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Thread: #7730
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stewiestrapon

Posted: 27 Feb 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
I think it's a double edged thing.

The Classical world does very little to make itself accessible. Maybe in our world where under 5 minute songs and dances are the favourite, we need to be exposing people to short Classical songs and dances rather than full length Beethoven symphonies. Equally there needs to be more focus on LIVING classical composers to give people something more tangible to connect to.

On the flip side, society has been very much dumbed down. Back in history people used to go to the opera as a social occasion- you never had to sit in silence clapping in the right places as you do these days, you just popped along had a drink and bitch with your mates while the opera was going on in the background and then went home. When did we suddenly reach the point where this music was considered too intellectual and like all our tiny brains could cope with was <5 minute love songs?
glenn

Posted: 27 Feb 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@stewiestrapon

I'll bow to your substantially greater knowledge; you make points which I'm insufficiently knowledgeable to lend my agreement to but they certainly make sense :)

On the pretense of opera; I blame capitalism. A properly regulated market (via subsidy) make the arts more financially accessible - which over time I think would address the greatest parts of the problem.

I'm typing this after a few drinks, so I hope this makes sense - haha
stewiestrapon

Posted: 27 Feb 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@glenn It does make sense and I agree- not just for opera/ballet/music theatre but for standard concerts as well.

There's also music education which I can rant for England about >.< The only chance of a real music education is if you can afford private tuition- that doesn't just apply to Classical music education but to all instruments/styles.

I suppose it's easier to be a writer without a music education than it is a performer because you don't need to read music and understand the technicalities in order to write it? In fact I find my music education hinders my writing because the temptation to try and be clever ruins the overall sound of the piece? (Maybe Classical composers as a whole suffer from that a little bit too)
glenn

Posted: 28 Feb 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@stewiestrapon

Yea, I think we're on the sane page :)

It's interesting what you say about educational hindrance, bit of a tricky one - but I suppose if you're aware of it you can always revisit parts you're not happy with :)
Skinny

Posted: 01 Mar 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@glenn and @stewiestrapon I have scanned through the most recent comments, please forgive me for not reading into to much detail. I picked up on 'On the pretense of opera; I blame capitalism. A properly regulated market (via subsidy) make the arts more financially accessible'

Opera companies and the venues they use are funded by arts council money as not for profit organisations, unless you are chasing a contemporary company. Take Welsh National Opera, its a main stream company touring big operatic productions. The venues they use are mostly owned by local councils supported by local tax money.

The Welsh National Opera claims something like £10 million of our tax to subsidies these shows, many other companies like Northern Ballet and Orchestras do the same.

The capitalists involved here would the musicians, singers, directors, stage hands, logistics, venue staff etc. I don't think Opera Companies are in a position to cut these costs or to launder big bucks. Unfortunately its by the nature of these companies that makes them so inaccessible.

A cheep ticket to watch a WNO show will set you back about £50, in some venues they may have cheeper tickets for about £10, when I worked for a Theatre we only had about 8 tickets at the £10 price in a 1400 seater venue, the majority were at a top rate.

Unfortunately live entertainment is an expensive product. It has been said that if all you want to do is make money, avoid the arts!

Now, if as an adult you want to experience Opera, ballet or an orchestra without paying the high cost there are plenty of very good fringe companies made up of professionally trained artists enticing an audience in on £10-£15 tickets. They can do this because everyone, including the person behind the bar, will be volunteering.

There was also some mention of society not buying into classical music, please forgive me once again I cant find what was said.. anyway, my experience with friends, and on here, is that a lot more people then you may expect enjoy this music, its just not the kind of music you would expect to hear in a shop, bar, night club or play in your house to warm up to a night out with mates. For many, and I'm only presuming, classical music reserves itself for more personal time, chilling out time for example.

In that respect the way we listen consume this music has simply changed compared to 150 years ago. But I do not think that this means the music isn't being accessed, at a stretch I'd probably say classical music has never been so accessible due to the way people now consume music.

