Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Does classical music matter?

I think the "classical music" today has reached only a small percentage of the global's population. The fact that many musicologists, theorists, and performers have written substantial analysis that are so academically orientated that are tough to graps. (Maybe I am wrong). Many people are neglected to listen to classical music.

In today's society, the classical music does not reflect on today's soceity, envirnoment, the pace of lives etc. I think the classical music can be enjoyed by more people, when the communication is clear.

The communication between the performer and the audience should have a common ground. Whether, the music is from the past or present, it must be able to reach out to the public. This is where there will be a discreptencies on interpretations, such as tempi, articulations (instruments have evolved, and advanced itself), dynamics, techniques, nuances etc. throughout each centuries.


Richard said...

I don't believe that classical music has only reached a small percentage of the world's population. If someone has an ipod, they're bound to have classical music on it, like Beethoven's fifth. However, this ties into the point in the third paragraph of the post that performers should have a connection with the audience. In addition to the effects of recordings we discussed in class, I think that recordings have a further effect of removing the performer from his performance. The performer makes his recording and sends his child into the world. That performance becomes a product that can be sold and treated as a thing. In a live performance, we are forced to notice the performer's relationship (visually) with the music, whereas in listening to a recording, we (and especially non-musicians) more likely to listen to it as a pure musical object. And on an ipod, the objects name is the title of the piece and the composer's name. The performer is an afterthought. The main point is that music has become objectified (even popular music), and you can even collect it and not listen to it. It has become a commodity rather than an expressive means. The fact that it has become a commodity is not detrimental to popular music, but it is detrimental to the ideals of classical music. I think even the popular music of the past had more expressive content than that of today.

Erika said...

What kinds of communication are happening between performer and audience? Richard made a good point about the ease of recording and obtaining recordings removing the performer from the audience. Today's population accesses information very differently than that of 100 years ago, not to mention 2-300. The general populace that would have been exposed to "classical" music 200 years ago was much more auditory than we are today. Sure, they had visual entertainment, but you had to make a point of going to it, in general, entertainment was primarily auditory. Whether you went to a concert or had an evening of music in a home. Today, we have television, movies, video games, computers, the list just goes on and on. Directions don't just come written out, they come with visuals. And then our ears are assaulted by massive volumes of sound. You can't go anywhere without hearing music or television. It may be blasting, or it may be background, but there is not much time for quiet in our lives. Silence is an important element of music, and, I believe, of our lives, but it is very often missing. So we learn to some degree not to hear, just so we can get through the day without going nuts. So between the change in how /when/why we hear performances and the overall shift in how people hear in general, just what sort of communication do we expect or want from performers, and how should we as an audience, respond?

Aska said...

I agree that there are only small percentages of people who are acquainted with the classical music. I believe that there needs to be more accessibility for people to listen to classical music. Especially in Japan, where there is a big misconception to the classical music that this music is for people with high income or the music is too difficult to understand. This thinking is based on the reality, because tickets of the concerts are expensive and pieces are sometimes very long. I believe that musicians can create concerts that are easily accessible to people. It can include a shorter program, cheaper tickets, and also question and answer time between the performer and the audience. I’ve been to the concert of Maxim Vengerov, where he dressed casually and sat on the stage and in between pieces, there were question and answer time with the audience. The violinist, Midori created the organization called “Music Sharing”. Their mission is to enrich the humanity of the children by creating an educational environment for them to get acquainted with music. I believe that these activities help music to be still in our lives. (If anybody interested, the website of her organization is: