Steven Truong


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Why is it that classical music is now ignored by the majority of society?

Sure, classical music still exists and is still evolving with new compositions. However, this perennial genre of music has been evidently on the decline with the rise of other types of music that is unfortunately promoted over classical music. I understand that with new generations come new tastes due to media and pop culture, but classical music has been preserved prominently from the Baroque period (1600s) well into the Contemporary and Late Romantic era (late 1800s- 1970s ish). I feel as though classical music should be integrated into education (it is in orchestra, choir, band etc) as a core subject as art is necessary along with athletics to foster a well balanced student. Unfortunately, this antiquated music is left behind and I am afraid that it will one day vanish as the number of composers are dwindling. What are your thoughts on this?

  • Aug 2 2013: Classical music has NEVER been popular. Just because a piece has strings and woodwinds and is 100 years old does not make it classical. The pop music from the 19th century has been forgotten. The pop music from the 20th century hasn't yet, because the people who listened to it are still alive.

    That being said, I think what you are talking about has to do with the rise of the working class. Less educated people with less sophisticated tastes have more power in society at large, and greater power to influence culture. 200 years ago the upper class set the standards for artistic taste. We now live in a society where the lower classes (and youth especially) make these determinations.
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      Aug 3 2013: I read your comment and I thought someone opened a window because I felt a breath of fresh air.
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    Jul 22 2013: Mostly the lost interest in classical music has to do with women. Specifically younger women. I do not mean this in a sexist point of view either. I'm just saying that us younger guys are trying to meet these attractive women and if you pull up in your car bumping classical music the women will laugh at you. Also, have you seen the way women dance at clubs? Women run shit, and there will be no classical music at dance clubs lmao! So the trend goes on and music will be faded into history. I love classical in the car though, always will. Thanks for the question
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      Jul 24 2013: "Dude !" You are like totally dating the wrong girls. I've met some of the smokinest chicks at the library. Try going to the opera someday, all those slinky dresses, yazzooo dude. More cleavage than a cheer leader convention, and only mildly buzzed on cabernet instead of Jaegermeister shots. Believe it or not, I have scored at the library, and the symphony more than any drunken loud nightclub, "no joke". besides the chicks you meet there actually won't make you want to kill yourself the minute they open their mouth. Chicks with brains are sexy as hell. That's all there is to it. If you like your women loud, rowdy, drunk and passed out when you get them back to the boudoir. Keep clubbing. If you want real ecstasy, and romance with a live breathing coherent "wooooooman". Dig the Symphony, or the opera. I'm telling you man. Listen to me. prepare for a wild ride. My advice, Go for the cello players, they rock. Just keep this quiet I don't want you amateurs stealing my secrets : )
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        Jul 24 2013: Your secret is out Peter!!!
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          Jul 24 2013: I have so many secrets. Which one are we talking about. I swear I didn't have anything to do with it.
          I was home at the time watching TED talks : ) "You'll never pin this one on me copa!"

          I hope I haven't offended to many people. I was just getting started.

          Please excuse me if I,ve said anything that upset you. It's only partly a joke. There are a lot of hot chicks at the opera. I was just trying to help the poor suffering kid. Laugh with me mary. I mean no harm, and i'm really not that bad hahahaha." I'm harmless as a butterfly.
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        Jul 25 2013: I thought your reply, as well as Juan's were all in good fun.

        You haven't offended anyone Peter, at least I hope not.

        Not everyone understand humorous comments.......but I think I do. :)

        And look at this nickel knowledge I found online:

        "Butterflies may cause generalized pruriginous skin lesions of an urticarial or oedematous type (Quincke's oedema), sometimes accompanied by conjunctivitis. This is the more scientific way of saying butterflies may give you a rash. It's not life threatening, but it would be painful and unpleasant to experience."

        Hexapodas are not as harmless as I thought.......I have just undergone a paradigm shift in my view of butterflies. :)
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          Jul 25 2013: (Quincke's oedema) ??? Holly frijoles, that doesn't sound good at all! Now i'm afraid to go out of the house. I thought I looked up weird stuff, oh man. Now when your in your garden you'll be all paranoid, poison butterflies, next it will be (lachanophobia)that's fear of vegetables: (
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        Jul 25 2013: oooooh.....beware of the big tomatoe.....LOL

        Have a great day Peter!!!
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      Jul 31 2013: "I'm just saying that us younger guys are trying to meet these attractive women and if you pull up in your car bumping classical music the women will laugh at you. "

      However, if you take a woman to a "fine" Restaurant and they're booming techno or Justin B, she might rethink your judgement in restaurants...and her taste in dates.
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    Aug 3 2013: I'm sorry, but surely you must realize that the proper way (the unbiased way) to ask this question is to say: "Is classical music now ignored by the majority of society?" Because unless you've spoken with the majority of society, you don't know that it is. Anyone coming across your conversation has to assume that classical music is ignored by the majority of society before they can narrow themselves into the confines of your question. That's my thought on this.
    • Aug 10 2013: Yeah, it sure is a common mistake we all make from time to time.

      This kind of common error happens to be quite general.
      We'd never find out unless someone with keen obsevation corrects it for us.
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        Aug 11 2013: Your reply almost makes it sound like you are, in part, suggesting I was being a keen observer. No one has ever suggested I'm keen in any way, and either way one would be mistaken.

        Nor do I think it is about being a keen observer, which would take too time and talent, but about getting into the habit of checking the premises of all questions and un-asking the question if necessary. What does the question presuppose? What does it assume?

        For someone like me, who has trouble answering a lot of questions, this is a habit I happily formed.
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    Jul 23 2013: (Ok, brace yourself, major generalization coming :D)

    Look at current music scene, you have people like Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj... these people are current 'Kings and Queens' of this industry. These folks are talentless and clueless but they are given praise and a LOT of money by industry controllers. I think as each generation passes we Human Beings are becoming dumber and tasteless-
    "Why is it that classical music is now ignored by the majority of society?"
    Because majority of society is stupid.
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      Jul 25 2013: Do you know how many people HATE JB, lil W, gaga and nicki??? Everyone know they are shit but just because of some reasons their music is widely spread so they are at the top now.

      JB is primarily because he is a talented kid but now is a major douche and its only young teen girls that like him.
      Lil Wayne is famous because he is a douche too.
      gaga is famous because she is unique and weird.
      nicki is just BS.

      Its crazy how mainstream music is shit. Everyone is suddently soo stupid.
  • Aug 16 2013: To realize why classical music is being replaced by the more urban genres we have to first realize what intrigued or rather attracted people to classical music in the first place. It is known that music relates to life and life to music, so you'd obviously like the mode of music that you can (or you think you can) relate to. But then what happens is commercialization... music was never about a string of symmetrical melodies it was much more- it was passion toil etc. etc. But nowadays passion, toil and all such emotions of altruism and stuff don't ring a bell... It is more about outlook and style.

    And lets be fair with it.. classical music is complicated. And when it comes to the opinion of the youngsters.. It would be a rare finding to see a youngster or adolescent go to attend a classical function by their own free -will, unless bribed for the same (or even reprimanded otherwise).

    Well here's a link to what i read on The Huffington Post-
    Maybe this help. Cheers!
    • Aug 16 2013: Absolutely informative, Arijit, thanks for that article!
      I found it most poignant, that the writer said teens are sheep, and that they don't listen to classical music, because their peers don't.
      Although the majority is probably so, I simply can't imagine that ALL teens are incapable of individual thought and taste. Yesterday, I heard about a 24-year-old classical harpist, Remy van Kesteren, who just won the USA International Harp Competition. I was also happy to read this article in the Telegraph about 'Why Young People Still Care About Classical Music':
      I wonder, with the current pre-fab, artificial, pop-music culture, that young people are getting hungry for a musical counter-movement, taking them back to the roots of music - dynamics, acoustics, authenticity.
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        Aug 16 2013: "I wonder, with the current pre-fab, artificial, pop-music culture, that young people are getting hungry for a musical counter-movement, taking them back to the roots of music - dynamics, acoustics, authenticity. "

        Let's hope in some ways it does ya doin?

        Your comment brought to mind one of your very first TED convo's...remember?

        Although I, like many on here, enjoy classical music, the pop culture goes for what's in style....and what's in style, is a reflection of society as a whole.......what I notice is that as we get older we appreciate the finer things in life.............i.e "classical music". Of course, this is just my opinion, and my observations from my community.

        Other fine things in, friendships, wine, quiet time LOL

        Yesterday I heard an NPR show on why beer is slowly decreasing in it's popularity in America.
        The person being interviewed mentioned that as Americans get older, they go for the "fine" things in being one of them. And what goes better with classical music, than a nice glass of wine?

        Oh, and a bubble bath..... (15 dec.)
        • Aug 16 2013: Doin' great, Mary! (Kids just started school, daughter just turned 7, husband has a rotary cuff tear... busy busy busy!)
          Indeed, that conversation seems so long ago now - did you ever get an answer to your letter?

          What classical music needs, is to get 'back in style'. It seems to me to be associated with stuffy tweed-jacket-with-corduroy-elbow-pads-wearing intellectuals or high-society, when there is nothing stuffy about it! According to this, Classical music can be sexy!