Sorry, that was a long one.. you know me by now
stewiestrapon

Posted: 01 Mar 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@Skinny don't worry I have a long response ;)

You’re highlighting another fine example of how money always seems to be available for the elite. The amount of Classical singers that will ever sing at the Welsh National Opera for £50 a ticket are the same as the amount of bands that will ever sell tour tickets for that much.

I don’t know about opera to be honest, so let’s talk about being a pianist which I know very well.

To be a pianist who can sell £50 a ticket… You need parents who notice your aptitude at a very young age and who can afford to send you to a specialist music school or a junior conservatoire. The pianists whose parents can afford to send them to those places then receive substantial scholarships to study at undergraduate level at conservatoires. Scholarships are awarded based on talent so obviously those who can afford specialist training (ironically being least in *need* of a scholarship) are those who get them. After that it’s basically an X factor deal where you need to go and win a big competition that judges who can give the best cover version of pieces they choose for you.

Which leads nicely onto “a lot more people then you may expect enjoy this music, its just not the kind of music you would expect to hear in a shop, bar, night club or play in your house to warm up to a night out with mates”

Why are only certain pieces played in piano competitions? Why are only certain songs sung on X factor? Why isn’t classical music “expected” in a bar? It’s a massive case of conditioning us as a society to only “expect” certain types of music. The reason people only talk about Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata when the man wrote 31 other piano sonatas is no different to people “expecting” to hear certain things when they go into a shop or a bar, is no different to certain people having tons of music awards when other have none, is no different to one band giving world tours when another plays at an open mic night.

Music genres and musical tastes and the music industry and social conditioning is far more fluid than most people realise.
glenn

Posted: 05 Mar 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@stewiestrapon
I like his 9th too >.< But I only know it's that number because of 'a clockwork orange' (which is awesome)

@skinny
The point you make about cheaper options is interesting - I imagine it is fairly location dependent however.

@both
As for everything else... So much text >.< lol

stewiestrapon

Posted: 06 Mar 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@glenn I don't know all of his sonatas and I wasn't making a dig at Moonlight fans >.<

I have a soft spot for Number 23 because I played it for my final recital at uni (if you look it up you will definitely know it it's a famous one) . I suppose as piano music goes I only tend to pay attention to stuff I want to play?
glenn

Posted: 07 Mar 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@stewiestrapon
Moonlight fans > Twilight fans ;p
stewiestrapon

Posted: 07 Mar 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@glenn I once overheard a couple of students complaining about having to read Dracula for coursework and that if they wanted a vampire story, they'd reread Twilight...
glenn

Posted: 10 Mar 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
If they were English students they should definitely fail. Her writing is absolutely awful! I was foolish enough to give the book the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe it's a classic case of the film being a poor imitation of the book... I WAS WRONG! My biggest mistake was falling for the 3 for 2 offer... While I forced myself to finish the first book, there's no way I'm putting myself through that again
glenn

Posted: 12 Mar 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@stewiestrapon - today I was in a fairly intolerant state of mind musically as I flicked through the radio stations. Thinking that Classic FM would solve my problem, i was greeted by what sounded like church music... the journey thereafter was a quiet one lol
stewiestrapon

Posted: 12 Mar 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
@glenn As a kid I used to sing in the choir- not a fan of religious music these days though. One of the composers said that music is the silence between notes. Think it might have been Debussy but don't quote me on that... Nothing wrong with quiet!

Also on the side note I flicked through Twilight once and it read like a GCSE creative writing piece. They were on 3 for 2 for a reason :P
glenn

Posted: 13 Mar 2015
Re: Thoughts on classical music?
I sang in a choir briefly myself as a kid too. The problem was whenever I we were meant to perform in church, I would spontaneously combust upon entry of the church grounds. Very weird, i never did get to the bottom of that
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