Author Topic: The death of classical music  (Read 39784 times)

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Steve

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2007, 05:44:09 PM »
I suppose it depends on the publication. Both the New York Times and the The New Yorker regularily post articles, commentaries, and reviews pertaining to classical music. The classical lover, early in his life, must recognize that his musical affinity is not one which grabs the attention of large masses of others in the way that popular genres do. I don't expect local news coverage on the CSO unless it's on one of our Fine Arts stations. It's life. Of course, that doesn't at all signal the death of the genre. Nearly every week (during season), I head down to Symphony Center with a few friends. There may not be many youths present, but those that attend are a dedicated, enthusiastic bunch. All is well.  :)

Offline 12tone.

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2007, 09:15:07 PM »
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. 
« Last Edit: June 01, 2007, 09:19:25 PM by 12tone. »

Offline techniquest

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2007, 09:33:58 PM »
Coincidently, last night mainstream UK commercial channels were showing ads for the Daily Telegraph which includes Elgar CD's over the weekend to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Isn't it interesting how classical music is considered 'elitist' and 'for rich snobs' as opposed to more popular music, when in truth a good number of the composers were from poor backgrounds and lived in difficult or modest conditions as opposed to the majority of pop & rock stars who have money coming out of their ears and regularly show disdain for the ordinary guy.

Offline Bonehelm

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2007, 09:40:40 PM »
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. 

These are very,  very true...

Offline 12tone.

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2007, 09:46:13 PM »
Isn't it interesting how classical music is considered 'elitist' and 'for rich snobs' as opposed to more popular music, when in truth a good number of the composers were from poor backgrounds and lived in difficult or modest conditions as opposed to the majority of pop & rock stars who have money coming out of their ears and regularly show disdain for the ordinary guy.


Wierd eh?   ??? 

I think maybe it's the whole concert hall too.  Everyone dresses up to go out to this typically nice venue.  Not that everyone dresses up but some do.  It's not something casual that young kids tend to like.  I don't know.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2007, 11:48:14 PM »
Wierd eh?   ??? 

I think maybe it's the whole concert hall too.  Everyone dresses up to go out to this typically nice venue.  Not that everyone dresses up but some do.  It's not something casual that young kids tend to like.  I don't know.

Well they certainly don't dress up to go to LSO concerts. In fact there's usually a very wide age range, and though you do get your usual white upper middle class faction, they are more likely to be part of the sponsor's party, than the regular opera goers, who are a very democratic bunch.
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2007, 12:10:39 AM »
I see that most people have interpreted my original post as bemoaning the lack of popularity for classical music, which wasn't my point. It is the fact that it is no longer regarded, even in the serious press, as of any interest. And I think, to be honest, that it has something to do with the lack of aspiration in today's society. My grandfather, born at the end of the 19th century, was a self made man, of working class origin. He had left school young, but, by the time his children were adolescents, had a thriving business and was already a highly respected man in his home town. Not having received much of an education, he set about educating himself, reading as much as he could get his hands on. He remained a man of simple tastes, but he never doubted the importance of music, literature and art to our civilisation.
I don't think this is any longer the case. We have a society, obsessed with fame and money. Successive governments have totally denigrated the arts, especially in education. When I was at university, I embarked on a degree (Applied Modern Languages, with Economics), that was completely wrong for me. Fortunately I had a tutor, who was able to see that my problem was just that I was doing the wrong an degree. When he asked me why I had chosen the course, I said I had done it because I thought it would be more useful than a literary one. His response was, "Whatever happened to getting an education?" and he helped me to switch to French and English Literature. But this was surely the beginning of a trend that persists to this day. An arts based education is seen as somehow being of no use, even, in some quarters a cop-out. Personally I think the arts are, or should be, the civilising influence on society. I have nothing against popular culture, in fact have a healthy enjoyment of a lot of it, but with a press that now seems intent on raising the Beatles to the level of Bach and J. K. Rowling to the level of Shakespeare, what hope is there left for serious are in today's society?
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Mark

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2007, 12:52:59 AM »
Great thread (though it depresses me to have to say that, given the topic).