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        Aug 16 2013: YUP....some even seem to think that classical music is only for white people.....go figure.....

        That link you provided is superb.
        Boy, it would have been nice to sit in THAT audience!!

        School starts on Monday here.....we are all ready to go.....spent the week buying school supplies.

        Oh, and that reminds me, there is a teacher I know who plays classical music to the kids who have to stay after school in detention (elementary kids)......I don't know what to make of that.......I've never asked him if he does it to give the kids culture, or to torture them......I've always given him the benefit of the doubt.

        Classical music is really beautiful......I hope anyone reading through this conversation will be inspired to listen more to it.
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    Aug 1 2013: I think buy-in-large people often look at music as a way to express themselves. That's why music is an identity of a generation, so when the new generation come, they will try to separate with the old, set in motion the "any where but here" notion. That means the music quality is the least of what matter.
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      Aug 3 2013: Might your cousin be the Cheshire cat?
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        Aug 3 2013: May be...Is it also a cat, then it is my cousin :)))))))
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          Aug 3 2013: oqu3hneroij;'GL/KASDFGL;KJN;ADFGoanl;dsfgn
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          Aug 3 2013: My cat, Odin, just wrote that to test you. We both want to know if what you are saying is true.... a Jellicle cat should understand that....
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        Aug 3 2013: :)))) I'm sorry :)) I saw him around, but I didn't know his name :)))
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          Aug 3 2013: Jellicle is the third name that all cats have that only cats know...
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        Aug 3 2013: And I'm also obsess about cats, just not as quite powerful as you are :)))))))))))
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          Aug 3 2013: It's based on a book of poems by T.S. Eliot that someone decided to turn into a musical rater than create something entirely new...
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        Aug 3 2013: are you upsetting because I don't recognize Cheshire? ;)))) we cat lover can be unusual from time to time, :))) I like it.
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          Aug 3 2013: Cheshire!?!?! Really, the cat from Alice and the Adventures in Wonderland?
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          Aug 3 2013: My cat's name is Odin, do you recognize that? My dogs names' are Buster and Marven but I didn't name either of them so I don't know where their names come from or what they mean.
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        Aug 3 2013: Great! but how is that explain the unpopularity of classical music among the world population, I mean it isn't quite as popular as pop music.
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          Aug 3 2013: Give me one statistic that proves that definitively.
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        Aug 3 2013: I am a cat soul that trap in human form, nurture by human so human is all I know. But I am a cat nonetheless. :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
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          Aug 3 2013: I literally just discovered it only lets me thumbs-up a comment once.
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        Aug 3 2013: If you focus you can see the distinctive mood from each famous song in this example changing over a period of time. You can see the circle that some time repeat as confident -> naive -> misterious -> and so on....which the point is the evolution of girl choosing their identity to differentiate themselves from the earlier generation, to create variety in order to prove they are a worthy mate, the later generation seem to be more interesting compare to the old ones until the circle start again.
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        Aug 3 2013: People listen to music because they enjoy it, some time, it is because your friend is also listen to it, it's how people socialize. And in order to socialize efficiently, they have to create a unique identity to prove their uniqueness. Simply put, a rapper won't listen to classical music, and classical-er won't do the reverse thing. Some time it's not about the quality of the music.
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        Aug 3 2013: What i mean is, it's great to be wise and able to understand the greatness of classical music, but showing that you do not having the same interest with your class mate, it decrease the chance of you making any friend at all for being boring and accused of being a old class woman.
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        Aug 3 2013: I MEAN SOME PEOPLE LOVE HARD CORE RAP MUSIC!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT!!! AND RAP MUSIC IS .....STUPID!!!!! and not having realize the greatness of classical music is just making rap all that much better than any thing else!!! And they won't know it until they try it, and I won't likely to listen to most of the rap music any time soon. For being a classical music lover, wouldn't you agree that make you feel more intellectual just to doing the simple task of listen to a recorded piece of music?
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        Aug 3 2013: History of Western Music in 16 Genres, each and every has its own uniqueness, see the point I am trying to make here?
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    Jul 31 2013: Hi Steven.

    I think this may be helpful to your topic:
    (Listen especially from about 4:20 - 6:30 min)
    .......a lot to do with media overload
  • Jul 26 2013: Steven, you should read the book This Is Your Brain on Music. It does a fair job of explaining why most people don't like classical. The gist of it is that classical music is very complex, and most people don't like things (music, movies, books, whatever) that are either too complex or too simplistic. Children have a hard time appreciating classical music because their brains are not equipped to deal with its complexity. Conversely music that is made for children tends to annoy adults because it's too simple.

    Note that just because I'm conceding that classical music is more complex doesn't mean I think it's superior. I think if you choose your music based on its technical merit, you're entirely missing the point. Music should be about feeling. I'm not a classical fan myself.
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      Aug 3 2013: Ever read "Musicophilia" (sp?) by Oliver Sacks? He has a TED talk I haven't seen yet, but it's not on that, I don't think. Still, I've read most of his books and that one is pretty insightful.
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      Aug 3 2013: Lee It's a well documented fact that babies do like certain classical compositions. It has been discovered that the music that approximates the heartbeat of babies soothes them. something to do with the sound of their mother's heartbeat while baby was in the womb. Also if a youngster is exposed to classical music from the womb onwards they grow to appreciate it during their life.
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    Jul 21 2013: I couldn't agree more with you Steven. Classical music is one of our best tools for balance and harmony. Ben Zander's words live with me every day and I took the vow he spoke of that day when I watched his talkin 2008. Here is another gem for your collection;
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    Jul 20 2013: becasue the world is going in the hole, white trash attracts white trash, this generation dont listen to the baby boomers, its the kids problem when they grow up fo rnot listening.
    • Jul 21 2013: World going down a hole seems a little bit "sky is falling" to be honest. Okay, what's the worst case scenario if every 10-20 year old today never actively searched for classic music anytime in their life?

      Seriously, what's the worst that could happen?

      I'm intrigued what is the problem these 'kids' will have if they don't listen?

      I think you're overstating the negative consequences that will happen if classical music becomes even less popular.
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    Jul 20 2013: Well~ There are plenty of reasons why general public have ignored classical music. But more precise words is, they couldn't receive opportunities to hear and meet classical music.

    First of all, we are exposed to hear pop or another funnier programs more than encounter classical music by media. People want to see making them pleasant or sensational scenes. That's also why movie directors tends to produce their movie violent, sexual, bloody. Furthermore other genres promote their strengths by programs which use the shapes of competitions(E.g. American Got talent), dramas(E.g. american drama,'Glee'), movies, even some variety programs.
    My point is, it's really hard to find attractive points from the classical music. People are easily receive their culture from their surroundings, especially from the media. I think this is the first problem we should solve.

    And second, people include me think that classical music is only for the royal class. To be a specialist of classical music, for example the instruments of horn, cello, etc, is actually not easy to be. To achieve that high level of this classical music, they needs a lot of incidentals and because of that, tickets for a performance should be high prices. It means only people who is so called 'royal class' can go there.

    In short worlds, accessibility is the main reason why people ignore that.
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      Jul 22 2013: Your comment made me stop and think things over. I don't think it's about accessibility. That's close, though. It's about timing. It takes time to develop an appreciation. Over the course of that time you have to make effort in the form of active listening, as another commentator pointed out.

      As this commentator, meaning me, not that other commentator, pointed out, we live in a quick-fix, instant-gratification, short-attention span world. Like Abstract art or Victorian novels, whatever takes time has to compete with all the things you yourself pointed out that don't take time, or, in other words, are more accessible time-wise, meaning x amount of effort during y amount of time equals z amount of enjoyment or appreciation.

      In a physical sense, with libraries and the internet, its more accessible, historically speaking, to expose oneself to classical music. An individual isn't being raised on a farm and walking to a one room school house and doing their lessons with chalk on slate. You said, "There are plenty of reasons why (the) general public have ignored classical music" but I think the excuse that general public would give me (or at least those that don't cop to not caring for it and not wanting to care for it) is "they couldn't receive opportunities to hear and meet classical music.'
  • Jul 20 2013: My opinion is that classical music is too complex for people to play or listen to.Also there are a greater number of music genres since those earlier centuries where orchestrated music thrived.We have become accustomed to simple patterns and melodies which are more pleasing for us to hear and play.As a guitar and violin player myself,I equally enjoy all types of music.Bach is harder to play than a three chord Elvis song but each are pleasant to listen to for me.
  • Jul 19 2013: Great question. I honestly, don't konw I still go to NPR to listen to some classical music, but maybe it is because many schools no longer have a music program thus the exposure to Classical music was deleted. You are holding a guitar, find a way to bring it back in the background while playing a unique tune. You could be the change the world is looking for.
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    Jul 18 2013: It is not taught in our schools as a process through history, but as an elective by choice. So sad!!
    • Jul 21 2013: Okay, pretend I'm the head of the board of education. Make your case for why classical music should be compulsory at high schools? and merits favour over the study of pop music, jazz, hip hop, dance, art history, film history, drama and stand up comedy history
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        Jul 21 2013: The history of music is not a mandatory in educating our children is what I have stated. I have not stated that it should, until now. It is usually an elective course study. Music and the arts should/could be taught outside just the creative box. It, in my opinion, is a teaching of the soul of mankind from the classical and be bop to the hip hop. The emotion of music brought down through evolution is a highly regarded ability and a profitable career choice for a few. Rap came from one tap of a drum in it's early beginnings. One note leads to another. While rhythm can not be taught to some, the beat should still be heard. Without Tribal beats and Chopin there may not have ever been a Tupac. Creative arts should be a mandatory course of study in my opinion, or as you say, compulsory to our children today.
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        Jul 21 2013: All children deserve an education in our musical tradition, and CM is obviously a large part of that. No need to "favour" CM over other forms, but since it's so central to our music a child will have a lifetime of joy from being taught how to understand and appreciate it.
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    Jul 17 2013: The first thought that came to my mind: because they haven't watched Benjamin Zander!

