Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm pretty sure many people have heard of classical music "dying" in this world... but I like to always question what people say. Is classical music really dying?


http://www.polyphonic.org/harmony/11/Audience_Music.Dempster.pdf


After reading this, I really began to reflect on my life and classical music. People always say that classical music is for old people (where did that stereotype come from?). But as I see it right now, the young generation is learning classical music. I know that as a little girl, I was trained to play classical piano, violin, viola, and to classically sing as well later when my voice started to develop more (i.e., Faure, Mozart, Debussy, Poulenc, etc). Every time I went to perform, the audience was never completely old. In fact, I saw more middle-aged adults and young, eager children. You also have music schools and institutions that train the young generation. In New York City, there are precollege divisions (Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, Mannes, etc). I don't see that as classical music dying either. Also, I know that in China, Lang Lang (pianist) has described in one interview that classical music in China is the new pop music there. In fact, there are many friends/acquaintances of mine who are Chinese that come from China, and they told me that classical music is far more popular than the new pop music that comes out. In fact, it probably isn't just China. Around the world, classical music may be blossoming more than ever, which is why you have the critics saying that we have a Golden Age of classical music. So, maybe it is just the USA who claims that classical music is "dying".


People also argue about the crisis that the classical recording industry is failing. Perhaps it is, but I think it is because classical music is meant to be performed live. It's nice to record them, but I did come to the conclusion that it's better when you hear classical music live with the real resonance of sound.


As a final note, many people use "statistics" to prove that classical music is dying. I like to quote Mark Twain when it comes to statistics, but it's not something entirely important. "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."


So what are your opinions on this "crisis"?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
596 Posts
edit/ gibberish bullshit

The things I wanted to say, have been said by Sharky and Flatitslander anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
Well as long as someone is listening to it, it will never truly be able to die. And no one will just forget it i dont think. besides which, heyimawkward there seems to be enthusiastic
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,128 Posts
The classical recording industry probably is dying with the advent of the internet. A lot of recordings are already done spectacularly, are readily available, and often times have expired copyright. If someone is trying to record Beethoven's 5th and make a sale on it, they are going to have a hard time.

As for those who say that classical music is for old people, I'm going to say something that I rarely get to say. They are philistines, and aren't anyone to listen to about what is dead or isn't dead.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
596 Posts
The classical recording industry probably is dying with the advent of the internet. A lot of recordings are already done spectacularly, are readily available, and often times have expired copyright. If someone is trying to record Beethoven's 5th and make a sale on it, they are going to have a hard time.

As for those who say that classical music is for old people, I'm going to say something that I rarely get to say. They are philistines, and aren't anyone to listen to about what is dead or isn't dead.
( sometimes initial capital letter ) a person who is lacking in orhostile or smugly indifferent to cultural values, intellectual pursuits, aesthetic refinement, etc., or is contentedly commonplace in ideas and tastes.

Woops, we have somebody who is not an ordinary peasant here...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
I agree, I don't think it will ever really die. Actually, "classical music" is kind of a problem term for me. I got a degree in music, and to me "classical music" means stuff that was composed in Mozart's era, ish. All of the other time periods go into different categories for me. Like, Beethoven's later works are romantic music, or Debussy wrote impressionistic pieces. But I know that most people who aren't trained in music know "classical" means anything that sounds pretty and uses orchestral instruments. And to a lot of young people, this classical music is old and/or boring. At least, I've heard it described that way by people who say they don't like it.

For our hectic lifestyle, it doesn't seem to be enough. In order to hear really good, live instrumental music, one usually needs to spend a good amount of money for tickets, usually much more than for a movie. Then you have to plan a few hours out of your evening/afternoon, and you just sit quietly in a chair and listen. If one buys recordings, in order to fully understand the music one must pay full attention to the sounds. It doesn't really work to, say, clean house while listening because all you really get are pretty background violin notes. You can't listen in the car because the sound of the motor drowns out the quieter sections.

Who wants to set aside time for that? Older, retired people do. Also, going to the symphony was a much more popular thing to do fifty or sixty years ago than it is today.

HOWEVER, I don't think it's dead. Western classical tradition is the foundation (among a mix of world cultures) of all western music today. It will always be referenced in things like movie scores or background music. There will always be people who want to know about it, and there will always be people who become addicted to it.

New music, "art music," is still composed today. It doesn't sound much like what most people think of as classical music, with dissonances and odd sounds, but many of them use traditional orchestral instruments (as well as exotic percussion or electronics). Not all composers use the symphonic genre, opting instead for smaller chamber works that won't get as much publicity as a symphony. Other composers today compose in the style of long-dead masters like Beethoven, as well. Some people scoff at it because it doesn't "sound good," or think it's garbage just because it uses certain elements of pop music. "Classical" art music is very much alive, it has just evolved. It has changed to reflect the culture and times. Much like a lot of modern visual art, it is underfunded and not very popular. But there will always be that group of people who are into new art and keep the industry chugging along. I mean, Gregorian Chant isn't even quite dead yet. For now, though, with the rise of electronics and the internet, the crown goes to the pop stars.
 

