Can We Keep Classical Music Alive? | Coursera Community

Can We Keep Classical Music Alive?


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It’s challenging to define “classical music”. It’s complex music, written in many layers, which has its roots mostly in the Western world, spanning hundreds of years. It’s not jazz, folk or pop music.

I grew up listening to great composers such as Beethoven or Verdi. Living in the US, I discovered that most of my childhood friends never heard of such composers, or if they did, they couldn’t tell you what music they wrote. In grade school, we sang songs and were never taught classical music. It’s no surprise that attending symphony music concerts isn’t something young people do. There is a real concern about the future of classical music here.

Is it this way in other countries? 
Do you see a decline in interest in this music? 
Is it possible to re energize people about enjoying classical music? How?

How can we keep the classics alive?
 

 


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It’s challenging to define “classical music”. It’s complex music, written in many layers, which has its roots mostly in the Western world, spanning hundreds of years. It’s not jazz, folk or pop music.

I grew up listening to great composers such as Beethoven or Verdi. Living in the US, I discovered that most of my childhood friends never heard of such composers, or if they did, they couldn’t tell you what music they wrote. In grade school, we sang songs and were never taught classical music. It’s no surprise that attending symphony music concerts isn’t something young people do. There is a real concern about the future of classical music here.

Is it this way in other countries? 
Do you see a decline in interest in this music? 
Is it possible to re energize people about enjoying classical music? How?

How can we keep the classics alive?
 

 

In India, although almost no one knows about Western classical music, but majority of people have idea about the Hindustani classical music. 

I see the following reasons for the decline of Western classical music:-

1. Many people hate virtuosic classical singing. It seems somewhat horror to them (It's just their mindset)

2. Pieces are too long, sometimes lasting an hour (Mahler or Shostakovich, etc.) This makes people abstain from listening to such pieces.

3. Nowadays, rhythm (instead of melody, the heart of music) moves people, and in classical music, as we know, the rhythm is subdued.

 

Some classical pieces which are famous among current generation are:-

1. Brahms' Hungarian dance №5... Reason- it is short, has a fast tempo (slow tempo section comes but is short)

2. Beethoven's 5th symphony... Reason- just because of its catchy opening, rest of the movements are absurd!

3. Beethoven's Moonlight sonata... Its first movement is famous because of its first few bars, rest of the movement is unbearable. The fourth movement is thrilling and has a fast tempo.

etc. etc.

The only reason why people don't like classical music is that they haven't experienced its energy and power. 

Classical music has to be short in length and its opening should be encouraging (powerful) so as to be popular among current generation.

Thanks for reading, these are my views, I request you to add more views on the topic!

@Ekashman Tiwari , you have unique ideas about why classical music isn’t appreciated. 
Why shouldn’t people be able to listen to a long piece of music? Aren’t Indian Ragas long ?

Have we lost our ability to concentrate for long periods of time?

I laughed at your comment about virtual music being a “horror”. The human voice could be so beautiful and also...so annoying! I guess you aren’t a fan of opera? My father grew up in Berlin. Every week, his family would attend the Opera House to see a different opera. There were no movies back then. This was the entertainment. It was what families did together. Can you imagine families doing this now? Why have our musical tastes changed so much?

I don’t agree that classical music lacks rhythm. Think of Copeland’s “Rodeo”, for example. And what’s wrong with a good old fashioned Strauss waltz to dance around a ballroom to?😀 A beautiful Mozart melody is so uplifting! Why don’t people know this?

To call Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata “unbearable “….! That hurt. I wonder if you listened to it over and over and even played it on piano if you’d change your mind?

I agree that many people haven’t experienced the effect of classical music, thinking it’s boring and not giving it a chance.

I assume you are a younger person, and have developed a deep appreciation for classical music. How did this happen?

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. 🎶

 

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Hi!

I think it’s not really that no one cares. It’s just that the genres of music currently in the limelight are (probably) the non-classical ones. And we only see what is shown to us. But there are a lot of people who love classical music, be it Eastern or Western. We never really get the opinions of ALL the people. What we get is only a part. How can we know about EVERYONE, isn’t it? Whether we choose to listen to longer music or shorter really depends on who the listener is. The wheel of popularity always turns. So what’s popular today may not be popular tomorrow.

And also, it’s a matter of exposure. What kinds of music a person has grown up listening to. The ones who mostly like pop today, for example, may also like classical if it is showcased to them with the same popularity. Many people have the feeling that they have to do what the mass is doing/following, and maybe that’s why many people are missing out on classical today. How we present something to someone may change the listeners’ perspective.

