Monday, July 9, 2007

What is our "classical" music?

In the third part of his series, "Who Cares About Classical Music," Glenn Kurtz comments on the popularity of 'classical' music:
"The obvious implication is that classical music, like 19th-century narrative, is not popular because its form of narrative has become antiquated. The great tradition of classical music is not "timeless" but entirely temporal, just like every other human creation..."
"Isn't it worth our while to look for (and listen for) the emerging forms that tell the story of contemporary subjectivity? What living form, barely acknowledged by scholars of today, will scholars 100 years from now lament the loss of?

What is our "classical" music?"

Another important question is, what form will the orchestra take into the future? It will surely change from that required in the 19th century.

I guess it is the geologist in me that sees this evolution as inevitable, irresistible, and exciting. I wonder what it is about the human psyche that makes us resist change so adamantly.

Richard Chester, director of the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland for 20 years, "believes it to be the moment to go" and is seeking "a new challenge". He has some interesting insight into who participates in youth orchestras:
"...youth orchestras will be a focus of his activity, but this time with special emphasis on people who want to participate in amateur rather than professional music-making. By 1997, he says, a survey disclosed that 32 per cent of members of NYOS went into music professionally, most of them as orchestral players. Today, in his travels around the world, he has recognised that more and more young players want to continue performing music while pursuing other careers."

Eight Cheap Ways to Become Famous without Killing Anyone needs no comment, just a chuckle.

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