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Thread: Has Classical Music become too popular?

  1. #76
    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1996D View Post
    The problem with the Schoenberg wave of the moment is not that it's not listened to today but that it'll be gone completely 50 years from now, perhaps even before, never to be listened to again. It's therefore not classical music because what has defined this music is its ability to last through the ages.

    It is beyond a waste of time: it's destructive to the individual - and while the composer would hope that it would be destructive for society also, it will not have that effect because not nearly enough people listen to it.
    the ability to last is (mainly I'd dare to say) due also to commercial reasons and not just artistic value. Orchestras have to been paid. So it's an easy choice to play again and again familiar things (increasing in the audiences the sense of familiarity) in order to make money. And difficult music (or perceived as such) or simply forgotten music it's easily avoided for the same reason. That doesn't mean that forgotten music is necessarily worse than super popular music.
    It's like when children are playing: if one has a toy, everybody wants that toy, because it's a promise of happiness. Sometimes adults are like children.
    Last edited by norman bates; Jun-03-2020 at 10:26.
    What time is the next swan?

  2. #77
    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    How is it different from that attitude of most "serious composers" over the past 60 years?
    Other than the overt willfulness of the statement, I don't think it is. I have had similar discussions over the years with artists in various areas (some as composers, but more as visual artists), and the mixed attitude of "I want to make the art I want to make" and "why is what I make not more appreciated" is often confounding. Some reach Babbitt's point of not caring, or at least saying that they don't care, but they also seem to eagerly lap up any hint of favorable attention. (Most of the people who say that they don't care how their work is accepted just seem to be trying to embrace what is likely to be their fate anyway, turning whine into wine, as one old friend of mine used to say.) There is, of course, something of a divide of audience. There is an audience of their peers and professionals in the field, and then there is the audience of the masses. The attitude towards both can be very schizophrenic. It must be maddening. And in the end, most people have to make a living of some sort, unless one is fortunate enough to have been born into money sufficient to sustain your earthly needs.
    Last edited by JAS; Jun-03-2020 at 10:38.

  3. #78
    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caracalla View Post
    Babbitt frequently protested that the title 'Who Cares if you Listen?' was not his own, and misrepresented his article. I'm not convinced that it does.
    The only better title that occurs to me might be "I don't care if you listen," the same idea as a statement rather than a question (because he really does not seem to be asking any questions in the text). Perhaps he was upset that the title lets the cat out of the bag before any of his position is stated in his own words. It would be interesting to know what title he would have preferred.
    Last edited by JAS; Jun-03-2020 at 10:43.

  4. #79
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couchie View Post
    If Lady Gaga is said to be as valid a taste as Beethoven, then people will never strive to improve their music tastes.

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    Everyone in the video comment sections thinks Justin Bieber and Skrillex lost.
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Jun-03-2020 at 11:16.

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    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couchie View Post
    . . . If Lady Gaga is said to be as valid a taste as Beethoven, then people will never strive to improve their music tastes.
    The problem here might be "as valid a taste." Please define "valid" in this context. In my view, Lady Gaga is as valid for people who like her music, as mine is for me. (And mine does NOT include Lady Gaga.) I doubt that their views will hold up as well over time, but as someone once observed, in the future we will all be dead anyway.
    Last edited by JAS; Jun-03-2020 at 11:24.

  6. #81
    Senior Member chill782002's Avatar
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    The more popular classical music is, the better as far as I'm concerned. It's been a while since I went to a live concert but there's nothing like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    It would be interesting to know what title he would have preferred.
    Apparently Babbitt's original title was 'The Composer as Specialist'. I can well understand why a magazine editor would ditch that (as is his prerogative), regardless of content. The actual headline used was deliberately provocative (and, as it turned out, extremely effective), though imo it was also fair. Babbitt protested that he'd been misrepresented (as people often do in these circumstances), but anyone can follow the link and make up their own mind about that.

