Wednesday, October 24, 2007
classical music in the radio
This weekend, I looked into regional radio programs, especially classical staions. I focused on WCRB and WGBH, they seemed to be the most common ones in this area. What I liked was that both of them send live performances and that they broadcast a lot of regional recordings, for example Boston Chamber Music or old Pops recordings. Anyway, I wouldn't listen to any of these programs. The schedule is very conservative, a lot of Mozart, some Copland between, maybe one or two unknown composers. The purpose of these programs is to please the listener with music while he or she is driving the car, working at home, or even having a conversation. It is obvious that you can't broadcast Ligeti for this kind of an audience. We would have a lot of car accidents. That's why such "shocking" music is sent at night - when nobody is listening. But the program can claim that it broadcasted Ligeti. Another point: between the music, there is just a short announcement about the title and the composer, maybe the artist. This is another way of keeping the audience listening; if there is too much text spoken inbetween, the listener becomes uninterested. He can't focus on a text, since he is busy doing other things that need his attention. Classical music through the radio is hard. It mostly doesn't fulfill the purpose of introducing the audience into new pieces, but it serves just like a pop radio station for easy satisfaction. Of course it all depends on the listener, but you just have to look at statistics to find out that the radio today is a background noise!