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Can't We All Just get Along ?

  There's more pointless discussion about the relative merits of classical music vs pop and Rock going on at Facebook with critic and composer Greg Sandow and other people, including me. As usual, Sandow is complaining about what's allegedly wrong about the field of classical music,not the music per se,which he loves dearly .
    Yes, no one could accuse Sandow of not loving classical music or question his vast knowledge of it. But as usual, he's barking up the wrong tree.  He claims that pop and rock are much supposedly in much more "healthy" condition than classical and more "relevant",because people "connect" to them,while classicla music is hopelessly dated and out of touch with the real world,or words to that effect .

   But why can't we just let pop be pop and classical be classical?  Why judge classical by the standards of pop and rock music?  What good does this do?  Let's face it, different people have different tastes in music, and that's the way things should be.  De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum .

   But why is the onus always on classical ? Why can't people just accept it on its own terms?  If you disparage pop or rock music, you're invariably condemned as a contemptible snob and elistist. But if you disparage classical music , it's perfectly acceptable.   Talk about a double standard.

   Let's face it ; classical music is vastly different from other kinds of music ;not necessarily superior , but not inferior either.  But certainly different . It requires a completely different mindset from pop and rock to listen to it.  It tends not to be a formulaic commercial product designed for casual entertainment, although there are lighter and simpler classical works,such as Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
  But these works are Mickey Mouse classical , very easy to listen to. Mozart wrote much more challenging works ,too. However, if you're going to try Beethoven's string quartets, the symphonies of Bruckner or Mahler, the operas of Wagner,Richard Strauss and Alban Berg for example,  these are anything but easy listening. They're long and highly complex ,and require preparation by reading or hearing about them to appreciate. If you just listen not knowing anything about classical music, chances are you'll be completely flummoxed by them and probably bored.

   But if you take the time and effort to get to know these challenging works, you can get things out of them which are completely beyond rock or pop etc.  They have a profundity and emotional power that pop music never even aims at. 

    Now there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a fan of pop or rock music.  If you enjoy these,that's fine with me. I myself have nothing against other kinds of music,and I've certainly heard them . But classical just happens to be my cup of tea. Do you have a problem with that? I hope not.  Can't we all just get along ? 

Posted: Mar 10 2011, 06:29 PM by the horn | with no comments
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