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I don't have to convince anyone. Note the question mark in my opening sentence.

The two statements are crude summaries of what I have seen expressed in longer form at TC. They represent the view that classical music - usually of the CPT tradition - is of superior quality and that quality must not be debased lest the superiority of the poster be debased. It's not actually a widely held view, but it has been expressed often enough over time at TC for it to be recognisable as elitist.

As for the "film music is/isn't classical" debate, let's leave that for other threads; there's been enough of them.
Historically in the United States this question is interesting. Prior to the 1920s audiences expected to see/hear a mix of music both from the so-called high and low arts. A typical vaudeville show might have a magician, an opera singer, a Jazz band, then a pianist playing Chopin, slapstick comedians, etc.

But attitudes began to change to the point that a composer like Vernon Duke used that name for his Broadway songs and Vladimir Dukelsky for his Classical concert pieces, he wrote along side the others. This has been the case for decades, but opinions are softening again, and have been for a few decades, since the end of the 20th century.

Stephen Sondheim was asked about this question concerning some of his shows, Sweeney Todd, e.g. He said it was an opera when performed in front of an opera audience in an opera house but a musical when performed on Broadway. IOW, the genre was not decided on the content but the venue and audience expectations.

I tend to agree that a work is Classical when it is performed in a Classical music setting and not when it is in a film. If the film music is arranged into a concert suite or adapted into a concertante work and performed by a symphony orchestra it is Classical music - but the same music as it appeared in a movie was made up of musical cues, some lasting a few seconds, others a few minutes, and are not written as one long form work.
 

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That's ceratinly a dimension to the question of defining genres, and for the purposes of this thread - about elitism - classical "pops" is a somewhat pejorative term to dismiss those at certain venues and with certain expectations. I've seen elsewhere here, the assertion that the BPO wouldn't lower themselves to do a pops concert (and the contradiction that, in fact, they do).

What is indisputable is that for many listeners, their musical taste is wrapped up with who they are. Some liberated souls genuinely don't care what others think about their musical tastes, but for the rest of us limited, flawed humans, we are what we listen to, and we get irked when our tastes are dissed.

That says much more about us than it does about the music.
Personally I don't give a hoot about labeling genres other than as a method of classifying a large music collection. I have a masters degree in Library and Information Studies so issues of taxonomy are a priority for me.

As for gauging the quality of music, I follow the adage offered by Duke Ellington: "if it sounds good, it is good music."
 

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I don't give a hoot either. Please don't think I do. I'm not the one insisting on it in this thread.
To be clear, I care regarding organizing a collection but not rating one genre as inherently of better quality than another. So, in organizing my collection I would shelve film soundtracks in a different area than Classical CDs, just a I would have the Jazz some place else, etc.
 

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This all reminds me yet again, whatever conversations happen here about the shoulds, out there on the ground things are changing. At school, children learn about pop music and compose their own hip hop songs, while opera houses are playing musicals. To me, this is just change.
There is no reason why these works should not be performed in an opera house.
 

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Certainly not, even if we just narrow things down to economics. Let's face it, money talks. Opera companies are arguably music's biggest white elephants, so they can always do with more of it. Any resistance to changes like this on theoretical grounds in the past has vanished in the face of economic reality. Same goes with other changes in the industry, such as orchestras increasingly taking up film music.
I wasn't thinking about economics, that to me is not the issue. Both opera and musicals are examples of musical theater, period.
 

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Now musicals are performed in opera houses, but a while ago, they weren't. A hundred years ago, operettas weren't either, and it even took Porgy and Bess forty years to make it to the Met.

This process of change is inseperable from history, and economics is a big part of that.
I wasn't arguing with you over that point - it just wasn't what fueled my post.
 

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Oxford Words defines "elitism" as: "the advocacy or existence of an elite as a dominating element in a system or society." Elitism also means, "the attitude or behavior of a person or group who regard themselves as an elite." A graph showing amount of usage has the term entering English around 1950, reaching a peak near 2000, and staying near there since.

I'm seriously concerned about the use of the word now in respect to classical music. It seems to me that a good place to start is understanding what we mean, and what others mean, by "elitism" and "elitist." The above definitions apply in the plural and the singular. Perhaps classical music is a system in the sense of its interlocking institutions, personnel, music, literature, and so on. Concerning groups or individuals, while attitudes are important I think what we say on TalkClassical counts as behavior.

In any case, what do you mean by "elitism" and "elitist" as used in 2021?
The word "elites" has been used more recently in the nature of a political term, i.e. to promote class warfare. So its meaning has been corrupted somewhat, and politicized. But how it manifests regarding Classical music is linking Classical music with the elite class and all the attendant implications that association insinuates: high quality, sophistication, discernment, and good taste.

The problem with "elitism" is thinking or accepting that the people within the elite class (such as it may exist) actually have those traits in more abundance than the rest of us and that the music that they prefer is actually better than any other kind.
 

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I understand that the world has moved on. But can we ignore the value of logical development and long history and complexity and effectiveness of CM, compared to other musics?
If you think Classical music is the only music that has that kind of depth, you would be mistaken.
 

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I think it's fair to ask of classical music (and any genre of music) what is unique about it. Instead of things like "why is classical music so much better than xxx (where 'xxx' is invariably either pop music, or music made by black people)" I tend to try to frame it as "What uniquely sets classical music apart?" in terms of style, techniques, practices, and listening conventions.
Why ask those questions? Unless you re writing an article what difference does it make what you think is unique about Classical music. There are all kinds of Classical music anyway all with different ways of being unique. I tend to think of all composers are unique, writing their music which has been lumped into a genre we call Classical music. But that is merely a label, which I think of as so reductive as to be meaningless.

I don't separate how I think about Bach, Debussy, or Boulez from Louis Armstrong, Frank Zappa, or Drake. Their music either interests me or not and I listen to and often enjoy it all.

There are not many forms of music as fixated on tonality, and specifically the use of tonality/atonality for emotional effect, for instance (which makes all the "tonality is natural" arguments really funny- classical music is borderline unnatural - and therefore somewhat unique - for how fixated on tonality it is).
While I generally agree with your post, but I don't ever think about the tonal/atonal or Classical/non-Classical question - they are superficial concerns, IMO.
 

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Indeed. But Louis Armstrong and Frank Zappa (and perhaps Drake too) are prime examples of popular musicians so creative and innovative they were able to transcend the popular music genre their work could nominally be categorized within and create something of lasting cultural influence and significance. For me, the jazz of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington has already reached the status of a classical music tradition, and I think Zappa won't be far behind.
I don't even consider what I hear as uninteresting music, including that among Classical music. So I won't talk about any composers or musicians unless I find their work interesting and of a certain quality.
 

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I'm not really disagreeing with you, except that there is a process of selection over the centuries where most of the uninteresting music disappears before we can hear it. Even with modern technology, I suspect that won't change much.
Oh, not nearly enough has disappeared. ;) And more is being recorded every year.
 
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