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#2974634 - 02/08/19 04:49 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects]
Marillo Offline
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Are you 12?

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#2974636 - 02/08/19 04:58 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Marillo]
drawback Online   happy
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Well, to lighten things up a bit, the answer to the original question, “Who needs classical music?” is my neighbour.

Without it, he can’t play a thing.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
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#2974651 - 02/08/19 06:24 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I can't really enter this conversation in any meaningful way, because the topic so ticks me off.

You see, I am quite lucky to live in an area that is quite possibly one of a dozen or so around the world that simply do NOT play to conventions. So it is a moot point here.

So-called "classical music" sells out consistently here, and audiences are younger each year. I think that is either testimony to the approach taken (it is an evolving art form, like jazz and indeed pop/rock/etc.), or possibly a reflection of a more open-minded and worldly population group.

The anti-elitist in me says it can't be the second, and that therefore a bit more daring on the part of other programmers might increase their audiences accordingly.

Possibly L.A. has been taking a lead from S.F. the past few years, based on the programming of the LA Opera under Placido Domingo, and even the LA Phil (though we are lucky enough to get their former conductor and now composer, Esa-Pekka Salonen, as the leader of the SFO when MTT retires).

My brother in Boston can vouch for how conservative NYC is as he goes there several times a month (though mostly for ballet, which is a passion shared by the whole family). Boston itself is kind of half-rigid, half-flexible, depending on the specific performing arts organization in question.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (02/08/19 06:25 PM)
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#2974653 - 02/08/19 06:26 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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When I retire, the one and only non-negotiable criterion is that the area has a strong collection of "classical" performing arts organizations, with a modernist approach.

It is for this reason that I have long considered Argentina a possible target, and have to unfortunately dismiss a country that I otherwise love and know others who have retired to (Thailand).
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#2974658 - 02/08/19 06:52 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Markyboard Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder

So-called "classical music" sells out consistently here



Ironically the author presents the same notion - no different than other pop music in this respect.

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#2974662 - 02/08/19 06:57 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: drawback]
Markay Offline
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Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 3265
Loc: Australia
I have never taken an either/or position on any genre of music. As a long time subsciber to our local Brandenburg orchestra which exclusively uses baroque era instruments, I see our 5 concert season each year as an opportunity to immerse myself for 2 hours in well known, sometimes rarely performed works and on several occasions a world first time performance with improvistion if the manuscript is incomplete.

But the founder and director takes an eclectic approach to each years program. So we have seen the orchestra provide music to on stage circus acrobatics, old and new spanish and the south american music, sometimes with dance, and a program featuring surfi muslim music accompanying dervish performance.

They have also done Max Richter's 4 Seasons recomposed with Moog on stage so quite a broad range of musical exposure to music from western and other cultures.

But I also enjoy going to ACDC and Yes concerts, reggae and anything in between.

I long ago read the interpretive body of knowldege about the classical pieces I had to study and perform to pass the exam. Since then interest in, and my regard for, the opinions of those who write on the importance and cultural relevance of each genre of music has diminished with each passing year.

I enjoy the arts from any period and will enjoy the Tate's pre- raphaelite exhibition at our National gallery next weekend.

To me it is simply exploring the historical foundation on which current and future music and art evolves. It is an emotional connection, intellectualising how someone feels about and projecting it as the way others feel is a waste of time.
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#2974669 - 02/08/19 07:33 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: jimkost2002]
J_tour Offline
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Originally Posted By: jimkost2002
=I say: tell that to Sviatoslav Richter or Glenn Gould


Pretty sure both of them, as well as any other competent musician, could improvise just fine, if they felt like it. How somebody else makes their living is not anything I care deeply about, as long as it doesn't offend me.

At the very least, I've never heard of a composer of European art music who wasn't an extremely capable improviser.

But, to put it in another way, how serious would anyone take somebody who played some transcriptions of Bud Powell solos at a jam session?

Or somebody who, while performing a Beethoven sonata just decided to noodle around for a few bars without a good reason?

No reason to get serious about it.

