:34:52 AM »
Absolutlely not. I'm only implying that classical music requires a certain intellectual effort to really appreciate. Great pieces of classical music don't reveal their worth to the coplacent listener. Listening to classical music is an active expericence.

That's very true.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening. Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural and less tiresome in headphone listening.

Offline Bunny

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #55 on: June 02, 2007, 08:42:55 AM »
a quote from Gerald Schwartz: "they teach Shakespeare in Highschool, so why not Beethoven?"

Classical music is like great literature -- it takes some effort to appreciate it.  It also takes a class of people with leisure time to nurture it, and that's what is in shortest supply.  What would Beethoven have produced without Prince Lobkowitz's patronage?  He received gifts of money from patrons who were also willing to sponsor performances of  his music.  The wealthy nowadays write checks to various institutions and spend millions on parties to raise money for the causes they deem worthy, and many of the causes are very worthy, but the days of a single patron willing to bankroll an artist are gone.  Bill Gates is spending billions to vaccinate children in 3rd world countries but I haven't heard that he's amassing an art collection that may one day be given to a museum.  I haven't heard of any heavily funded programs to develop music education in public schools anywhere.  Oprah is more concerned with building elite schools in Africa than funding music and art in the Chicago inner cities.  That's why the greatest classical music education programs are not in the United States.  Take a look at the Bolivian Baroque album at Channel Classics.  That's the result of one man going into the poorest areas of Bolivia and teaching music to young people. That's what classical music needs everywhere, except it's not happening except in obscure places in the world.

Offline Greg

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #56 on: June 02, 2007, 08:43:44 AM »
a quote from Gerald Schwartz: "they teach Shakespeare in Highschool, so why not Beethoven?"
lol, just last year we were "learning" Shakespeare in English class and no one understood anything about the whole story, it's like we needed a translator (including me). So now that you point that out, maybe my confusion at Shakespeare and all of that old literature stuff might be like the same thing if I let someone I know listen to classical.

Offline Greg

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #57 on: June 02, 2007, 08:48:47 AM »
Think about the reasons why young people, even older people might not enjoy classical music.  These are guesses...

1) Not much action; can't exactly boogy with it with your friends.
2) Depressing; slow movements might tend to be awkward with groups due to 'depressing' quality. 
3) Concerts tend to be non-active; you sit for 2 / 2 and a half hours quietly.
4) Knowing not many people who would share the intrest with you; lack of communicating intrest with others at school
5) Eliteism; the thought that classical music is only for the rich snobs.
6) Bad experience with recordings; buying dud recordings and thinking all classical music is boring, dull and terribly done music.
7) Long; awkward having people over to listen to 1 or 2 hours of a symphony.  Too quiet for too long.
8.) Complicated; isn't fast, grab-your-attention music like pop music is.
9) Won't impress women.
10) Just plain boring and dull; nerdville. 


EDIT:

11) Old people; both in recordings and at concerts; young people find old people boring and maybe pretentious of those related to classical music. 

Of those in recordings, one might find that the vast majority of albums worth getting are related to older people, not zippy, flashy or commercialized young adults. 
Exactly, those are basically all the reasons, nicely said. Classical is more of a personal, listen alone while in your room type music.
Actually, it seemed that way to me before, I never gave classical music a second thought. Then I started listening to Yngwie Malmsteen and read about his influences (Bach and Paganini), so I started listening to them. Same exact thing happened with goboenomo (who doesn't post here anymore). Then I started listening to other stuff, hearing music I never thought was possible, which was "breaking all the rules", but I knew it was music I was wanting to hear all along. Rock music can get so old after awhile, has any looked up guitar tabs for a year or two and then eventually find that each new tab sounds like the next, and there's not one idea that's new?
Then I found classical  0:)

Steve

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #58 on: June 02, 2007, 08:56:06 AM »
lol, just last year we were "learning" Shakespeare in English class and no one understood anything about the whole story, it's like we needed a translator (including me). So now that you point that out, maybe my confusion at Shakespeare and all of that old literature stuff might be like the same thing if I let someone I know listen to classical.
lol, just last year we were "learning" Shakespeare in English class and no one understood anything about the whole story, it's like we needed a translator (including me). So now that you point that out, maybe my confusion at Shakespeare and all of that old literature stuff might be like the same thing if I let someone I know listen to classical.

Just as the language of Shakespeare proves a certain barrier to many students, so does the language of classical music. To appreciate either, one must cross that barrier. That requires a great deal of effort and will. While people might be fullly capable (intellectually speaking) of such an effort, few are willing to make it.

Offline Greg

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #59 on: June 02, 2007, 09:04:07 AM »
Just as the language of Shakespeare proves a certain barrier to many students, so does the language of classical music. To appreciate either, one must cross that barrier. That requires a great deal of effort and will. While people might be fullly capable (intellectually speaking) of such an effort, few are willing to make it.
Though for me, classical music hasn't been any more "challenging" than rock. Maybe I'm just "better" at music than literature? I found Shakespeare harder to understand than a foreign language, while an hour and a half Mahler symphony just connects with my mind with no effort at all (although it's a lot to digest on first hearing, so a few more listenings always helps). Simple music, like country or punk or whatever with just melodies and beats or accompaniment is the hardest stuff to understand because it's just too simple!

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