    But upon further analysis:

    1. Kids view classical music as old stuff. Perhaps listening to classical is sort of like going to an art museum and not as engaging as pop music, which they can dance and sing along to.

    2. A lot of the magic from classical comes from the instrument. The feeling of striking keys or strumming isn't necessarily available to everyone. Even if you could afford one, it might not be on your list up with gas and groceries.

    3. It's sort of hard to engage in a conversation about classical music without being very knowledgeable.

    Possible conversation:
    Me: I play piano.
    Joe: Oh I play piano too!
    Me: Cool! What's your favorite piece?
    Joe: Uh it's the one that goes dun dun dun ba dum. Nocturne Opus. (hmmm) Number (idk). But I know it's by Chopin!
    Me: Way to be specific about the piece... (walks away)

    4. Many people simply haven't discovered it. Their exposure is limited to Fur Elise and the Nutcracker.

    Just some reasons. Makes me sad writing this being a enthusiast myself.
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      Jul 17 2013: I totally agree with you on how its become old simply due to limited exposure to each coming generation, its just unfortunate that such a quintessential part of culture is being left in the dust.
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    Aug 16 2013: probably for reasons similar to why the classics and other great works of fiction only take up a small sections of major books store chains....but I can understand the appeal for entertainment in the realm of fiction

    What I can't abide is this - In a B&N not long ago I counted the shelves, comparing the philosophy section to religion and new age mumbo jumbo, and the ratio was something like 1 to 12, with the pseudo-spiritual nonsense winning by a mile...I see no reason for this to change....
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      Aug 16 2013: Peter, just today we were discussing a wonderful outing to an estate that is opening it's doors to the public over the weekend for free entrance.

      Everyone who we mentioned the outing to, kind of begged off from attending.
      And we came to the conclusion that most people today want to be entertained.

      They want to sit and enjoy someone else doing the work to entertain them.....even if they have to pay.
      They do not want to walk around and learn anything from the past....they want to move forward....
      It takes effort to entertain oneself with cultural pursuits (museums, exhibits. classic works of
      literature, etc).......this is kind of sad......if you think about it.

      Let's hope that those of us who appreciate things like classical music, continue to freely share these wonderful experiences with others.
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    Aug 12 2013: Classical is so sublime that it is barely noticeable in the pace of modern society, but it is everywhere. Where ever you go you can still find a classical station on the radio. These days orchestras and symphonies get most of their work from those giant mega multi national production studios and elite intellectual happenings, so they tend to get invited to the really good parties.
  • Aug 12 2013: Because it's elite and irrelevant. When "classical" music was in its heyday, when it was beloved by all, it was the "pop music" of the time. Ordinary people came out to listen to it. Now, it's merely a rarified diversion for the elite, defined by education, wealth, or both. As such a thing, it is now irrelevant to society at large. It will continue its boutique existence, but it will never become anything more. Indeed, the word "classical" reeks of elitism. It's not for the ordinary, the peasants. Classical music is for the lovers of classical things, those who exist on such lofty planes.

    As for the number of composers "dwindling", I weep no tears for them. As academic music (a far more accurate term than "classical") has come through the decades, it has become more and more repulsive to "uneducated" ears. The response of the alleged "composers" has not been to respond to the audience but demand the audience accommodate the composers' narcissism. If you make art just for oneself, one has no right complain if nobody else likes it. Ultimately, it becomes so "personal" that it's just a form of masturbation.

    I would also argue vehemently against your dating of the Romantic Era, late or not. The Romantic Era was killed by the First World War. After that, academic music went in entirely different directions.
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      Aug 15 2013: I would consider Bryan's comment quite irreverent and without the proper understanding of music as an art.
      One of the most basic elements of classical music is the performers dexterity and outstanding dominance of the instruments.
      I really would like to see one of our "actual pop artists" doing a decent interpretation of Rachmaninoff, Bach or any other great Master!
      Classical music is of a highly ordered architecture. Far beyond the massive intellectually poor individuals. But it is also far away from the current citizen whose emotional capacity has been reduced to the extreme lack of expression found in current pop music.
      Today's compositions plainly depend on crude lyrics to express something. People is limited as to perceive the subtle and fluid moods described by intense or sublime musical passages.
      In that sense, our societies have stepped backwards.
      On thing need to be stated clearly is: It is not a "fortune" or a great attribute of our current mass society to be insensitive, intellectually and artistically poor endowed.
      Definitely speaking of "masturbation" regarding classical music is actually a mirror of the current poorly endowed minds which "masturbate" themselves listening for hours to endless monotonic noises, currently defined as "music".
      It is also an act of masturbation to write such thing to detract the sublime.
      Of course it has happened before. Great libraries were burn by the ignorant. Astonishing works of art were destroyed by crude political interests and now, it is plain ignorance who wants to destroy what definitely is beyond his limited understanding.
      • Aug 15 2013: Ah, yes, and the fact that I played in an orchestra for 7 years and sang in a chamber choir for 2 years means that I can't know anything. Yes, I am irreverent--I earned it. I saw the pretension and twaddle for what it is from the inside. Out-of-touch elitism. In this day and age, academic music generally amounts to a circle-jerk.
        • Aug 15 2013: Oh Bryan!
          That was classic!
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          Aug 15 2013: Bryan: Your response is not really connected to my comment. What is evident is you were immersed in a GROUP which might consist of not real musicians but a snob guild. That is possible.
          If we accept you are really a musician as pretended, are you positive you were a good one or maybe the ""orchestra" was not really pleased with your performance, making it a difficult atmosphere to dwell in?
          Anyway, a personal experience, which looks more like a psychological trauma, has NOTHING to do with the beauty, complexity and extreme expression found in all musical master pieces.
          I know about bad football players which speak bad of the sport, bad architects which speak bad of the Parthenon and bad painters wihch constantly detract Michael Angelo for his work!
      • Aug 15 2013: The musicians weren't the snobs. It was the non-musicians who had no real understanding of music but thought themselves to be OH, SO VERY SUPERIOR to the hoi-polloi. The elitists would have been outraged at how eclectic musicians' tastes are. Academic music has become nothing more than an echo chamber--a terrarium of music with no actual attachment to the outside world. The vigor of the Classical and Romantic eras is gone. The Modern era, with such titans as Ives and even lesser lights (but still lights, nonetheless) Cage, is winding down. All that is left is a carefully embalmed mummy of music, worshiped by a self-selecting priesthood.
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          Aug 15 2013: Oh... Well! You are now rerouting your views!
          AS I notice, the main subject from the OP is CLASSICAL music and not "academic" music, (If there is such thing), as I understand the music academy tries to develop a strong understanding of the Musical Arts, also concentrating in producing good or excellent performers.

          I would agree, sometimes, maybe many, the newbie musicians (students) will produce things, under the classical norms and schemes, which might be dull, unattractive and even boring. Agree!
          And their family and friends will exclaim with gestures of admiration, which could be understood as "snobbish" , but are actually a polarized reaction by love and enthusiasm!

          But I insist; we are not really talking of school music or "academic" music as you baptized it. The question originally was "Why (TRUE) classical music is becoming of less interest to the current society. (My own version of the question)
      • Aug 16 2013: Mike... (Let me make it clear to you that I do not bear an apathy to classical music but), but the question here is not- "What is classical music?". The whole topic is about why do masses not bear affinity for the same...

        Classical music is an art. Agreed. But it does not mean that the one who is more into popular music lacks understanding or intellect... or is uneducated. Classical music is of a highly ordered architecture... True. YUet you can't deny the fact that the composers who produce popular music do not toil hard to make something appealing to the audience... or even something that they can relate to.

        I believe that the choice of musical genres... Is just like the choice of one's own religion. We can't say which is better... and it does not matter as well... All that matters is what attracts us.
  • Aug 9 2013: Has classical music ever been popular with the general public? I happen to love classical music but look at the history. Music was supported by rich patrons and presented to large audiences of the rich with very few of the others.

    The growth of the middle class started in the late 19th century also saw the growth of other means of getting music other than live. If you look at the earlier recordings, a lot of was classical but as the cost came down. more people got devices and demanded the music they got in the music halls and vaudeville.

