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I assumed we were talking about people interested in the subject. I wouldn’t ask those who have never played, watched or followed golf who the best golfers are or were.
My point has been that the vast majority of educated people (in Britain, anyway), people who have some knowledge and appreciation of literature and art, tend to know nothing about classical music. I have seen TV quizzes, the ones that get middle classed contestants, where no one can name more than three or four composers and no one can recognise the music (or the name of a major work) of any. Presenters who are seen as influencers openly say that an interest in classical music is a weird affectation. The size of even the Classic FM audience is very small in comparison with the size of the more or less educated population.
 

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We are attempting to theorise or abstract what we think (/feel/know) in this discussion. What really matters is how the music sounds, what it does to us, and the problem here is that we are experiencing the music differently. Many here feel that the orchestral music that Hollywood often uses for its big films provides an experience similar to listening to genuine classical music while many of the rest of us listen to it (examples have often been posted) only to find the experience not at all similar to the experience of listening to true classical music. And it works the same the other way: many who believe that much film music is classical experience much contemporary classical music as something very different from the older classical music and reject it. I don't think the gulf between us can be bridged as far as this matter is concerned.
I don't see it as a situation of one cancelling out the other. Film music isn't knocking contemporary classical off its perch, no more than contemporary is knocking off film music from its one.

Film music is entering a place in the concert hall alongside, or in addition to, other music mainstream orchestras play. Contemporary composers who fit well into the context of the existing core repertoire are likely to be programmed (e.g. Arvo Part, Philip Glass, John Rutter, and so on). Those looking for something more cutting edge can go elsewhere. New music ensembles - such as Ensemble Intercontemporain founded by the aforementioned Pierre Boulez - have been specialising in that aspect of classical for about fifty years.

Of course, there are other areas in classical, which are also catered for by specialised groups. Some listeners exclusively listen to one area, others divide their taste among the various options available.
 

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^ Yes, they do not need to be in competition. It was just that I have noticed over time that those posting passionately in favour of film music being a form of classical music tend to include many of the same people who feel a need to trash contemporary music. But the latter group is shrinking and far less active than they once were so maybe it matters less.

You seem to enjoy some more or less minimalist music but don't acknowledge that much of the music you call "more cutting edge" is written for orchestra (and including opera) and does get played (in Europe anyway) but probably not to the same audience that pays to sit and listen to, say, Williams.
 

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I happen to think that orchestral music written for film should be evaluated on the same level as electronic, pop, or rock music written for films, but there is obviously a performance practice based on playing this music. This is not to mention that a lot of electronic film music has little problem being "elevated" into the spheres of electronic music enthusiasts, while instrumental, "film-scorey" rock tracks (not including specific tracks, usually some kind of ballad, "written for a film") don't really have much uptake with rock listeners, etc
 

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^ Yes, they do not need to be in competition. It was just that I have noticed over time that those posting passionately in favour of film music being a form of classical music tend to include many of the same people who feel a need to trash contemporary music..
Oh, I don’t think so. What I’ve seen is similar to the question I raise. If the more ‘extreme’ contemporary music such as a avante-garde is included as CM, then why wouldn’t film music? That isn’t trashing anything. At this point, I don’t much care anymore, but others do. And I’d like to have those who think film music has no business being a form of CM answer that question. Fwiw, one of the answers that it is the institutions of CM that decide these things doesn’t work for me.
 

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^ Yes, they do not need to be in competition. It was just that I have noticed over time that those posting passionately in favour of film music being a form of classical music tend to include many of the same people who feel a need to trash contemporary music. But the latter group is shrinking and far less active than they once were so maybe it matters less.
I doubt that the two are really connected in the real world.

You seem to enjoy some more or less minimalist music but don't acknowledge that much of the music you call "more cutting edge" is written for orchestra (and including opera) and does get played (in Europe anyway) but probably not to the same audience that pays to sit and listen to, say, Williams.
Some listeners will specialise, others will be broad.

I'm trying to relate things to reality, not talk about what is or isn't to my personal taste.

I think what matters for orchestras is that they balance the budget, even make a profit. Basically, warhorses with a smattering of new highbrow music (for want of a better term) won't pay the bills, which is why increasingly things like film, television and video game music is entering the concert hall. It doesn't matter whether the people who come to these concerts know highbrow classical or not. Its clear that there is a demand for music of this type live out there, and it pays well for orchestras to cater for it.

Of course, orchestras are playing more adventurous - or at least not so easily palatable - new music than the minimalists. Even those are basically token items by established composers (e.g. say Gubaidulina, Ades, or the recently departed Birtwistle).

