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If we ask CM enthusiasts in here, when did you begin your interest in CM? The age of 10 or 12 or 15? I think the college years is too late for most people. As the brain matures (they say not until 19(?)) these mysterious affinities and potentialities get pruned away. It's a natural process.

Are we doing anything about these losses? 'Not since the early 1960s.
 

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I was 29 (35 years ago) when I started to listen to classical music. I was in my 40s when I really started to get interest in fine art, which is now one of my main interests. I was in my 50s when I picked up artistic photography as a hobby - and to the extent that I actually sell my work.

We had 'music' (which in practice was classical music) as one of the subjects in the first years of highschool (age 12-13). Can't remember too much about it, the only things that stuck with me was that we were taught about the lay-out of a symphony orchestra, and we listened to Mussorgsky's Pictures. It certainly did not inspire me to start listening to classical music outside school. The same with 'high class' novels: we had to read something like 30 Dutch and 15 English famous works for the final high school examination - it was just a chore, and did not make me interested in them.

Based on talks with friends and family of my generation, this is not a unique experience at all.
Sorry, this often happens early in one of my posts.. I mean I knew what I meant to say but the words are wrong.
I posted "...when did you begin your interest in CM?"

But I had in my mind, "...when did you begin your interest in devoting time to learning set pieces and playing CM?"

That book (by Malcom Gladwell) said that it takes 10,000 hours to develop a mastery of any subject. He mentions that the Beatles played 10,000 hours in Hamburg and that's why they were able to draw upon that later (without any formal studies). How long does it take to acquire a language, which includes the language of music.
I think we can all agree that the future of CM depends upon kids born today somehow getting the motivation to devote that amount of time.

When I was starting out my friends and I were playing pop songs for the fun of it, and for girls, and for showing off to our peers. I was merely searching for melodies, starting with pop music and then Chopin and Mozart, then the slow movements of Beethoven and Schubert, Mendelssohn. The melodies of pop music back then sounded quite simplistic by comparison, but I was becoming an arrogant young 'expert'. Don't we all? at that age (12 to 16 years of age). That was my earliest motivation, along with a fascination for the arithmetic and physics of music, and later, music theory. I was one of the lucky ones, before the distractions of later years would have blocked these foundational, budding interests.

Are there any world class performers today who didn't start at a young age? There is one fellow who learned some piano as a young person (name?) - and then in his late 20s started to practice seriously and now has a career. He is rare, with articles about him, and I watched the video about him. Yes, rare indeed. I don't hear anything memorable, it's only that he is able to play these difficult works after starting so late.
 

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Enthusiast.

You make a very good point about the importance of music in one's life. In my circle of friends there are two of us where music is a vital part of our everyday lives. I have other friends who like it well enough but it remains a peripheral thing, background music for evenings at home. They would never collect on the basis that I do and they wouldn't know Bob Dylan from Bob the Builder. I've tried introducing things I like to people but it is usually met with total indifference.

Although music is a huge thing culturally in the world in general only a limited number of people are real enthusiasts and they tend to actually play or have dabbled at playing at some point in their lives.

I can play a few instruments with some ability but I knew early on that unless I invested much more time than I was prepared to I would never reach the peak that my musical heroes rested on. I played in show bands, jazz groups, rock bands and they were good but were never destined for greatness and that was fine. Now I get my musical pleasure from discovering new artists, new music and new genres and rediscovering things that I had overlooked in the past.
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I suppose the point I'm trying to make, if indeed that's what I'm doing, is that the love of music such as we enthusiasts who frequent a music forum have, is at the end of the day, a kind of minority interest and the idea of encouraging people to appreciate our loves is anathema to me. If you have the inclination and inner feeling for it you will discover the joy of music for yourself. It shouldn't need forcing.

Sorry for the ramble but there you have it!
In what ways were you lucky enough to get into music? Can you remember?
 

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To hell with the average Joe, let's get specific here. I have three children (2 teenagers, 1 not quite) with basically no interest in classical music.

(a) what is wrong with them?
(b) what parental shortcomings have led to this situation?
(c) how do I make them like classical music?
(d) in what way will this make them better people?
If we look at the childhood of Mozart (or JsB or Beethoven). There's clues and hints therein.
 