    I think the same percentage of people listen to classical music as before. I would argue that it is growing because of the growth of people who have heard classical music. The problem is we all listen to a lot of different musics.
    • Aug 12 2013: That distinction depends on the individual society. England and English-speaking countries certainly follow this model. England never had a strong orchestral tradition. Germany and Austria, on the other hand, had an extremely vigorous orchestral tradition, each little town having its own that put on regular shows, up until they were co-opted and drained of life in the 1930s by the German government.
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    Aug 6 2013: It's a matter of money, and profit. Also has I red above, a matter of sex appeal.
    Classic music does not appear in sexy and explicit behaviours. It's also a racial issue. Brands use music to communicate with the masses. The masses are less independent in tastes, and more influenced. Also is connected with education. With family behaviours and identity. Also the cool culture left classical music behind, and classical music is not a prime time event. Classical musical does not apply to the Super Bawl. We are dealing with a world crisis. It's global and transversal.
    • Aug 12 2013: Your language proves my point about elitism and "classical" music.
    • Aug 16 2013: I agree, Patricia, that all these things - money, commercialism, sex appeal, upbringing - play a big role in the popularity of classical music. I also think there are, like Bryan says, some 'out-there' classical composers who are stretching the boundaries of music in order to create something new out of a genre that is fine the way it is, ala: 'Don't fix it if it ain't broken'.
      Sadly, classical music, as well as just about any other non-mainstream genre, has it hard these days. When is the last time you heard about an awesome new jazz fusion combo? Music has been lowered to a level that does not intrigue its listeners. It's like you say, all about money and profit. Classical music has the ability to make people think, send chills down their spines, reminds them of those the miss, conjures up emotions they don't feel like feeling. I don't agree that it is elitist, though. Just because certain people are not aware of classical music, doesn't mean they wouldn't appreciate it if they heard it. This is indeed where upbringing comes in. Not all of us were brought up with a wide range of musical genres.

      {edit - typos!}
  • Aug 5 2013: You may be right, but I am in high school and I've loved classical music for as long as I can remember so your model might be more successful but there is a necessity to have a more in depth path for students who are fascinated by classical music at that age. Then again, I have always been an exceedingly mature child so you I applaud your reference to maturity rather than age.
  • Aug 3 2013: I agree, it's majorly lack of education. In my elementary school, mandatory instrumental education consisted of one year of instruments and in that amount of time no student can come to love an instrument well enough. Most students quit because you don't sound good when playing an instrument for only one year. Those who continue to enjoy classical music more. I play cello & piano and that experience of performing for others and myself has helped me tap into the emotion of great works of classical music. I also conjecture that the majority of people who dislike classical music haven't heard all it has to offer. They generalize it as Fur Elise and Turkish Rondo and have not delved deep enough to reveal truly magnificent pieces such as Gymnopedie and Claire De Lune. In sixth grade, my teacher made the entire class sit quietly and listen to classical music and then discuss the emotion of the piece afterward. I think this was an extremley effective way of learning about classical music because it gives instant gratification and connection to the intended and unintended consequences of the music.
    • Aug 5 2013: I agree that the level of appreciation of classical music might co-enside with the level of musical education.

      However, I also feel that the level of maturity is an important factor. Children are forced to take in certain pieces of classical music which they couldn't possibly truly comprehend at their age. Own example: I was thought to play Bach and, as a kid, found it really boring. As the years passed and my appreciation of music in general grew, I finally came to understand what a genius he was.

      I would propose that elementary music education should start with the easy, popular stuff. After mastering such music, one could realize why is classical music considered the to be amazing.
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    Aug 3 2013: You know, it was the 1960's when students in British coeds started rebelling at Oxford and elsewhere to teach modern literature, because their syllabus stopped at 1900. And yet what came after we now consider classics. I literally need not mention names to prove my point. Same with classical music. A hundred years from now.... lines blur, sheet music goes bleary, weary, teary-eyed with time....human existence on a long enough (aka prosperous and f-ing lucky enough) time scale and all will be forgotten.

    Do you even any conception Steven Truong what it must have been like for those cavemen and cavewomen to blow through hollow bones and then drill in holes and create notes that were in pitch?!?!?! How tremendous, how unfathomable, how unbelievable? In birds, yes, in their voices, yes, but now out of dead bones? This? This heavenly sweet and mysterious sound? And yet that is absolutely ignored by a 99.9% majority of culture, you classical enthusiasts included.
  • Aug 2 2013: Because music, as all art does, reflects our society and our culture. Right now, the relatively new genres of electronica and such reflect our society's overwhelming use of electronic devices. There are new methods of creating music now, where centuries ago in Europe, musicians had only strings, woodwinds, or percussion instruments available to them.

    Over centuries and millennia, it's true that many forms of music have probably disappeared. So have many forms of art. But I don't this this is something to be mourned. If anything, it's something to be celebrated. Would we want to live in a static society, one that never changes, never improves, never succeeds, never fails? No, of course not.

    Our changing styles of music reflects the dynamic nature of our culture. There is no such thing as a style of music necessary to forming a well-balanced student. There is only change.
  • Jul 31 2013: ...classical is the base of every is the time for fast and moving feets only...more to releasing pressure less going deeper into life and emotions...

    ....when this pressure and fast life will take a halt everybody move to basics....without classic no other music can exist...they are all just the offspring of infant, toddling and youth every child creates an attraction...

    With regards

    Manish Kumar Aggarwal
    The Mindfood Chef
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    Jul 30 2013: it is ignored.
    The majority of todays 'stars' know not much about music and singing. Nowadays we have technology that makes 'stars' and almost everyone can sing . So young people do not appreciate those who have a real talent.
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      Aug 3 2013: Yes, BUT....the majority of "today's stars" may not know much about classical music (or realize how they are influenced by it), but a majority of the stars does not equal the majority of people. Your comment that young people do not appreciate those who have a real talent just upset all the young people who DO appreciate real talent.

      Hey, come on, Maja, you humble bumblebee, why you gottta sting people like me that way?
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    Jul 30 2013: I think classical music is something like documentaries, or thick classic literature, or good wine, or proper charcuterie boards, or going on a portage--there needs to be proper induction into it, or else, people don't get the appeal. Then there are Teflon philistines like me :( no matter what you do.

    Despite being the guest to numerous operas in life with older friends, and having parents who play classical music often, I don't naturally gravitate towards it myself. I still don't get it. Except for the really well known compositions, maybe the musical progression has an unpredictable algorithm that doesn't stick well (?) I've really enjoyed the TED talks that have attempted to reveal the magic behind this. It is a goal in life to understand what the big deal was with Wagner.
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      Aug 3 2013: I honestly don't know how you got 100+ TED Creds and put "documentaries" in that list. I see your "BBA from York University; B.Ed from University of Toronto; M.Ed from University of Toronto" and I add a BS in classical music AND documentaries.
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        Aug 3 2013: Thanks for checking! I can see why you have 10+.
    • Aug 5 2013: There's a telling discussion of Beethoven's 5th in here someplace... it is a long docu:
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        Aug 6 2013: fabulous! thank you so much for this! am gonna watch all 6!
        • Aug 7 2013: It's classic itself in that you get new things from watching more than once (even though it's soo huge). I read the book several times ages ago, since it's been available on youtube I've only watched it twice(:). I shall view it again, but I think this time I have to break it down into smaller sections.
          Enjoy! and thanks for the reply etc :).
  • Jul 27 2013: There was a power failure yesterday, and we had to light candles, I felt like Mozart reading my music theory book.

    Simply put times change.

    I'd also add, that the demise is vastly overrated, go and watch a movie, see how much old and new classical music is in them.

    Simply put times change.
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    Jul 27 2013: I agree that music should be an integral part of every learner's experience. Classical music needs to be listened to in a context. And, for the most part, the context for classical music has weakened over the last two decades. Ironically, classical music is thriving in Asia, particularly in China. Soon, we will have to "import" talent from those countries to keep this form alive.
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    Jul 25 2013: Classical music is an important part of a musician and almost every proper musician knows classical music as it provides a base for any genre. Name any genre and it has its roots in classical music. For example, rock/metal music needs a lot classical theory as the guitar leads are essential and we need classical music for it; dubstep, trance and other dance genre's are generally created on computers using DAW's and if the artist doesn't know classical music theory, it extremely difficult to make any music. As a musician I know how important it is and as long humans make music, classical music will live in one form or the other.

    Your concern is it is not very popular right? Well, as time passes, everything evolves and the style and genre of music evolves too. The future of music depends on the choice of young people as their choices make music last. Classical music is sort of boring, no offence but when combined with the right genre its EPIC! Today young people prefer something of a fast tempo and umm, for a lack of words,exciting music. Choice of music changes and music changes its form everyday. There is nothing to do but go with the flow. Or be the one guy that keeps the music living on.

    Also, everybody has a different musical choice. It depends on one's brain and mind. Everyone has a choice and we can't change it. If people are choosing less classical, blame the genes and the times.


