The younger generation don't seem to appreciate it much. I'm probably the few who have a passionate love for classical music. Discuss.
What's so great about Beethoven? Did he ever have his picture on bubble gum cards?
[quote] I'm probably the few who have a passionate love for classical music.
You don't say.
[quote]What's so great about Beethoven? Did he ever have his picture on bubble gum cards?
Don't make me smack a bitch.
I saw Live at the Met in HD at the Brooklyn Academy of music and over 5 weekly visits saw the entire Ring Cycle plus a documentary. - I loved it without any reservations and would never get tired of listening to Wagner. - I bet young people would love it too if they heard excerpts that sound like Star Wars music. - it is very exciting to listen to
I listened to classical music all evening on an internet station. It was pleasant.
a matinee, a Pinter play...perhaps a piece of Mahler's...
It's background music in pretty much any movie. So no, I don't think it's going anywhere.
I always thought Mahler's was candy.
I hope not! Though it seriously annoys me when a golden opportunity for a classical artist to perform is handed over to a tape recording of Beyonce.
Anyone on-stage at the Met - even in the chorus - could have REALLY sung the National Anthem properly.
It's still alive in the movie soundtrack world so...yes.
To an extent, I agree with R11. The average age of symphony, ballet, or opera patrons in my town is about 85. I doubt the performing arts will survive another ten years here.
Old audiences do put off younger people. I'm usually one of the younger people at the theatre, and I hate turning up to find 85 year olds taking over the bar area and taking ages to find their seats. Ageist I know, but it's the truth.
It's sad -- when I was in school in the 60s, I didn't get even a tenth of the exposure to classical music that my parents received when they were in school before WW2.
As with the kids today, most of my knowledge begins with movie soundtracks. In fact, I heard the nice aria(?) which introduces PBS World, but I have no idea what it is.
I wish I did.
Also -- I blame the boomers. They ran around deciding what was "relevant" but only for their lives. They never thought of ours when they were busy dismantling so much.
I might just die without Mahler. I have 5.7 days worth of his music in iTunes, or 42 GB. Thanks to OP, Elaine Stritch R6, Elaine Stritch R8, and R10.
[quote]The average age of symphony, ballet, or opera patrons in my town is about 85.
I asked a musician about the audience dying off. He said it had been that way for years. As one group of oldsters die off another group takes their place.
Apparently, like wisdom, appreciation of the the classical arts comes with age.
When you get older, you just want mellow music. That includes classical, but it also includes elevator music. If there was a concert of elevator music, you'd get the same demographic.
Yet another reason to lament the demise of "Variety" shows. How many opera singers and Classical musicians appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show"?
I'm a boomer, R15, and I love classical music. I didn't decide it wasn't "relevant." I dismantled nothing.
How incredibly shortsighted of you to blame an entire generation for any such thing. What, do you think we all sat down at Woodstock and said "Kill Karajan" or "Burn Bernstein"? Stupid.
People of my generation (25+) became acquainted with classical music through movies and Looney tunes cartoons. They don't play those on TV anymore, at least not where I live. The audience for classical music will probably shrink, but it won't die out as long as it is constantly rediscovered by emerging generations of musicians.
Ed Sullivan brought opera, classical music and Broadway to flyover America. Today, there are people across this nation who have never heard music from most of the shows on today's Broadway. During the Sullivan era, it was part of everyone's experience.
Every few months, "Your Show of Shows" would have a night off and be replaced by an operetta - "Naughty Marietta" with Marguerite Piazza or "Dearest Enemy" with Anne Jeffreys and Robert Sterling.
Classical music was on TV every week with the Bell Telephone Hour.
Some school children in Philadelphia had an exposure to opera last week. There was a special performance of Kevin Puts "Silent Night" opera for an audience of elementary and high school students. Puts won a Pulitzer in 2012 for this opera about the World War I Christmas Eve when the war stopped and enemies moved together for a day of peace.
Classical music also used to be a signifier of taste and refinement among gay men.
I remember hearing from a much older friend: when he moved to Manhattan in the early 60s, the eldergays who took him under their wing gave him opera and symphony records so he could learn about "the finer things." And tickets to the Met, even standing room, were a very big thing. Gay men actually met and hooked up at the opera and at Carnegie Hall.
The grade school I attended had a Saturday classical concert series every year. There would be a series of six classical concerts in a city about 60 miles away. We would meet at the school on Sat. morning with our lunch bags and board school busses. The concert hall seated several thousand and would be SRO with students from schools all over.
There was a narrator who told about each piece, and while he was telling about it, musicians would play samples of what he wanted to get across to us.
The season ticket was $30.