And personally, I feel that just because some other genres are popular today does not mean that classical music has died. It’s still there, respected and appreciated by a large number of people, including me. And I listen to them just as I listen to any other genre. Because after all, all of them are music.

And for me, I love to listen to longer music. It gives the soul the time to concentrate and focus, instead of jumping from one mood to another (and also, I don’t have to change the music every one and then!). I would love it if pop songs were longer too, because sometimes, I get to energetic, but the song ends, and I have to play it again and again to get the “vibe” :grin:

So, it’s not really that classical music has “died”.

Fun fact - It is seen that some popular pop music today are inspired by classical music, and hence, have similarities! (Source: YouTube)

Thanks!

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@Ekashman Tiwari , you have unique ideas about why classical music isn’t appreciated. 
Why shouldn’t people be able to listen to a long piece of music? Aren’t Indian Ragas long ?

Have we lost our ability to concentrate for long periods of time?

I laughed at your comment about virtual music being a “horror”. The human voice could be so beautiful and also...so annoying! I guess you aren’t a fan of opera? My father grew up in Berlin. Every week, his family would attend the Opera House to see a different opera. There were no movies back then. This was the entertainment. It was what families did together. Can you imagine families doing this now? Why have our musical tastes changed so much?

I don’t agree that classical music lacks rhythm. Think of Copeland’s “Rodeo”, for example. And what’s wrong with a good old fashioned Strauss waltz to dance around a ballroom to?😀 A beautiful Mozart melody is so uplifting! Why don’t people know this?

To call Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata “unbearable “….! That hurt. I wonder if you listened to it over and over and even played it on piano if you’d change your mind?

I agree that many people haven’t experienced the effect of classical music, thinking it’s boring and not giving it a chance.

I assume you are a younger person, and have developed a deep appreciation for classical music. How did this happen?

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. 🎶

 

Hey, it seems you didn't understand my point! Classical singing doesn't seem horror to me nor I don't like operas... I also listen to long symphonies. I was talking about the prejudices that people around me have... I know how beautiful is moonlight sonata, the thing which I mentioned is true for people who don't have experience in listening to classical music! I was just mentioning how people think about classical music, those points were not by me, I myself TOTALLY disagree with them. 

Also I didn't want to compare Indian and Western classical music (I just answered to your question- Is it this way in other countries? ).

Indeed, I am a younger person... All thanks to coursera and curiosity!

@Ekashman Tiwari ,😂! Thank you so much for explaining. I was so concerned that you were expressing your own opinions, that I hadn’t considered you were repeating what you think others feel! I worried how to respond so I wouldn’t offend you and still be respectful of your thoughts. I remembered your first post, how you told us you enjoy the B composers, and how you were taking the Yale classical music course. So I couldn’t believe you felt the way you described. I am so glad you don’t!😀🎶

I realize that Indian music is different from Western classical, but when you discussed the length of a piece and I knew you were from India, I wanted to remind you that listening to longer pieces was what your culture also expressed, hoping you might rethink your opinion! But of course, since it’s not your opinion, it’s all good!😂 ( I am laughing at myself for believing that you thought this again)

There is hope and optimism when I read how younger people like both you and @Archisha Bhar deeply appreciate and understand classical music. 
@Archisha Bhar , you raise excellent points. We are so influenced by what we hear around us, which explains why less people appreciate the classics. Many years ago, there was a cartoon on TV, “Tom and Jerry “ which always used classical music to depict the scenes and action. It was widely watched by children. Many grew up to appreciate classical music as a result of this exposure. 
If a movie features a classical work, it propels the music too. One of Mozart’s piano works was renamed the “Elvira” because it was the theme used throughout this movie. The CD became super popular.

I agree that exposure is essential, which is why I am concerned that lack of exposure is creating this indifference. Schools need to play a larger role in such exposure. Do children learn classical music in schools where you live? Here, they often don’t.

Your description of why you love longer music is so true. I totally agree. It’s like the difference between seeing someone and exchanging a few words vs having a deep, long conversation with someone. It feels so satisfying if you can appreciate music for a length of time.

Thank you for restoring my hope and keeping classical music alive, and for that inspiring “fun” quote! 