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#2974677 - 02/08/19 09:00 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: J_tour]
Tom Williams Offline
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My take on classical music (not related to my take on MOI smile ): I've been brought to tears by both jazz (Woody Herman) and prog rock (ELP) but neither can cause the consistent jaw-dropping ass-kicking amazement that I get from Beethoven's 9th, or Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra, or Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.

I am a competent rock / pop / country / perhaps jazz musician, who happened to have had a couple of years studying "serious" music in college. I have stood in awe of a pianist who could sight-read Beethoven -- with heart -- who was in turn amazed that I could hear stuff on the radio and immediately play it without any music in front of me.

Fast forward a few decades, and I have a buddy who is a classical fl[a]utist, who can play spheres around Ian Anderson, can literally play anything you put in front of him -- and who, if his salvation depended upon improvisation, would eventually burn in Hell.

Finally getting to my point: the achievement of a group of around 100 musicians, none of whom can hear the whole thing that is going on, to play ensemble music from the mid 1700s to (say) the mid-20th century, all the while being herded by a conductor in such a way as to provide a unified musical experience for the audience, is way beyond that group of 3-6 people playing their various instruments together. No matter how well they (we) do it.
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#2974678 - 02/08/19 09:03 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: J_tour]
davedoerfler Offline
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Originally Posted By: J_tour

No reason to get serious about it.


yeah, Mark, look what you started Python
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#2974699 - 02/08/19 11:06 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects]
Bobadohshe Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


I absolutely love classical music. I listen to it more than I listen to any other genre. And to be completely honest over the years I have also had to wrestle with a little bit of what MOI has said here. He phrases his point a bit more bluntly and perhaps incompletely than I would but I don't think his point should be waived away without consideration.

When I listen to Bach I do visualize the great composer sitting at an organ in an empty cathedral in the early 1700s. When I listen to Hadyn I do think about his great gig as Kapellmeister for the duke of Esterhazy in that incredible palace in the woods where he got to write music all day for a private orchestra. I picture the servants, the splendor, the pomp and circumstance; and it is indeed part of the romance of it all. When I listen to Chopin I picture him in Paris in small salon recitals for rich Parisians on some dusty afternoon. With Debussy I see the 19th century Seine under the moonlight. Rachmaninoff, some cold Russian morning where he is practicing piano at 7 AM while snow lays on the ground.

All those images of the pinnacle of European beauty are romanticized and attractive. I confess they are part of the allure for me. And yet, to put it simply, that world was one fraught with horrendous problems of every social kind. Therefore I say the issue might at least warrant some pause and consideration. It really does.

Fortunately the very power of this music is that it is both of the era that it was written, and transcendent beyond it. Symphony musicians play Beethoven and we are simultaneously transported back to 1805, fully in the present, and fully in an eternal place where we are connected to every performance of that same piece and the monumental achievement that this piece was conceived of and put to paper. To me the symphony orchestra, while arising from a society fraught with injustice, is STILL one of the greatest achievements of mankind. Is that exaggeration? Not to me. It can stir visceral reactions that have nothing to do with European dominance. A vast and varied array of instruments made of wood and metal and each with an ancient heritage and evolution are brought together as one and manipulated to achieve harmony. It's almost a miracle.

So I say Classical Music is vital, wonderful and indispensable. But like all things, it warrants a deeper look as we analyze our own feelings about it and ask ourselves why we love it.
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#2974702 - 02/08/19 11:45 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Bobadohshe]
El Lobo Offline
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Why do we even care about this topic? Enjoy the music that you enjoy.

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#2974706 - 02/09/19 02:44 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: J_tour]
jimkost2002 Offline
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Originally Posted By: J_tour
Originally Posted By: jimkost2002
=I say: tell that to Sviatoslav Richter or Glenn Gould


Pretty sure both of them, as well as any other competent musician, could improvise just fine, if they felt like it. How somebody else makes their living is not anything I care deeply about, as long as it doesn't offend me.

At the very least, I've never heard of a composer of European art music who wasn't an extremely capable improviser.

But, to put it in another way, how serious would anyone take somebody who played some transcriptions of Bud Powell solos at a jam session?

Or somebody who, while performing a Beethoven sonata just decided to noodle around for a few bars without a good reason?

No reason to get serious about it.


