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I'm not sure if your comment suggests that young people tend to listen to 20th century modernism (or later) classical music (i.e. the last 2 paragraphs are correlated). When you say classical music often is appealing to young people, could you explain whether you mean some young people listen to classical music or that a significant percentage of young people do. If the later, do you have any data or reasons to believe that's true. I would love to think it's true, but my admittedly small sample suggests otherwise.

Certainly some people could have ideological reasons for thinking 20th century modernism has caused a decrease in classical music listenership, but I tend to doubt that most do. When I first came to TC, I was stunned by how different and unpleasant the 20th century and contemporary music appeared to me. It was natural to believe that the music was a clear impediment to listening. I no longer view modern and contemporary music that way, but I can understand that view without reference to ideological motives.
Was your post meant to be a reply to mine? It doesn't look like you've read my posts in this thread at all. Anyway, you are more than welcome to like or dislike any 20th century or contemporary music, I don't think one's personal tastes can have any ideological implications, and never said they did. Although, I am puzzled how you could ever come to such sweeping conclusions about all 20th century and contemporary music. Not surprisingly, over a period of years and presumably more extensive listening, your opinions began to change. But that has nothing to do with what I was saying.
 

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Most young people just aren't the market for art music. Nothing that rewards careful attention is.

But at some point they are too old to go clubbing, some of them discover that the pop hits of their youth do not reward attention, some of them want to explore the world's cultural heritage, and some of them want to enjoy something classy, and then their white heads join the others.

I don't know that people will always be listening to Bach and Beethoven as much as we do now, but about 5% of the population (skewing older) will always be interested in something more complex and layered than what the other 95% is content with.
 

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I don't know that people will always be listening to Bach and Beethoven as much as we do now, but about 5% of the population (skewing older) will always be interested in something more complex and layered than what the other 95% is content with.
There are over a billion people in Europe and North America. And there are classical listeners in Asia, South America, and everywhere else in the world. Five percent works out to well over 50 million listeners.
 

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Was your post meant to be a reply to mine? It doesn't look like you've read my posts in this thread at all. Anyway, you are more than welcome to like or dislike any 20th century or contemporary music, I don't think one's personal tastes can have any ideological implications, and never said they did. Although, I am puzzled how you could ever come to such sweeping conclusions about all 20th century and contemporary music. Not surprisingly, over a period of years and presumably more extensive listening, your opinions began to change. But that has nothing to do with what I was saying.
I apologize for perhaps misunderstanding your post. I think we both are not on the same page. I was not aware of making any sweeping conclusions in my post, and I just wanted to know what you meant by "...in fact classical music can be and often is appealing to young people." I wondered if you had information on a topic where I have very little. Sorry for the confusion.
 

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Some Modern CM s very accessible (e.g. Shosty's 1st violin concerto), while other Modern CM is great yet an acquired taste (e.g. Bartok's string quartets). I will never like modern CM (or contemporary CM) as much as I like composers such as Beethoven, Brahms, and Dvorak.
Well said. My preferences are based on how much I enjoy the sound based on a number of factors (form, texture, tonality, patterns, instrumentation, etc., etc.). This for the most part excludes modern music because I dislike the sound of it. My exposure was initially to romantic period works (what I grew up with) - but acquired a preference for classical form even though I still very much appreciate romantic era works.

Shorter pieces (or excerpts of larger ones) of classical and romantic works (and instrumental vs keyboard) may encourage new potential listeners to listen to CM and develop an appreciation for it. A few examples were kindly posted by pianozach. For many CM devotees - this was our introduction.

hen I first came to TC, I was stunned by how different and unpleasant the 20th century and contemporary music appeared to me...I no longer view modern and contemporary music that way, but I can understand that view without reference to ideological motives.
I would add that ideology is not correlated for a number of listeners (and I include myself in that), particularly new ones.

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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Well said. My preferences are based on how much I enjoy the sound based on a number of factors (form, texture, tonality, patterns, instrumentation, etc., etc.). This for the most part excludes modern music because I dislike the sound of it. My exposure was initially to romantic period works (what I grew up with) - but acquired a preference for classical form even though I still very much appreciate romantic era works.

Shorter pieces (or excerpts of larger ones) of classical and romantic works (and instrumental vs keyboard) may encourage new potential listeners to listen to CM and develop an appreciation for it. A few examples were kindly posted by pianozach. For many CM devotees - this was our introduction.



I would add that ideology is not correlated for a number of listeners (and I include myself in that), particularly new ones.
In my experience Carnaval and Peter and the Wolf are distracting to young people because of their extra-musical allusions. I found it's better to give them Mozart piano sonatas or Chopin nocturnes etc.. And then if the melodies do nothing for them they're not ready to explore beyond familiar songs, for understanding and 'analyzing'. Because I think the goal is, as soon as possible, get them interested in the notes, instead of mind pictures.
 
