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Is classical music relevant to the young? #1676231
05/12/11 11:04 AM
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bennevis Offline OP
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There's a debate hosted by Cambridge University today at 2100GMT and you can follow the continuous live streaming on www.cus.org. Stephen Fry, Wagner fan and all-round good bloke (and actor) will be there. If past experiences are anything to go by, the debate will be lively, opinionated and robust, but will just fall short of pistols (or swords) at dawn grin.

He was on TV earlier today to publicise the debate, and when asked which piece of music he'd recommend to get a young person into classical music, he said 'Bach's Goldberg Variations performed by Glenn Gould'. His companion, a choral conductor, suggested Bach's Matthäus-Passion instead.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676245
05/12/11 11:17 AM
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I really think there is no hope to get classical music into some peoples lives that are on a solid regimen of all the (censored word) coming out of the music business today. I hope I'm wrong. But, the exposure doesn't hurt.

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: lisztonian] #1676253
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The time metnioned on the web site is 7 PM local (Cambridge) time. That's 1800GMT, which is, for instance, 2 PM on the east coast of the US.

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676259
05/12/11 11:41 AM
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There's some hope, I would think.
When I was four or five, I saw The Nutcracker, and my mom went and got an album of the music for me. Between the music and tutus, I was hooked. I remember prancing around the living room dancing to that thing for months, and wanting to see more ballets and hear more "ballet music." I know I wasn't the first little girl to feel that way, and I'm certain I wasn't the last.

Aimee

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: andrew f] #1676267
05/12/11 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by andrew f
The time metnioned on the web site is 7 PM local (Cambridge) time. That's 1800GMT, which is, for instance, 2 PM on the east coast of the US.


Thanks for that, I must have misheard Mr Fry (or maybe his posh accent sounded something different.... grin).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676313
05/12/11 01:08 PM
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I really don't think the goldberg variations is a great piece to get young people interested in classical music lol. Its a bit long.

I may pull my hair out listening to someone argue for such a motion, but Stephen Fry is always worth a watch.

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676322
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It has the same relevance today as it did to me when I was a teenager ... that is, very little. I don't expect we'll change that and I don't believe that it means that a similar percentage will grow to enjoy it as they get older as happens today.


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
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Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676325
05/12/11 01:26 PM
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Unfortunately, Not one little bit. I've loved Classical Music all my life, I'm 18 now so people are a lot more mature. But in High School, if somebody asked me what Music I liked - they would openly laugh if I said Classical. Sounds harsh but it's the reality. Young people believe it's 'boring' - which saddens me. Most people my age love synthesized Dance/Pop music with a heavy drum beat.


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Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: Samuel1993] #1676378
05/12/11 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Samuel1993
Unfortunately, Not one little bit. I've loved Classical Music all my life, I'm 18 now so people are a lot more mature. But in High School, if somebody asked me what Music I liked - they would openly laugh if I said Classical. Sounds harsh but it's the reality. Young people believe it's 'boring' - which saddens me. Most people my age love synthesized Dance/Pop music with a heavy drum beat.


Doesn't this also happen with adults (unfortunately)? I mean, maybe they don't really laugh, but how many "adults" really like and appreciate classical music? Aren't we often considered "weird"? cry



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Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676387
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Thank you so much for posting this. I am glad Fry gave the wonderful history lesson, it always bugs me when people call classical music an elitist product of the aristocracy, it just shows a fundamental ignorance.

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676397
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Yes. Well, I can only speak for myself, but I've been loving classical music since I was a child, so if it was relevant to me, I'm sure there are more people to whom it is also relevant.

I like some songs in other genres, but it isn't a lot-- not to the point I can say I like certain bands, etc.

A song here, a song there.... and then the whole gamut of classical music, up to the present.

When people ask me what kind of music I listen to, and I answer that I listen classical almost exclusively, they're usually pleasantly surprised seem somehow impressed.


