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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > What's broken in classical music, and how do we fix it?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments What's broken in classical music, and how do we fix it?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecad...

What do you think? A while back we talked about Detroit's symphony...this reminded me a bit of that conversation...


message 2: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments I can't predict what will happen, but I hope it survives. Not only do I enjoy the music, but one of my high school friends is second Eb clarinet in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and another is, as I found in Wikipedia,

"... an American symphony conductor, and is the current artistic director of Orchestra Nova San Diego and the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, as well as musical director of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and the director of orchestras at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Yes, we had a very good high school band.


message 3: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24357 comments Mod
I'm not sure there's anything broken, really. Classical music will always have a smaller listening audience than pop music (I'm not sure why, actually). The answer is to keep funding orchestras, symphonies, youth programs, free concerts in the park, etc. When you introduce classical music to kids in schools there always seems to be a lot of interest. Have symphony players perform and talk in public schools to engage the students.


message 4: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "I'm not sure there's anything broken, really. Classical music will always have a smaller listening audience than pop music (I'm not sure why, actually)."

that's because pop is short for popular.


message 5: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24357 comments Mod
That reasoning seems a little circular to me...


message 6: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments it's 0:26 AM


message 7: by Aynge (last edited Jan 18, 2011 04:49PM) (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments I think it's just the economy. Everybody's taking a hit. I can't imagine Classical ever dying away. But I'm a violinist so maybe I'm a little biased.


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Classical music isn't broken. The musicians make a lot of money and if there are 80+ players in an orchestra, plus the conductor, plus guest performers, it's a tremendous overhead that drives ticket prices really high. Also, I think marketing is fucked up in a lot of cases. Just because everyone might enjoy Beethoven, doesn't mean an orchestra has to pander to listeners by playing Beethoven works in every other performance year after year after year while virtually ignoring other composers.


message 9: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) It's the lack of powdered wigs and tight knee-britches, I think.


message 10: by Lori (new)

Lori I know that in Seattle they mix up the classics with some discordant and dissonant modern stuff, which I usually don't like. (Yeah, I'm stuck on the basic Western notion of music.) So I no longer go to the Symphony. And remember I was a viola player, so that's saying a lot.


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael I don't like that stuff either, but it's not all bad and that's where marketing could come in because maybe they could have a concert with new composers and more modern stuff with lower ticket prices. It just bugs me when they turn Beethoven's 5th and 9th into the Classical equivalent of Stairway to Heaven or Freebird.


message 12: by Lori (new)

Lori Totally agree. There's so much stuff out there, even semi-modern, like Shostokavich. (sp)
And I do love some modern, if you include people like Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Love Glass as a matter of fact, especially the soundtrack to Mishima.


message 13: by Michael (new)

Michael I like Philip Glass, too. He sort of reminds me of movie scores and I don't mean that as an insult. I can do without Shosta-however he spells his name! Another modern composer I like is Peteris Vasks. I heard something by him on the radio on the way to work one morning and really liked it and that's the only CD of his music that I have.


message 14: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24357 comments Mod
I like Glass and Shostakovich. I can do without Aaron Copeland and Gershwin.


message 15: by Michael (new)

Michael I can't stand Aaron Copeland (he's another one who gets played a lot here and I've thought it might be fun to go wearing a t-shirt that reads, "I'm Not Here For The Copeland") but I really like Gershwin (he never gets played here).


message 16: by Lori (last edited Jan 19, 2011 09:23PM) (new)

Lori Hey I don't really care for Copeland either! Gershwin is divine, but you have to be in the right mood. We played Rhapsody in high school. I'll have to check out Peris Vasks, thanks!

I know Keith Jarrett is always in the jazz aisles, but at the very least Concert at Koln is classical IMO.


message 17: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments Copland.

Not a big fan.


message 18: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Oh, man, I love Aaron Copland. You people make me cry.


message 19: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I like Phllip Glass's interpretation of Bowie's Low a lot.


message 20: by Jammies (new)

Jammies RandomAnthony wrote: "Oh, man, I love Aaron Copland. You people make me cry."

I wouldn't say love, but I do like a lot of his music, so even if I'm not sitting with you, RA, I'm sitting near you.


message 21: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I think most of the larger symphonies have been making some good steps to making classical music more accessible.
1)Lower prices
2)Concert-and-talk events that have the conductor or some other symphony official explaining some stuff to listen for in the piece.
3)Tie-in events: the Star Wars score, video game symphonies, etc. Get the people in, teach them how to behave and that it's a fun night out.

