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I've seen statements like this a lot - but are there actual data available? Does a larger percentage of the population of these countries listen to classical music and/or go to concerts compared to say Europe and the USA?
I doubt that Classical music is higher in the East than the 1% (nor has it ever been much higher) for the rest of the world; Jazz also accounts for 1% of the global market. The masses go for music which is more obviously entertaining: Rap, Pop and Country - and there's nothing wrong with that.
 

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You are incorrect and mbhaub is correct. Computer and science courses have not intruded into the humanities. He precisely pointed out the way classical music has been devalued in the humanities, specifically by music academics.
Maybe there's a reason for that: the perceived value of Classical music has lost ground, and more students sign up for classes on popular culture classes instead of the classics.

There is nothing to worry about, though, since all things pass including the hegemony of the music of the common practice period.
 

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Classical music is becoming a growing streaming market according to this Forbes article; reaching a share of 32%.

=> https://www.forbes.com/sites/melissamdaniels/2019/07/22/how-classical-music-is-becoming-the-next-emerging-streaming-market/?sh=797a479c2894

statistic =>
View attachment 155439

This 2019 abc.net article is even more optimistic => "The study found that 35% of adults listened to classical music. Classical music was the fourth most popular music genre, with more fans than R&B or hip hop."
=> https://www.abc.net.au/classic/read-and-watch/news/young-large-audience-for-classical-music/11418000
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."
 

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I agree with the above posts that classical music was NEVER popular with average middle class Joes.

Of course I am not a musicologist and the above is just an opinion.
The following is my summary of some reading I've been doing in the book Music: A Subversive History by Ted Gioia.

The dichotomy of good music (for elites) and bad music (for peons) all started with the Greeks. Music of the slaves, was "harmful" as played on the aulos and was deemed unfit while the beneficial music was played on the lyre, the preferred instrument for making good music. One spurious reason given was a musician can't play the flute and use language at the same time, and so the potential for this music to serve as a tool of education is limited. String instruments are superior because they can accompany morally uplifting, sung messages.

According to Socrates aulos music is for drunkards, yet even the music itself can intoxicate, without the alcohol. He is horrified that responsible individuals sometimes open their ears to this pernicious sound. "The result is that such people become quick-tempered, prone to anger, and filled with discontent."

Ironically, on his deathbed Plato had a slave-girl to serenade him on the aulos, finally giving into his base nature.

Aristotle also held strong convictions about melodies and rhythms; some contribute to virtue, he explains, but others are dangerous and intoxicating. Indeed, every aspect of music requires political consideration and guidance. The elites attempted to exert control over our music for a long, long time.

Later, Nietzsche saw the lyre and flute as emblematic of the opposed Apollonian and Dionysian tendencies in ancient culture-the former emphasizing rule-making and restraint, the latter embracing rule-breaking and irrationality. The lyre, as a well-tuned string instrument, promotes the harmony and order of society, while the flute draws on human breath for its soul-shaking sounds, and thus serves as a dangerous instigator of passion and ecstatic states.

In our own time we are familiar with the same kind of thinking also concerning the music of slaves, the blues, played on the guitar with a knife or bottleneck to create slides and bending the strings outside of the standardized tuning of Western music also established by the Greeks, was considered primitive music.

We may think we have left such debates behind in modern times, but anyone who has read cautionary statements on music from the modern heirs of Plato-for example, Allan Bloom in his book The Closing of the American Mind-will find similar arguments, although with the electric guitar replacing the flute as the source of moral contagion. Here the lyre-like guitar has been flipped from good to bad.

And of course the railings against "atonal" honking we see on TC all the time.

But "primitive" music has survived the elites after all.
 

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- Because it is better when more people have the chance to learn to appreciate a broader spectrum of beautiful things.
- Because it helps the endangered status of CM if more people like it and it gains a broader audience.
- Because there are supposedly a lot of beneficial side effects from listening to and especially making (classical) music oneself.
Why do you think this audience you wish to cultivate for classical music has not embraced it in the past? And why do you think they will suddenly appreciate the supposedly beneficial side effects from classical music?

It could be that they have already found the kind of music they enjoy and have no interest in classical music. Maybe their experience with classical music was not a positive one.

Would you suddenly embrace a music you don't listen to if someone made your argument to you for listening to it?
 

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How many people want to get into classical but don't because of "atonal"/"serial" junk? Like, this isn't 1950, does that even happen anymore?
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.
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.
 