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@Ekashman Tiwari ,😂! Thank you so much for explaining. I was so concerned that you were expressing your own opinions, that I hadn’t considered you were repeating what you think others feel! I worried how to respond so I wouldn’t offend you and still be respectful of your thoughts. I remembered your first post, how you told us you enjoy the B composers, and how you were taking the Yale classical music course. So I couldn’t believe you felt the way you described. I am so glad you don’t!😀🎶

I realize that Indian music is different from Western classical, but when you discussed the length of a piece and I knew you were from India, I wanted to remind you that listening to longer pieces was what your culture also expressed, hoping you might rethink your opinion! But of course, since it’s not your opinion, it’s all good!😂 ( I am laughing at myself for believing that you thought this again)

There is hope and optimism when I read how younger people like both you and @Archisha Bhar deeply appreciate and understand classical music. 
@Archisha Bhar , you raise excellent points. We are so influenced by what we hear around us, which explains why less people appreciate the classics. Many years ago, there was a cartoon on TV, “Tom and Jerry “ which always used classical music to depict the scenes and action. It was widely watched by children. Many grew up to appreciate classical music as a result of this exposure. 
If a movie features a classical work, it propels the music too. One of Mozart’s piano works was renamed the “Elvira” because it was the theme used throughout this movie. The CD became super popular.

I agree that exposure is essential, which is why I am concerned that lack of exposure is creating this indifference. Schools need to play a larger role in such exposure. Do children learn classical music in schools where you live? Here, they often don’t.

Your description of why you love longer music is so true. I totally agree. It’s like the difference between seeing someone and exchanging a few words vs having a deep, long conversation with someone. It feels so satisfying if you can appreciate music for a length of time.

Thank you for restoring my hope and keeping classical music alive, and for that inspiring “fun” quote! 

😅😅

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Thank you as always, @Judith.

In my school, we had classes for “English music” as well as our own “Bengali music”. But those were mostly about just taking a class and not really a “music” class. It was about singing the songs they taught. However, there are many schools in India that take good care teaching music to students properly.

Since you raised this point, I would like to point out that the two main “sources” from where a child learns something are the school and the parents. If they miss out on teaching them the good things, the children may not learn it. For that matter again, the parents also need to actually know about those as well. And so, the cycle goes back and back :joy:!

People actually need to start being aware of things instead of just following the “trend”. Or maybe we just need to change the “trend”?

@Archisha Bhar , it’s so good to know that many schools in India teach the Western classics as well as Indian music.

It’s not as though schools don’t teach this at all here, some do, but there is no countrywide standard. Unfortunately, this means many don’t. As a music teacher, I could do anything I wanted basically as long as I gave a reason why. Some of our time was spent listening to the classics, but it wasn’t as a stand alone lesson. Students would need to create either art or poetry as they listened. Older students would create a music video based on classical piece. There always had to be a gimmick to get the students to listen. 
My favorite college music courses were those where we could come to class and spend the entire time listening to a musical composition. Listening is challenging to many.

You are so right about the importance of parents exposing their children to the classics. Whenever somebody I know has a baby, I usually buy them a CDs of classical music so the baby can grow up listening to such music. Early exposure helps so much….but what if the parents dislike the music? That’s certainly a problem!

Let’s be trendsetters! What an uplifting thought!😀

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Thanks, @Judith 😀.

  • First of all, I'd say that any culture has their own "Classical music"

Unfortunately the commerce rules make such, that this kind of classical heritage needs to be usually financed by the government -- anyway just within the regional boundaries: I usually listen to a govt h24 classical european music radio channel, but there's no h24 congolese classical ritual music, nor h24 indian classical poems radio.

However, this same radio has regular programs about World music, so it often happens to me to listen to inuit chants or mediterranean ones ... which demonstrates that there should not be such a difference. Specialized national radio channels may also be a source, such as a Hare Krishna devotional radio (or a Rastafarian one :) 

  • What is the meaning of "Classical" instead than "Traditional" ?

I think this is mainly due to a written consistency accross centuries, rather than based on a oral transmission -- someway the difference between The Bible and Shamanism -- making such that anyone could base on a previous (written) model and modify it, creating a new “model” -- while this form of innovation can hardly spread within oral Traditions. Which therefore allowed the rise of Models afterwards represented by their famous Authors. 

So WRITING DOWN MUSIC is the key point, and "Classical" is therefore a umbrella term for many "Traditions" whereas they might have differentiated from a common popular ground. 

  • About the supposed lack of interest of United States into Classical music, I feel this is a international problem. 

As said above, culture needs to be spread, but in the world we have regimes and not just advertising, who tend to manipulate the information and privilege what can be used for propaganda. Populism is the main issue. 

