Classical Music Dying?

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Antimatter Spork » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:24 pm UTC

ChocloManx wrote:Also Boulez is alive and well.

Is he? I guess I should look things up more.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby just john » Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:57 pm UTC

Just the other day, I listened to sort of a demo version of Charles Graef's First Symphony. By "demo," I mean he hasn't gotten an actual orchestra to play it yet, so this was done via computer.

But it's a genuine symphony, intended for performance by a genuine orchestra, and it has some new stuff to say. Be on the lookout for its premiere performance, if it ever happens!

And then there's my LiveJournal cohort, Thomas Dempster, who composes for the standard set of classical instruments, as well as electronic stuff.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Alder » Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:17 pm UTC

I sincerely hope it's not dying, as it's my bread and butter as a piano teacher! On that subject, I have more pupils now than ever before, almost all kids between 6 and 16, so the younger generation is hardly giving up on classical...
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Adalwolf » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:11 am UTC

Nah, its not dying.

I love me some classical!

I enjoy Borodin, Wagner, Smetna, Tchaivsky (misspelled, i know), and Dvorak a whoooooooole bunch. I like alot of other composers, but these are my favorite.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby mickyj300x » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:14 pm UTC

It's not dying at all.
In Dunedin (New Zealand) there is tons of advertising (and subsequent turnouts) whenever any of the numerous New Zealand Orchestras turn out a concert.
Also, I've noticed that quite a lot of concert pianists have been delving into more obscure composers, such as Alkan, Godowsky, Medtner etc.

As for my favourite composers, It would have to be Alkan, Prokofiev, Bartok, Liszt, and Tchaikovsky.
Has anyone here heard of Alkan, perchance?

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby liuzerus87 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:16 pm UTC

One troubling thing I've noticed in classical music is that most of the stars aren't well known to the public. In the 1930's, Toscanini was a real star, not just in classical circles. Cliburn got a ticker tape parade 1960-ish for winning the Tchaikovsky Competition. Nowadays, pretty much the only classical stars well known to the general public are people who have gone into crossover music, a la Yo-Yo Ma. At least in the US, I bet the average person doesn't know who Simon Rattle, Hilary Hahn, or the Emerson String Quartet are.

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Sto Helit » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:10 am UTC

I've always loved the classics. Give me the Carnival of the Animals any day! I love the Aquarium. Don't you?
Does Phillip Glass count as classical? I've always loved Glassworks: Opening.
I think the problem is that many people just aren't willing to sit down and appreciate the music for what it is - fine art. There are a few who do, but most people will only hear it. they'll say, 'oh, yeah. Classical.' and that will be all they'll ever think about it. maybe they'll think its pretty, but they will not truly listen.
Classical music lovers are a dying out. I know three, and I know a great many people.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby cArebEarStare » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:14 am UTC

Obviously, many of you have been misinformed.

I'll clear everybody up on this, just so there's no more confusion.

Mozart>Beethoven>Bach>Prokofiev>Danny Elfman

I myself have a bent for the Russian composers of the turn of the century. They had a marvelous talent in creating a heavy and powerful sound by using the upper range of the high strings and winds with the mid to lower range of the lower strings and brass. Prokofiev's suite for Romeo and Juliet being a perfect example, especially the piece "Montagues and Capulets".

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Julien » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:49 am UTC

Classical music didn't die. It's on a desert island with Elvis.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Antimatter Spork » Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:06 am UTC

Classical music didn't die. It came back from its vacation to Vienna one year with a totally new look and now all its old friends won't talk to it.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby achan1058 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:42 pm UTC

Well, they are making more and more Mahler cycles every moment that we speak, so I would say it isn't dying for sure. Sure the composing aspect of it has changed a bit (like some composers going off to write music for films and video games), but it certainly is not dying. (But there are still some 20th century stuff that I and other people like, like Bernstein's West Side Story or Shostakovich symphonies.)

cArebEarStare wrote:Mozart>Beethoven>Bach>Prokofiev>Danny Elfman
I disagree. Most of Mozart's music is too beautiful/trite, and lacks colour/depth, enough that I might consider putting composers like Rachmaninoff above him. (which means that Bach and Beethoven is definitely above him)

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby infallibleone » Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:40 am UTC

In terms of the composition and performance of new classical music, I really don't know.
But otherwise, an affirmative NO.
As long as the music is being played by amateurs, strictly for enjoyment, the music will never die.
I'm personally a rather bad violinist, but am lucky enough to play in an orchestra dominated by an incredibly passionate conductor and
a full-on cello virtuoso. This year has been amazingly rewarding, between playing the overture from Die Zauberflöte near the begining
of the year to currently working on the Coriolan overture...
Sure, we do sound rather bad, but everyone enjoys playing, and respects the music.

