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On the Decline of Classical Music - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
February 3rd, 2005
02:09 pm


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On the Decline of Classical Music
An interesting article on the decline of classical music [Guardian.co.uk].

Current Music: The Smiths -- Still Ill

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:February 3rd, 2005 08:43 am (UTC)
I think the problem lies with the definition of "classical music". What is it? Music which is formed by classical harmony or tempo? That was utterly broken in the 20th century. Music that is played with "classical instruments"? that's a very weak definition. I believe that there can be no more classical music, except as a tribute or a determined conservative style - all other music is modern in its own way.
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Date:February 3rd, 2005 09:30 am (UTC)
I had a friend which kept correcting me: classical music is music created during the classical period (i.e. Mozart, Heiden). What the 'amcha' call classical music she called 'orchestral music', even though it wasn't always played by an orchestra.

Point being, definitions suck.
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Date:February 3rd, 2005 10:11 am (UTC)
Actually, I once saw that music from the classial epoch is classified as "Classical music" (with a capital C), and the broader definition is "classical music" with a lower case.
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Date:February 3rd, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC)
I was surprised that the article didn't mention the gradual decline of musical education in public schools (at least in America, musicologists seem to latch onto that theory) as a reason why classical music is supposedly in peril. 'Twas good food for thought, in any case.
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Date:February 3rd, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
Sometimes people use the term "serious music" and refer to the "common practice period" as the period when classical music was popular.

I disagree with the outlook of this article. Popularity is not that important. Modernist music was not neccessarily uncreative. Any movement that doesn't change, however, gets dull.

I'm also surprised by music the article didn't mention: "minimalism", including Glass and John Adams. Arvo Paart. The music popularized by the Kronos Quartet. Film music, which is orchestral music kept before the public eye, although I think of it generally as less creative and serious than the work of Schoenberg et al.

There is a big problem in serious music. But I think it's mainly consumer culture.
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