~The piano is an orchestra with 88... things, you know! ~V. Horowitz
Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: ChopinAddict] #1676412
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
Originally Posted by Samuel1993
Unfortunately, Not one little bit. I've loved Classical Music all my life, I'm 18 now so people are a lot more mature. But in High School, if somebody asked me what Music I liked - they would openly laugh if I said Classical. Sounds harsh but it's the reality. Young people believe it's 'boring' - which saddens me. Most people my age love synthesized Dance/Pop music with a heavy drum beat.


Doesn't this also happen with adults (unfortunately)? I mean, maybe they don't really laugh, but how many "adults" really like and appreciate classical music? Aren't we often considered "weird"? cry

No, it is considered cultured for adults to appreciate classical music. My parents only like classical, jazz and semi-classical lyrical singers. They are baby-boomers, though, so maybe younger adults who appreciate classical would be considered weird? I was never fond of popular music growing up and would lug my instrument everywhere because I was in orchestra. Nobody beat me up for it. Probably around 20-30% of the kids in my class played a classical instrument and it was considered cool if you were really accomplished at it. Maybe I just went to a nerdy school.

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676532
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When I was very little, my parents played classical music CDs (stuff like Beethoven Symphonies, Brahms' Lullaby, etc...) for me on the radio, etc... I've been hooked ever since.

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676544
05/12/11 07:26 PM
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Popular taste is fickle, but appreciation for great art is tough to root out. In our modern era of preserving everything, while I don't expect a huge number of kids to start loading up their ipods with Bartok any time soon, I'm confident that appreciation for classical music won't die out. Sooner or later, we'll see a popular revival, and classical music will be fashionable for a while, and then it'll probably fade again.

The only way to significantly improve popular appreciation for classical music is through education, in my opinion.

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: polyphasicpianist] #1676562
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Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
I am glad Fry gave the wonderful history lesson, it always bugs me when people call classical music an elitist product of the aristocracy, it just shows a fundamental ignorance.



On the other hand, maybe it's just me, but it seems that when I play Beethoven and Chopin, the dedications above the name of the pieces involves people with aristocratic titles far more often than just plain folks.


Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676676
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It's relevant to anyone learning piano or an orchestral instrument.


Auch das Schöne muβ sterben...

Brahms-Singer Symphony No.3 & No.4
Brahms-Kirchner Ein deutsches Requiem
Schubert D946/2
André Mathieu - Été Canadien
Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676706
05/13/11 12:27 AM
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Music is a reflection on inner thoughts and feelings.
Most of the young don't do so much inner reflection.
Also, it's not exactly socially appealing to play Chopin's Piano Sonatas while discussing your most recent lay.

Also, some classical music lovers refuse to admit that many works are long, monotonous, a.k.a. boring. Yes, I'm including "masters" like Bach, etc.

And above all (and the hardest for the classical (piano?) world to admit): many works have never been played correctly. Sadly many stick to BS like "Art is subjective!" etc. etc. bah

Study für elise, PROPERLY (it's hard, there's no perfect recording available as far as I know), and see the surprise on people's faces when they used to hate that song until they heard it played as: music.

People: Most of us suck at playing classical music, and it takes intellectual development to enjoy certain pieces / filter out horribly-played passages that sound like they mean nothing. Ever notice you enjoy a piece more once you've got the notes in your head, and can play it yourself?

Sadly, the denial often seems greatest in the established elite community: conservatories, etc.

But *sigh* this keeps falling on deaf ears, because: who am I to speak?

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: polyphasicpianist] #1676716
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Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Thank you so much for posting this. I am glad Fry gave the wonderful history lesson, it always bugs me when people call classical music an elitist product of the aristocracy, it just shows a fundamental ignorance.


Perhaps you should spend some time learning about the history of Western Music. Carefully study this and get back to us:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oxford-Hist..._1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305267419&sr=8-1

At only 51 pounds for 15 pounds of books in 5 volumes it is arguably the best value in music writing today, pound for pound.