Next step would probably be to make the classical radio stations (or specifically their on air personalities) less stuffy and dry.


message 22: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments ...or they could try having two heavy metal guitar players interpret Vivaldi's "Four Seasons":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5jZ4f...


message 23: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I think adding informality, e.g. making it clear people don't have to wear a suit, helps, too.


message 24: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Jammies wrote: "RandomAnthony wrote: "Oh, man, I love Aaron Copland. You people make me cry."

I wouldn't say love, but I do like a lot of his music, so even if I'm not sitting with you, RA, I'm sitting near you."


Thanks, Jammers! But don't sit with me. I'll ruin your social status:)


message 25: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments RandomAnthony wrote: "I think adding informality, e.g. making it clear people don't have to wear a suit, helps, too."

Damn, what will I do with my new collection of ascots now.


message 26: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments sow them together and become a magician.


message 27: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Thanks Janine!


message 28: by Arminius (new)

Arminius I think you need to play classical music for your kids. They can take a liking to it and grow up as adults who support it or play it.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I like classical music, but I don't like sitting still doing nothing but listening to it. Can I bring a book?
I'm pro-Copland AND Gershwin. Philip Glass, though, no.
I think that movie music, these days, is our classical music, really.


message 30: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24357 comments Mod
Jackie "the Librarian" wrote: "I think that movie music, these days, is our classical music, really.
"


Oh no, don't say that. Please!


message 31: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24357 comments Mod
I think there are actually a lot more forums for casual and inexpensive classical music concerts than people realize. The New Yorker's classical music critic wrote an article about this a couple years ago. He wanted to figure out how many classical concerts he could attend within a certain tight budget over a week's time, and he went to a bunch. Of course, this was New York; other cities and towns won't have the same variety. But not every symphony performance involves black tie formalwear or huge ticket prices. Yes, there are absolutely symphony concerts you can go to in jeans.


message 32: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments We have a summer Concerts on the Square that is free. It is really a well attended event that takes place on the capitol grounds. It is every Wednesday night for six weeks, played by the Madison Symphony Orchestra. A picnic supper and a bottle of wine(or beer) on a blanket always made for a good evening.


message 33: by Michael (new)

Michael Sarah Pi wrote: "I think most of the larger symphonies have been making some good steps to making classical music more accessible.
1)Lower prices
2)Concert-and-talk events that have the conductor or some other symp..."


Lower prices are only good when they apply to the concerts you want and not the concerts they lower the prices for. But I agree, they (at least here) have some affordable packages. It's still a pricey ticket compared to a two-hour movie, but that's individual priorities. I hate the movie tie-ins though where they play the score.


message 34: by Michael (new)

Michael Jackie "the Librarian" wrote: "I think that movie music, these days, is our classical music, really."

I hope that's not true! That would mean Danny Elfman is... good.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments No, I'm serious! Think about the Star Wars soundtracks, with their Wagnerian leitmotifs. Think about Atonement, where the sound of a typewriter was used as an accent to the other instrumentation.

Music in a movie enhances the experience, heightens the emotional impact of what we're seeing on screen.
The soundtrack for 3:10 to Yuma gave it a real Western feel, with it's callback to other classic Westerns with Morricone musical references.

But the movie has to earn the music. I hate when the music is manipulative, and pushes my buttons, when the action on the screen isn't matching that level of feeling.

Movie music is where most people hear classical music these days, NOT in a concert hall.


message 36: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I think that's true, Jackie.


message 37: by Heidi (last edited Jan 21, 2011 01:06PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I just wanted to say I'm at work right now, headphones on, and I'm listening to Sacred Treasures: Choral Masterworks from Russia. The choral bells followed by the liturgy is so relaxing. Check out the sample music. And it is DIVINE bliss! HOOOOOMG. You should all be so lucky as to have some of this.

I'm also a Copland fan... and Gershwin (♥)... and I love Henry Mancini, but I don't know that I'd consider his stuff classical in the traditional sense.

And honestly, no sort of music can replace the majestic experience of listening to symphony music live. Goosebumps, usually... and it often chokes me up and moves me to tears.


message 38: by Michael (new)

Michael Jackie "the Librarian" wrote: "No, I'm serious! Think about the Star Wars soundtracks, with their Wagnerian leitmotifs. Think about Atonement, where the sound of a typewriter was used as an accent to the other instrumentation.
..."


You make good points and the Morricone reference won me over. But I'm still not a fan of Elfman.


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