Monday, July 09, 2007

27 Shocking revelations for a Conservative Classical musician/composer/critic

Shocking Revelation #1) Classical music isn’t inherently superior to other kinds of music.
2) Just because its written down doesn’t mean its superior to non-notated music
3) The western orchestra has changed less in the last 150 than it has in the entire history of its existence, these last 150 years being the period of the most radical social and technological developments in the history of humanity.
4) The classical musical institutions are swamped by conservatism and a fear of change, and resists adapting to new musical ensembles..
5) Just because its in the form of, or called a symphony/ string quartet/sonata doesn’t mean its a dignified or a quality piece of music.
6) Popular music is not the devil
7) Just because its popular doesn’t mean its not good
8) music which is complicated is not necessarily (and often not) better or superior to other kinds of music
9) Music that is simple, or that uses simple harmony is not innately inferior
10) Minimalism is not evil or necessarily insane
11) What John cage did actually IS music
12) Composers today are just as smart as composers from the 19th century.
13) there are many good composers who are alive today and writing great music.
14) Most of what vivaldi/telemann wrote is not really worth listening to.
16) The musical public today is smarter and better educated than they were in the 17th 18th, 19th and early 20th century.
17) Some of the best music made in the last 80 years has been by non-classical musicians.
18) Amplification is not an evil or heretical practice and the microphone is a legitimate piece of musical equipment
19) acoustic music is not superior to electronically amplified or modified music.
20) pure electronic music is legit, as much so as a string quartet
21) the electric guitar is a good instrument and is safe to play, write for and listen to.
22) its ok to have amplification in an opera, string quartet, or what have you
22) Classical musical institutions are often swamped by disgusting, insane cultural-imperialist ideas and dogmas.
23) Its ok if not everyone loves classical music
24) "classical music" is actually a ridiculous expression and a moronic way of classifying things, (how can Palestrina and Stravinsky sensibly be classified the same way? or Bach and Debussy? Monteverdi and shoenberg? etc)
25) Many classical musicians, critics and composers have tried to isolate classical music from the rest of the world for the last 60 years
26) Many classical musicians, critics and composers are self-pitying.
27) "Classical music" Is Not going to die anytime soon

1 comment:

docker said...

Wow, there's a lot of wisdom in this post. Thank you.

However ...
I suspect #27 can only be true if numbers one through twenty six become generally accepted in the classical music world.

And since they aren't generally accepted, classical music's continued creative health is highly doubtful.

Survival on the commercial level - selling tickets and CDs, orchestras and opera companies avoiding bankruptcy - doesn't preclude the patient being dead.

In a living art the new stuff is more important than the old stuff.