In USA however it's difficoult to find a "Mozart avenue" or a "Puccini square" -- while in European cities, it is normal to find city areas consistently based on musicians names.

However, this "emptyness" is also why people tend to attach to traditions -- some find it in the popular regional traditions (see Country music), some take the way of the Classical (written) heritage. Palladian-style buildings in USA actually show this idea (see also Bob Marley in Buffalo Soldier).

  • Finally, we should take in account how cinema spreads classical music and how modern composers studied classical music, reflected in their new soundtracks. 

You might be aware that Pachelbel's "Canon in D" was used to soundtrack more than a movie () which made this one of the most famous classical pieces, and you may find hundreds of homemade videos of young people making a cover of this beautiful piece through electric guitars and even with drumsets (search: pachelbel canon rock); 

anyone who saw J. Boorman's "Excalibur" also knows Richard Wagner's "Tristan & Isolde", not to mention the soundtracks in Kubrick's movies ;

  • However, you might say it deals on high-profile targeted production.

So consider how many soundtracks can be considered "Classical music" ---in that they are played by complete orchestras --- but stand below "B-Movies", such as Craig Safan’s "The Last Starfighter" or John Barry "Howard the Duck" 

or Frédéric Talgorn’s "Robot Jox", which I happened to relate to César Franck's - "Le Chasseur Maudit" (Intro)

  • to sum up

Classical music is well alive in culture, but people should be educated to enjoying going back to the source, enjoying their own exploration, which also means to boldly go where no man has gone before 

 

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Classical music is a huge and powerful component of the Western culture, just like its other components, such as philosophy, literature or visual arts. I don't think that anything threatens their 'life' while this civilization holds, here I totally agree with @ATP.

There is another aspect to it though. Like all the rest mentioned above, classical music is an asset. Question is how many people have access to this asset. And here we have a continuum between the two polar points. One is a situation when only the chosen few, the elites, can enjoy this access. The other is when it is available to everybody.

In the real life, of course, we never observe such extremes. But I can see a rather unpleasant global trend towards the elites vs. the rest point. All this edutainment prevailing over education proper; this encouragement of learning only practical skills that will later help to earn living (and nothing extra); this talk of the disadvantaged social groups that should reject everything that has ever been created by supposedly more privileged people and instead consume something quite primitive, because 'it must not be invalidated'. Meanwhile, there are still people that are receiving the good old brutal education with all its hardships and benefits.

So, it seems to me that the current situation is not very welcoming to developing musical perception of an average person. Which is sad. On the other hand, classical music is still technically available to almost everybody; there are great teachers ready to invest their knowledge and effort into developing the necessary skills to appreciate and enjoy it; there are classical composers (real composers, not just music designers); there is free will after all and some luck, which may help to find both good music and good teachers.

As to my country, it's hard for me to judge, I'm not very sociable. It seems to me that actually a considerable number of people enjoy classical music in a way (it may be listening as a background or intense focused listening or some kind of prestigious consumption). And well, as far as I know, concert halls and music theatres (those staging classical operas and ballets) in Moscow and St. Petersburg are always full (if not for the pandemic), although the entrance is deplorably expensive these days.

In the real life, of course, we never observe such extremes. But I can see a rather unpleasant global trend towards the elites vs. the rest point. All this edutainment prevailing over education proper; this encouragement of learning only practical skills that will later help to earn living (and nothing extra); this talk of the disadvantaged social groups that should reject everything that has ever been created by supposedly more privileged people and instead consume something quite primitive, because 'it must not be invalidated'. Meanwhile, there are still people that are receiving the good old brutal education with all its hardships and benefits.

Hi, your speech develops around this sociological concept above, but I seem not to find any specific reference.

Since I quoted the example of the 24/7 classic-music state-owned radio (which anyone has a small radio could hear, just as they like this genre), I think you must be referring to a specific situation.

As for the global trend, what sources make you say so? What people receive the brutal education? What edutainment you refer to? What practical skills? why nothing extra? and so on :P  

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@ATP Hi, well, it's hard to provide one specific reference, since I've briefly generalized my impression, which comprises lots of experiences from reading books, articles, social media, listening to stories from my friends or distant acquaintances from other countries. So, it's really hard to provide a single source.
I can provide a couple of generic examples of what I'm talking about and some key phrases that can help to find more stuff like that.

The key phrases I have in mind are like "dead white male" and "classical music cancel culture" (to reduce the subject to classical music, although the problem seems to be broader).