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676755
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Classical music has so much going against it, especially for the young - you have to listen (rather than just bang your head/tap your feet to), it rarely comes in bite-sized chunks for those with short attention spans (no wonder that Nessun Dorma, at less than 5 min, is the world's most recognized classical 'song'....), it often tugs at your heart strings (it's not cool to weep in public these days... grin), and it's very addictive and time-consuming (are there any pop musicians who spend 4 hours+/day practising since they were 4, like so many pianists today?).

For all those reasons, it just doesn't make sense. Just as reading/learning the complete Shakespeare doesn't make sense. Just like reading Tolstoy's War & Peace (you could read several trashy novels in the same time....) doesn't make sense.

Apart from all its life-enhancing properties of course.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676771
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In repsonse to the original question "IS classical music relevant to the young" - I'd have to say no.

But is anything relevant to the young without proper presenation and context?
Are great paintings and sculpture relevant?
Is great literature relevant?

No, not unless someone takes the time to make it relevant.
Growing up we never really had any classical music in our home. I remember the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Dean Martin - but no intrumental classical music recordings.
In highschool I was truly blessed to have a fantastic music teacher (who just passed away in April). In class and in concert band we studied and played amazing music - Holst, Tchaicovsky, Bach, and so many others - a tremendous wealth of music that truly opened my ears to a new world, and set the stage for a life time of enjoyment.

If I had not had this guidance when I was so young, I really don't know if I would have come to love music the way I do now.
He made it relevant for me.


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Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676854
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Modern life dictates that we are no longer constrained to put art on a pedestal and we are allowed the freedom to navigate our own personal tastes, wether they be classical or non-classical. And basically everything now is charted monthly on sales and given it's correct exposure on the shelf.

Therefore there is no point in concerning ourselves with the question of relevance as it is all a market ploy whatever genre. What are you getting with hip hop? You are buying into the illusion that this is the music of now and relevant to you as sold by the music labels, media, etc.
What are you getting with classical? You are buying into the illusion that an artist has uniquely given new life to a fossil as sold by the music labels, media, etc.



It don't mean a ting if it don't have dat swing
Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676901
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I was at a seminar by a neurobiologist a few years ago. The subject matter of her work was hearing in humans: how it's wired together in the brain and all that. After, during the questions, I asked whether there are any known neurological diseases that influence hearing via the pathways she studies.

Her answer was a bit unengaged in the question but then the guy who had invited her - a good friend of mine - blurted out "there must be diseases. For example, some people have great taste in music and some people like 'Air Supply'"

No idea whether this is relevant but it still makes me laugh and I think of it every time I hear people pulling their hair out over the lack of interest of many people in classical (or any other kind of) music.


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Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1676912
05/13/11 10:37 AM
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There's also a "community" aspect to pop music. Everyone is listening to the same thing, and it's a shared fund of knowledge-- so to speak. Jnod's comment about "Air Supply" reminds me of their song "Lost in Love," back in ?? 1980-- one day in geometry class in high school, one of my classmates leaned back in her chair during a study period and started singing "Lost in geometry, and I don't know much," and everyone laughed. Because everyone understood the reference. Everyone listens to the same popular songs, in the same few-month interval they are popular. If you like classical music, you are sort of on your own and not connected to that instant, "I know what you're talking about" aspect of pop culture. If there is a community of classical-music-minded students, that will give a sense of belonging. I don't think it's good for kids to be isolated in their love of anything, even something valuable like classical music.

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: cefinow] #1677046
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Originally Posted by cefinow
There's also a "community" aspect to pop music. Everyone is listening to the same thing, and it's a shared fund of knowledge-- so to speak.


I think that's spot-on. I think it's particularly relevant to school children, who tend to see the same people, day after day. Pop music, like television, is part of their shared experience. I'm not sure it matters enormously whether the music (or the television) has any particular merit.

My daughter, for example, might say that she likes a particular kind of music or a particular performer, but I'm not at all sure she's using the word 'likes' here in the same sense I'm using it when I say 'I like Bach'. I'm making a judgement about music, she is making a judgement about how music relates to her peer group.

