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Robert Berger

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Myths about classical music . Misconceptions about classical music are common in society .

Misconceptions about classical music are common in society , and they have misled many people into thinking that they should not listen to it or attend concerts and opera .
Among these canards are the notion that classical music is "stuffy, boring and elitist ". But if this kind of music is "boring", why do audiences cheer and yell "bravo" so often , anb why is there a passionately enthusiastic audience for it all over the world ?
And the temr "elitist" implies that orchestras and opera companies are trying to exclude anyone who is not white and rich . In reality , they very much want to reach out to people of all ages and ethnicities and to welcome them with open arms .
In opera , many people who know little or nothing about this magnificent centuries old art form have a stereotypical image in their heads of fat singers in ridiculous pseudo Viking costrumes shouting to each other while rich, bored people who are there on;ly fo rsocial reasons and to show off their finery sit bored ot tears in their boxes .
In reality , opera lovers are as passionately devoted to opera as sports fans are to sports .
Another misconception is that classical music cannot be "relevant" because it consists entirely of musty old music from long ago. In fact, it is a continuum of music going back centuries to the present day . How can we debunk myths aout classical music and increase the audience for it in America ?

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  • Oct 11 2012: I don't really know how one can draw a line and say that "this is classical music and that is not". There are plenty of excellent (and living) musicians and composers whose music is clearly the continuation of classical themes. Everything from George Winston's piano solos to John William's grand themes. And really, isn't "Rent" an opera? Calling it a "Musical" is pure marketing. Besides, who would go see "Phantom of the Musical?"

    I count it a blessing that I live in a time when so much good music is easily available. Some was written centuries ago, some last week.

    Best wishes,
    Doug

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