Now, to the examples. First off, an impressive number of sources, including rather reputable ones, seriously discuss the question whether classical music should be canceled (WHAT?). An opinion from Washington Post argues that no, it's not a good idea (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/02/why-beethoven-doesnt-deserve-be-canceled/). A surprise indeed. But for some reason the author found the topic worth discussing, not just brushing off as some nonsense.

Next, a book example: 'Music: A Very Short Introduction' by quite a reputable author Nicholas Cook (https://www.amazon.com/Music-Short-Introduction-Nicholas-Cook/dp/0192853821). From a book with such a title I would expect that it provides some very basic framework for thinking about music. Like what's the difference between folk music and music created by composers; what are the most general music paradigms and their cultural weight in different parts of the world; what is the difference between music as art and music as design; what are the basic notions (harmony, dissonance, polyphony, synth music - whatever), something like that. All supplied with lists of references for further reading.

Well, nothing of the kind. The author instead starts right away with 'breaking stereotypes' by claiming that the meaning of the Western 'classical' music is overestimated and its understanding is too rigid, that new approaches are needed, that diversity is absolutely necessary, that gender studies must be a huge part of studying music, etc. Why? It's an introductory book, it's not a proper place for an ideological battle, is it? Looks like it would be more honest to first provide some picture and only after that (preferably elsewhere) express opinions. But then again, the book is well within the broader trend.

And yes, this simple fact that some music paradigms are just much more developed and complex, and therefore require more time and effort to learn than others, is just not mentioned. Which, I'm afraid, is quite in line with understanding diversity as the idea that 'all kinds of music are absolutely equal'.

Now, surely classical music is available. There are 24/7 radio stations, TV channels, YouTube, Spotify, and what not. Problem is that some kinds of music (and classical music is one example) require special introduction. One should learn how to listen to it in order to be able to enjoy it. But the environment, to which what I described above contributes a lot, is not quite friendly to this. That means that all these sources are only relevant to those who somehow happened to be prepared. For the rest they are pretty much non-existent.

As to brutal education, edutainment and practical skills - well, it's again a product of quite a few observations. I could gradually compile a list of examples of what I mean, but it may take a while. For now, I can refer to a friend of mine from Uganda, who wrote me once that he's quite fond of reading books, which makes him an oddball in his environment, because people mostly focus on learning what they really have to know to survive, and broader curiosity is just out of place.

Me and you are not native english speakers, though, our perfect british accent shows we come from a certain social level. Therefore, should our blogs social pages --and posts-- be boycotted? 

Just as Nietzsche or Wagner were used by Nazist populism --or the swastika itself-- what remains in the stereotype? Swastika, Nietzsche and Wagner = racism.  

People usually need the shortest explanation and mind their own business: should we all know Beethoven's private affairs behind his music? a friend told me another story, when Beethoven was near to suicide and a girl saved him. This is what I prefer to store.

How many artworks hide a bad father? It's in Shakespeare's Hamlet: no matter how a man is good, a little spot ruins his appearence for ever.

Western music comes out surrounded by an aura of aristocracy with all the bad associations coming from a developing third world -- which is a superficial approach that doesn't take in account how ANY music in the world is made of traditional symbols that must be studied 

- the meaning of each drum in african music(s)
- the meaning of hand gestures in Indochinese theatre
- the meaning of facial paintings in Japanese theatre

what about these? and do any african indochinese japanese know these facts by sheer birth? 

@ansakoy you quoted someone else’s idea of Classical Music, but what do you think it means? :)

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Me and you are not native english speakers, though, our perfect british accent shows we come from a certain social level. Therefore, should our blogs social pages --and posts-- be boycotted? 

Just as Nietzsche or Wagner were used by Nazist populism --or the swastika itself-- what remains in the stereotype? Swastika, Nietzsche and Wagner = racism.  

People usually need the shortest explanation and mind their own business: should we all know Beethoven's private affairs behind his music? a friend told me another story, when Beethoven was near to suicide and a girl saved him. This is what I prefer to store.

How many artworks hide a bad father? It's in Shakespeare's Hamlet: no matter how a man is good, a little spot ruins his appearence for ever.

 

I’m afraid I didn’t quite get your point. If you meant to show that private life of a person and their artwork are kind of different things and mixing them doesn’t make much sense, I completely agree. If not, could you please elaborate?

