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Thread: Decreasing populatrity of Classical Music- a threat to traditional culture???

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    Question Decreasing populatrity of Classical Music- a threat to traditional culture???

    Hellloooo friends!!!

    It's a surprise to notice that the demand for classical music is facing a continous fall. Now it is being used to have a fusion or remix. The introduction of other latest music forms have overshadowed its importance and grace. What is your view point about the emerging music preference of music among the present generation.

    Ruhi Sheikh
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    Last edited by Krummhorn; Dec-12-2008 at 16:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruhi Sheikh View Post
    Hellloooo friends!!!

    It's a surprise to notice that the demand for classical music is facing a continous fall. Now it is being used to have a fusion or remix. The introduction of other latest music forms have overshadowed its importance and grace. What is your view point about the emerging music preference of music among the present generation.

    Ruhi Sheikh
    Music Reviewer
    Hi there Ruhi Sheikh,

    You've asked an interesting question -

    'What is your viewpoint about the emerging preference of music among the present generation ?'.

    I believe the opposite to what you suggest. But let's begin with some statistics - hard facts - so that we can discuss this subject fairly and not in a highly selective fashion.

    Societies of the 20th century have recorded, performed, listened to and bought more recordings of classical music than would ever have been dreamed of by those living in the 17th, 18th or 19th centuries. Such a thing is amazing. And its been very successful. Modern society has been more involved in this great music than was ever true in past times. The great works of classical music are today found virtually everywhere. They are alluded to everywhere. Even by musicians who hardly know one end of a Bach cantata from another. Today more people know at least some of the music of these great composers than knew it during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. We as music lovers today also have far greater and immediate access to this music, while those in former generations did not usually have such access. And, contrary to belief, the average person today has had more exposure to this great body of music than any other. Again, the ordinary man in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries did not have opportunity to know this music in detail. How many of Beethoven's Symphonies were heard by men and women of Beethoven's own time ? We are in fact more familiar with Beethoven or Bach's music than at any other time. It's an often overlooked fact that we today are the first generation who are actually able to hear this material.

    You say 'the demand for classical music is facing a continuous fall'. I strongly disagree. Let me give two evidences that show the opposite. Here in the UK the single most popular radio station is 'Classic FM', a station which broadcasts exclusively classical music. The same is true in many other parts of the world. How is that fact explained ? A second example is found in music today in demand amongst the young. What of hugely successful concerts staged for young audiences of 'retro music' which is a revival of music dating from the 1960's, 1970's, 1980's etc - times when many listeners were not even born ? The average young person today likes music whether it was written in 1658 or in 2008. That is surely good news. Again, what of countless pop groups who are forever trying to return to the stage from the period where they were most successful ? It is clear the youth today are looking for something in music which they simply do not find in 'modern' pop music.

    You are right that demand for classical music C.D.'s and pre-recorded music is in huge decline. But this is of course an issue of form. Demand for commercial C.D.'s is in decline generally for all kinds of music. Yet the demand for music itself is today as great as ever. As for concert going, its local success varies according to the prosperity of society, from decade to decade. But orchestras (unlike pop bands) often qualify for state and local subsidies because they are and have always been a part of the cultural/artistic history of our society. They can survive. In fact, their survival should be more guaranteed than the financing of armies and arms manufacturers.

    Respect, knowledge and admiration of the young for classical music and for its composers has never been greater. But it needs skill to educate the young and to make them aware of what has been achieved.

    To appreciate great music we must be prepared to pull out the plug of the TV. But that too is already happening and multiplication of poor quality television channels is turning many people off of television altogether.

    I think great music (including classical music) is today in very good shape and will survive long after other music is gone and forgotten. As we already see from evidence of former times. How much popular music of the 19th century is still in demand today ? None at all. No music exists in such huge variety today as the great works of classical music. We must simply encourage this music to be listened to, to be respected, and to be learned. In our schools. It is, after all, some of the finest music ever written. (I also believe folk music should be part of a musical education).

    How music can be made commercially viable and valued depends to a great extent on education. A person will not appreciate a great vintage wine if they've never tried ordinary wine. So, yes, I believe the youth should be musically educated at school and should be made aware there are works of art so great from all ages that they are worthy of being admired and listened to whether they like them or not. This alongside music of our own times.

    Fusions and remixes are fine. But these are, in the end, mainly commercial. Our schools should teach pupils about originals.

    The challenge, the requirement, (I would say the necessity) is to make this music available freely for everyone (i.e. without charge) since it is of course part of the cultural/artistic legacy of the entire human race. But that too is already happening. Lastly, the 'decline' of commercialism isn't really a threat to art or its appreciation though it viewed by some people as a threat to culture. Art transcends culture without antagonism.

    Regards

    Robert Newman
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Dec-12-2008 at 16:38. Reason: url removed from quote

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    can jazz and its various forms be considered as classical music of the twentieth century?

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    Hi there Sunwaiter,

    It seems each age puts an emphasis on a particular aspect of music. Not that it discovers it, but that it emphasises it. The combination of syncopated rythm and improvisation that is the most characteristic fingerprint of what is known as jazz is surely one such development. But jazz itself has been around for a very long time. We find jazz-like music in, for example, certain late Beethoven sonatas as you'll probably know.

    And yes, I think the best of jazz is part of the best music of the 20th century, for sure.