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Antimatter Spork » Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:49 pm UTC

infallibleone wrote:In terms of the composition and performance of new classical music, I really don't know.
But otherwise, an affirmative NO.
As long as the music is being played by amateurs, strictly for enjoyment, the music will never die.
I'm personally a rather bad violinist, but am lucky enough to play in an orchestra dominated by an incredibly passionate conductor and
a full-on cello virtuoso. This year has been amazingly rewarding, between playing the overture from Die Zauberflöte near the begining
of the year to currently working on the Coriolan overture...
Sure, we do sound rather bad, but everyone enjoys playing, and respects the music.

This is exactly it. When an artist who has been dead for 200 years is considered (by many) to be the apex of your art, it is dead.

There is an argument that the music still lives, but Beethoven wasn't composing under the overbearing shadow of Josquin or Palestrina (not in the same way that modern composers deal with Beethoven).

Today the repertoire is made up primarily of the "great masters", most of whom have been dead for over a hundred years. (though there is a considerable body of more recent music). In the time that these "great masters" were actually living, the repertoire was new, made up of the music of contemporary composers (as has been the case up until recently).

This change is what makes "classical" music "dead".

Of course the situation is far to nuanced to sum up in "classical music is dead!" "No it's not!" type arguments. My position is that it is not dead, but it is not recognizable as the same thing it was fifty years ago, and will be very different after the recording industry finishes its long slow death.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby infallibleone » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:13 pm UTC

Antimatter Spork wrote:This is exactly it. When an artist who has been dead for 200 years is considered (by many) to be the apex of your art, it is dead.

Why? By those standards, so very many fields are "dead". Any subject in which the cutting edge isn't given an equal or greater amount of publicity/praise/recognition as the established giants of the field is therefore dead.
Plus, the composer isn't the only one responsible for the production of great music.

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby achan1058 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:38 pm UTC

Antimatter Spork wrote:This is exactly it. When an artist who has been dead for 200 years is considered (by many) to be the apex of your art, it is dead.
Mahler is dead for less than 100, Debussy less than 90, Rachmaninoff less than 60, Strauss 50, Shostakovich less than 30, and Bernstein less than 20. Granted, the last 2 is not as famous as the first few, but then Beethoven and Mozart weren't considered as immortals back then, and certainly not "great masters". You should have heard the opinions that was received for Beethoven's 3rd symphony. (though it was nothing like the opinions of Mahler's ANY symphony) 1 of the Beatles is dead before Bernstein.

Clearly, someone is not into the Late Romantic and the 20'th century period. Besides, (in my personal biased opinion) Mozart and Beethoven is overrated anyways (especially Mozart). Also, even if you haven't heard of these names, their music is "pirated" for uses in various films and commercials. They are also frequently performed and recorded.

As for the shadow of Beethoven, this is the reason why pop/rock singers don't dare to compose anything of that scale. It scares them now more than ever (though there are some pop/rock singers in Japan who wrote 30 minute works), so if you classify music as dead in that aspect, then all music is dead.

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby NCY.Jay » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:08 am UTC

That is utter... Well let me put it this way... Words live on, music lives on etc. You can't say the music is dead when... Oh I know. It is the equivalent of saying that English is dead because the people who created the language is dead. See?

And yes classical music is awesome. Beethoven I find is rather catchy, Mozart is all fun and happy, Tchaikovsky is beautiful, Chopin is amazing (I use it when I study cos being a pianist, it makes my writing faster XD).

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Gojoe » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:12 am UTC

mickyj300x wrote:It's not dying at all.
In Dunedin (New Zealand) there is tons of advertising (and subsequent turnouts) whenever any of the numerous New Zealand Orchestras turn out a concert.
Also, I've noticed that quite a lot of concert pianists have been delving into more obscure composers, such as Alkan, Godowsky, Medtner etc.

As for my favourite composers, It would have to be Alkan, Prokofiev, Bartok, Liszt, and Tchaikovsky.
Has anyone here heard of Alkan, perchance?
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Antimatter Spork » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:49 am UTC

achan1058 wrote:
Antimatter Spork wrote:This is exactly it. When an artist who has been dead for 200 years is considered (by many) to be the apex of your art, it is dead.
Mahler is dead for less than 100, Debussy less than 90, Rachmaninoff less than 60, Strauss 50, Shostakovich less than 30, and Bernstein less than 20. Granted, the last 2 is not as famous as the first few, but then Beethoven and Mozart weren't considered as immortals back then, and certainly not "great masters". You should have heard the opinions that was received for Beethoven's 3rd symphony. (though it was nothing like the opinions of Mahler's ANY symphony) 1 of the Beatles is dead before Bernstein.