Western music comes out surrounded by an aura of aristocracy with all the bad associations coming from a developing third world -- which is a superficial approach that doesn't take in account how ANY music in the world is made of traditional symbols that must be studied 

- the meaning of each drum in african music(s)
- the meaning of hand gestures in Indochinese theatre
- the meaning of facial paintings in Japanese theatre

Yes indeed. Western (or I would rather say European) music indeed has this aura. And why? Because it really is aristocratic if you prefer to use this term. In a very basic meaning of it. It has a long history of purposeful development, refinement and recorded genealogy. Are there any other huge aristocratic music traditions like this? I think so. But I’m not an expert in musicology.

Do I think that ANY musical tradition in the world is as complex and developed as the Western classical music tradition? No, I don’t think so. It doesn’t mean that folklore traditions are worthless. Folklore is often a huge and fascinating area. But it is different from an ‘authored’ reflexive legacy. Just like with literature vs. folklore. There are novels, epic genres (often by unknown or some arbitrary authors), poetry, etc. on the one hand, and folk tales, proverbs, verses on the other. These are principally different things.

 

what about these? and do any african indochinese japanese know these facts by sheer birth? 

If you meant to say that these traditions need to be explored, then well, sure thing. Moreover, I’m sure China and Japan have a fairly elaborated and rather aristocratic (in the above-mentioned meaning) apparatus for that. But I sense the question had some polemic intention. If so, could you please formulate your point in a more straightforward way? So that I can answer directly to this point.

@ansakoy you quoted someone else’s idea of Classical Music, but what do you think it means? :)

I don’t recall quoting anyone’s idea of classical music. All the way I was trying to stick to the definition provided by @Judith at the start of this thread:

It’s challenging to define “classical music”. It’s complex music, written in many layers, which has its roots mostly in the Western world, spanning hundreds of years. It’s not jazz, folk or pop music.

I’m not quite fond of this word usage because of its ambiguity. On the one hand, it may refer to a specific corpus of selected compositions within the (originally) European music tradition that have been marked as classical (just like we can say classical literature). On the other hand, it may refer to the music tradition in the same paradigm as the classical corpus, but not necessarily included into this corpus. For this broader usage I’ve heard the term academic music, which I like better. But looks like the term classical music is still more popular in this other capacity, so be it.

@ansakoy

1) I referred to your article about Beethoven. 

2) I didn't say "ANY musical tradition in the world is as complex and developed as the Western classical music tradition" but 

  • "ANY music in the world is made of traditional symbols that must be studied"
    please don't make me quote myself !

Believing that Western Chamber music is necessarily more sophisticated than a whatever tribal dance, is a really wrong stereotype associated with the White “Humanitarian” Colonization, which makes such, that anything out of the dominant local aristocracy is "folklore", just as it lacks an author's signature (you say "authored"). 

  • The aristocrat Western Classical Music was played among people who used to never take a bath for years, and to wear special panties to attract parasites out of their genitals; and in most cases had the least account for human life. Is this a synonym of "sophisticated"?

I personally agree a more spartan view on life -- I think that when people don't challenge the real problems, get lost in theoretical or in paranoia.

  • The problem of your Ugandan friend’s society is not that is focused on material life -- the problem is that they are focused on a poor material life, their horizons are narrowed and they consider anything beyond as too much.

This doesn't mean however they don't cultivate their own music culture. 

  • As to me, when I go to bed, open my Classical-Historical Music radio and I fall asleep with whoever is playing. If I like a track, I note down the hour, and search for it the next day. 

If you like it --fine thing, if you prefer other music, you're welcome. 

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@Archisha Bhar excellent points you made, thanks.

 

And for me, I love to listen to longer music. It gives the soul the time to concentrate and focus, instead of jumping from one mood to another (and also, I don’t have to change the music every one and then!).

Could you possibly tell more about how you grew to like longer music and classical music in particular? In your further comment you mention parents and school as the two main sources of acquiring music taste. Which one was yours? Or is it your personal inclination?

I would love it if pop songs were longer too, because sometimes, I get to energetic, but the song ends, and I have to play it again and again to get the “vibe” :grin:

 

And here’s where remixing comes in :)

Half joking.

Anyway, could you please define what you include into the pop music? You used this opposition classical vs. pop. But there are lots of other things, such as jazz or rock music. Did you include them into pop in this context or are they just out of scope of this opposition?

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1) I referred to your article about Beethoven. 

Well it wasn’t mine God forbid 🙂 I referred to it as an illustration of absurd confusion of personal stuff and art when discussing art legacy. So, I take it, we agree on the point that it is absurd.

please don't make me quote myself !