Dallas Opera just had their annual Family Concert series and I was pleased to see it was nearly full (2200 seats) and mostly with young people. Mostly families with parents in the 20s through 40s.
Schools here bring their middle-school and high schoolers to matinee performances of the symphony and opera every semester.
I think kids today may be getting comparable exposure to classical or maybe even better to what I got back in the 70's. At least in metro areas.
For as long as I can remember, people have said the same thing about opera and the novel and poetry. They're all still around.
It's not mass culture. Don't expect it to be.
I see the same thing as R26 on the east coast.
I go to NJSO matinee concerts in Newark, and there are always a several busloads of high school kids from the suburbs in the theater.
I also notice, given the offices that are nearby and seeing how some concert-goers are dressed, some people taking the afternoon off from work to take in a concert.
I'm not sure if I'd describe concert music as mellow or as elevator music as R19 did: the last NJSO concert I saw was a performance of Tippet's Symphony #4 paired with Holst's The Planets, neither of which sound like something you'd hear in an elevator - unless you're watching a sci-fi movie where Martians are bombing a high rise and elevators filled with riders come crashing to the ground.
I don't think classical music (I assume by that the OP means "serious music" associated in some way with the Western Canon) is dying, but contemporary forms tend not to be accessible to the broad audience. And at the same time music education is lapsing because of federal and state funding focus on reading and math, and major orchestras are dumbing down their seasonal programs to attract a mainstream audience, in a "Pops" mode.
As with visual arts/art museums, when the money behind an art form - music here - turns against its best self to pander to popular tastes for money, without somehow also seriously working out evidence-based educational programming, all is lost. And while all the orchestras have education programming, I know - as an educational researcher - that almost all they do with children and families is shit.
But with all that, classical/serious music isn't dying. It's just that our culture is rather ill, because the arts are just another brach of the corporate world now.
[quote]Apparently, like wisdom, appreciation of the the classical arts comes with age.
Eldergays love to crow about how wise they are, when really they just no longer admit they're wrong about anything.
Arts programs in the schools have been cut, you haven't heard about that? So there is no exposure like there once was to classical or jazz or any music outside the radio and what is popular. If there were still arts programs music in general would probably be better all around because artists would be drawing from a deeper well.
Cutting the arts has made everything cheaper and more pedestrian.
[quote]The younger generation don't seem to appreciate it much.
Is subject/verb agreement dying?
" What, do you think we all sat down at Woodstock and said "Kill Karajan" or "Burn Bernstein"? Stupid."
No, but the way the media has portrayed it in films, tv and books for several decades now, it was THE ONLY generation-defining experience that matters. The truth is it was muddy, filthy and filled with common people both on and off stage who really did not age all that well, but the media never mentions those facts.
I once went to a Mahler at the CSO with Georg Solti (yea back in the day) It was soooo depressing, at concert's end, I walked out and nearly was hit by a bus.
Not a fan
R10, that's my favorite scene in Educating Rita!
Not a big classical person but I love jazz.
Then blame the media, R34, not an entire generation of people. Do you have any idea how many baby boomers *didn't* go to Woodstock, and didn't *care* whether they'd gone to Woodstock?
I couldn't have stood to be at Woodstock. All that mud. All that sun. All that not-necessarily-the-best-music. And I like rock and pop music just fine, thanks.
Thanks to Europe & east Asia classical music will not perish from the earth. I hope they can keep it alive until Americans decide to join the world of good music again.
I think yes, and no. the young people of today are MANY MANY times more appreciative of new music and "the moderns" of the last generation. I dated a guy in a rock band who LOVED Stockhausen, he cried when he died a year or so ago.
But yes, the big three, the symphony, the opera and the ballet are all failing to reach the youngest generation at all. The average age of today's concert goer to these events is over retirement age.
But newer stuff the younger ones like a lot. All big cities need a "poison rouge" type venue for them to feel more comfortable in, and I'll admit, I am not really into the pageantry of going out to a big concert now either.
Not here, I have over 5,000 classical music CD's and I love them all.
are you able to patronize live performances?
I have to admit, before last year I didn't have much exposure to classical music.
I learned a lot in my college music class about it, and even gained some understanding (if not appreciation) for opera.
There are places making connections between classical music and younger crowds, just as they are between museums and indie music, etc. But the fact remains that many really high profile classical musicians perform for symphonies/orchestras that are out of the price range of anyone under 30 or 40.
there is that, but there are often rush tickets and usually free concerts in the summer
TV used to be much more highbrow back in the days when we had just the three networks. Not only was there more classical music on mainstream TV, but serious novelists and playwrights (Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Lilian Hellman, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag) appeared on Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, and even Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas. I remember seeing Pauline Kael on Mike Douglas's program when I was a kid. Today's talk shows rarely feature writers of even trash fiction.