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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?
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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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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It's not the health food, it's the 3 star guide Michelin french chef food. Or in the weakest case: Take it as an argument for exposure and variety. Would you make the same argument that people are "happy" listening to current charts popular music and don't miss or need anything to someone who would suggest exposure to some ethnic music or Indian classical?
Or would you suggest that people could as well read only superhero comics in school and forego Shakespeare and Dickens because that's just another genre of literature, not any better or worse in any conceivable sense?

Popular culture has been drowning every other culture for more than half a century and pushed it into niches. Of course people cannot miss classical music if they are hardly exposed to it or only as something odd as opposed to "normal" music. It is a grotesque distortion to suggest elites were pushing classical music down the throats of the people when they have been conditioned by constant exposure to popular trash since their childhood for two or even three generations now. And it is also grotesque to describe the result as something "natural" or free choice. It is as free as someone is who could for all his live choose between Burger King and McDonalds...
I leave it up to each individual to chart their own course when finding music, reading material, and what they choose to eat. I am not invested in one genre or another as their choice, and I certainly do not judge their choices, nor do I support "pushing" any genre out to them.

Going with your analogy: I think most people find the food they wish, if that's Burger King or McDonalds, it's up to them. But most people I think choose a variety of dining experiences from street vendors and fast food to locally owned diners and restaurants. They are only limited by their budget and local food/menu offerings.

I disagree that popular culture has drowned out other choices, everyone on TC swims in the same water and we all found Classical music along with everything else we listen to. I really reject the idea that Classical music is threatened by other genres or the Classical avant-garde.
 

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We also need to undo the modern belief that there is nothing better about art music (so why bother with it?).
There is nothing better about it; Classical Music is just another genre of music. Some people find it rewarding to listen to, others are not interested in it - the same is true for all genres.

And this is not a "modern belief."
 

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Sorry but I don't agree. In fact, I think it is nonsense! Why do you think the reluctance to claim quality for classical music is not a modern phenomenon?
First, it is not a fact that Classical Music is of higher quality than other kinds of music. But the idea is founded on a sociological context, not musical.

What we call "Classical Music" was the music promulgated by the church, the court and aristocracy. However, there was always another kind of music, pre-dating it by centuries, which was that made by and for the common people, the folk. Often this music, from the streets, was music made by outsiders (women, slaves, people of color), but gradually taken up by the nobility.

A good example are the songs of the troubadours (who were members of the nobility) but who got their music and style of love song from slaves, Andalusian women who sang songs for their captors, going back to the 8th century. The first troubadours date from the 11th century, but knew these slave songs and used them as the basis for their own music. The idea of a personal love song did not exist prior to the slave songs.

The "Classical Music" we have inherited was the music of the elites along with the assumption it is of higher quality than the vernacular music of the street - but that is a modern bias.

Continuing the myth of the special nature of Western Classical Music as the highest achievement in music is a corrosive and divisive attitude that does more harm than good for attracting people to the music.
 

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But they do have a right to access the best music that the world has to offer.
Yes, but that is not limited to Classical Music. In fact, the "Average Joe" is probably already accessing some of best music that the world has to offer. He's probably been exposed to some Classical Music, but has found music he considers better, at least according to his taste.
 

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My boys were raised on a lot of noisy rock and some classical music, when growing up. Now, one is into death metal, djent and technical metal, one is into grime, rap and 'urban' music and the other listens to anything. None of them dislike classical music but none really enjoy it. I suspect that my middle son may one day get the bug. He's a fabulous guitarist and he's started exploring classical guitar. When I die I'm leaving them all a Beethoven symphony cycle (they'll also get my 4TB hard drive and all my cds). One of them will take up the mantle (I hope). :lol:
My son inherited my love for music, all kinds of music. We share some taste in music but he likes some stuff which I can't listen to, noise rock, Japanese metal. But he and I probably share more likes than dislikes. He got a degree in music, but also knows that Classical Music is just one kind of music he likes and doesn't consider it the "best" of all music.

He grew up during the Hip-hop era, born in 1973, and I recently asked him for his list of the best rap songs. I am still going through it, but he is educating me on this music. He used to write for Pitchfork and has the curator/critic mentality.

I really find the attitude of the supremacy of Classical music counterproductive and simply non-factual.
 

