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Thread: How do we bring back Classical Music for the Average Joe ?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Animal the Drummer View Post
    There's no longer any "supposedly" about it. It's now settled science that playing and listening to music develops and strengthens connections between the two sides of the brain and their respective functions.
    Is that specifically classical music?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    Are y'all aware that some cities blast Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven to clear corners of crews selling drugs?

    Apparently it isn't just that "atonal"/"serial" junk that drives people away.
    I suppose if the drug dealers found themselves whistling along to Mozart it would damage their street cred.

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    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    Are y'all aware that some cities blast Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven to clear corners of crews selling drugs?

    Apparently it isn't just that "atonal"/"serial" junk that drives people away.
    I actually think that some people should be exposed to contemporary avant-gardism and the 20th century modernists more. I am pretty sure that there are people who'd be hooked by atonal music but not by Mozart or Bach. No one likes all rock bands or pop artists, but they've all heard more than one or two before making up their mind about the whole genre.

    That's why I think that lack of exposure is a problem.
    Last edited by annaw; May-20-2021 at 14:35.

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  6. #64
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    I cannot do quotes on mobile. @St Antone: I wrote a long text why I think the audience has narrowed. See above. I doubt that the people I have in mind have been really exposed to cm and rejected it because of the dwindling presence of cm and the bubble building. As for their happiness: would you also suggest that people who happily enjoy junk food should not be exposed to more varied and more healthy food? Is the body more important than the soul?

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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    It's pretty central to the classical identity that it isn't popular.
    Is that true, I wonder. Thinking about how classical music in Soviet countries was subsidised (and very well played thanks to excellent musical education) and how all the poshness was taken out of attending concerts, classical music thrived with audiences drawn from all sections of society. The Soviets killed millions of their people but they did treat classical music as something that belonged to all.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreisler jr View Post
    I cannot do quotes on mobile. @St Antone: I wrote a long text why I think the audience has narrowed. See above. I doubt that the people I have in mind have been really exposed to cm and rejected it because of the dwindling presence of cm and the bubble building. As for their happiness: would you also suggest that people who happily enjoy junk food should not be exposed to more varied and more healthy food? Is the body more important than the soul?
    That's assuming that Classical music is health food of music. But I don't buy these analogies: Classical music is just another kind of music, no better or worse than any other genre. I am all for people listening to the music that brings them joy no matter what it is, without trying to convince them that they are missing the boat if they don't care for CM.

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    @enthusiast. I was wary not going as far as you with my speculations but would not very surprised if you are right. Although I am afraid I don't understand the game you are describing I used to watch the German version of who wants to be a millionaire? in the early 2000s and classical music was one of the fields people struggled with th most despite the questions being much easier than e.g. geography.

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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    I actually think that some people should be exposed to contemporary avant-gardism and the 20th century modernists more. I am pretty sure that there are people who'd be hooked by atonal music but not by Mozart or Bach. No one likes all rock bands or pop artists, but they've all heard more than one or two before making up their mind about the whole genre.

    That's why I think that lack of exposure is a problem.
    A friend of mine knows no classical music- they're an amateur electronics musician and jazz clarinetist- but they knew, and absolutely loved Gesualdo. you'd be shocked at how diverse the tastes of young people are - I actually think the stuffy image of it being "Vivaldi - The Four Seasons" all the time is more offputting than Webern, or whatever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    Streaming numbers can be misleading since listening to ten seconds of a track would count. Which is why data on purchasing patterns are a more reliable indicator of actual support. Also sites like Spotify have curated albums such as "Classical Music for Studying ... Reading ... When It's Raining", etc. that infuriate me when I'm searching for a composer's music but must be designed for the "Average Joe."
    I don't think we should be telling people - or even trying to measure - how to listen to classical music properly. Music played in the background tends to become familiar. It is a technique I use with music that I find initially difficult. I find it asserts itself from some subconscious realm and draws me back to the piece.