R42 ooh. I'll have one of each.
I grew up with pop, punk, new wave etc. I listen to some contemporary stuff, but I few years ago I delved into classical music. I went beyond the 'hits' of classical music, and found everything I ever wanted from music.
I'm with R32.
When I was in High School we had an orchestra,jazz band,110 voice choir,a chamber choir,a string program,concert band and a pep band with teachers who were valued for their abilities to teach those subjects .
Our music program put on full scale musicals with orchestra that involved the whole school including the Shop classes.
I'm 62 now and my old high school has no arts programs at all.
The savage cuts to public schools started by Reagan and proposition 13 finished all that.
Thankfully I now live in a city with a large well heeled Asian new immigrant community that looks on the three B's (Bach,Beethoven and Brahms) as universal not just a western cultural thing.
Without them and the private funds they pump into classical music,theatre and dance and the new concert halls,museums, art galleries,college and university programs they generously endow we'd only have extreme wrestling as a cultural outlet.
Asian immigrants do indeed keep many music schools afloat.
[quote]I go to NJSO matinee concerts in Newark, and there are always a several busloads of high school kids from the suburbs in the theater.
Our grade school in Warren Co. bussed us to Newark for those concerts - 5th thru 8th grade.
R48, contact their agent, I'm sure that they can set you up with a really nice private deal . . . . .
It's alive and well in Minnesota. There are several youth symphonies, two professional orchestras and many civic orchestras and choirs all performing classical music.
Do any of you watch or even get "Classical Music Showcase" in your area? I tune in from time to time and I don't know where or how they find most of the video clips, but they're awesome. Sometimes they'll stray from the classical music and opera genres and will show vintage video clips of musical theater performers singing showtunes (e.g Larry Kert & Carol Lawrence singing "Tonight"). It's such a treasure!
If interest in classical music is dying it could be because of the snobbish attitude of people like r51. Bach, Beethoven and Brahms? Is that it?
Why would any young person want to go to a concert you might be at? If you go to concerts, that is.
No, it's making a comeback in most of the re-gentrified neighborhoods.
You're not, OP. But at the moment I can't really afford to go to the Opera very often(cheapest seats cost $40 and you can't see shit, the next category up already costs $100 - the joys of living in Switzerland).
But I know a couple of young people who love classical music. It's not all over yet.
R57 Did you get your R wrong? R51 did not say a single thing that was "snobbish."
No mistake, I meant r51 and in my opinion he was snobbish.
What music do you like, r60?
[quote]I bet young people would love it too if they heard excerpts that sound like Star Wars music
What's Star Wars?
actual young people
R61 I like Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and most of all, Mahler.
I'm not a big opera fan.
Other favorite music includes Nina Simone, the Beach Boys, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon, Joni Mitchell.
More current music: John Elliott (with or without the Hereafter), fun. I even like a couple of Taylor Swift songs.
I've left many people out, I'm sure.
I still don't see what was "snobbish" about what R51 said. You really need to explain that better, or at least further.
And what music do *you* like?
Elgar til i die.
No love for Bruckner, bitches?
To say nothing of Debussy, Ravel, Schoenberg, Webern, Britten, Walton, Tippett, Vaughan Williams....
Bruckner's pretty good, but I like Mahler more.
As for the rest of your list, R65, the only ones I actually listen to with any regularity are Schoenberg and Webern. The music made by the rest of the people on your list just kind of meanders and never really gets anywhere. JMO.
[quote]No love for Bruckner, bitches?
he was a country kick who revised his works so many times conductors can never tell which one to perform. also, he was Hitler's favorite composer.
Why snobbish: "philistines" are the cause of all the problems, it was all so much better in my day, the one community that supports "proper" music does so because they have the right "values" (because classical music is all about a "set of values"), the "Three Bs" is a very old-fashioned attitude, as though only "serious" music is proper classical music.
Whatever, something about that post just reeks of the "fustiness" that puts a lot of people off classical music. And, as for whatever goes on in schools these days, isn't one of the most popular TV shows about a bunch of kids in a choir?
My tastes vary. At the moment, Beethoven, Schostakovich, Monteverdi, Baroque, Mahler, Mozart, Debussy, Stravinsky. I'm even getting into Schoenberg, whose work I've never really liked but I'm learning to understand it more through reading The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross (no doubt, too dumbed down for r51). Despite being over the age of 40 my school never offered a musical education and my parents weren't into classical music, so I've developed my musical taste through my own exploring.