Starting your first statement with “pretty sure” doesnt bode well for the veracity of the statements that follow. Logic 101.
As a matter of historical fact, GG did some of what SOUNDED like improvising in some of his telvised lectures. But knowing his method of working, I’m not so sure it was such. Richter did not improvise but composed a bit privately.
There was a split between improvising and interpretation that started to happen after Beethoven, it grew during the Romantic era, as composer like Chopin and Liszt refined and codified their improvisations

You must not have studied much music past Debussy, then, if you havent heard of European Art Music Composers who didnt improvise....

Your points about “someone” playing Bud transcritions at a jam session or “noodling around” in the middle of a Beethoven Sonata are just logical fallacies.
Again Logic 101. A+B=C does not mean C+B=A

And as far as being too serious....
As Dizzy Gillespie said”Men have DIED for this music”
I for one, take my profession and its public perception or MISperception VERY seriously.



Edited by jimkost2002 (02/09/19 03:43 AM)
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#2974707 - 02/09/19 02:48 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects]
RABid Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
LOL. Easy, big guy. I'm not anyone worth getting worked up about.

Life is short. Enjoy and don’t sweat the goofy stuff.


Not getting worked up. Just trying to be honest. Your need to antagonize others only hurts you. It is something you need to hear. I say it because I care.

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#2974708 - 02/09/19 02:52 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: RABid]
RABid Offline
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I can say that learning to play classical piano taught me to orchestrate, play multiple parts at once, and generally improved my ability to manage a stack of keyboards. I remember trying out for my first "big" band. The reaction was "Dude! You can play with both hands. Different parts!" My thought was that compared to a Bach 3 part this stuff is easy. smile

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#2974716 - 02/09/19 03:39 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: RABid]
jimkost2002 Offline
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Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted By: RABid
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
LOL. Easy, big guy. I'm not anyone worth getting worked up about.

Life is short. Enjoy and don’t sweat the goofy stuff.


Not getting worked up. Just trying to be honest. Your need to antagonize others only hurts you. It is something you need to hear. I say it because I care.


Good on you for calling it out with compassion, RABid.
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#2974744 - 02/09/19 07:54 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: BenWaB3]
Polychrest Offline
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Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 171
Loc: Upper Canada
Originally Posted By: BenWaB3
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


And I piss off a lot of people (and possibly you) by calling BS on this.


A few years ago, a legendary Toronto blues guitarist and respected musicologist told a national CBC audience that opera was "the professional wrestling of classical music." It was a throwaway line, but he got an avalanche of spluttering ad hominem abuse for weeks afterward from offended opera aficionados. Some took up the gauntlet he'd thrown down and challenged the essence of his assertion; most just quacked that he's an idiot doing the critical equivalent of pissing on a portrait of the Queen.

Some poorly aimed urine in this thread from ducks with overly sensitive bladders, methinks.

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#2974765 - 02/09/19 08:30 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Polychrest]
MathOfInsects Offline
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Registered: 02/04/15
Posts: 3893
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Polychrest
A few years ago, a legendary Toronto blues guitarist and respected musicologist told a national CBC audience that opera was "the professional wrestling of classical music." It was a throwaway line, but he got an avalanche of spluttering ad hominem abuse for weeks afterward from offended opera aficionados. Some took up the gauntlet he'd thrown down and challenged the essence of his assertion; most just quacked that he's an idiot doing the critical equivalent of pissing on a portrait of the Queen.

Some poorly aimed urine in this thread from people with overly sensitive bladders, methinks.


Similar to the firestorm Stephen Pinker caused when he said, "I suspect that music is the equivalent of auditory cheesecake"--that is, lovely but utterly unnecessary to the human condition. Musicologists went apoplectic.

I'll use this perceptive post to indirectly address RABid and some of the other urinators.

We all meet in the context of just one of our facets--the keyboard-playing facet.

Then we all go back into daily life where we live multi-faceted realities.

It wasn't music that brought me to SoCal ten years ago. It was a PhD. In my case, the underlying focus was the intersection of race and American music.