    Times change, music evolves, choices change,
    one day the popular music will become "classical" music in the future,
    -musical evolution-
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      Jul 27 2013: Simon, I enjoyed reading your insightful comment.

      And thanks for the quote :)
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        Jul 27 2013: Made that quote by myself out of nothing.

        Anyway, thank you for your feedback :)
  • Jul 24 2013: About 3% of the radio stations are classical according to a 2004 report. I grew up listening to rock in the 60's. It is the sound track of my life and I have many memories associated with it. So rock was popular when I was listening to it in the 60's and people such as myself are still listening today. It's a memory thing. That is one big difference between classical and pop music.
    Also classical music is more composer based then performer based. It is hard for the non professional listener to tell the difference between a Mozart Symphony performed by the Los Angeles Orchestra and the same symphony performed by another professional orchestra anywhere in the world. Lastly, classical is not new. New is exciting, at least when you are young. New is discovery, New is happening. Classical is by definition old. And the old , probably because they have purchased everything they already need, are not so important to advertisers as the young.; and as a result there are more radio stations supported by more advertisers trying to reach those young ears. All this said, there is nothing so beautiful as Chopin's Nocturnes.
    • W T

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      Jul 24 2013: This perspective is a very valuable one.
      Thank you for sharing it.
  • Jul 24 2013: I'm not sure if this has been mentioned or not - I'll admit that I only read 60% of the above comments - but I think that the lack of *lyrics* has much to do with it. For better or for worse, words "speak" to people (so to speak...).

    Perhaps it's a need for instant gratification that makes us too impatient to wait to listen to the complex musical movements in order to *feel* what the music is about, or what it's trying to convey. Maybe it's a lack of imagination in today's world where everything is visual or in-your-face, and nobody knows how to experience the lyric-less crescendos without a visual or verbal aid. Maybe it's a general lack of empathy and self-absorbtion, and we're too self-involved to sit still long enough to listen to somebody else's expression without being able to relate to it instantly ourselves. Whatever it is, though, I think it has a lot to do with the words.

    There are other factors, of course. The vast majority of musicians who play classical music are in uniform formalwear. This leaves a focus on the music, whereas we are in an age focused on the people - and without a specific personality or face to associate with the music, the music has no anchor, no draw. To a generation that embraces individualism, independence, and freedom (supposedly), they're just not interested in or moved by a large group of nameless people who all dress the same and are bound to work together.

    There's ALSO a lack of exposure - just like in any genre, there are pieces that will move me immensely, and pieces that leave me very underwhelmed.

    There's ALSO the "uncool" factor. Kids carrying violins and cellos get picked on way more often than kids carrying guitars or trumpets. Ditto for anyone listening to that music.

    There are just too many factors to consider; it's nigh impossible to blame just one. But the answer is NOT as simple as "kids these days have no taste," or "they all just prefer Bieber" - not by a long shot!!
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    Jul 24 2013: It's being ignored, because the society has been taken over by people who don't value education, period. Certainly not in the classic sense. They prefer religious indoctrination. People listen to syrupy schlock that supports their fantasy world. Learning, for the sake of learning, to become a well rounded human being, is a thing of the past. People are only interested in what gets them the next toy, video game, NL, AL, NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA, NASCAR, Dancing with the morons, or Ya wan't to marry a money grubber. Billionaires are literally writing the tax laws specifically benefiting them, and their cartel friends. The middle class, that once had a chance at better, more educated, cultured existence, are working 2 jobs if they can find them. People are being bombarded 24 hours a day with Justin Bieber, Beyonce', Gansta rap, Jonas Brothers, and commercial advertising jingles. Theres an information overload.
    The only way to revive classical music, is to get ahold of young children before commercialism, consumerism, and the peer propaganda poisons them. That's when the beauty of the music is enjoyed naturally. Leonard Bernstein understood that. That's why he had the TV series, (Concerts For Young People). History isn't taught properly, if at all, as if it had no meaning. The best way to teach history is through music, and music is best understood by familiarity with the period of the composers. Teachers use to have at least an hour a week to teach children about scales, meter, rhythm, beats, we would actually play instruments like the inexpensive plastic recorder. The hands on experience builds a relationship that lasts a lifetime. I've enjoyed all kinds of music from Japanese Sakuhachi flute to Black Sabbath, which I still enjoy, but classical is the only thing that soothes the savage beast. Until education is properly funded, and the billionaires, and fortune 500s are brought to heel to pay their fair share. Our society is headed for the toilet. Just my opinion
  • Jul 22 2013: But classical music soothes the soul; very different from modern music.
  • Jul 21 2013: The answer is probably that our current society is overwhelmingly pre-occupied with making and amassing money and material the unfortunate expense of the "arts" of all sources.
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      Jul 22 2013: I disagree. You don't need to look outside of music itself to answer the question. On a musical pie graph, with limited space representing the limited attention we can give to music as a whole, the addition of more and more genres necessitates the decrease in other 'slices' of the pie.
  • Jul 21 2013: I think that there are a couple of reasons, but I think actually the drive to preserve it is counterproductive.
    Just like languages, cultural trends are usually ever changing and cyclical. Instead of having classical music speak for itself, it is funded by institutions that try to keep the status quo. Because the orthodox interpretations are being followed so strictly, it constricts innovation and creativity.
    If no matter how hard you try, Bach or Beethoven is always best, then why would any child be excited about it? What is there to look forward to?
    I know that as a child, I would have been more excited if I knew at a classical concert, I could hear songs from movies (Like lord of the rings or star wars) than from one of these famous long dead composers.

    It is also so that classical music always used to be the music of the elite (just think of the price of an instrument). Even during classical times, the man on the street would know more folk songs than classical music. When you think like that, how can it really become popular in its classical form?

    I think classical music can definitely come back with a vengeance, but it needs to adapt and get out of its traditional orthodox elitist bubble.
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      Jul 22 2013: I have questions. Is it possible that it is funded by institutions, because it is foundational and must be returned to? Similar to the way certain books are always going to be taught.

      Or is it funded to encourage appreciation? Think of Shakespeare. He's always been the best and kids still don't take to him. Instead of it dealing with a bias towards him or Bach or Beethoven being old dead white guys, might it be they take more effort to fully appreciate, while the latest tune to the top the charts is 'readily appreciable' (I use that phrase with a wince-I imagine classical music aficionado's insisting it's incredibly hard to appreciate Bieber's latest 'effort' (wince again)) or the Twilight series?

      Appreciation for classical music, like Shakespeare, must cultivated and that being so they have difficulty competing with our quick-fix, instant-gratification, short-attention span world. I am so grateful institutions find it is worth financially supporting attempts to cultivate this long-term, deep-down appreciation in over accelerating world.
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    Jul 20 2013: By a real strict definition we may be entering another dark age. With the federal mandates to CORE and STEM we are seeing the elimination of the "Arts" due to funding and focus on the core skills.

    The "Masters" had sponsors that paid them for specific products. The "masters" earned their way through painting, writing, sculpture, music, ect ... during this time the Popes and the very wealthy were primary patrons.

    To write a opera, classical score, etc ... takes time. You would be hard pressed to get a advance from an agency to live a year or two to write a opera. In todays world you would write it over a period of years as time allows free from your job and family requirements. When done ... don't expect the money to come rolling in.

    Kids are the big spenders and the companies know it. Kids with no jobs wear $200 Michael Jordan shoes and listen in to their tunes on expensive equipment. They pay big bucks to see a "live" show, drink beer, get high, and get lucky.

    Opera / concerts are dress up affairs and have strict rules. Not many kids would stand for that.

    We are exposed to a lot of classical. Walt Disney used classical in all of his cartoons, movies, elevators, radio, etc ...

    It was once said that a snob is someone who can listen to The William Tell Overture and not think of the Lone Ranger.

    It is all around ... and I love it.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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    Jul 20 2013: In absolute numbers many more people listen to classical music today than ever before. (There are 7 billion people today on Earth.) But besides movie scores, classical music is just not mainstream "TV" and never will be. Also the classical music you refer to is European. How many Europeans listen to Chinese opera? Very few. You can't expect everyone to enjoy the same culture.
  • Jul 18 2013: Who says thats true Steven....

    In virtually every movie that's made there is classical, both old and newly composed, it just changed with the times.
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    Jul 18 2013: As we mature and become consumers we develop a nostalgic sense of affection for the music of the wild and free years of our youth. We remember the prevailing circumstances when we first heard and bonded forever with a piece of music. Classical music is largely ignored now because it was largely ignored in the past. It will continue to be largely ignored until it is experienced by young people in a manner consistent with their fast-paced world of 15-second sound bites and maximized informality. Season tickets and tuxedoes are not going to do it. The entertainment industry seeks profit from the appetites of the consumers. No appetite equals no exposure. We grow-up without ever hearing what makes classical music so wonderful. It's a societal structure thing.
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      Jul 18 2013: So true, I guess the question is now "how can we expose a generation to classical music or more culture per se?" I feel as though the majority in my generation (Me Generation) is blinded by social media and being sucked into the same thing- thereby killing individuality in the long run (everyone talks and likes the same thing- where's room for diversity?)
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        Jul 18 2013: Many problems with one solution. Responsible role models must introduce the young to the time-tested things of lasting value like classical music. Create a market (i.e. profit for the entertainment industry) and the music will sell itself. We are fortunate to have a top notch member-supported all classical FM station operating 24/7 here in Phoenix! Parents can tune-in an hour on the weekend to show the youth what musical depth, beauty, and drama is like. Here's hoping there is an awakening one day.
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    Jul 17 2013: For my education, Steven, just what exactly is it that makes music "classical"?

