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I think our Western society might be one of the most hypocritical and mendacious about "elites" and "elitism" ever. But this would lead away.

For me, elitism as something negative is connected with unfair, intransparent or unprincipled exclusion. To exclude students who have not passed pre-calculus from calculus class is not elitism but grounded in a plausible sequence of maths learning. To have only students whose parents are in a particular country club in the school drama club is unfair exclusion.

Nowadays classical music does not even have the "justified elitism" of the restricted access to the advanced maths class. There are no restrictions for access to classical music beyond being able to afford a ticket and normal clean everyday clothing. It is far less "elitist" than the bouncer at a popular dance club who will not admit people he thinks don't fit with "the crowd".
 

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It's often a boogeyman used by people who either generally dislike "high culture" or (understandably) dislike the snobbishness of some people in or into high culture. Such snobs do sometimes exhibit elitist exclusionary behavior but IMO they are so marginal nowadays that to use them for an attack against e.g. classical is strawmanning.

As I ocassionally wrote in other threads, classical music has tried to cater to a broader audience for many decades now. There has been some but limited success but to me it seems the zenith has been passed. This has several reasons, from the continued growth of popular culture, the corresponding devaluation of "high culture" (it used to be something to "aspire to" but now it's just one genre among countless others), but most importantly probably the change in media.
When I was kid in the 80s we had 3 TV channels and there was classical music on public TV (admittedly usually only sunday or after 10 pm). "Light classical" occurred in Saturday night game/quiz shows (the singer Anneliese Rothenberger had her own TV show for a while in the 70s or 80s), along with popular music.

Now one never needs to stray beyong the bubble of preferences and most suggestions by current media are for stuff close to what one already likes.
 

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An elitist should be happy that CM appeals only to a small proportion because if that changed she would need to find another distinction, e.g. collecting silver cow creamers or something not so easily available to the masses.
 

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I agree; I don't really understand Enthusiast's post and I am NOT of the opinion that all music is of equal value (actually I doubt that anyone really believes this, it's obviously wrong, otherwise me pounding with a fist on a piano keyboard would have value) and that classical music is the best music and one the great achievements of mankind.
 
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