I almost never talk about it here, maybe once or twice, but in addition to gigging and private lessons, I teach college. I teach a variety of topics, all of which orbit the central theme of race and music in one way or another. I teach or have taught the history of jazz and the history of the Blues, both of which are inseparable from the history of race in the US. I have taught the history of Hip-Hop--ditto. I teach a history of Western (European) music, and a World Music class. The next thing this computer will be used for after finishing this post, is putting slides together for my next World Music class.

Just under the surface of these latter topics--Western Music and World Music--is the discussion of what we mean by "the world," and even of "music." That's a complicated topic that I won't go into here, but safe to say most people's comfortable understandings are not complete.

Therefore, in my daily, non-KC life, I spend an awful lot of my time on the very incendiary issue of race and music, and believe me I know it has the potential to make comfortable people very uncomfortable and even defensive and reactionary, which is what happened here.

When my "race and music" facet has broken through into into my "KC" zone--as it has maybe three or four times before here--the response is never good. It's not the right forum for nuanced challenges to racialist expectations, and it pushes the whole conversation into a bad place. People get defensive and nasty, I retreat instead of educate, and I regret it each time it happens.

But it's not because I am trying to rile anyone up. It's only a controversial statement to those it's controversial to, if that makes sense. In everyday life, and the people I spend most time with, a statement like that is either immediately apprehended, or met with curiosity and a constructive and educated conversation. I don't drop it here because it's incendiary, I drop it here because, well 1) it's demonstrably true, if difficult to hear, but also 2) it's something I spend most of my non-KC time working on, and it sometimes sort of pops out here uninvited.

If you and I go for a beer--well, beer for you and club soda for me--we will spend 97% of the time talking about KC banninated topics--politics, religion, and race relations--and 3% of the time talking about keyboards.

I know I should preserve only that 3% for posts here, but I have Nerd Tourette's, and if there is a "color" to something that an additional angle might reveal, it pushes its way out of my face and joins the conversation, whether I want it to or not.

That's the best I can do to address this. If anyone's interested in conversation about it, I invite you to use the messaging system here. I obviously do not mind the topic, and would be glad to flesh it out with anyone so inclined. As for the long-distance mental-health diagnoses...cute but unnecessary. Reexamining common social understandings is not a mental health issue, it's a hazard of the trade for certain fields of academic and social discipline. We just don't like to have it pushed on us, and I apologize for the push.
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#2974768 - 02/09/19 08:35 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: El Lobo]
Synthoid Offline
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Originally Posted By: El Lobo
Why do we even care about this topic? Enjoy the music that you enjoy.


Precisely.

With a pizza, of course. laugh
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#2974857 - 02/09/19 07:59 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Synthoid]
hurricane hugo Offline
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I do.

Just not all the time.
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#2974870 - 02/09/19 09:25 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects]
davedoerfler Offline
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Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 8474
Loc: the swamp
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#2974873 - 02/09/19 09:55 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: davedoerfler]
MathOfInsects Offline
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Thanks, sunshine!
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#2974878 - 02/09/19 11:22 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects]
mate stubb Offline
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I don't need Classical music.

But my life would be barren indeed without Baroque. Bach wrote down the most amazing and sublime music I have ever heard. It gives me great joy to play his easier pieces, and something to aspire to with his more complicated pieces.

I'm damn glad it was written down so that it wasn't lost in the mists of time. As for being able to improvise, it was well known that old Johann could smoke everybody in a cutting contest, improvising complex fugues on the spot.
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#2974924 - 02/10/19 10:03 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: mate stubb]
Sospiri Offline
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Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 117
Loc: Crete, Greece
Would someone give Mr George Gershwin a call, please? I'm sure he would have some definite views on this topic :-)

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#2975076 - 02/11/19 09:32 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects]
Wastrel Offline
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Registered: 05/13/09
Posts: 2828
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
As for the long-distance mental-health diagnoses...cute but unnecessary. Reexamining common social understandings is not a mental health issue, it's a hazard of the trade for certain fields of academic and social discipline. We just don't like to have it pushed on us, and I apologize for the push.

I think it is a shame that you were made to feel that you HAD to apologize. Making a provocative statement to foster discourse doesn't indicate mental illness IMO.
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#2975091 - 02/11/19 10:35 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Wastrel]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Registered: 09/04/11
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WTF are you members talking about?
It never ceases to amaze, how humans make shit up about nothing.