The Rest is Noise has been turned into a year-long festival, currently running at London's South Bank Centre.
So, in response to OP's question, I don't think classical music is dying at all. I think there are some forms and attitudes around classical music that put others off enjoying it, but they should be ignored. There's a lot of exciting stuff going on around classical music, although the people with the narrow attitudes might be outraged.
I also like rock, country, pop, folk, "ethnic". As for accessibility to music, today, thanks to the internet, I can hear almost anything I want within a few seconds. Exploring is so much easier.
Classical music can be lovely in concert, however the recorded form reminds me of a rotting corpse.
[quote] Is classical music dying?
In Beethoven's age, theaters and concert halls were very small. Very few people could read music. There were no recordings.
I'd be curious to see some numbers, but I would bet far, far more people listen to classical music today than when it was the "dominant" form of music in Europe. Other forms of music are more popular and have surpassed it in sales, sure, but I would bet, in terms of numbers, its actually been a huge growth.
Also, another poster speculated that it's not just that classical music audiences are aging, it's that as people age they grow more curious about classical music, the things that have lasted, the things that may not be plugged in, baring from television, advertised, but nonetheless have their quiet draw etc.
[quote] Very few people could read music.
This is not true.
In middle and upper class families, music was one of the only subjects that girls received a formal education in. Songs that were "hits" made a nice income for their composers because everyone would buy the sheet music to play at home. This goes back beyond Beethoven and is as recent as G&S light opera. In that era, most people attended church services, and liturgical music--listening to it and being able to sing it--was a weekly activity. In the lower classes, you found your musical families--unlike the usual scenario today, when professional musicians typically come from families that are not in the biz, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, et all had parents and siblings (many siblings) who were all professional musicians.
Do you even go to anything in Minnesota r55 or watch the news?
Because if you did you'd know that both St. Paul Chamber Orch., and Minneapolis Symphony are either on strike or have been locked out since October. They are both in serious danger of non-recovery.
Yes. It's very evident in the musical taste of today's youngsters that classical music is, in fact, dying. Young people do not care about Mozart or Brahms. Today's gay youth are obsessed with the likes of teeny-bopper singers of today, like Liza, Barbra, Judy, Madonna, Diana, Donna, ABBA, and Cher. Sad, but true.
[quote] also, he was Hitler's favorite composer
Really? Guess again, bitch.
When one hits middle age, one acquires an appreciation for Classic FM. It's also reasonably popular with university students.
R62, you're a senile idiot. Of course, young people have heard of Star Wars. Maybe if your nursing home had more channels on the TVs there besides the basic cable lineup, you'd know that the Star Wars movies run quite often and there is a cartoon series called "The Clone Wars" running on the Cartoon Network that's extremely popular. But you wouldn't know that because you're OLD.
[quote]But you wouldn't know that because you're OLD.
Take a pill for that anger problem, cunt.
Take the gas pipe for your assholism, R79.
I think it's harder to get younger people into classical music because of shorter attention spans and inferior audio equipment.
I'm by no means a music snob, but the compression on current devices and file formats makes a huge difference when listening to classical music.
Because most people don't attend live music anymore unless it's a family tradition, kids are coming to it via iPods and inferior mp3 files.
Also, the average person today (even adults) has a shorter attention span, especially for music and movies. It takes multiple listening and concentration to "get" a lot of classical music.
I don't think you can really appreciate it if you just have something on your iPod while you're studying, on FB, etc.
R81 I have no problem enjoying classical, or any, music on my computer. The truth is, I haven't listened to my stereo or my CDs in what's turning into years.
And I'm an eldergay. And a recovering audiophile.
So R57 R61 R68 , by "snobbish philistines that cause all the problems..." I assume you are referring to my post lamenting the slashing of arts programs in the public school system?
Or perhaps it was my mention of the Three B's that set you off.
Maybe you would have been happier and more comfortable if I had mentioned R,Murray Schafer,Michel van der Aa or Arvo Part rather than fusty old J.S Bach?
In any event,all those negative comments directed at imaginary elites combined with your own listening list (Shostakovich?) makes me think you need to take a good look in a mirror.
I would have responded earlier to the "dumbing down" sneer, but as a classical studio musician I was at work until this evening.
In fact, if you have sat through a movie in the past ten years there is a distinct possibility I was playing on at least some of those soundtracks.
You are correct however, that I very rarely attend concerts these days.I simply don't have time.
As I am close to retirement almost all of my playing is no longer on the concert stage but rather in the studio,up to my neck recording soundtracks for the exploding film and video game industry.
There are quite a few film orchestras up and down the coast and for all the work I have to thank the creators of the trailblazing video game Zelda - the overture being the National Anthem of all Gamers.