Oh yes I will. That’s exactly what I do to make sure I understand my interlocutor’s point: retell this point in my words so that they check it that’s what they meant and correct it if it’s not.

Believing that Western Chamber music is necessarily more sophisticated than a whatever tribal dance, is a really wrong stereotype associated with the White “Humanitarian” Colonization, which makes such, that anything out of the dominant local aristocracy is "folklore", just as it lacks an author's signature (you say "authored"). 

In order continue to discuss this part, it is important to establish an understanding on folk and art (I agree, ‘authored’ may be a confusing word here, so let’s remove it not to question the ‘authorship’ of Homer or Shakespeare), otherwise we’ll be arguing about terms instead of their content, which doesn’t make much sense. I think that distinguishing between these two things (folk vs. art) is vital. Learning them is approximately as different as learning how to use a PC and learning how to code.

From what you are saying, I suggest that you don’t see the difference. But to make sure my suggestion is correct let me ask: do you think that an authentic folk tale belongs to the same set of cultural phenomena as a tale by Charles Perrault? Does an authentic folk song belong to the same set as a song by the Beatles?

  • The problem of your Ugandan friend’s society is not that is focused on material life -- the problem is that they are focused on a poor material life, their horizons are narrowed and they consider anything beyond as too much.

This doesn't mean however they don't cultivate their own music culture. 

I don’t know about their current music culture. Sadly, before we lost connection when the pandemic began, he only managed to tell me about some of their ceremonies in a great detail, it was really fascinating. I’m not sure though their music culture is at its best at the moment because of the terrible situation in the country.

Anyway, my mentioning his observation had nothing to do with music. I just illustrated this unfortunate spread of an overly pragmatic approach to knowledge, which I observe around and which resonated with the opinion of a person from a very distant country.

  • As to me, when I go to bed, open my Classical-Historical Music radio and I fall asleep with whoever is playing. If I like a track, I note down the hour, and search for it the next day. 

If you like it --fine thing, if you prefer other music, you're welcome. 

Well, that’s great to know. But I fail to understand how it is related to our topic. You mean that tastes differ and there are loads of wonderful music in the world? I can’t agree more.

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You’re welcome, @ansakoy.

Could you possibly tell more about how you grew to like longer music and classical music in particular?

How much length I would like at the moment really depends on what I am doing at the time. If I am going to study for a while, I would like the music to go on so that I can concentrate on my studies. Also, it would be distracting if I have to change the music every now and then. However, there always is a limit on how much I can listen to a music, because longer music tends to get monotonous sometimes. I recently tried listening to lofi, which happen to be so long. But they play the same tune so many times that it feels like they did not put enough effort to produce more variation.

For classical, what I can say is that I learnt listening to it purely out of family influence. If you grow up listening to something, it just gets into your mind naturally and you develop that taste. However, not all families will have a musical exposure, and so, I was lucky! :smiley: Plus, I learnt (stopped because of the pandemic) piano. So I definitely have more inclination towards classical.

I think why we distinguish between classical and non-classical is because, for us, classical is a lot “richer”. And to an extent, “older” (Not that anything old will be better, so I emphasize on “richer”. I mentioned “older” because some do think that older = better)! You see, those who are accustomed to listening to only modern day music will think that these “older” stuff are boring. But put classical music in movies, get them played/sung by popular artists, get them played on the radio, make it the “trend”, and you’ll see how these people shift to those. Because, those who did not get the chance to develop a musical taste will always be influenced by what is “trending”. Note that here, I am only referring to the music that is upbeat, and very different from classical (modern pop for example).

In your further comment you mention parents and school as the two main sources of acquiring music taste. Which one was yours? Or is it your personal inclination?

Definitely parents in my case. Like I mentioned earlier, my musical taste came from my family. It takes us to get to a certain age and understanding to develop anything of our own. Till then it’s all our parents :relaxed:And that’s necessary too, I think, because parents are supposed to be the ones to teach good things to their children.

And here’s where remixing comes in :)

Nah, not always. I am not a fan of remixes :rolling_eyes: (I get your joke!)

Anyway, could you please define what you include into the pop music? You used this opposition classical vs. pop. But there are lots of other things, such as jazz or rock music. Did you include them into pop in this context or are they just out of scope of this opposition?