Classical music is often awesome music, with very little in other areas of music, to compare.
WHat the hell do idiots' concern about racism or the wars that went on in the residence of a composer have to do with anything?

Education can be a good thing, but since todays education is involved with issues that are conjured in the minds of oversensitive twits... I do not give a damn about an SJW's or postmodernists opinions about music, any music.
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#2975097 - 02/11/19 10:58 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Wastrel]
BluMunk Offline
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Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 766
Loc: Burlington, VT
MathOfInsects is exactly right, and Bobadohshe articulated it quite well.

Whether or not there's an objective truth to the beauty of the music of a given composer or era, it's hard to deny that much of classical music "culture" and the enshrinement of classical study as a pinnacle of musicianship is of course rooted in classist, racist, sexist and [fill-in-the-blank]-ist attitudes about the value of art from different sources.

I had a conversation with a collaborator just last week who told me about work she did with a classical music program for an underprivileged population, and how she even helped them to purchase and practice walking in heels, so they could compete at auditions with musicians from more wealthy backgrounds/programs.

Think about that for a second. This is a genre in which more often than not participation at even semi-professional levels requires an expensive, gender-specific wardrobe and a projection of upper-class sophistication. You can't play this music if you don't have the right clothes.

I know we don't do politics here, and I'm not trying to make an argument that we should scrap the system or anything like that. But music is the heartbeat of culture, and we should always strive to understand the cultural implications of the work that we do.

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#2975102 - 02/11/19 11:24 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Synthoid]
El Lobo Offline
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Registered: 12/23/14
Posts: 1217
Originally Posted By: Synthoid
Originally Posted By: El Lobo
Why do we even care about this topic? Enjoy the music that you enjoy.

Precisely.

With a pizza, of course. laugh

with or without anchovies?

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#2975104 - 02/11/19 11:33 AM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: El Lobo]
RABid Offline
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Registered: 11/01/01
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Classical music is not racist. Some people in classical music are racists. There is a big difference. That is like saying jazz is racist because Wynton Marsallis is on record for saying white people cannot play jazz. Or saying southern rock is racist because some people in the south are racist. Well, I have news for you, there are racist people in the north. There are racist people in rock and roll and Hollywood. There are racist people in Japan and India and all over the world. Every location. Every field of work. When you blindly group everyone into the same cesspool you are bound to get dirty yourself.

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#2975111 - 02/11/19 12:08 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: RABid]
BluMunk Offline
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Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 766
Loc: Burlington, VT
Good thing that no one here has said that "classical music is racist."

I suggested that the reasons classical music sits at the apex of cultural respect are rooted in racism (and a lot of other isms too), which basically correlates to your second sentence, so I'm glad we agree on that front.

I am not suggesting that the genre itself is racist, nor would I even know what that meant.

I am also not suggesting that other art forms or genres don't have their own cultural baggage to come to terms with, or at least acknowledge. Of course they do.

I am also not suggesting that we throw away or stop loving classical music (or jazz, or southern rock, or whatever) just because there are things about their history that deserve scrutiny.

Also, until my post above, no one called anything "racist" in this thread except for you, RABid. I'm not sure what you're ranting against, but it's not any position that anyone has taken in this thread. But I'm sure all the observers who thought that Japan and India were racist-free appreciate the education.

Also, if you want to get sanctimonious about "getting dirty" and grouping people into "cesspools," maybe consider whether calling other posters ignorant and racist is the best position to stake out when calling for others to not use the dirty "r" word.

All art is contextual. Acknowledging and thinking about that context, good and bad, does not detract from the art, or mean the art is worthless. I'm not sure why the act of doing so strikes such a nerve.

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#2975120 - 02/11/19 12:40 PM Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: BluMunk]
RABid Offline
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Posts: 12729
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


Originally Posted By: BluMunk
... it's hard to deny that much of classical music "culture" and the enshrinement of classical study as a pinnacle of musicianship is of course rooted in classist, racist, sexist and [fill-in-the-blank]-ist attitudes ...


Originally Posted By: BluMunk
... no one called anything "racist" in this thread except for you, RABid. I'm not sure what you're ranting against, ...



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