·
Registered
NiTe 549
Joined
·
5,321 Posts
Despite not being a big money-maker, classical music seems likely to survive. Classical music is foundational in the West, in terms of theory and culture. Plenty of children are still raised playing it, and there are classical music teachers and students at many schools.

The amount of classical media available is to its advantage, overall. If you look on youtube, there are plenty of recordings of classical performances by different people, along with artists who take the style/theory and use it in individualistic ways, using it for different reasons, mixing it with other types of music...

Nope, not dying. Being used in some different ways to fit new cultural paradigms or styles, sure, but not dying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
I love classical and it better not fail, I mean if there was no classical where would we be now? Seriously though, I doubt it will ever die, just certain songs and people (maybe the genre) become less popular. It can't die though. I mean it is education...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
Compared to the common practice era, in one way we can say that classical music died nearly one century ago. Prior to the early 1900s, when people talked about 'music' it was implied that they were talking about classical music, but that ended a while ago. In this sense classical music is 'dead', and basically there's very little new classical music being written today that makes it to the large and more prestigious symphony halls.

That being said, in other ways classical music is quite alive. The symphonic orchestras of most large cities usually fill their concerts. The emerging middle class in many burgeoning developing countries are increasingly sending their children to study the violin and piano, etc. It's unlikely that classical music will ever just gradually fade until it is no longer studied, played or listened to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,078 Posts
There're classical music composers nowadays, but as a Music student, I believe that the new classical music wasn't assimilated by the masses. Our pop song still follows the rules of tonal and modal music, and... I'm amazed by how most of music students, at least in my country, react terribly bad when listening anything that's not within such style. Notice that I'm not criticising, but just pointing it.


For instance, I'll risk to say that many people feels delighted by listening to a Chopin's prelude - it's romantic, still tonal (even though in transition phase), sentimental. The typical piece people expect to hear a pianist playing. Again, I'm not throwing rocks at it, I like Chopin's work very much. But when you put a Schönberg, a Ligeti, a Bela Bartok, Hindemith, Webern, Stravinsky, Varesè, to play, from my experience I say people repel it. "Such a crappy noise", "I can't understand this music", "It has no end and no beginning", "Pure noise". The funny thing's that this new music is about 90 years old. Still, in daily life we only listen to it in movies, specially horror and suspense movies - like Hitchcock's.


I'm not sure this is the case, I'm just trying to put it on my perspective (saying that because I never studied this particular issue deeply), but on the other hand, I see pop music - in which pop means everything that's not classical - has took over. Everyone can compose music nowadays, everyone has access to it. We listen to it everyday and everywhere. We had a bunch of pop music movements at the XX century. The blues, rock'n'roll and its numerous substyles, jazz music, folk, samba, tango, it's a huge list. As opposed to past centuries' pop music, it's a GIGANTIC change. I mean, we don't even have much notion of such time's popular music nor documented examples.


So, a pseudo-philosophical guess, being there a risk I'm saying something wrong? Contemporary classical music will start being assimilated after popular music develops a lot. And, after we all get used to this type of music, maybe there'll be reasons for us to take it further.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,603 Posts
Unfortunately, I do believe that modern society is completely undervaluing the beauty inherent in classical music. I listen to it every day over the radio whenever I have to drive somewhere. I even listen to it while at home doing things. It's wonderfully relaxing, emotionally engaging, and mystically enchanting. You can't beat that with modern music, in my honest opinion.

I've noticed that classical music is being emulated at times by modern musicians, however. Sure, most of them are mainstream, but one good example is Unkle's 'Trouble In Paradise', which is a surprisingly well-done neo-orchestral/electronica version of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (though not in it's entirety). I love how well they blend when done right, but then there's just trashy rap music with chopped up pieces of classical in the background. I don't know any examples by name, but I know I've heard them over the radio at times when I went somewhere with my mother (she's attached to mainstream music).

If classical music actually disappeared entirely (let's say hypothetically in an alternate universe), I might notice, but I guess I wouldn't react too much. There's my pessimistic 'accept the world as it is' attitude again, but I will admit, I would be quite disappointed at society (as if I wasn't already disappointed enough) if it did happen. Not that my disappointment would do anything. Actually, I might try to start it up again. These days, I've convinced a lot of people to listen to it. It seems to be one thing I'm good at convincing people to try, besides other random things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
951 Posts
The answer depends on how you approach the question. In a sense classical music is doing better than ever. More people have the opportunity to hear more music, live or recorded, than ever before. There are more people listening to as well as composing new music than ever before.