Anyplace there is a film school or a college affiliated with the Game,Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.) there is work for classical orchestral musicians and singers.
The live music now especially essential for video game production is leading at least some of the gamer adherents towards classical music in concert settings.
I'm not sure why I feel the need to defend myself but my musical tastes are far from philistine or fusty.
I'm a big fan of Genki Sudo the former Japanese kick boxer turned singer and dancer and his group World Order.
I also follow and enjoy in a strange sort of way the South African group Die Antwoord - "I fink u freeky" was my first encounter and I was hooked. (youtube it)
One never knows,but we may have more in common than first realized.
Therefore, since you mentioned Claudio Monteverdi as one of your favourites (as well as one of mine), here is a link to the French early music group L'arpeggiata and their performance of the famous 'Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610' as a peace offering.
[quote]I think it's harder to get younger people into classical music because of shorter attention spans and inferior audio equipment.
possibly, but Chopin wrote the very best Ever pieces under 40 seconds. And many many baroque masters (Telemann?) wrote very good music that lasts less than 3 minutes.
I can't live without it
[quote]In middle and upper class families, music was one of the only subjects that girls received a formal education in.
Middle and upper class families in Europe still would have been a minority of the world's population. By contrast, a majority--if not a totality--of the world's population today has heard classical music in some form. My point still stands.
Classical music is probably more listened to today than at any point in history.
I listen to it every day
It feels like civilization is dying.
I would imagine music students have more of an understanding about classical music than those who dont take music or band. And thats pretty much the way its been for like, forever. If you're not studying music, you're probably not going to be exposed to it.
Any Canadians on this thread? CBC radio has cut back on classical music and the hosts on what is left of the classical music programs have an extremely dumbed-down approach.
Fortunately, Europe is still a vibrant source for classical: composers and concerts. We have these in the US, but they have been shunted aside by the Boomer gen (not all of them, but many) who revere the popular music of their youth in a way a way that classical is respected by others. Nothing wrong with that popular music, but there should be room for both. Most people I know here in the US never hear classical and have zero interest, along with all the conventional misconceptions about it.
I can't wait to play!
R91 I could sign my name Mahlerfan, too. I'm a boomer, and while I do love the popular music of my youth, I love classical equally, Mahler above the rest.
The popular music of Generation X, however, beginning in the early '80s, is what really got me listening to classical. Other than the occasional piece of music I heard in a movie, I didn't have much classical until the '80s.
When CDs came out, I realized quickly I wasn't going to spend big bucks (close to $20 at first) on the English Beat, Michael Jackson, or the Smiths. And I didn't really want to rebuy all my old LPs, 'cause I always took care of them and they sounded fine.
So once when I was in a record store in Georgetown in 1987 or so, I heard this terrific piano music I just had to have. Turned out to be Schubert's last piano sonata, and I bought it and two other discs (Mozart PCs and Beethoven's 9th), since they were 3 for $25.
And that turned into a whole new shoportunity for me. There was no turning back. I had friends who were classical-savvy, and we would go shopping every Friday, when the sale of the week was announced.
I don't have any idea whether classical music is dying. I know you can buy complete box sets today for less money than they have ever been available for. It's certainly not dead at my house.
oh jesus, r90, don't even get me fucking started.
Yuppie fucks ruined that station. I used to love Brave New Waves and the classical programming. It was downhill after they launched Radio3.
There's only so much alt country bands and female vibrato-soaked angsty singer/songwriters I can take.
I also hate how they chop up pieces and only play the "accessible" or shorter movements for all composers. It makes sense for Beethoven, but not for Mahler.
I listen to the NYC new classical station (I forget the call letters) on the internet.
We had some great radio classical music that was replaced by Echoes hosted by "music journalist" John Diliberto. Horrible!!!
Thanks R91. Classical still thrives in many larger cities. I live in the Boston area and we have several musical institutions that have good attendance most of the time. I always find it gratifying to go to Jordan Hall (imho, our best venue for orchestral music) and see the place packed. Unlike Symphony Hall, Jordan is packed with people who are there for the music, not to be seen or out of some social obligation.
Classical will probably never see the heyday it had in the 80s with the arrival of the CD--I worked in record stores at the time and I can tell you, CD revived public interest in classical music for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, many CDs have gone out of print. But at least classical continues to bring people in to concerts here and outside the US.
It is telling that the Grammy Awards in Classical and Jazz music are given out before the televised broadcast.
Even in the best times, Classical was never more thatn 5% of the record-buying market. The Grammys focus on popular music, most of the audience isn't interested in the 5%.