I think its obvious that if a listener is in a city of any decent size, he or she will be able to find some other group than the city orchestra which plays more contemporary music (it can be a specialised ensemble, but in general, chamber groups are more likely to play this repertoire, a big reason is more favourable economies of scale). With these groups, you're also more likely to hear music by composers who aren't aged seventy or eighty. I'm not joking here. Their size can also be augmented to perform larger scale works.

I think a great thing about film music is that it exposes people to music, and they're unaware of it. When I saw the original The Blues Brothers movie decades ago, I hardly knew the musicians featured - e.g. Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and so on. In effect, the movie introduced me to these, and I've listened to more music by them and others since.

The other thing is that movies are a great leveller. I think its good that they challenge the sort of attitude prevalent in the past in classical - that no matter what, you have to aspire to like highbrow music, because its good for you. I don't think that strategy is working anymore. Music isn't cod liver oil. Its better that people come to something from a position of enjoying it, rather than from feeling some need to conform to other people's notions of superior taste.

I'm not here to discuss opera in any depth, but the same sort of thing is happening there. Opera companies are now performing musicals as a way of making money and attracting new audiences.
 

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Oh, I don’t think so. What I’ve seen is similar to the question I raise. If the more ‘extreme’ contemporary music such as a avante-garde is included as CM, then why wouldn’t film music? That isn’t trashing anything. At this point, I don’t much care anymore, but others do. And I’d like to have those who think film music has no business being a form of CM answer that question. Fwiw, one of the answers that it is the institutions of CM that decide these things doesn’t work for me.
Who do you think decides then? Artistic directors and conductors make programming decisions for orchestras, chamber ensembles decide for themselves, writers of textbooks base their decisions on performance history and critical opinion (an indirect influence on canon formation) of musical works, educational institutions decide what rep is appropriate for their students. I'm sorry that reality doesn't work for you. :)
 

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I see you still haven't recovered from your profound misunderstanding of my actual allegations, but I can't fix your misunderstandings when you just decide what I think without actually consulting me.
Perhaps you should rethink the use of words such as ‘delusional’ and ‘not coherent’. Pretty hard to misunderstand their meaning.
 

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Who do you think decides then? Artistic directors and conductors make programming decisions for orchestras, chamber ensembles decide for themselves, writers of textbooks base their decisions on performance history and critical opinion (an indirect influence on canon formation) of musical works, educational institutions decide what rep is appropriate for their students. I'm sorry that reality doesn't work for you. :)
I understand what you’re saying and I should clarify that I would have to agree that it is an important part of the decision. But don’t the listeners, the people who buy the tickets, the sheet music and the recordings have or should have an important influence? The same programmers, conductors and musicians that provide/perform ’regular’ CM concerts will have concerts of the works of film composers in the same concert halls drawing a similar cross-section of audience.

My guess is that that happens far more frequently and with far more success than avante-garde works which have been deemed CM. I also hazard a guess that many in said audience would agree that they hear more similarity with traditional CM than avante-garde works (assuming they’ve even heard the latter). Thus, I wonder why those in the hallowed halls of academia et al would decide on what is under the CM tent without any outside influence/input. :)
 

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My point has been that the vast majority of educated people (in Britain, anyway), people who have some knowledge and appreciation of literature and art, tend to know nothing about classical music. I have seen TV quizzes, the ones that get middle classed contestants, where no one can name more than three or four composers and no one can recognise the music (or the name of a major work) of any. Presenters who are seen as influencers openly say that an interest in classical music is a weird affectation. The size of even the Classic FM audience is very small in comparison with the size of the more or less educated population.
How does your point relate to the question posed by the OP?
 

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I think what matters for orchestras is that they balance the budget, even make a profit. Basically, warhorses with a smattering of new highbrow music (for want of a better term) won't pay the bills, which is why increasingly things like film, television and video game music is entering the concert hall. It doesn't matter whether the people who come to these concerts know highbrow classical or not. Its clear that there is a demand for music of this type live out there, and it pays well for orchestras to cater for it.
Orchestras can be subsidised (yes, I know that many conservatives here will be shocked by such a suggestion). It is worth investing in and making it available to all who have an interest. It enriches people's lives and this tends to have economic benefits.

Of course, orchestras are playing more adventurous - or at least not so easily palatable - new music than the minimalists. Even those are basically token items by established composers (e.g. say Gubaidulina, Ades, or the recently departed Birtwistle).
Why "token"? You don't believe they are committed to that music?

The other thing is that movies are a great leveller. I think its good that they challenge the sort of attitude prevalent in the past in classical - that no matter what, you have to aspire to like highbrow music, because its good for you. I don't think that strategy is working anymore. Music isn't cod liver oil. Its better that people come to something from a position of enjoying it, rather than from feeling some need to conform to other people's notions of superior taste.
The kind of levelling that you refer to is actually a dumbing down made to sound democratic. Classical music does tend to be an acquired taste and is probably only going to appeal to a small proportion of any population. But those who are wired to enjoy it should have the opportunity. They are still a substantial number.