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Very good question. If memory serves, and we are talking about 60 years ago, I was at scout camp and one of the older scouts had a transistor radio that he used to play at night tuned into Radio Luxembourg. This was a continental station that played pop music and in the late fifties there was precious little of that on British radio. Songs that caught my attention were the Everly Brothers Temptation, Adam Faith's What Do You Want which I did a rendition of at a scout jamboree! Del Shannon's Runaway too.

I was hooked and spent the rest of the two weeks listening to this station whenever I could. I remember hearing bands like The Crystals, The Ronettes, Martha and the Vandellas et al. Loved every minute. I had friends who were heavily into Elvis and soon, so was I. Then along came The Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Gerry and the Pacemakers, etc. etc.

When I was about fifteen I heard Dave Brubeck and the MJQ on the radio for the first time and that sent me down the jazz rabbit hole. When I was 24 I heard Tannhäuser on Radio Three and that was me hooked on opera. I had been listening to the great classical guitarists like John Williams and Julian Bream for about a year previously so I was into classical a little.

Gradually I sampled more and more and now in my early seventies I like to think I'm still finding new stuff to listen to, people like Blake Mills, Molly Tuttle, Emily Barker and a host of other great musicians. I can't imagine my inquisitiveness in this respect will ever stop. My only blind spot musically is Baroque, I just get nothing from the likes of Handel, Lully, Rameau etc. My bad I know but not to worry!
I remember when I first heard the big hits of Motown I tried to figure out on our piano what they were doing in their arrangements. I couldn't. It was too difficult for me to hear with all the different instruments involved. I thought that, perhaps this was what was happening in symphonies. I rode that philosophical high for a year or so. I didn't try to listen to symphonies, these songs were like tiny symphonies for me. And some day I would learn to deconstruct them. What did I know?
 
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In the last few years, maybe since 2000, a generation of musicologists are beginning to look critically at how the history of music has been told with an eye to giving proper credit to the forgotten artists, mostly the outsiders. But not without some controversy. Old and treasured narratives about our culture are not corrected without a backlash from vested agents of the mainstream.

Earlier in this thread my post about the Colloquy about this very history, reported by the American Musicological Society, was lampooned as nothing more than postmodern revisionism.

Sad, really.
I'd like to see a list of your greatest works from many categories of music to compare them to the greatest CM works. I just don't understand you. I think it would be quite predictable.
 

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Greatness is not something I concern myself with, and don't rate works other than if they interest me or move my heart and excite my mind. Also, I don't compare music from one genre to another: the styles, the priorities, the compositional questions and problems, are all very different, leaving no basis for a meaningful comparison.

I also don't see music like some sort of horse race, with works or genres competing with one another, with winners and loser,s or a zero sum game. For me most music has something positive to offer, and depending upon my mood, offer a very enjoyable listening experience.

It is obvious you don't understand me, I find it unfortunate that there is such a gap of understanding - but I have come to the conclusion that I approach music differently from many TC members.

But, I can live with that. ;)
Some moderator deleted my post to you. So that's it for me.
 

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After many attempts by myself and other classical music lovers around me, I can just say, you can bring classical music to those who might like it but just temporarily distracted by pop music and sometimes that is successful and rewarding; however, it is impossible to bring classical to most people who are determined not to be a fan of it. Sadly, the latter kind of people is the absolute majority.
Perhaps interest would grow if young people were taught that their K-pop uses the same affective intervals to evoke responses and emotions as those of CM. There's just more to it. And it's waiting if they want to study it.
 

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OP? You ask them how they became interested in pop music. Melodies, lyrics, rhythm, and unusual effects. What were the hooks?
 

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I wouldn't hold my breath for classical music to become widely popular, but I do believe it could be made far more accessible, as I've discussed in other threads. It would take a coordinated strategy. Widespread music education in public schools is one element. Government subsidization to bolster financial stability and provide free or very low-cost concert tickets is another. Providing engaging repertoire is another. Those are ideas for starters.
Educators need to ask older folks what CM has done for them in their later lives. ...After other interests have gone stale... The challenge, the inspiration, the worldview, the therapy, the self-actualization.
The sad reality is, you don't learn this in university. It's not on the wavelength while you're young (under 55 years of age). Educators (in charge) might have missed the boat, or they're too young to recognize what they could have had (if they had only paid attention and supplied the effort).
 
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