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In my experience Carnaval and Peter and the Wolf are distracting to young people because of their extra-musical allusions. I found it's better to give them Mozart piano sonatas or Chopin nocturnes etc.. And then if the melodies do nothing for them they're not ready to explore beyond familiar songs, for understanding and 'analyzing'. Because I think the goal is, as soon as possible, get them interested in the notes, instead of mind pictures.
I was captivated by Peter and the Wolf as a child, as it introduced the sounds of the various instruments and also because of its wonderful melodies, invoking all sorts of moods and emotions. Others have praised, correctly, Peer Gynt, and a lot of Respighi and Sibelius (tone poems) can also instill interest in further exploring classical music. One must first hook the fish, then one can worry about whether it is being cooked properly.
 

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Peter and the Wolf are distracting to young people because of their extra-musical allusions. I found it's better to give them Mozart piano sonatas or Chopin nocturnes etc.
I have a recording of Peter and the Wolf conducted by Andre Previn, and narrated by then wife Mia Farrow. The narrations caused it to really drag.
The narration is distracting for some listeners (me included). However, the production contains a nice selection of melodies, and isolating each instrument is really beneficial. When introducing children and adults - to CM - I have had the best experience with 'lighter' excerpts from Mozart, Mendelssohn, Chopin (piano), and Tschaikovsky. Ballet music and marches that are associated with movement and dance are good options.
 

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I have a recording of Peter and the Wolf conducted by Andre Previn, and narrated by then wife Mia Farrow. The narrations caused it to really drag.
How old were you upon first hearing it? My first listening was when I was very young--the narrator was the British actor Basil Rathbone on 78s. Released 1941. Shown is the original album art; I remember it well

 

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Agree - people have unique ideological bents and preferences. I think that these apply to a more or lesser degree across different aspects of our lives - for example, philosophical or artistic. Also as you point out, these discussions and nuances don't lend themselves well to online discussions and there are many shades of gray.
That's my point. Online discussion of topics like this can go well if we try to drop the need to convince eachother and just talk. Not impossible, but rare in my experience.

Another very good point you articulated is that many composers (keeping to CM), especially during times of social change, expressed their interpretation of events. Art imitates life. The Eroica, which did not immediately meet with universal public acclaim, expressed not only struggles in the composer's life, but also his interpretation of social and political upheaval. It is amongst the most frequently performed symphonies in the world today.
I think that history and aesthetics inform, rather than detract from, discussions of music. Music doesn’t come out of a vacuum.

That was a thoughtful and diplomatically worded post, thanks. After observing all the lengthy debates here about the role of classical music in today's society for several years, I would conclude that it is indeed hard to avoid their ideological undercurrent. Here at TC, "classical music" mainly means an 18th and 19th century European aristocratic and wealthy bourgeois tradition, and implicit in assumptions that its current cultural role is not as great as it ought to be, as made by the OP in this thread for example, is a judgment on the relative worth and importance of 18th and 19th century European aristocratic and wealthy bourgeois cultural values.
A lot has changed since the 19th century, which was the time of the industrial revolution. I think that since then, we have became a society of consumers. I would argue that the origins of this aren’t a break from what happened in the 19th century, they actually stem from it. While many of us are now alienated from playing and creating music, there is undoubtedly more music everywhere, and we as individuals can choose to listen to whatever suits our needs at any given moment.

Posters operating on this assumption here often indignantly argue that there is nothing political or ideological about their comments. Yet, 20th century modernism and current popular music over and over emerge as alleged villains, and the ideological implications become clear.
I don’t think its useful to play the blame game. I’m more interested in solutions, and I think that requires political effort to bring about social change through education.

When I point out that in fact classical music can be and often is appealing to young people, and that the discussion of this thread and others like it is largely based on a false premise, the point is largely ignored. This also suggests that an ideological agenda motivates most of these threads.
We know that many young people are accessing classical online. As regards this forum, all you can do is say your opinion, even if you feel its different. The worst thing for a forum like this is if everyone started parroting everybody else. We need a variety of opinions here.

 

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Aptly spoken. I do think that many posters are sensitive to this and endeavor to walk a fine line between posting information, and subjective interpretation, while presenting information in a way that does not seek to convince others. 😊

A lot has changed since the 19th century, which was the time of the industrial revolution. I think that since then, we have became a society of consumers. I would argue that the origins of this aren’t a break from what happened in the 19th century, they actually stem from it. While many of us are now alienated from playing and creating music, there is undoubtedly more music everywhere, and we as individuals can choose to listen to whatever suits our needs at any given moment.
Prescient and well stated.

I don’t think its useful to play the blame game. I’m more interested in solutions, and I think that requires political effort to bring about social change through education.
Fully agree about the unhelpfulness of assigning blame and that political organization and will is required. People who sell music could also be instrumental (no pun!) in this. From a US perspective, with an arguably decrepit school system, parents need to have a role in assessing and changing what and how their children are educated.

CM would also benefit from a public relations initiative, which could be part of driving public interest and thus political intervention.
 