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I am a member of the American Musicological Society and at the end of 2020 there was this, the transcript of which appeared in the latest journal:

Colloquy: Shadow Culture Narratives: Race, Gender, and American Music Historiography

On August 18, 2019, the New York Times published "The 1619 Project," a multifaceted and far-reaching initiative to retell the nation's history starting not with the revolutionary events at the end of the eighteenth century but with the year the first African slaves arrived in the British colonies at the beginning of the seventeenth. The authors were all African Americans: Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, writers, artists, poets, professors, and photographers. The Times devoted the entire Sunday magazine to the project, printed related stories in other sections of the paper, and provided a link to free educational resources that are available to teachers interested in bringing the ideas and materials to their classrooms. With the support of individual and foundation donors, the newspaper printed "hundreds of thousands of additional copies" of the issue to get the message out.1 It appeared that something had changed nationally.

Indeed, we feel that something is also changing in music scholarship. In this colloquy we add to the growing discussions and concerns about music that privileges whiteness at the expense of nonwhite racial, ethnic, and other wide-ranging identities. Educators in the disciplines of musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory have begun to raise questions not only about what is included in music canons, but also about the way such formations are constructed. With calls to decolonize the music history curriculum and to include narratives about music that were and are suppressed in much historical writing, both our textbooks and our scholarship are being queried.2 We recognize the ground-shifting changes these efforts signify and see the work presented here as forming a coalition with these new initiatives.
I think the tide is turning and those of you holding to the preeminence of Classical Music are reflecting obsolete ideas and assumptions.
 

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Enjoying great music has nothing to do with racism or sexism, but trying to accuse those who like classical music of both can show one's biases and prejudices.
This has nothing to do with accusing people who enjoy Classical Music of racism. This colloquy was designed by musicologists to confront biases within the field that have been evident, historically, but are now being recognized and discussed with the goal of improving the scholarship.
 

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Like your own parents?
My own parents did not even own a phonograph. My love of music had nothing to do with what music my parents liked or even knew about, but was a development of my own curiosity, a trait that, thankfully, has never waned.

Curiosity about music is what causes a musical mind to seek out quality wherever it exists and not be bound by the imaginary lines drawn between genres.
 

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No doubt you are right. But I have not been talking about a person's perceptions of the range of music out there and especially when s/he has not found a way to give classical music a real chance. S/he (Joe or Jo) might believe they listen to the best music but until they have given all music a real go they cannot rationally claim that.
And you have listened to all the musics in the world, with the same amount of time and breadth?

Have you given all of the myriad kinds of music the same attention you have given Classical music?

Studied the different styles within each genre, read about the composers and performers of the many different genres of music across the world?

Have you listened to tens of thousands of hours of the music from Africa, Haiti, the Balkans, Spain, China, from every country in the world - from the Middle Ages until the present?

If not, how can you rationally claim that Classical Music is the best? And at the end of that process all you would be able to give is your personal opinion.

Why should the Average Joe listen to your opinion and change his life?
 

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Did Enthusiast say it's objectively the best music?
If he doesn't think it is objectively better, then why the need for Average Joe to be introduced to it. What's the point, if Average Joe is happy with the music he is already listening to?

It's more about classical music being a potential source of enjoyment for great many people but they are not given a proper opportunity to discover it for themselves. They are not exposed to it as they are to many other kinds of music.
Any music could be a potential source of enjoyment for great many people. Why don't you cultivate an interest in a genre of music you don't currently listen to?
 

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Because an average Joe would benefit from knowing something about culture. Unless one is post-modernist, it's very difficult to deny the influence and role classical music has played in history, particularly in Europe. While greatness is subjective, significance isn't. At least not entirely.
The culture of the Griots in Mali has had a significant impact on Africans, it is a centuries old tradition with a rich history and sophisticated artistry. The same can be said for every country and the music their culture has produced. However, you are arguing that the Classical music that the Western European culture produced is valuable for everyone, a claim I question. I could say that the music of the Griots is valuable and should be introduced to everyone, too - but I don't go in for that kind of proselytizing.

I do cultivate my interest in other genres very knowingly - recently it's been jazz. I have become to know the worth of discovering great music, and that's why I think it's important.
I am saying, let Average Joe do the same and find his own music.
 

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Why should the Average Joe listen to my opinion? That is up to him. I never said he should listen to me or believe me. Perhaps, though, he can try his own samples of "all music" to come up with his own view if it matters to him. And I am not, of course, saying anyone should change their lives - but I would certainly recommend self-development and adventure of some form in life. Wouldn't you?
Yes. The difference is I don't have a prescription for them. If I am advocating anything, it is for each Average Joe to find the music he wishes to listen to, using his own methodology and time. As they say where I come from, I don't have a dog in that hunt.
 
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