Clearly, someone is not into the Late Romantic and the 20'th century period. Besides, (in my personal biased opinion) Mozart and Beethoven is overrated anyways (especially Mozart). Also, even if you haven't heard of these names, their music is "pirated" for uses in various films and commercials. They are also frequently performed and recorded.

As for the shadow of Beethoven, this is the reason why pop/rock singers don't dare to compose anything of that scale. It scares them now more than ever (though there are some pop/rock singers in Japan who wrote 30 minute works), so if you classify music as dead in that aspect, then all music is dead.


I think you've misunderstood me. (This may indicate I'm communicating poorly, but I do my best and this sort of thing is hard to talk about).

I love modern music and I hope to make a career out of playing/composing/advocating for it. I'm just saying that the titanic influence of Beethoven is indicative of a museum philosophy in the classical music world. We are not creating art, we are recreating museum pieces. The fact that we even have to say "classical" music implies that it is something diffrent from "actual" music, something that is of the past, of the greats. Saying "classical" implies a lot of imagery in the mind of a member of modern western civilization, and none of that implies a living breathing art form. Even the new trends in the field (such as the authentic performance practice movement, which I dearly love and support) are based on providing a more accurate recreation of the original performances of these works, which are all masterpieces from the distant past. When was the last time you heard an orchestra perform a piece written in the year you heard it? When was the last time you saw a major symphony perform a season playing only the works of living composers? In the time of Beethoven or Mozart (or even later composers like Stravinsky, to a lesser extent) these things were routine. Now they are all but unheard of.

This is why I say that classical music is, in a certain sense, dead. We are making quite the mummy of its corpse, though, and I think that's certainly worthwhile.

However, in another sense, it is alive in the truest possible way, which is that it is changing to the point where it is not recognizable as the thing it was one hundred years ago. However, as Hindemith said, there is a certain danger in the trends of academic music. We lose sight of the things that made music what it is. When the composer disregards the audience to the extent of, say, Babbitt, something is lost. In another way, music becomes a dead art form, playing only to the increasingly isolated academics who spend years simply learning how to listen to it (full disclosure: I am one of these academics).

I think overall that classical music is not dead in the sense that most people think of when they read this thread's title. I think that what is dying is the recording industry boom, which supported many orchestras and artists in a way that was not possible before and will not be possible in the future. Change is the essence of music, and I think that the world in which music exists is changing. It remains to be seen if the new form will be sustainable, or even worth sustaining. Musics have died out in the past (e.g. pretty much everything in western civilization pre-Rome, and almost everything except church music from the Roman times).
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby airplanespaceship3 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:45 pm UTC

Antimatter Spork wrote:When was the last time you heard an orchestra perform a piece written in the year you heard it? When was the last time you saw a major symphony perform a season playing only the works of living composers?


Along these lines, I think what makes classical music dying (if not dead) is the fact that the new stuff either tends to be too much like the old stuff, or it is done in such a manner that it doesn't really *speak* to the audience. I personally believe that it's up to modern (non-classical) genres to carry on the torch of producing sophisticated, affective music, in the way the classical tradition once did. Or something like that.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby EKeric13 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:54 am UTC

The thing is, people already have their Mozart.
We already have our Beethoven.
We do not need anymore of that stuff. There is classical music, but it is all very, very experimental. Just some really weird stuff that you would not think of.
So yes, classical music is living, it is just not repeating itself. After 100 years of playing baroque it is expected that most of it is probably perfected and it is time to move onto something new.

Like what some people do now is that they have you memorize your part, and you play it when the light on your stand lights up. When it turns off you stop. So the conductor might turn on different lights at one time and turn them off at another. Even the style of conducting has changed now.

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby miles01110 » Fri May 08, 2009 11:42 pm UTC

achan1058 wrote:You should have heard the opinions that was received for Beethoven's 3rd symphony. (though it was nothing like the opinions of Mahler's ANY symphony) 1 of the Beatles is dead before Bernstein.


The best reviews are of Tchaikovsky's works- particularly the first piano concerto and the violin concerto. Brutal. As for the Eroica, most of the criticism came from the fact that nothing like it had ever been composed to compare it to. It was so far outside the established form that it was virtually assured that the critics were going to go ballistic. It was soon recognized for its brilliance though.

Clearly, someone is not into the Late Romantic and the 20'th century period. Besides, (in my personal biased opinion) Mozart and Beethoven is overrated anyways (especially Mozart). Also, even if you haven't heard of these names, their music is "pirated" for uses in various films and commercials. They are also frequently performed and recorded.


