Sunday, November 25, 2007

Defending Classical Music Against its Devotees

This is an interesting review written by Richard Taruskin ( whose most recent books are The Oxford History of Western Music and revised edition of Music n the Western World: A History in Documents ) that pertains directly to our topic. In the last five years these three books; Who Needs Classical Music? Cultural Choice and Musical Value - by Johnson, Classical Music, Why Bother? hearing the World of Contemporary Culture through a Composer's Ears - by Fineberg, and Why Classical Music Still Matters - by Kramer, - are adding to the myth that classical music is in a crisis. Taruskin's article brings up some interesting points:

A) Classical music as a political asset. Time magazine and other newspapers use to print the president's favorite classical music pieces.
B) Since the "British invasion" of the Beattles, it became fashionable for intellectuals to listen to commerical music instead of classical music
C) Orchestras are not seen as common cultural heritage of the people - only the elite. This led to classical radio stations and elimination of classical music sections in newspapers and magzines.
D) A vast over population of classical musician exceeds te demand and positions available.
E) To cast an aesthetic preferences as moral choices are absurd

Even though the article is 15 pages long, it's a fast, funny read. Enjoy:)

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