That's not a criticism -- my kids also 'like' (to some extent) serious music in the same why I do. But that doesn't form part of their peer group culture (even though they attend a very musical school).

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1677126
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I'd like to know how interest in classical music among those under 20 compares to 10, 20, or 50 years ago.

Anyone have any figures on this? For example, statistics comparing percentages of under 20's taking classical piano lessons(realizing they're not all interested)today compared to in the past.

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1677151
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Perhaps it's just the lawyer in me speaking, but I understand the question to be whether classical music is "relevant" to young people. Most folks seem to be answering a different question, which is whether young people appreciate it or care about it.

To me, the question of relevance is whether or not it is pertinent... applicable... whether it has any bearing on the subject at hand. And my answer is yes, it's absolutely relevant to young people whether they appreciate that fact or not. I think that's true of any classic example of the fine arts... literature, painting, sculpture, etc. It's relevant because it is an expression of humanity that transcends time, place, and generation, and has meaning and/or emotional impact for us all.

If the question really is in regard to young people's appreciation of it (or lack thereof), I think that's something that has been felt by the older generation, about the younger generation, for centuries (although I'd probably admit I also think it's getting worse and worse).

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: Legal Beagle] #1677155
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Originally Posted by Legal Beagle
Perhaps it's just the lawyer in me speaking, but I understand the question to be whether classical music is "relevant" to young people. Most folks seem to be answering a different question, which is whether young people appreciate it or care about it.

To me, the question of relevance is whether or not it is pertinent... applicable... whether it has any bearing on the subject at hand. And my answer is yes, it's absolutely relevant to young people whether they appreciate that fact or not. I think that's true of any classic example of the fine arts... literature, painting, sculpture, etc. It's relevant because it is an expression of humanity that transcends time, place, and generation, and has meaning and/or emotional impact for us all.

If the question really is in regard to young people's appreciation of it (or lack thereof), I think that's something that has been felt by the older generation, about the younger generation, for centuries (although I'd probably admit I also think it's getting worse and worse).


o tempora, o mores!

Well said Mr. Beagle!


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Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: bennevis] #1677159
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Actually, I'll bet there's as much interest among the under-20s as there ever was. Maybe more since China has embraced European music so intensely.

Also, no offense intended to any AIr Supply fans out there (e.g. Cefinow if that includes you!). And for the record I agree completely about the community aspect of music. I've always been pretty Catholic in my musical tastes. Listened to lots of pop music in high school - went to see bands etc...etc... But always with a steady current of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven in my veins.

At one point I realized that there was a subgroup of smart girls who were actually interested in the fact that I could play the piano. This became a very strong motivating force!


Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780
Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: theJourney] #1677170
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Originally Posted by theJourney
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Thank you so much for posting this. I am glad Fry gave the wonderful history lesson, it always bugs me when people call classical music an elitist product of the aristocracy, it just shows a fundamental ignorance.


Perhaps you should spend some time learning about the history of Western Music. Carefully study this and get back to us:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oxford-Hist..._1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305267419&sr=8-1

At only 51 pounds for 15 pounds of books in 5 volumes it is arguably the best value in music writing today, pound for pound.


Agreed. Reading Taruskin profoundly changed my understanding of classical music. The best value by far.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

Re: Is classical music relevant to the young? [Re: pianoloverus] #1677173
05/13/11 05:53 PM
05/13/11 05:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,047
Minneapolis, Minnesota
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member
tomasino  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,047
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I'd like to know how interest in classical music among those under 20 compares to 10, 20, or 50 years ago.

Anyone have any figures on this? For example, statistics comparing percentages of under 20's taking classical piano lessons(realizing they're not all interested)today compared to in the past.


Try this site: http://www.artsjournal.com/sandow/

You have to dig through the site a bit, but there is quite a lot of information of the kind you're asking for. A study done, for example, by the Minneapolis Symphony in the mid-sixties showing that the mean age of an audience attendee was 35, for example.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

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