    Regards

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    Serialism, indeterminacy, experimental, electroacoustic, live electronics, spectralism, stochastic music, Fluxus, minimalism--those (and a few others) are the classical musics of the twentieth century.

    Otherwise, the boundaries between rock, classical, and jazz were breaking down already in the sixties. And there are many musicians today who are quite simply uncategorizable along those lines. (You may already know that to find all the John Zorn albums in a store, you have to go to the classical, jazz, and rock bins. And Zbigniew Karkowski, if the store has any, will be in some generic bin labelled "Avant" or "Progressive" or some such.)

    None of those boundariless people are going to sound like Jimmy Dorsey or Howard Hanson or Jimi Hendrix however.

    Well, Jimi Hendrix, maybe!

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    To me, all truly great music and all truly great composers are indebted to fugue, whether they are conscious of it or knowledgable of it, or not. Of course I recognise innovation and fashionable styles in popular music. A whole forest of styles. But these styles are leaves on a tree, or, at best, branches. The tree itself is fugue.
    Last edited by Robert Newman; Dec-12-2008 at 23:27.

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    Really? But the fugue is a particular way of organizing sounds.

    (And "tree" is a thing made up of roots, a trunk, branches, leaves, and (sometimes) fruit. The whole thing is the tree, not just one part of it.)

    I'd think that what's fundamental to music is not one particular organizational scheme but sound itself.

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    thanks

    Thanks to all of you those have appreciated this topic and has made it an extended discussion. Yes i do agree that with the passage of time priorities and taste have changed and this is also true that we can still come across a number of classical freaks. But my objective was to through a light on the change in proportion of clasical music lovers over the years. But all your viewpoints have really helped me a lot in looking at the side of this. Thanks!!!


    Ruhi Sheikh
    Music Reviewer
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Dec-14-2008 at 03:15. Reason: URL removed - see FAQ: Guidelines & Terms of Service

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    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    Really? But the fugue is a particular way of organizing sounds.

    (And "tree" is a thing made up of roots, a trunk, branches, leaves, and (sometimes) fruit. The whole thing is the tree, not just one part of it.)

    I'd think that what's fundamental to music is not one particular organizational scheme but sound itself.
    Thanks for saying fugue is (only) 'a particular way of organising sounds'. Well, what is music itself ? Isn't music, by definition, most fundamentally of all, the organising of sounds ?

    Again, (and I don't want to be too critical) but I was using the analogy of a tree, its branches and leaves. A tree may even have different sorts of fruit bearing branches grafted on to it which are not those of the tree. In such a case the fruits get their life from the tree despite being different species altogether. An orange tree may be made to bear lemons as well as oranges if a lemon branch has been grafted on to it. (Because lemons and oranges are both citrus fruits). And yet the tree remains an orange tree. So also in music (it seems to me) the appearance or form of music (as in the leaves or branches of trees) does not necessarily bear record to what music is or what is really musical. Music, fundamentally, comes fundamentally from fugue and is judged by its relationship to it.

    In my view fugue is the fundamental equivalent to music of 'DNA' in living things and all music not derived from study and appreciation of it is at best a grafted form, some of which is good and effective and others not so good for that reason. We as students of music progress towards fugue as we more deeply study its fundamentals.

    Anyway, I think we agree great music is always great - here's Bach

    Chorus -
    'Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen'

    http://www.**************/?yoyzitminmm

    Regards
    Last edited by Robert Newman; Dec-13-2008 at 19:31.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruhi Sheikh View Post
    Thanks to all of you those have appreciated this topic and has made it an extended discussion. Yes i do agree that with the passage of time priorities and taste have changed and this is also true that we can still come across a number of classical freaks. But my objective was to through a light on the change in proportion of clasical music lovers over the years. But all your viewpoints have really helped me a lot in looking at the side of this. Thanks!!!


    Ruhi Sheikh
    Music Reviewer
    http://www.freedownloadsongs.in/
    And thanks to you also Ruhi Sheikh.

    Robert

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Newman View Post
    Isn't music, by definition, most fundamentally of all, the organising of sounds ?
    Up to maybe 1939, sure. After that, not so much. After 1952, much less. That's not to say that organization is no longer a factor, but I think it's become since mid-century a factor not the fundamental thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Newman View Post
    Music, fundamentally, comes fundamentally from fugue and is judged by its relationship to it.
    I don't think you could make a good case for one way of organizing being more fundamental than any other way. In any event, unless by fugue you mean any imitative counterpoint, then you're saying that music didn't fundamentally exist until the 16th century. (And if you are saying imitative counterpoint, that only pushes it back a couple of centuries. So no music before, say, 1400?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Newman View Post
    Anyway, I think we agree great music is always great
    Yes, we certainly do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    Up to maybe 1939, sure. After that, not so much. After 1952, much less. That's not to say that organization is no longer a factor, but I think it's become since mid-century a factor not the fundamental thing.



    I don't think you could make a good case for one way of organizing being more fundamental than any other way. In any event, unless by fugue you mean any imitative counterpoint, then you're saying that music didn't fundamentally exist until the 16th century. (And if you are saying imitative counterpoint, that only pushes it back a couple of centuries. So no music before, say, 1400?)


    Yes, we certainly do.
    Hi there Someguy,

    These are all interesting points you've made. I will start a separate thread on them and will answer your post there. The subject is fascinating, for sure.

    Best wishes

    Robert

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