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Chicago's world-class 24/7 classical music station - WFMT - offers this program "Bach to School" -They have subscription drives twice a year and if you donate a certain amount of money they donate one or more of these packages to local area schools - So far they've donated 2000 plus kits to 500 plus schools with 10,000 plus students benefiting.

WFMT. com can be heard online - It's worth a listen - Note: It isn't quite 24/7 classical music - On Saturday nights, they have "Folk Stage" and "Midnight Special" - other than that, it's pretty much all classical all the time.

 

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I apologize for perhaps misunderstanding your post. I think we both are not on the same page. I was not aware of making any sweeping conclusions in my post, and I just wanted to know what you meant by "...in fact classical music can be and often is appealing to young people." I wondered if you had information on a topic where I have very little. Sorry for the confusion.
That's perfectly OK. As to your question, perhaps you could go back and read my earlier posts. You also might consider going to see TwoSetViolin during their next world tour. Or even your local youth symphony. You may be surprised at how good they are.
 

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That's perfectly OK. As to your question, perhaps you could go back and read my earlier posts. You also might consider going to see TwoSetViolin during their next world tour. Or even your local youth symphony. You may be surprised at how good they are.
I know TwoSetViolin well from their videos, but I've never seen them in concert. I suspect they do have a significant young audience. My daughter played in several youth symphonies, and some are indeed quite good.
 

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We know that many young people are accessing classical online. As regards this forum, all you can do is say your opinion, even if you feel its different. The worst thing for a forum like this is if everyone started parroting everybody else. We need a variety of opinions here.

Not to be a snob or a Debbie downer, but I believe that article is including essentially anything that's instrumental as classical. Virtually every artist listed would be described as "crossover", "contemporary instrumental", "electronic", "film", etc.. I don't think any of the listed artists would be remotely popular amongst the TC membership.
 

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Not to be a snob or a Debbie downer, but I believe that article is including essentially anything that's instrumental as classical. Virtually every artist listed would be described as "crossover", "contemporary instrumental", "electronic", "film", etc.. I don't think any of the listed artists would be remotely popular amongst the TC membership.
I'm not sure that's true, but if it is, so what? The point of the article is to outline how young people are accessing, or could access classical music via a broad definition of the term which doesn't exclude the traditional canon, but exemplifies a wider range of musics.
 

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Aptly spoken. I do think that many posters are sensitive to this and endeavor to walk a fine line between posting information, and subjective interpretation, while presenting information in a way that does not seek to convince others. 😊
Yes it is about interpretation. Even if the facts are the same, inevitably we'll all interpret them differently. Same with experiences. On the internet, its easy for complex issues to become polarised. Reality is never that simple.

Fully agree about the unhelpfulness of assigning blame and that political organization and will is required. People who sell music could also be instrumental (no pun!) in this. From a US perspective, with an arguably decrepit school system, parents need to have a role in assessing and changing what and how their children are educated.

CM would also benefit from a public relations initiative, which could be part of driving public interest and thus political intervention.
I think that there are a number of ways of looking at this. There are various levels of interaction, if you like, with classical music. They can be boiled down to something like this. Listeners who:
  • Listen to recordings
  • Go to concerts
  • Can perform music
Within these categories there can be variation, e.g. listeners and concertgoers can range from casual to serious, performers can be amateur or professional.

I don't think we've got too much of a problem with the first category now - thanks to digital technology, classical is more widely disseminated than its ever been. I think that the second category needs maintenance, but at this point things generally aren't too bad.

I think the third category is the problem area, and that's where my point about equity comes in. I think we're beyond mere public relations. Substantive changes need to happen. In the UK there's been statistics coming out for some time suggesting that most children who learn music go to private schools. Its not new, but there is growing realisation among educators of the importance of access to music to by all children. I mean as part of their general education. There is no one size fits all solution, but its good to know that there's awareness of the problem.

Not to be a snob or a Debbie downer, but I believe that article is including essentially anything that's instrumental as classical. Virtually every artist listed would be described as "crossover", "contemporary instrumental", "electronic", "film", etc.. I don't think any of the listed artists would be remotely popular amongst the TC membership.
There's a few contemporary composers who are taken seriously enough at TC (e.g. like Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, Steve Reich).


Also quite a few of the most famous composers - e.g. Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Rachmaninov, Ravel, etc.


The main takeaway from the article is that many young people will listen to classical - or various offshoots of it - on their ipods. I think it might be a trend away from the stigma associated with classical among young people. In any case, the classical industry is taking heed of this sort of data to attract young people, with change in repertoire to accept what was previously thought as too lowbrow (e.g. orchestras performing film, video game and television music, opera companies putting on productions of musicals).
 

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Extracurricular music lessons offered at schools can be beneficial, but the idea that children should be required to learn to play instruments (or learn music theory) at a public institution is tyrannical. The amount of unnecessary things children are forced to do should be minimized.
 
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