    It does seem that modern pop has many elements of classical. For example, think of the rock group Yes, doesn't that music have some connection to classical?

    Why would people prefer modern pop? Well, the groups are smaller, perhaps people enjoy that. For example, if you watch the Rolling Stones, and they only have five members, you can slightly feel like you know each member and his personality. In a 50 or 100 person orchestra, it's not the same. Also, people might enjoy the electric aspect of modern music, I mean electric guitars, keyboards, and so on. Electric sounds have some excitement.

    Also, modern pop is a little more earthy than what I think of as classical music, which is a more formal and reserved. People might enjoy that as well. In fact, two or three hundred years ago, I wonder what people did when they really wanted to get more wild in public? Seems like we get more wild now in public, it might be because of population pressures, there are more people on earth now than there were two or three hundred years ago.
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      Jul 17 2013: I absolutely love and think that your question is ingenious! In my opinion, classical music just has that certain spark to it. Compared to pop and rock, it is similar in that it has chord progressions (i.e. C to A to G etc) but I feel as though classical music in general is more complex? Sure classical music has its simple 2 minute waltzes but the master-works that we talk about like say Elgar's Cello Concerto or Corregliano's Fern Hill have such an emotional appeal to them when listened to with intention. I am not implying that "modern" music is not emotionally appealing but subjectively to me (and many other classical peers of mine), classical music just has this quality of it, I can't explain....But I absolutely adore your question!

      Regarding your take on why people prefer "modern" music....I agree with you on that this new wave of music is appealing and that the more lax style of music is able to accustom a more diverse audience. Unfortunately, to enjoy classical music, I feel it takes more effort to appreciate the music and get emotions out of it than to listen to a modern work.

      Haha and back then I'm sure Bach was like the rock and roll of his time or so...and to have fun they probably had a festive dance...hmmm its funny thinking about this since parties back then were kind of formal and so a waltz would be the equivalent of today's dancing? (how do we dance today actually?)
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        Jul 18 2013: Well, another point, Steven, is that an awful lot of classical music lacks somebody singing, doesn't it? I'm sure people enjoy the singers, such as Mick Jagger. I know I do.

        Yes, it's a good question why these days we like speed. That's one of the main differences, isn't it, that rock is fast. Maybe we feel like a fast song is giving us more information in the same amount of time.

        Actually, rock is probably more sexual than classical, right? That's another good question, why sex has become more open. The best I can think of is the increasing global population, that when we have to live with more people we're more aware of all their aspects, including their sexuality.
        • Jul 21 2013: Talking about speed, we all live in countries categorized as developed, developing and underdeveloped. The first two (which actually constitute the internet) have societies living a fast paced life. Hearing to fast paced fun music makes them able to keep up with the rythm of everyday life and gives listeners the ability to relieve the stress. I don't think it's strange that most people hearing to classical music are old or at least people who don't have as much concerns as working people which lead me in thinking of classical music as a type of music for rich or old people who have decreased levels of stress.

          As for me I really love classical music when i need something to get in the mood of deep philosophical thoughts about my future or when i want to cover noises which interrupt me from my work
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    Jul 17 2013: I could be wrong, but learning classical music by rote has the unfortunate characteristic of bypassing the heart, if you know what I mean.

    I like to think I can tell apart the mechanical playing and reproduction of a classical piece, from the same piece played with feeling and emotion. The latter has an ethereal beauty to it, whereas the former is merely a display of mathematical competence.

    It may be symptomatic of 'the heart' being ignored or dismissed as so much fluff - not just in music, but also in other art forms.
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      Jul 17 2013: Amen to that my friend, as a musician, I know what it feels to have the "musical experience." Yes one of the main problems of classical music and various other art forms (along with athletics and academics- pretty much anything we do), is that we tend to not focus or put effort into the work due to distractions spawning from various things today- social media, stress, the next TV Show coming in a few minutes....anything really! Because of a lack of effort, the playing becomes "boring" and mechanical. I am sure that everyone has the potential to realize and create great music, its just that not everyone can truly focus in one sitting in order to work on the music and make beautiful music (its a lot of work). Thus, I totally agree with you in the regard that classical music is hard to connect with for many since it is sometimes hard to get through and make fun without hitting phases of turmoil and boredom (even I get frustrated trying to finish a Bach fugue sometimes).
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    Jul 17 2013: Why do you think it's ignored? I see A LOT of kids taking piano classes, playing in orchestras, etc. Symphony orchestras are alive and well. Teachers who teach classic music are not starving. My son's piano teacher has no space for new students. Here in Portland, there are festivals of classical music, there is a radio station that plays nothing but classical music. If someone performs a difficult classical piece somewhere in a public place, people stop and listen. I'd say, classical music is more popular than ever.
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      Jul 17 2013: Sorry, I should have clarified. When I say ignored, I mean generally. I agree with you in that classical music is definitely still alive and interesting to many- its not like there has been a genocide of classical musicians...and many institutions still exist! What I mean by "classical music is ignored" is that its influence in culture has dwindled due to various issues...and thats why I say that it is "ignored" But you are absolutely right in that it is still alive, its just that overall in society classical music has been consistently regarded as "boring" by many (depends on the piece really- since people pop in to listen if its nice...not like abstract and dissonant) and thus its been thrown aside
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        Jul 17 2013: There is no such thing as "generally" especially when we discuss musical tastes and preferences. I think, it has always been this way. It's like asking, "why Asian elephants live in Asia and not in other parts of the world?" If classical music were broadly popular, it would have been called "popular music" :-).

        In my view, classical music is like a foundation of the building - you don't see it or appreciate it, but it's there. Without it, the building would not stand. Another analogy is system-level software - the one that handles hardware operations. Many people design and use application software. System level software is for "geeks". Very few people design it or understand how it works, but EVERYONE uses it without even realizing it. And system-level software designers are paid big bucks for their skills - very much like virtuoso classical musicians, orchestra directors, ballet dancers, and opera singers.

        Classical masterpieces are frequently used as inspiration for pop music. Modern arrangements of classical pieces are often wildly popular.

        I like classical music, but it's not the type of music I enjoy in the background or while driving a car. First of all, it makes a HUGE difference to listen to it live. Hearing a live symphony orchestra or piano performance has no comparison to listening to a record of any quality. Even when listening to recorded classical music, it's best to sit down and LISTEN to it. Otherwise, it does not have any effect on me and can get annoying.
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    Jul 17 2013: it doesn't get airplay and it isn't sold to kiddies. maybe if the classical musicians all had floppy hairdos and skinny jeans and the female ones did ridiculous synchronised dancing in their underwear.

    even just a little product placement would help - you know, a violinist texting his girlfriend on the latest tablet or a concert pianist driving the latest sportscar..
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      Jul 17 2013: Haha good point - seriously we should have Yo Yo Ma play his cello while flooring a Bugatti while Hillary Hahn is partying like Rebecca Black in the back!
  • W T

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    Jul 17 2013: Oh my......I hope classical music doesn't go away.

    My kids were exposed to classical music early on as another genre of music.
    We have watched Benjamin Zander's talk several times, and love it.

    It will be interesting if we can get some of the musicians in the TED community to chime in to your conversation.
    I will be following it Steven............great topic of conversation!!!
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      Jul 17 2013: Thanks! Its just sometimes I feel sad that there is no one to talk about classical music with- being in high school all my friends are listening to either ITunes top 100 or something (which I do enjoy) but I wish more people my age took some kind of interest in classical music!

      Again thanks for your support!
      • W T

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        Jul 17 2013: Speaking of musicians......Scott up there is one.

        Steven, perhaps when you get into college, you will be exposed to more young people in the classical music field.

        Do you attend the symphony performances in your hometown?
        Sometimes you can meet some people this way.

        We have the New World Symphony here in South Florida, and it is filled with young people who play classical music.

        Don't give up.....sooner or later you will meet up with friends that share your interest.
        Or else you can serve as the conduit to expose some young people to this wonderful music.
        Start by sharing Ben Zander's TED video.

        You know, nobody around me shares my deep love of knowledge.
        None of my friends watch TED videos, or care to learn something new every day.
        Some of us are different from the people around the best way possible.

        Embrace your gift of loving classical music, and continue to grow in your knowledge of it.
        Feel free to share your favorite pieces with us.

