A Reponse to “A Response to ‘Whatever Happened To Classical Music'”

I stand corrected on several issues. Let me say a few things.

1. While symphonic concerts are expensive, there is the collegiate level. I agree that the idea of the high school band during an assembly turns off most people from classical, as this is the primary association they have with this so called “classical” music. However, the collegiate level is the perfect place for people to experience great classical music for very cheap, often free. You posed the question, “How are the common people going to learn of such things?” I suggest that they would learn of such things by any sort of traditional advertisement, a poster or whatnot, but particularly the internet. Of course the common people aren’t necessarily looking for such music. So they don’t find it. So, Haugh Performing Arts Center remains largely empty yet again. This would be the perfect place for one to familiarize themselves with classical, at a much higher level than that of the high school band, and at a much cheaper price than that of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

2. While I agree that driving in a car or listening from iPod headphones is hardly the appropriate listening equiptment for classical music, you make it seem as though listening requires thousands of dollars of expensive sound equiptment. Of course, the higher quality equiptment, the better, but you don’t have to have your own personal Devin Sheets in order to enjoy classical. A decent pair of $15 Sony headphones will get the job done just fine. However, no one does this. The desire for classical is not there. If someone really wanted to enjoy classical music, there are plenty of opportunites for them to do so, but if you don’t have the desire, you aren’t going to use any of these methods whatsoever.

3. I absolutely agree about today’s entertainment being focused on multiple senses. In some cases, such as the “4D” attractions, not only does the consumer see the video in 3d, hear the sound, but they experience things such as odd smells and spritzes of water in the face. I also agree with the value of movies. They are very valuable, especially the soundtracks of these movies. The argument could be made that movie scores have become the classical music of our era. I suppose then that movies would be our Opera as well.

4. Yes, classical music listeners do tend to be elitists. Unfortunately, when one thinks of a classical music listener, images are drummed up of an Old man wearing glasses, smoking a pipe, wearing his suit, walking with his cane that he does not need, perhaps having just come from a steak dinner at an expensive restaurant. While it is this way, I truly wish it weren’t. And while I myself do not fit this stereotypical description, I do enjoy classical music. It is a big disappointment to me to see people who do not care about classical whatsoever and scuff it off as “boring”. It is anything but that. As I said before, classical requires much more depth, an understanding of what is going on. It is a shame that more people do not understand it.I too hope that one day classical music and our society will one day merge.

I stand corrected on several issues, such as classical music originally not being as popular as I had described it. However, on a few things I disagree on a few things as far as the means to getting the music to the people. It is not impossible for everyone to listen to classical music. But the desire for it and the appreciation and understanding of it is not there. I am not blanketing the entire generation as “evil” by any means, I am simply saying that our generation takes continually more and more to satisfy and entertain. Classical music cannot compete in a world of the multiple senses multimedia. The times are changing and classical music is not. And that is a tragedy. Some of the finest art ever created is being largely ignored.I’m not sure I would classify American Culture as “beautiful”. Of course, that is another discussion for another day.

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10 Responses to A Reponse to “A Response to ‘Whatever Happened To Classical Music'”

  1. J. Leighton Bratcher says:

    I agree with almost completely. I was merely point out some of the many obstacles that keep classical music from growing to its potential. This is by no means how it should but, but merely an overly generalized observation of mine. I am always amazed to find the classical music listener who truly loves it without ever have been in high school orchestra, but this is indeed rare.

    We as classical musician need to make sure we are using our music to serve the people. I would love to see, and am trying to figure out how, a benefit concert or festival even that features the chamber ensembles of APU. Perhaps on the west campus lawn, or even the patio in front of the west campus library.

  2. Alex W. says:

    J. Leighton Bratcher said…

    I would love to see, and am trying to figure out how, a benefit concert or festival even that features the chamber ensembles of APU.

    Splendid idea!!! Sign me up! If strings aren’t too offensive for your tastes 🙂

  3. B. Shaw says:

    They better not be. Cuz it’s the best group of instruments ever made!

  4. J. Leighton Bratcher says:

    Ummmmm… only if the crust is the best part of a pizza…

  5. B. Shaw says:

    True or false:

    1. Without the crust, pizza would not be pizza.

    2. Pizza without crust is just cheese and sauce. (Removed from this metaphor, that works pretty well to describe the rest of the orchestra)

    3. The crust is the very foundation of the pizza.

    Therefore, crust is what defines the pizza. Pizza would not be pizza without the crust, and while the argument can be made that pizza would not be pizza if it were just crust and no toppings, crust by itself is edible. Strings by themselves are pleasant. Sauce and cheese by itself is greasy and gross and messy. The same goes for the rest of the orchestra.

  6. J. Leighton Bratcher says:

    Alas!! After utilizing a little logic you discovered the true meaning of my metaphor! Strings are the basis but by no means the best part of orchestra.

    Wind Ensemble is a perfect example of that greasy gross mess you described.

    I like the whole pizza myself, the same goes with orchestra (although I certainly enjoy the brass the most, for we are the pepperoni, or peppers, or sausage or…)

  7. B. Shaw says:

    Mmm…
    all this talk about pizza is making me hungry…

  8. Alex W. says:

    Round Table!!! So who’s our Big Vinnie… metaphorically speaking?

  9. Chip Clark says:

    I put on a concert in the UK, a premier of my first symphony. I “hired” a local amateur symphony orchestra and looked to the university I was attending for support. The orchestra did well to play the music, but did nothing for getting people into the audience – one comment I was told was when I asked why they didn’t publicise the event “This wasn’t our concert.” As for the university, they thought of it as a student concert (so what, it has no value?) – and only a couple of lecturers attended.

    I was amazed at the lack of support in what I thought would be a huge event for both the orchestra and the university. They could have leveraged the idea that they were playing a world premier of a 1st symphony. IF I become famous, even remotely, they will likely want to claim some responsibility for it. And yet, there was practically no support in publicising the event initially.

    What does this say about classical music? It says, the performers and educators aren’t really interested in a public. They appear to be “doing it” for some other reason. If CCM dies, it is due to apathy from the very people who ought be it’s staunchest cheerleaders.

  10. B. Shaw says:

    Chip, I’m sorry to hear about your sour experience with the Orchestra and University. I hope that this doesn’t destroy Classical music for you. I have no explanation on the lack of support from the students and university, but hope that you don’t experience anything similar in the future.

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