Is classical music marginalised in today's society? Absolutely. I live in what's usually (and snobbishly) referred to as a 'good area'. Which basically means lots of (mainly white) lower/middle-middle-class folks who have well-paid professional careers, 2.4 children and drive 500 yards to the school in their gas-guzzling 4x4s. Believe me, the cliche is real. These are what we in the UK call the 'chattering classes': indulging in and congratulating themselves on lots of mid to high-brow chatter at dinner parties about whatever socio-politico-economic articles have recently been published in The Guardian or The Independent.

Books (i.e. 'serious literature') they'll happily discuss until their Chilean red wine runs out. Theatre they can waffle on about at length, praising this or that establishment 'lovie'. But when the topic turns to music, it becomes a competition to see who can be more 'hip' by saying they like up-and-coming (i.e 'trendy', 'cool') guitar bands with names like 'The Ovens' or 'The Electrostatic Winecoolers'. Or else the talk is of jazz ... but only the well-known names from way back like Ella Fitzgerald, et al. NO ONE DARES to talk classical music. It's the equivalent of conversation paralysis.

It seriously frightens these 'serious' people. They don't know the first thing about it, they wouldn't know where to start with listening to it ('The Best/Only Choral/Crossover Classical Album In The World Ever, Ever, Ever ... ', is probably as far as they've ever got), and it's just not seen as being very 'now'. So they do everything they can to NOT discuss it, and make polite excuses to change the subject if anyone should bring it up.

I'm with Tsaralondon and this comment:

Personally I think the arts are, or should be, the civilising influence on society. I have nothing against popular culture, in fact have a healthy enjoyment of a lot of it, but with a press that now seems intent on raising the Beatles to the level of Bach and J. K. Rowling to the level of Shakespeare, what hope is there left for serious are in today's society?

And I thank God I was born working class. It's actually made me less, rather than more, prejudiced against what most people in the class I now belong to (by virtue of my career only) as 'old' - so, not fashionable - music.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 12:59:06 AM by Mark »

Offline Novi

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2007, 01:23:56 AM »
i've never seen a commercial about classical concerts on the TV, never.

It wasn't a concert but a recording. But I do recall one telly ad for a classical product: Gorecki's 3rd Symphony years ago. It was the one with Dawn Upshaw with the sillouhette on the cover :).

Only ever the one time though.
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Mark

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2007, 01:25:58 AM »
But I do recall one telly ad for a classical product: Gorecki's 3rd Symphony years ago. It was the one with Dawn Upshaw with the sillouhette on the cover :).

I remember that, too. :)

Offline Florestan

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2007, 01:51:26 AM »
Isn't it interesting how classical music is considered 'elitist' and 'for rich snobs' as opposed to more popular music, when in truth a good number of the composers were from poor backgrounds and lived in difficult or modest conditions as opposed to the majority of pop & rock stars who have money coming out of their ears and regularly show disdain for the ordinary guy.


It is the fact that it is no longer regarded, even in the serious press, as of any interest. And I think, to be honest, that it has something to do with the lack of aspiration in today's society. My grandfather, born at the end of the 19th century, was a self made man, of working class origin. He had left school young, but, by the time his children were adolescents, had a thriving business and was already a highly respected man in his home town. Not having received much of an education, he set about educating himself, reading as much as he could get his hands on. He remained a man of simple tastes, but he never doubted the importance of music, literature and art to our civilisation.

I don't think this is any longer the case. We have a society, obsessed with fame and money. 

An arts based education is seen as somehow being of no use, even, in some quarters a cop-out. Personally I think the arts are, or should be, the civilising influence on society. I have nothing against popular culture, in fact have a healthy enjoyment of a lot of it, but with a press that now seems intent on raising the Beatles to the level of Bach and J. K. Rowling to the level of Shakespeare, what hope is there left for serious are in today's society?

So true, so depressingly true, gentlemen...
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Mark

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2007, 01:55:35 AM »
But hey, as others have said on this thread, the internet has at least provided classical music with a much-needed boost in terms of sales. This may yet translate someday into a higher profile. I'm sure there are many people who download classical music in a kind of furtive way, afraid their peers will discover what they're secretly listening to. ;D

Offline AnthonyAthletic

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2007, 02:11:44 AM »
Have you noticed how Classic FM/Classic FM TV constantly promote 'artists' such as Bond, Il Divo, Bocelli, Watson, Church (when she was classical arf arf  ;D ), Jenkins, Mae etc as 'Crossover'.