        There's always someone listening Steven.....even if they do not comment.
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          Jul 17 2013: Thanks Mary, its great to have reassurance! I love your last line- theres always someone listening - so very true! More listening = more potential for doing :)
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    Aug 16 2013: First, classical music is a good kind of music, however everuone have different taste in their preferences. I know a lot of people who like classical music but also they want to listen other kind of music that have new beats, rythms and also lyrics.
    Maybe it is not ignored but maybe the last kind of music of their favorites playlists.
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    Aug 15 2013: most of the people lost their souls, their purpose and of course it's a planned thing by "u know who", so it became hard for them to get it back since they lost their reason, living purpose ,that's what divided music into what so called genres, and also creating some fake ones, simply said, classical music is a main and very wide "land" in music, by reaching it people might get back to them selves and wake up to fight their sake and humankind can rise again and reach the lost reason but "u know who" can't allow the unification to be back, they'll be destroyed :)
    i hope i was clear :D
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      Aug 15 2013: Hi Oussema!

      Your comment is not clear to me. Who is "u know who", and why do you think s/he "can't allow the unification to be back", as you say?
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        Aug 16 2013: I hope you agree with me if I say that the greatest enemy of the humankind are humans them selves, and why is the unification so dangerous for them? : think about it just like some of "them" think about money : lets say u have 2 tables, on the first one there's 1000 $ and the other one has on it 10000000 $, when u ask one of those people what do you see on the first table he will tell you "i see money" but when u ask him about the other table he will tell you " I see power ", its the same thing with unification.
        ps : i don't want to get further in the details because our main subject is about music ( we can talk about the role of music in this hole conflict )
        Ps 2 : sorry i suck at explanation :p
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    Aug 15 2013: Personally, I find it rather boring. I can't lie about it!
  • Aug 15 2013: In a word: commercialism. The broadcast media have made the paradigm where music and commerce are codependent. Classical music knew no such conventionalization. Most classical music was written in its lengths to suit what is practical to be played live within the confines of two hours give or take. It will only come back if there is a new renaissance of live interest. It just isn't meant to sell tooth paste or car insurance.
  • Aug 15 2013: Who is TED?
  • Aug 15 2013: Regarding classical (long-ago or newly-composed) style music, it is not to the elite that it belongs. The listening of great music belongs to the masses, WHEN THEY GET THE OPPORTUNITY. Why would a composer be satisfied knowing only a few elite can hear his work? The masses often do not get the opportunity to hear this music due to high ticket prices (who wants to pay $60 to a symphony when they can take that same $60 and plunk it down on a highly-publicized pop icon performance) and also peer pressure. When the masses DO get the opportunity, they are normally in awe of what they witnessed. I have seen this time and time again, as long as the so-called classical music is performed well. A great performance is very much appreciated by untrained ears. (I may not know how to bake a great tasting piece of cake, but I sure know a great tasting piece of cake when I eat one.)
  • Aug 15 2013: People tend to ignore or tune out what they don't understand. As a long time vocalist, there are times when a piece is placed before us musicians that looks overly difficult, making it difficult for even experienced singers to "get into" the piece. However, what usually happens is that once the different parts of the number are put together, the beauty and excitement of the piece soon become evident. When we eventually perform the piece for an audience, that beauty and excitement is placed on the listener who gets to experience and appreciate it...and this is where the problem occurs. The typical audience of a classical piece is tiny compared to the larger population. People with no musical background inevitably say how beautiful the sounds are after the performance...they don't know why it was beautiful, they just know it WAS beautiful.
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    Aug 15 2013: Maybe there should be a day of the year when we all sit at home or drive around in our cars with the windows open and the volume up and blast our favorite pieces of classical music. We could call it "Pay Attention To Classical Music Day." No wait, better yet, we could have a day where we set marching bands loose in all urban centers in the middle of traffic during rush hour. Like a sit in, but really more of a march on. No, no, no, what about..."Bring Your Instrument To Work Day?" And anytime someone asked you about it, you wouldn't answer. Instead, you'd start playing your favorite classical music. Why is classical music being ignored by the majority of society? Because the minority of society aren't doing enough to garner their attention against the (totally unsophisticated and completely overrated) POPular music of the day! There is nothing wrong with that, they are up against a period of time when music is expanding on every conceivable horizon. And those accused of being ignorant of classical music aren't to blame either. With rising stars on all of those horizons how are they supposed to be expected to pay attention to the sun?
  • Aug 15 2013: That depends on what you mean by "Classical" most certainly classical music survives in movies and videogames. See Role playing games if you disbelieve this. It may not be OLD or considered classical by snobs but it's certainly classical in style and composition.

    You can google Nubuo Uematsu or
  • Aug 11 2013: what is the so called classical ?classical is only from heart,it needs heart to make,it needs heart to listen too.
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    Aug 10 2013: We could just as well ask why coctails of various kinds are more popular than whiskey on the rocks?
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    Aug 10 2013: Because the atmosphere of classical music contains a higher level of elitist molecules than the normal human being can safely breathe.
  • Aug 9 2013: To slow for people.
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    Aug 9 2013: I think the rythm of classical music is comparatively slow and unobvious.People have a lot of stress on work and other anxieties today, in this quickly changing world,they need some diverse and strong beats to make them excited or let their pressure out. They can't be able to calm themselves down most of the time. Classical music needs a suitable ambience to make people have the mood to be immersed in it which is always with some antiquated scenarios and cultural backgrounds . And classical music is difficult to understand because there aren't any words in it,whereas we can put words into other types of music as many as we like to make it easy to imagine or understand.
  • Aug 6 2013: I admit that I completely fail to understand classical music. And since i do not understand I do not enjoy it. The reasons for this ignorance is basically lack of exposure to that kind of music. The cultural music forms a very insignificant part of the music popular in our country. If somehow cultural music finds a way into the mainstream music then it will be adopted by the majority otherwise it will continue to be the realm of the selected few.
    • Aug 16 2013: I think Classical is the Shakespeare of music. When you hear it, and think you don't get it, trust your gut instinct - it's usually right.
  • Aug 6 2013: Have you ever read Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse? It's not a question of liking the other music it was not liking it on the bad recording device. The sex helped persuade him other music was good to oh and learning to dance.
  • Aug 6 2013: People are given a lot of choices these days. I compose classical music at home. I've had season tickets to the symphony. Orchestral music is wonderful. I think that classical music is for the most part not an expression of what is going on in peoples' lives. I just finished playing and watching a bluegrass music weekend. I saw some of the best musicians in that genre perform and visited with them too. These players show the same dedication and skills and complexity of music composition as classical players do. I was transfixed. The economic models for both genres are similar. Classical music is sponsored by donations from corporations and rich individuals. The bluegrass festival was sponsored with casino money. Techno music seems to better express the modern machine-like society we are living in today. Everything is scrutinized by computer 'til it is perfected and then mass produced. Quality music for me has human elements to it. Human elements are old fashioned though. Welcome to the machine. Convenience is the deciding dynamic here. There is nothing convenient about dedicating your life to learning an instrument. Way too messy. But it's well worth it.
  • Aug 5 2013: Is Late Romantic Russian music Classical?
  • Aug 5 2013: Are you certain classical music wasn't "ignored" in the period spanning 16th-20th century? This is the period during which classical music was popular, according to popular belief.

    In order to clarify my question, consider the following.

    Classical music was never the "popular" genre. I suggest that, perhaps, it's the sheer quality of the music that enabled it to survive the ages, being analyzed again and again by people that are in love with music, while the "pop" music of a certain age simply didn't pass the test of time.
    By quality, I refer to the sheer geniousness, creativity, skill and knowledge that springs from the classical pieces.
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    Aug 4 2013: I think, because of the fashion of Music, but nowadays people do hear classical music, but teenagers listen more like rock music, country, blues or anything about fashionable music.

    There are musicians that have write lots of songs of electric songs or rock, and the the fans like it and so as the musician sees that he's popular, the fans would like to have or hear a new song.

    There is another concept "Film Soundtracks", the percentage of the film's soundtrack that are classical music is 72% and that 28% is country, rock, blues... And so people want to download the music and it gets a bit popular.

    In summary it is 50-50 the question.
  • Aug 4 2013: The Masterworks performances at Warsaw, Indiana every summer are top quality with guest artists. They present symphony orchestra, plays, pops music with such quality one would think they are in New York or some other center of artistic fame. However, there is a lot of grey hair.

    On the other hand students of nearby Grace College participate with their professors along with guests and show us a very good modeling of teamwork in presenting these wonderful performances. A recent guest violinist, Rachel Barton Pine, awed the audience with superb and multiple performances that were rewarded with multiple standing ovation and acclimation.

    Where in the world are such magnificent performances of classics performed with such great joy? Perhaps many places. Such are not dead, just receding a bit.
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    Aug 3 2013: Comparing classics like Pastoral with any of the late classicals and you can feel neither the composer feeling joyful nor there is an intent upon pleasing anyone except the critics! What a pitiful spiritlessness
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      Aug 3 2013: You said, "you can feel neither the compose feeling joyful..."