Just because a piece is popularized doesn't mean it loses its meaning. However, some works are popularized that are just pieces of junk from anything other than a "feel good" perspective (like the 1812 Overture).

And, the argument that hearkening back to Beethoven means that classical music is "dead" doesn't make any sense to me. Sure it can change form, but that doesn't mean the genre has changed definition (even though definition is always an unwinnable argument for any side). Physics isn't dead just because we still study Newton or Einstein...

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Jackpot » Tue May 12, 2009 2:41 am UTC

Is the sky falling on our heads?

Discuss.

Short answer : No.

Medium answer : No, and go fuck yourself, you panicky fucker.

Long answer :

Everything, within its history goes through change. Alarmists will call this "ITS DEATH!" It's as much a death as when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. Sure, it's not a caterpillar anymore, but it's still alive, and it just looks slightly different.

Most movie scores are classical music. Neo-classical shred is on the rise. Classical music is still taught and played in many conservatories all over the world. Musical grading systems are based on classical music.


My question/discuss for you is : where the fuck did you get this idea, and why are you so anxious?
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby Masily box » Wed May 13, 2009 6:29 am UTC

Jackpot wrote:Most movie scores are classical music.


ew ew ew: NO

(sorry, I realize that's not productive. slightly longer version: many movie scores may use instruments and styles derived from classical music, but they aspire toward entirely different goals. it's like saying "most text messages are literature" because both use the written word.)

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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby diotimajsh » Wed May 13, 2009 5:59 pm UTC

EKeric13 wrote:There is classical music, but it is all very, very experimental. Just some really weird stuff that you would not think of.
Um, no. It's true that the 'weird stuff' probably predominates in the modern "classical tradition", but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of tonal or more "normal" music being written today too. Arvo Part, for example? John Tavener, Steven Reich, Aaron Copland, Philip Glass, Henryk Gorecki, Leonard Bernstein, and everyone's darling Carl Orff.


edit: Who the heck calls him "Steven" Reich? Certainly not me, no, that would be weird.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby bbq » Wed May 13, 2009 7:35 pm UTC

Hey, I'm still writing classical music. Of course it isn't dead.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby ChocloManx » Wed May 13, 2009 9:46 pm UTC

Jackpot wrote:
Neo-classical shred is on the rise.


Hahaha, ha.

You can't be serious.
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Re: Classical Music Dying?

Postby lu6cifer » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:34 pm UTC

I think we should all look at the bigger picture here:

Sure, it's possible that classical music may be dying, but it's had a lifetime of at least 100-300 years or so (depending on the period). And what's more, orchestras/solo performers are still performing the music, the music is being used as soundtracks, and some melodies (ie, Beethoven's 5th and 9th) have been imprinted upon most of the population.
It's obvious that classical music is much more pure than rock/pop/rap/hip-hop, etc..., even though the latter may be more popular now.

But, in fifty years, in a century, is anyone even going to remember those 'pop' bands? Most likely, they'll be forgotten, because popular music is produced 'for-the-moment'. Mostly what happens today is, people listen to some catchy tune, then that band becomes popular for a while, maybe a couple of years, then they die out, or produce some new album that only a few select fanatics will care about. This is because their music has no merit. However, composers such as Rachmaninov, Liszt, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc, are remembered after 100 or even 200 years! That alone is a sign that their music is ageless.

Also, take the classic rock genre: Though I wasn't around during the 60s and 70s, I imagine bands like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, etc, were much more popular back then, because many people today listen hip-hop, generic pop, and some of the pre-adolescent crowd listen to even worse smut such as the Jonas Brothers, or Hannah Montana. I think classic rock is sort of undergoing the same process as classical music. Most of the classic rock crowd are probably adults who were in their teens, twenties, and thirties during the 60s and 70s, and the genre will probably grow more unpopular, because of all the different things that people are listening to today.

So, even relatively good popular music, such as classic rock will die out eventually, and as for the pop/hip-hop bands of today, I predict that nobody will listen to them in ten or twenty years. However, classical music will probably live on for a very long time, because it's sort of become part of our 'collective unconscious'. When we hear "Thus Spake Zarathustra", we think "Epic scene coming up!"; when we hear "Adagio for Strings", we think "Get ready for a tearjerker!" With the advent of popular music, classical music is undergoing a ritardando, but I don't think it'll ever die out completely. Various popular bands will be in the spotlight, but those will disappear into the oblivion while classical music sort of stagnates in the background, reaching a sotto voce, but perhaps meeting a crescendo in the future (sorry for the musical metaphors). The point is, while classical music may be dying, at least it's not perpetually dying like today's popular music.
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