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I remember my father - he was a teacher of English Literature - being horrified that the school I was at when I was 9 was trying to teach us Shakespeare. He felt it would put us off for life and forewarned in this way I was really wowed with Shakespeare when I was 15 or so. He was all for boys of 9 reading Treasure Island (a book I still love). There are probably musical equivalents to all this. Certainly, I got into classical music early because I wanted to and I wanted to because it was all around me. Mozart came first.

But what of children who grow up in houses with no or few books and no classical music? How are they going to get access or guidance? Much could be done in schools but too many schools are environments that alienate kids and make them feel they are "on the other side" to their teachers. I doubt such schools could do anything with music even if they had the money to include it in their curriculum.
Indeed there are. Some were written specifically to be engaging to children:

Saint-Saëns – Carnival of the Animals
Prokofiev – Peter and the Wolf


Others seem to captivate children despite the work not being specifically child-oriented. A lot of Tchaikovsky seems to pop up as child-friendly:

Tchaikovsky - 1812 Overture

Tchaikovsky - Capriccio Italien
Tchiakovsky - The Nutcracker
Tchiakovsky - Swan Lake
Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Bizet – Overture to Carmen
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons
Handel - Water Music
Elmer Bernstein - Theme from The Great Escape
Grieg - In the Hall of the Mountain King

Beethoven - Symphony No. 5
 

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I think there's understandable reasons for this. Perhaps every generation goes through this. What I mean is, the 40s pop standards gave way to early rock of the 50s, then later rock and the more artistic pop of the late 60s, then disco, then Grunge, then the pop pap which is quite difficult to figure out as to its youthful meanings.

So what's the trend that I see? In each transition, the younger generation doesn't want their music to sound old fashioned, old hat, corny. The kiss of death within peer groups or even imagined peer groups (aspirations). Also they seem to want music that is less and less obvious to follow and memorize and get tired of. 'Makes sense.

Who really knows (with so many years of variables and change and unsuspected innovations (tech)), but we can generalize.
This is true - to an extent.

My mom had (and played) albums that were decidedly "old fart" music, yet I'm still very fond of SOME of it, and still turn my nose up at some of it. Mom, not being a musician (nor was my dad), still had a rather diverse and eclectic collection of LPs.

There were Broadway cast albums (Gypsy, Oliver, etc.), soundtracks (I loved Around the World in 80 Days, but despised Picnic), 101 Strings (yuck!), Herb Alpert :love:, Frank Sinatra (yuck), Julie Christie, 1812 Overture.

My mom used to tell the story of a 5 year old me sitting in the sandbox belting out Ethel Merman.

The point is that these were normalized things in my childhood, the music from all different genres. It wasn't forced on me, but simply part of a "normal" household. Some I loved, some I didn't.
 

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What's not true?
How does it get forced on anyone? It's always on in the background?
Broadway is a separate category, I think, because there's so much song writing talent, with their ears searching for what's new and trendy.
I'm talking about teens of each generation being somehow predictably different from each prior generation.

I remember Sinatra singing so accurately. It sounded so accurate and yet so natural. I never went back to see whether he sang the strict note durations from the song sheets, but it might have been just a style that sounded so disciplined (his attitude was larger than life, as they say).
I like the theme from Picnic. A clever use of harmony.
Julie Christie singing 'Round Midnight. wow! Such control and emotion!
Mantovani was my father-in-law's favorite, for unwinding after work.
Sinatra had style. I'll assume he learned that vocal accuracy because he started out singing in the Big Bands of Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, musical tyrannical micromanagers, where every note was planned in minute detail, including the vocalists. That laid-back thing was part of that accuracy . . . perfect phrasings, well-thought-out backbeating. Sinatra, by the time he signed as a solo artist had his artistry well-crafted.

Funny how I really didn't learn to appreciate until fairly recently what a great musicality he had, right up through the 60s. I still can't stand "My Way" though.

But the one I REALLY love was Bing Crosby. Now THERE was some extraordinary accuracy. You can hear that from his stuff from the 1920s right through the end of the Big Band era. An absolute monster of accuracy. Even his crooning after that was "perfect". He lost that musicality in the 1960s because he didn't really adapt well to the "new" music, nor the new technology used to record it.
 

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You really shouldn't worry, then. Relax. Its not a matter of them being required to learn it, because most children in state schools don't get much of an opportunity to learn music in the first place.

Incidentally, by performance I didn't necessarily mean playing, but singing. Back in the 16th century, the composer William Byrd said that "since singing is so good a thing, I wish all men would learne to sing." Today, most children aren't even taught to sing and hold a note, and that's way before they might get to an instrument. I wonder, have we progressed that much since Byrd's time?
True.

For a few semesters I taught after school chorus classes an a local elementary school administered by the local Park District. Parents had to pony up a registration fee to the Parks, just as they would have to for a class in painting, folk dance, or other things.

It went well for a while but the parents were actually way more meddling than I would have expected, so I quit.
 

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Is there a radio station that plays a diverse range of genres? Pop, Classical, Country, New Age, Punk, Progressive, Renaissance, Disco, Baroque, American Songbook, soundtracks, New Wave, Romantic, Alternative, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s, choral, indigenous, Indian, Big Band, electronica, ballet, Bop, salsa, etc, etc, etc.

Why not?
 

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OK. I just think that a station that played so much unknown music might attract people with its "Wow, listen to THAT - that is so cool and different" factor.
 

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@fbjim: Excellent post. It would be interesting and possibly useful to create a video of as many examples as possible of where CM is or has been used in the wider culture. I offered before the fact that TV's Judge Judy's theme music are the opening notes of LVB's 5th symphony, the long history of the William Tell overture with The Lone Ranger radio program, and the March from Proko's 3 Oranges as theme for a radio crime drama. In addition there would many dozen ad background music examples, the Broadway musical Kismet, and film references; Proko's Alexander Nevsky only one example. Elvira Madigan Mozart PC reference. Popular songs that have mined CM melodies (Rach's Full Moon and Empty Arms). All embedded in the non-CM context This video to be shown where possible in schools or on public television or YouTube, with some serious advertising that People Will Love It! A modern-day Disney Fantasia, but more cool.
Pretty much MOST of the music for Kismet was adapted from several pieces composed by Alexander Borodin.

The 1959 animated Disney film Sleeping Beauty liberally used music from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty ballet.

Way back in the 1960s the closing theme of the Huntley-Brinkley Report was the second movement of Beethoven's Symphony #9.
 

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Has anyone considered Classical Music "conditioning"?

Like, you know, putting out cake and ice cream while playing Classical,
and putting out vegetable plates while playing Hip Hop?
 
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