Lets face it, were all Wizards on these boards and the Muggles tend to think that the above are the 'be all and end all' to classical music, the norm, and that's what its all about.

These so called 'Crossover' artists seldom do what may be intended and help people 'Crossover' and discover the real classics.

What percentage of these Muggles after buying a Russell Watson or Vanessa Mae cd would actually know that there is an Oistrakh, a Heifetz; there is a Bjorling, a Di Stefano.  It just doesn't happen.

So the charts in the UK are besmerched with these pop tenors and pop sopranos, the Bond quartet with their electric cello, viola and fiddles, and Vanessa Mae playing the electric violin whilst being in the Sea with 10,000 volts pumping through it  ;)

I'm not saying we are elitist, its just that the Muggle Market of today knows no better, the media, the marketing telling them that these artists are Classical and their acceptance of that is where the story ends.

Sad, but true.  Just look at the best sellers and the Brit Awards for confirmation.

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Offline Novi

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2007, 02:59:12 AM »
Have you noticed how Classic FM/Classic FM TV constantly promote 'artists' such as Bond, Il Divo, Bocelli, Watson, Church (when she was classical arf arf  ;D ), Jenkins, Mae etc as 'Crossover'.

Lets face it, were all Wizards on these boards and the Muggles tend to think that the above are the 'be all and end all' to classical music, the norm, and that's what its all about.

These so called 'Crossover' artists seldom do what may be intended and help people 'Crossover' and discover the real classics.

What percentage of these Muggles after buying a Russell Watson or Vanessa Mae cd would actually know that there is an Oistrakh, a Heifetz; there is a Bjorling, a Di Stefano.  It just doesn't happen.

So the charts in the UK are besmerched with these pop tenors and pop sopranos, the Bond quartet with their electric cello, viola and fiddles, and Vanessa Mae playing the electric violin whilst being in the Sea with 10,000 volts pumping through it  ;)

I'm not saying we are elitist, its just that the Muggle Market of today knows no better, the media, the marketing telling them that these artists are Classical and their acceptance of that is where the story ends.

Sad, but true.  Just look at the best sellers and the Brit Awards for confirmation.

I hear ya, Mr AA.

I was pretty chuffed recently to see that Paul Hillier and the Estonian Chamber Choir was sold out. Greyfriar Kirk where they were performing was practically bursting. Not long afterwards, I read about another sell out concert - Jenkins and Russell Watson (I think it was him) - at the football stadium. How many's that? Maybe in the 1000s? :-\ 

I remember that, too. :)

Hey Mark, that must have been a hard sell. This was back when I was living in Oz so they were going international ;).
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2007, 04:05:00 AM »
I assume your forum is in Finnish, but by any chance if it is in a language I can read  :D, could you direct me to it? I'm really interested in hearing what "non-classical" people have to say about classical music, in their own words as much as possible. Kiitos.

The forum is Finnish. I can translate some of the comments:

"Why should I listen to classical music?"

"Why I don't listen to classical music: I have tried it. I found it bad. Many times and many CDs. I think classical music is good for creating moods in certain movies, but I can't listen to rasp on a violin for an hour."

"I don't enjoy classical music even remote as much as heavier music. Simple as that."

"I have been forced to listen to some classical music and for me it's a genre I can listen to and part of it is even good but I wouldn't listen to it seriously. Some classical pieces have good melodies and they work otherwise too, but I am still thinking that music has to have real singing. Opera singing is not real singing and I can't listen to it more than 5 minutes. I like almost all instruments ever invented, but classical music is unable to combine them so that I could listen to it for long. Btw, the enthusiasts of classical music show always elitist arrogance which is unbelievable annoying."

"Listen to Dead Can Dance instead of classical music."

"Why should I listen to classical music when I have seen how boring it is in general? Some pieces I do like (no knowledge of composers), but otherwise I am not interested."

"Classical music hasn't got enough energetic playing. Of course I listen to classical music if it is played with electric guitars. I'd say classical music is played with wrong instruments."