Your discussion likening classical music to cod liver oil says much about your experience of classical music but is a false analogy to the fact that it takes time and opportunity to enjoy classical music. To you they used to do it only to conform to some "people's notions of superior taste". But this puts people down even while claiming to represent them. It is you who wants them to only get the music that is instantly appealing. Of course, they can have that music but they should also have real opportunity to get to know classical music: that may not work for all but a significant minority (in no way a superior minority) will find it life enhancing.

I'm not here to discuss opera in any depth, but the same sort of thing is happening there. Opera companies are now performing musicals as a way of making money and attracting new audiences.
European opera houses have been successfully performing new operas for some time. They haven't needed to dumb down to attract audiences to their shows.
 

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I understand what you’re saying and I should clarify that I would have to agree that it is an important part of the decision. But don’t the listeners, the people who buy the tickets, the sheet music and the recordings have or should have an important influence? The same programmers, conductors and musicians that provide/perform ’regular’ CM concerts will have concerts of the works of film composers in the same concert halls drawing a similar cross-section of audience.

My guess is that that happens far more frequently and with far more success than avante-garde works which have been deemed CM. I also hazard a guess that many in said audience would agree that they hear more similarity with traditional CM than avante-garde works (assuming they’ve even heard the latter). Thus, I wonder why those in the hallowed halls of academia et al would decide on what is under the CM tent without any outside influence/input. :)
Of course the audience influences the performance decisions. And yes, John Williams' (and others) music is more likely to be played on pops concerts or concerts in the park than Boulez. And it's more likely to be (or in fact, has been) recorded by pops orchestras in Boston, Cincinnati, etc. It's been accepted into a certain part of the "light classical" canon. The "hallowed halls of academia" would certainly acknowledge this success. You're expecting more? Why?
 

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If the more ‘extreme’ contemporary music such as a avante-garde is included as CM, then why wouldn’t film music? That isn’t trashing anything. At this point, I don’t much care anymore, but others do. And I’d like to have those who think film music has no business being a form of CM answer that question. Fwiw, one of the answers that it is the institutions of CM that decide these things doesn’t work for me.
Avant garde classical music is classical music. You can't change that. It needs to be played by classically trained musicians and is written by people who are steeped in the tradition - but the same can be said of some film music - and are trying to "say" (it's an unsuitable metaphor but the best we have) new and relevant things. You may not like all the directions that classical music has taken over the last 30 years (or even 50 years) but they are all part of classical music. Indeed, I doubt anyone enjoys all the different directions that are being taken (the diversification that started with the Romantics has accelerated greatly). There is much that I feel to be empty but there are many who disagree with me but here we are discussing the our tastes within modern classical music.

Film music has not been considered as classical music. If you go back to the early posts of this thread you will see some reasons for how it might differ, reasons that have not been addressed by many in this thread. For example, EvaBaron quoted this (post #3):

Whether a piece is classical or not has nothing to do with the forces involved, but with the way in which it is intended to be listened to. Classical music is designed to be considered, contemplated and - being the most abstract of all the art forms - to provoke a truly subjective response in each of its listeners. Film music, on the other hand, is meant to accompany moving pictures, to provide an objective commentary to the on-screen action. Robbed of that on-screen imagery, it loses much of its meaning.
Concert suites and other pieces, based on film music, might, then, be considered classical music. Post Walton and Prokofiev, I've not heard much of such music that I like but that's just a matter of taste.
 

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Orchestras can be subsidised (yes, I know that many conservatives here will be shocked by such a suggestion). It is worth investing in and making it available to all who have an interest. It enriches people's lives and this tends to have economic benefits.
There's nothing wrong with subsidies, and orchestras still receive a sizeable amount of these. Its obvious though that generating additional income, especially to increase viability, makes sense. Orchestras are there for the public, which includes people who might want to listen to film music rather than the standard fare.

Why "token"? You don't believe they are committed to that music?
Its not their main game. Most of what orchestras play was composed between c. 1750 and 1950. If its new, its going to be by a big name composer whose career was established ages ago. That's hardly cutting edge. There's also the question of whether the piece will be played again. It might get recorded, but its chances of entering the repertoire are very slim. That's why I mentioned Part, Glass and Rutter. The likes of them at least have a few pieces which do get repeated airings. Otherwise, the core repertoire is a closed shop.

Classical music has become more and more specialised. This is also why more cutting edge new music has moved elsewhere. There are different groups playing different areas of the repertoire. Do you expect orchestras to perform Renaissance madrigals? String trios, quartets, octets, whatever? Music for brass band? How about electroacoustic works? Or music played on original instruments?