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    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fbjim View Post
    A friend of mine knows no classical music- they're an amateur electronics musician and jazz clarinetist- but they knew, and absolutely loved Gesualdo. you'd be shocked at how diverse the tastes of young people are - I actually think the stuffy image of it being "Vivaldi - The Four Seasons" all the time is more offputting than Webern, or whatever.
    Yeah, precisely. I'm college-aged and I was just quite recently talking to a person my age who is very musical and seemed to be a rather huge fan of some works by Ligeti, Xenakis, Messiaen, Berg, etc. but didn't like Italian opera. People really have very different tastes, and thus I think that exposure is important.
    Last edited by annaw; May-20-2021 at 14:57.

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  17. #71
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    Classical recordings, generally, are not newbie friendly. I think electronic music is the only other major genre which is comparably difficult when it comes to the variety of recordings out there, and the lack of any real organization of them (like electronic, classical is badly affected by most music services not letting you search by record label). There's really no other genre that has to contend with tons of competing recordings by different orchestras, not to mention historical recordings at various quality levels, curated playlists, etc. Spotify actually does have playlists for composers, but someone who "just wants to hear Bach" is going to have a hard time jumping in searching "Bach" on a streaming service, or - god forbid - searching "Bach" on Amazon.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    I don't think we should be telling people - or even trying to measure - how to listen to classical music properly. Music played in the background tends to become familiar. It is a technique I use with music that I find initially difficult. I find it asserts itself from some subconscious realm and draws me back to the piece.
    I agree with you. These albums with selections, often a movement from a larger work, that the curators decide is suitable for their theme I think do not cultivate a new audience for Classical music. It may reinforce the idea that this music is better kept in the background as an aid to creating the ambiance for studying or reading or simply looking out the window while a soft rain falls.

    I could be wrong. Some people who decide one day to try one of these albums does more digging around on their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by architecture View Post
    These reactionary "woe-is-me" statements are far removed from reality.

    No matter what university system you're referring to, few, if any, universities- even those explicitly focused on technical disciplines- require students to take classes in "coding, computer engineering, and hard sciences." Nobody's "devaluing" the humanities to any unreasonable extant. Nobody's out to get you.

    In fact, most (practically all) universities do have burdensome humanities requirements for their students, even when such requirements are excessive, socially problematic, and unreasonable. Just because offerings are no longer limited to the white male canon doesn't mean the humanities are being ignored.
    In Britain there is certainly a trend towards devaluing humanities in universities ... a trend that latest news suggests our government is intent on accelerating. But it is also true that humanities at university are more open to the study of popular culture. The reason for this is the dominance over the last 30 years of the view that the valuing of art is a wholly subjective endeavour - so all musical genres are equal and presumably all works within a genre are also equal in terms of value - a view that is widely subscribed to on this forum. To suggest that only something certified as high art should be studied at university is to suggest that it is in some way superior to popular art - a view I do more or less subscribe to but few here accept.

  20. #74
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    I agree with you. These albums with selections, often a movement from a larger work, that the curators decide is suitable for their theme I think do not cultivate a new audience for Classical music. It may reinforce the idea that this music is better kept in the background as an aid to creating the ambiance for studying or reading or simply looking out the window while a soft rain falls.

    I could be wrong. Some people who decide one day to try one of these albums does more digging around on their own.
    Incidentally, I started listening to classical music pretty much like this. I had a particularly hard time concentrating in a library one evening and thought that music might help. Because I cannot listen to vocal music when I'm trying to study, I thought I might as well put on some classical music (I only knew one violinist so it was pretty random music selection). But it was the beginning of my utter obsession with classical music. I still listen to classical music when I'm doing work because it helps me focus but it hasn't kept me from discovering a huge amount of different composers and works.

    I think any kind of listening should be supported. If the person likes it, he will discover it further as you said yourself. It's better than nothing still.
    Last edited by annaw; May-20-2021 at 15:08.

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  22. #75
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    It's really funny that the image of the close, studious concentrated listening, repeatedly studying pieces, etc- was basically impossible until the 20th century (when recordings became mainstream) outside of very specific cases. A lot of music and opera was written with the well-justified expectation that the audience would actually get to hear the piece a couple of times in their lives, if that!

    That's not saying you shouldn't listen "studiously" but it should be clear that this kind of listening isn't the "intended" experience.
    Last edited by fbjim; May-20-2021 at 15:09.

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