"I don't listen to classical because there's better music available."
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uffeviking

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2007, 05:25:08 AM »
Doesn't the lack of interest of classical music by the younger generation boil down to the lack of education? I mean education in the schools, starting with the first grade music class? No more music class in the school your children attend? Do something about it! In our school music classes were scheduled to be cancelled for lack of funds, but football and other sports was kept on the curriculum. Even though this is a strictly rural, agricultural area, you should have heard the outrcy by parents at the schoolboard meetings, and music education was back on the schedule.

Expose children at their young age to classical music, help them to understand it and you'll have raised another fan of Beethoven or Golijov!  0:)

Larry Rinkel

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2007, 05:27:55 AM »
The forum is Finnish. I can translate some of the comments:

"Why should I listen to classical music?"

"Why I don't listen to classical music: I have tried it. I found it bad. Many times and many CDs. I think classical music is good for creating moods in certain movies, but I can't listen to rasp on a violin for an hour."

"I don't enjoy classical music even remote as much as heavier music. Simple as that."

"I have been forced to listen to some classical music and for me it's a genre I can listen to and part of it is even good but I wouldn't listen to it seriously. Some classical pieces have good melodies and they work otherwise too, but I am still thinking that music has to have real singing. Opera singing is not real singing and I can't listen to it more than 5 minutes. I like almost all instruments ever invented, but classical music is unable to combine them so that I could listen to it for long. Btw, the enthusiasts of classical music show always elitist arrogance which is unbelievable annoying."

"Listen to Dead Can Dance instead of classical music."

"Why should I listen to classical music when I have seen how boring it is in general? Some pieces I do like (no knowledge of composers), but otherwise I am not interested."

"Classical music hasn't got enough energetic playing. Of course I listen to classical music if it is played with electric guitars. I'd say classical music is played with wrong instruments."

"I don't listen to classical because there's better music available."

Thank you, 71.

Offline Florestan

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2007, 05:32:59 AM »
The forum is Finnish. I can translate some of the comments:

"Why should I listen to classical music?"

"Why I don't listen to classical music: I have tried it. I found it bad. Many times and many CDs. I think classical music is good for creating moods in certain movies, but I can't listen to rasp on a violin for an hour."

"I don't enjoy classical music even remote as much as heavier music. Simple as that."

"I have been forced to listen to some classical music and for me it's a genre I can listen to and part of it is even good but I wouldn't listen to it seriously. Some classical pieces have good melodies and they work otherwise too, but I am still thinking that music has to have real singing. Opera singing is not real singing and I can't listen to it more than 5 minutes. I like almost all instruments ever invented, but classical music is unable to combine them so that I could listen to it for long. Btw, the enthusiasts of classical music show always elitist arrogance which is unbelievable annoying."

"Listen to Dead Can Dance instead of classical music."

"Why should I listen to classical music when I have seen how boring it is in general? Some pieces I do like (no knowledge of composers), but otherwise I am not interested."

"Classical music hasn't got enough energetic playing. Of course I listen to classical music if it is played with electric guitars. I'd say classical music is played with wrong instruments."

"I don't listen to classical because there's better music available."

It would be very easy to dismiss the authors of such crap as dumb or ignoramus-es. But I won't do that. Instead, and keeping in line with other posters, I just ask: how are people suppose to know, enjoy, appreciate and cultivate classical music as long as musical education - together with general art education - has virtually disappeared from the schools around the so-called civilized world? When the hate  - and I mean it - towards high culture is rampant, when the rich and glorious artistic heritage is scorned, derided or even plainly denied any value, when the great artists are labelled "dead white european males", finally when Truth, Good and Beauty are no more revered and sought for, but instead trampled on as useless remnants of a dark past --- when all this and much more happens everyday, how can one expect classical music to flourish?

I firmly believe the most important cause of the sad state of classical music nowadays is the sad state of general education nowadays. But this is a long discussion...



“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

uffeviking

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2007, 05:36:29 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!  ;)

mahlertitan

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2007, 05:39:59 AM »
a quote from Gerald Schwartz: "they teach Shakespeare in Highschool, so why not Beethoven?"