The kind of levelling that you refer to is actually a dumbing down made to sound democratic. Classical music does tend to be an acquired taste and is probably only going to appeal to a small proportion of any population. But those who are wired to enjoy it should have the opportunity. They are still a substantial number.
It has potential to appeal to more people, but not in the way that you argue. Orchestras where set up in the 19th century. Mendelssohn basically set up the old format of presenting concerts - mixing old and new pieces. It is still there, but repertoire has largely remained stagnant since the 1950's. The inclusion of film music in the concert hall means that people who get to know music via films are encouraged to come to a live performance. There will also be others who encounter existing classical pieces at the movies (e.g. Amadeus is a good example).

Democratic or not, ultimately its about economic necessity. "Wired" and unwired money is welcome at the box office, from both intelligent and dumb people.

Your discussion likening classical music to cod liver oil says much about your experience of classical music but is a false analogy to the fact that it takes time and opportunity to enjoy classical music. To you they used to do it only to conform to some "people's notions of superior taste". But this puts people down even while claiming to represent them. It is you who wants them to only get the music that is instantly appealing. Of course, they can have that music but they should also have real opportunity to get to know classical music: that may not work for all but a significant minority (in no way a superior minority) will find it life enhancing.
Its not a false analogy. There's a whole lot of people who are happy to say go to a simultaneous screening event to hear the orchestra play their favourite score (e.g. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, even 2001: A Space Odyessy). To them, it might be no more than entertainment, a night out. They aren't looking for anything more than that. There's nothing wrong with that, they don't have any obligation to take their interest in classical music any further. Of course, there's nothing stopping them from taking it further if they want to.
 

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Its not their main game. Most of what orchestras play was composed between c. 1750 and 1950. If its new, its going to be by a big name composer whose career was established ages ago. That's hardly cutting edge. There's also the question of whether the piece will be played again. It might get recorded, but its chances of entering the repertoire are very slim. That's why I mentioned Part, Glass and Rutter. The likes of them at least have a few pieces which do get repeated airings. Otherwise, the core repertoire is a closed shop.

Classical music has become more and more specialised. This is also why more cutting edge new music has moved elsewhere. There are different groups playing different areas of the repertoire. Do you expect orchestras to perform Renaissance madrigals? String trios, quartets, octets, whatever? Music for brass band? How about electroacoustic works? Or music played on original instruments?

It has potential to appeal to more people, but not in the way that you argue. Orchestras where set up in the 19th century. Mendelssohn basically set up the old format of presenting concerts - mixing old and new pieces. It is still there, but repertoire has largely remained stagnant since the 1950's. The inclusion of film music in the concert hall means that people who get to know music via films are encouraged to come to a live performance. There will also be others who encounter existing classical pieces at the movies (e.g. Amadeus is a good example).

Democratic or not, ultimately its about economic necessity. "Wired" and unwired money is welcome at the box office, from both intelligent and dumb people.
There is plenty of orchestral avant garde music. It is true that there are specialist ensembles catering for a lot of avant garde music (including quertets) but in Britain at least we do get quite a lot of new orchestral music. MacMillan (not a favourite of mine), Anna Clyne, Birtwistle and others (even Ferneyhough) are played quite often by British orchestras. Many British orchestras also have "composers in residence" writing music specifically for them. Yes, most orchestras programme a lot of meat and gravy music - the same pieces (some of them very great, many of them less great) and selections from the scores of popular film scores are joining this fayre. I've nothing against it or its capacity to generate income but those are not concerts that I have wanted to attend. Most orchestras of repute also programme concerts of less often played music - whether it be a less well known Haydn of Dvorak symphony, some Berlioz, Schmidt or Zemlinsky (all of these are quite rare), or something quite new. Those are the concerts that I (and, I suspect, most members here) might attend. They are also the ones more likely to be conducted by a "name".

I like a lot of music but have little time for music that, no matter how pleasant it might be, does not actually transport me. Of course, that is a matter of my taste.[/QUOTE]
 

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Of course the audience influences the performance decisions. And yes, John Williams' (and others) music is more likely to be played on pops concerts or concerts in the park than Boulez. And it's more likely to be (or in fact, has been) recorded by pops orchestras in Boston, Cincinnati, etc. It's been accepted into a certain part of the "light classical" canon. The "hallowed halls of academia" would certainly acknowledge this success. You're expecting more? Why?
I’m simply making a point. A few posters have rejected film music as CM and made it sound like it’s a no-brainer that avante-garde is. You have indicated how these decisions are made and clarified it more to my liking above. It’s interesting to me that a few here read my position as trying to eliminate avante-garde. No, I’m questioning why it gets to stay and film music has to go. (And again, I’m not all that invested in this. I decided to respond when a poster early on, without equivocation, totally rejected film music.)
 
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