You see, generally, whenever we make these distinctions, or say that something good is not appreciated today, what comes to our mind is the current generation. Now I am someone who, biologically being someone of this generation (to put it literally!), am not really much aware of the “trends” these days. To me, it is the pop that is popular today. Of course pop had been there before as well, but if we notice the characteristics of the liked music these days, we will see that it is mostly about the beat and not so much the tune or melody or lyrics. You just mentioned remixes. What do they do there? Put some extra beats in there to make it appealing to those who like it these days, even if the music does not make sense anymore!

Jazz, rock, or even pop, existed long ago as well. The reason I mentioned pop is because (I think) that is what people (of this generation) are listening to more these days. Now, as I have mentioned already, I am not much aware of these things, so I just took pop as an example. And I really don not know the names of all the genres that are played more these days. Many of them are not pop, but I could not do them justice by mentioning their genres. Apologies for that. Of course I should put more details and not generalize music this way, but for our discussion, this much works :wink:

Jazz has a completely different thing about it, I think, and can actually be at par with classical.

Basically what I mean is, as long as the music is rich, melodious and meaningful, we can always appreciate it. :green_heart: I do not support uplifting or opposing one between two good things at all!

I really appreciate your questions! Hope I could explain myself. :relaxed:

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Wow, thanks for such a detailed response, @Archisha Bhar  

For classical, what I can say is that I learnt listening to it purely out of family influence. If you grow up listening to something, it just gets into your mind naturally and you develop that taste. However, not all families will have a musical exposure, and so, I was lucky! :smiley: Plus, I learnt (stopped because of the pandemic) piano. So I definitely have more inclination towards classical.

Yes, indeed, looks like these two things (early musical exposure and mastering a musical instrument) are rather reliable and persisting ways to get accustomed to a complex art system, such as classical music.

It’s sad that your piano lessons had to be interrupted, but I hope you’ll be able to resume them once the pandemic is over.

I think why we distinguish between classical and non-classical is because, for us, classical is a lot “richer”. And to an extent, “older” (Not that anything old will be better, so I emphasize on “richer”. I mentioned “older” because some do think that older = better)! You see, those who are accustomed to listening to only modern day music will think that these “older” stuff are boring. But put classical music in movies, get them played/sung by popular artists, get them played on the radio, make it the “trend”, and you’ll see how these people shift to those.

 

I agree in a way. At least some tunes would get popular and recognizable (like the ones mentioned by @Ekashman Tiwari). However, I wonder if building a set of pop-classical pieces, so to speak, would motivate people to listen to something new and more complicated than this. I really don’t know. What I’m almost sure about though (and here I completely agree with you) is that it would still be an exposure and therefore a starting point for some people to look for more.

Because, those who did not get the chance to develop a musical taste will always be influenced by what is “trending”. Note that here, I am only referring to the music that is upbeat, and very different from classical (modern pop for example).

 

Actually yes, it makes sense. So, the lack of taste development at a certain stage may make people vulnerable to the influence of trends.

In fact, here I start wondering where these trends come from. Once I heard an opinion that all popular trends come out of the changing drug culture in night clubs. I wonder how much this is true and whether there are other sources of those pop music trends.

To me, it is the pop that is popular today.

I see, yes, that’s a rather practical definition, thanks for explaining.

Of course pop had been there before as well, but if we notice the characteristics of the liked music these days, we will see that it is mostly about the beat and not so much the tune or melody or lyrics.

Sounds plausible, although I’m also not quite aware of the current popular trends.

Jazz, rock, or even pop, existed long ago as well. The reason I mentioned pop is because (I think) that is what people (of this generation) are listening to more these days. Now, as I have mentioned already, I am not much aware of these things, so I just took pop as an example. And I really don not know the names of all the genres that are played more these days. Many of them are not pop, but I could not do them justice by mentioning their genres. Apologies for that. Of course I should put more details and not generalize music this way, but for our discussion, this much works :wink:

Same here, at the moment I know very little about music categories outside the Western classical system. Actually, I’ll explain why I asked you to specify your usage of ‘pop’. You complained above that unfortunately the pop songs are often too short for you. I started thinking of something not so short outside the classical scope and almost immediately recalled the songs by Jethro Tull. No, that’s not it, I thought. First, they are rather Rock and Folk, and second they’ve never been all that popular. But then I decided to ask what exactly you meant :)

Thanks again for answering!

You mean that tastes differ and there are loads of wonderful music in the world? 

I do, and as long as mankind will exist we will store any music for anyone to be listened anywhere anytime.

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I agree, @ansakoy :relaxed:.

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