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  9. #83
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    When we have a global population of almost 8 billion, of whom a large percentage are connected via the Internet, we have an entirely new world order when it comes to art and culture. This means the simultaneous ability to both share cultural tastes and "values" but also to carve out a near-infinity of different wedges of the cultural pie. When everyone can sit home and sample all and/or indulge themselves with whatever they choose, whenever they choose, then the old order wherein CM was what it was then is gone. It is now just another slice of the pie. Imagine at any given time all the people playing on-line games; this did not exist 50 years ago. Andy Warhol: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

  10. #84
    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    When we have a global population of almost 8 billion, of whom a large percentage are connected via the Internet, we have an entirely new world order when it comes to art and culture. This means the simultaneous ability to both share cultural tastes and "values" but also to carve out a near-infinity of different wedges of the cultural pie. When everyone can sit home and sample all and/or indulge themselves with whatever they choose, whenever they choose, then the old order wherein CM was what it was then is gone. It is now just another slice of the pie. Imagine at any given time all the people playing on-line games; this did not exist 50 years ago. Andy Warhol: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
    it is information and art overload. There is so much of everything out there in the world - music, books, games, photographs, opinions, theories etc - that it seems almost pointless to produce anything novel, because it gets drowned in the ocean. It has to compete for attention and attention is the real scarce resource. And pearls are drowned in the swamp of mediocricity
    Last edited by Jacck; Jun-03-2020 at 13:15.

  11. #85
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacck View Post
    it is information and art overload. There is so much of everything out there in the world - music, books, games, photographs, opinions, theories etc - that it seems almost pointless to produce anything novel, because it gets drowned in the ocean. It has to compete for attention and attention is the real scarce resource. And pearls are drowned in the swamp of mediocricity
    All true. And in the interest of truth and facts, there is testimony that Andy Warhol never said his 15-minutes of fame quote:

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...st%20always%20

  12. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    The only better title that occurs to me might be "I don't care if you listen," the same idea as a statement rather than a question (because he really does not seem to be asking any questions in the text). Perhaps he was upset that the title lets the cat out of the bag before any of his position is stated in his own words. It would be interesting to know what title he would have preferred.
    Reminds me of a lesson the physicist Richard Feynmann allegedly learned from his father, which he claimed to have adopted (and titled one of his memoirs): "Who cares what others think?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacck View Post
    it is information and art overload. There is so much of everything out there in the world - music, books, games, photographs, opinions, theories etc - that it seems almost pointless to produce anything novel, because it gets drowned in the ocean. It has to compete for attention and attention is the real scarce resource. And pearls are drowned in the swamp of mediocricity
    "[E]very man, while digging his potatoes, will breathe his own Epics, his own Symphonies (Opera if he likes); and as he sits of an evening in his own backyard in shirt sleeves, sucking his pipe and watching his children in their fun of building their themes for their sonatas of their life, he will look over the mountains and see visions in their reality." -Charles Ives

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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    I’m quite sure that Schoenberg, Webern and Berg themselves will be played 50 years later as well. I’m young enough to hopefully be alive 50 years later, I certainly plan to enjoy their music as well as I can. It’s questionable whether their imitators will be played as well though. Maybe my whole understanding is wrong but I don’t think that classical music is or even could be defined through its long-lasting appeal. That would mean that those composers during Baroque, Classical and Romantic era whose names you haven’t ever heard and whose works have never been recorded, wouldn’t be classical music composers at all. The main problem with such “definition” is that it makes the essence of classical music entirely subjective and dependent of human society. Had things gone a bit differently, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony might not be classical music at all...
    Good music survives, that's the constant. As long as one competent musician is deeply impressed by a composer he will make it his life goal to perform his pieces, provided he has an audience, which virtuosos always do.

    Schoenberg might be remembered as a historical figure but his music will not be played if society changes its values, which is certain to happen, and if his music is not played then it is certain to say that the music of the last 50 years will be entirely forgotten.

    It barely survives today.
    Last edited by 1996D; Jun-04-2020 at 00:49.

  15. #89
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1996D View Post
    Good music survives, that's the constant. As long as one competent musician is deeply impressed by a composer he will make it his life goal to perform his pieces, provided he has an audience, which virtuosos always do.

    Schoenberg might be remembered as a historical figure but his music will not be played if society changes its values, which is certain to happen, and if his music is not played then it is certain to say that the music of the last 50 years will be entirely forgotten.

    It barely survives today.
    It's been over 100 years and Schoenberg is still be played, and if anything I think his standing has improved. I find it odd that you are certain that Schoenberg will disappear in the next 50 years. It is obvious you are biased against his music, but many others do not share your opinion and I see no evidence of that changing in the next 50 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    It's been over 100 years and Schoenberg is still be played, and if anything I think his standing has improved. I find it odd that you are certain that Schoenberg will disappear in the next 50 years. It is obvious you are biased against his music, but many others do not share your opinion and I see no evidence of that changing in the next 50 years.
    The only piece of his regularly performed is his string sextet.

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