Looked at a different way classical music has, if not dying, at least seen better days. Composers like Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven are well known, and most people will recognize some of their music. Is that true of a single living composer? Conductors like Toscanini and Bernstein were well known public figures in their time. Is there any conductor like that today?

Greg Sandow has written a lot about this issue on his blog, both the condition of classical music, and what can be done about it. I don't agree with him on everything, but I think he's right that classical music is in trouble, for a number of reasons, and there have to be changes.

Sandow | Greg Sandow on the future of classical music
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
How does one market classical music as a solution to our personal insecurities? When the music industry figures that one out, the genre with be resurrected in gaudy fashion.

I hope I never see scantily clad girls gyrating on the conductors podium to an auto-tuned strings section. God, give this music, which hath sung your praises, a noble death! And soon, before a people start to recognize their own bad tastes.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,289 Posts
I only like Baroque classical... Mozart sort of bridges the gap between the subsequent classical music which follows Baroque... so some of Mozart I love, while other pieces I hate.

That said, I don't think people with Bach's skill (if they even exist today) are composing Baroque Classical music... they're composing something that earns them fame in our time... even if they're capable of something much more amazing.
 

·
MOTM Nov 2010
Joined
·
10,402 Posts
Academic music is still very much alive. Performers like myself, my colleagues, and my students still regularly share this music with audiences. Sure it's more in the hands of "angels" and those patrons who have enough money to support the "high arts". But it's still alive.

Midieval, baroque, classical, romantic, symbolist, 20th century, neo, minimalist, and many other academic genres are still represented by performers today. It is also infused into much of the music we listen to today, especially in film scores.

There are new operas composed and yes, the more familiar operas are going to bring in more money. And obviously the older standard symphonies are also going to bring in the audiences and supporters. But smart companies will use those well-known symphonies and operas to cushion the lesser known compositions in order to educate it's patrons.

As someone who also went to college for a music degree, this is the music I studied. All of my colleagues, no matter what instrument, also studied these compositions. I don't see the music degree going anywhere, therefore it won't die. Some of us have given blood, sweat, and tears gaining an appreciation for academic music and dedicate our careers to sharing that appreciation with others.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sharky

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,078 Posts
As someone who also went to college for a music degree, this is the music I studied. All of my colleagues, no matter what instrument, also studied these compositions. I don't see the music degree going anywhere, therefore it won't die. Some of us have given blood, sweat, and tears gaining an appreciation for academic music and dedicate our careers to sharing that appreciation with others.
Yes, but don't you think it is strictly academic? I myself am at the moment in college for a music degree and I see a lot of classical music being studied, played and composed in there. But it's something closed within college's reality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Academic music is still very much alive. Performers like myself, my colleagues, and my students still regularly share this music with audiences. Sure it's more in the hands of "angels" and those patrons who have enough money to support the "high arts". But it's still alive.

Midieval, baroque, classical, romantic, symbolist, 20th century, neo, minimalist, and many other academic genres are still represented by performers today. It is also infused into much of the music we listen to today, especially in film scores.

There are new operas composed and yes, the more familiar operas are going to bring in more money. And obviously the older standard symphonies are also going to bring in the audiences and supporters. But smart companies will use those well-known symphonies and operas to cushion the lesser known compositions in order to educate it's patrons.

As someone who also went to college for a music degree, this is the music I studied. All of my colleagues, no matter what instrument, also studied these compositions. I don't see the music degree going anywhere, therefore it won't die. Some of us have given blood, sweat, and tears gaining an appreciation for academic music and dedicate our careers to sharing that appreciation with others.
True, despite the fact that there's practically no money in the profession unless you're insanely talented, music programs in college are still full of students. Where I am, most of them are doing an education degree, which is a great way to familiarize children with musical concepts and appreciation beyond what they hear on mainstream radio (if public schools stop cutting all of the music programs, anyway). Usually when I meet someone who played in an ensemble in high school, they still appreciate instrumental music beyond pop, even if they have long since stopped playing their instrument.
 

·
MOTM Nov 2010
Joined
·
10,402 Posts
Yes, but don't you think it is strictly academic? I myself am at the moment in college for a music degree and I see a lot of classical music being studied, played and composed in there. But it's something closed within college's reality.
I didn't mean "academic" in the sense it applied to college. More, that it is either a structured, learned, form or a reaction to it. As most others have said the word "classical" was bothering me when I know more than classical music was meant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,885 Posts
Classical music will probably never 'die' it's needed far too much in movies, tv shows, video games and Euro 2012 for dramatic effect.

 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top