      How do you know what I feel? I like the composer's joy! Stop assuming.
  • Jul 31 2013: Well.Your question and topic is catchy.The classical music is among the first musical composition of the human being before any other kind.However, time , attitude , thoughts change, people started to look for something new and more creative and be a king or a queen of that thing such as Lady GAGA , Rihanna...ect they do all change the style of music and people do like this change that's why classical music is neglected and marjenalised.They are endoctrinate and intered in a cercle in which they don't accept something 'has been' and they always ask for more and for better.That's my point of view
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      Aug 3 2013: Nooooo.... the dude that invented a prehistoric lyre out of a mammoth bone was way, way, way more one of the first musical compositions and the dude or dudettes to start strumming strings were a far, far second and classical music is among the MOST RECENT "of the human being before any other kind."

      What about Prehistoric music? What about Ancient music? What about all the other types of music my trusty Wikipedia tells me about?

      My real point is that his question is a non-question, because the term classical is totally relative and therefore totally irrelevant. They put the most "classical" music on Voyager and they put some recent stuff, too. It'll all be classical whenever it gets to whatever life forms they were sending it out to. NO ATTACHMENT TO DUST.
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          Aug 3 2013: Thanks for the suggestions.

          I know what Classical music is; the Wikipedia page had all the terms you began with and I'm aware tat they are what traditionally are considered

          ELO's classic rock hit of Beethoven's Fifth is not classical in same sense of Beethoven's Fifth.

          I almost used a Canon in D remix by I forget who that I have as a Pandora station. I don't need to do a YouTube search to know that there are myriad variations on a theme.

          I will listen to Martin Lauridson. Was what "though I suspect have not reached you" supposed to mean?

          I'm aware that the music genome project would classify pieces written last week and pieces written centuries ago, as similar 'genetically.'
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          Aug 5 2013: May I remind you, Rob Harvey, that sometimes a scream is better than a thesis (Emerson).

          There are things in the human soul that classical music does not express at all, let alone better, than some of the "cultural degradation indicated by the later music." There are things that jazz does, or the blues, or rock 'n roll, whatever, that classical music cannot do. The reason why, is that they are not a deformed, lesser offspring of classical music (as an elitist might assume), but they are offspring, they are their own selves, descendants of classical music, but their own persons.

          Apples and oranges.

          "The cultural degradation indicated"? Do you not think that some form of music might yet spring from all that genres of music that have come into being so far that is better? And wouldn't that something be made possible through the contribution of the genres before it?

          I'm familiar with the layout of traditional symphony orchestras. What I do not know is where the chair is on which you stand to throw rotten fruit at those forms of music deemed culturally degenerate?

          It is the birthday of Louis Armstrong. He famously said of jazz, "Man, if you have to ask what it is, you'll never know." It has something beyond words, and when you pass beyond words, how is one to say if one form is better than another?

          The drinking water metaphor seemed muddled to me. One doesn't really prefer perfectly clean water for drinking, most bottled water has minerals added to it to provide a distinct flavor. Coca-Cola spent incredible amounts of money to develop the particular mineral ratios in Dasani, for example. Perfectly clean water (which no one drinks) is not the same as all sorts of 'clean' (itself a vague, ambiguous term) water.

          And did we worry when Picasso was painting that everyone was ignoring Titian?

          So why fear classical music is now being ignored by the majority of society.
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          Aug 5 2013: I do agree that modern music on the Voyager would not be considered classic just because it had grown old with time. That was the wrong way to go about my argument and was definitely an erroneous statement for me to make.

          I also happened to watch "The Late Quartet" today and really enjoyed the glimpse it provided into what classical music can be and how much must be put into performing it, let alone composing it. All this was fresh on my mind when I responded. Obviously, it did not altar those or my previous opinions in any regard.

          Maybe the majority of society don't ignore classical music so much as they disdain the elitist atmosphere it exudes. They are simply repelled by the noxious air of superiority of those who believe that "Still today, children raised on Baroque, Classical & Romantic era music, as well the medieval Latin sacred music will find success in life easier."
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          Aug 5 2013: Alright, I'm not comfortable with way you are arguing or the generalizations you are making. Let's just agree to disagree. We've strayed off topic and I don't think we are being objective.
  • Jul 31 2013: A key problem I see in our education system and our culture is the acceptance of form as substance. I believe this tendency has created a culture with little actual substance. Great music requires great passion, and the only passion people have indicated up until now is for more and more stuff. I remain hopeful, though, because now people are waking up and getting angry. Not the fear/hate kind of anger, but the "holy crap, we've been duped" kind of angry. As the old structures collapse from their own weight, I believe the people will discover new ways of being, and in that they will find passion again.
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    Jul 31 2013: Classical music is a type of genre that, even on the back burner of society's tastes, will always be present. I would say that it has been on the back burner for fifty, sixty years now (that's a guess, obviously no real data for that assertion). However, people, myself included, love to enjoy classical music, and people will, for as long as it is possible to do so.
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    Jul 31 2013: you can take her to a fine restaurant...i agree......but every single date? I eat one meal a day, and i have a ton of other things to do then go to a "fine dining restaurant" ahahaha..... i enjoy classical music the most when i am alone. It is a mind thing. Its just music....not rocket science.
  • Jul 30 2013: If this is true, I guess it is because that contemporary music are created by people who live in the same society as audience, so they have more in common. The authors usually prefer to use less restrictive ways to express their thoughts and emotion, so the forms become more diversified.
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    Jul 29 2013: The decline in support for classical music in the US seems to be tied to the growing popularity of anti-intellectualism and the general perception that this art form is elitist. But then, who can afford to pay for years of music lessons or even the average concert ticket? Yet this can, and should, be changed, as the example of Venezuela (see the TED Talks on El Sistema) clearly demonstrates, where hundreds of thousands of young people, most of whom are from low-income homes, are part of a musical renaissance. Imagine what it could be like in the US if El Sistema, with its focus on underprivileged school children, were to take root. Within a generation, the music schools, concert halls and recording studios would become filled with a vibrant, multicultural and home-grown cadre of musical geniuses, joining, if not supplanting, the relatively homogenous populace found there today. And perhaps just as important, a renewed emphasis on learning and performing music as part of the early childhood curriculum would help improve the study habits, intellectual development and self-esteem of a vast number of young people, in regions where these attributes are often needed the most.
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      Aug 3 2013: Positivist Nulifidian....that was totally the first and middle name I was going to give my kid and you stole it. Thanks a lot. Also, nice comment, I guess.
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    Jul 27 2013: As many times came across similar question here and also in reality , wondering , in which period / time mass of the society was fond of pure art / classical music ?
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    Jul 26 2013: Steven,
    I am not observing classical music as being ignored by the majority of society. This has been mentioned on this conversation thread already, and I will reinforce the idea. Perhaps you are not hanging around with people who appreciate classical music? Or not participating in events where classical music is featured? Not listening to it when there is a choice?

    I attend lots of concerts which are always happening in this area, and the audiences are always packed. I play classical music in my home most of the time, hang out with people who love classical music, etc. I don't honestly think/feel classical music is ignored at all!
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      Jul 27 2013: Agreed. One of the places we find classical music is in movies soundtracks.
      Composers like John Williams, who has written scores for many many films events has created music in the classical tradition that is recognizable to millions of people.
  • Jul 25 2013: I think it would be helpful to breakdown music into various components and explore its affect on people from a purely objective point of view. Clearly people want something new and they gravitate toward something they can hum. Even the most famous classical music pieces have basic melodies that people remember. They don't necessarily remember parts of Beethoven's 9th that they can't hum in their mind. People also gravitate toward creative rhythms whether they are meant for dance or not. Finally, people are more touched by basic melodies that have meaningful lyrics. But, it still doesn't mean people can't relate to music without lyrics but the melodies must be basic and memorable.

    It is a fact that the more complicated a melody, the more people are turned off in a similar way that a public speaker relates to an audience better than another. Sometimes the music industry defines the complicated pieces as the better pieces but in the end the music takes too much physical effort to decipher for the average listener. I don't think that's necessarily because they stupid. Our politicians speak in plain terms not because all of us are stupid, but because this is what we relate to.

    There simply needs to be way to tap into the exciting and touching characteristics of classical instruments and sounds and transform them into something people can relate to and not have to struggle physically as to what the meaning is. Right now, pop music exploits the basic components of music that people relate to but many of us feel pop music is down to a third grade reading level and superficial from teenagers perspective. Classical artists need to stop rehashing the same old stuff and start creating using what people like about all of the music created throughout history and take it the next level. Our music teachers need to begin music education with music theory and less about mechanics. Yes mechanics are important but understanding the why matters most.
    • Jul 26 2013: "There simply needs to be way to tap into the exciting and touching characteristics of classical instruments and sounds and transform them into something people can relate to"

      Well there is symphonic metal, although metal is similar to classical in terms of its technical makeup (hard for classical fans to admit, I know, but it's true). I don't think the instruments involved necessarily have anything to do with it… When someone does use orchestral instruments in popular music they are usually well received.
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    Jul 25 2013: Here in my country Bhaarath (India), music lovers, esp classic music fans, face the same dilemma. We have not one but two highly involved classical music systems: Hindustaani (Northern) and Carnaatic (Southern). I'm more of a fan of the latter as my own family is heavily involved with this system. And the challenge here is again attracting audiences esp during music festivals, where even top artists draw a modest audience. Again one wonders whether the contemporary Bollywood music, which resonates more with the youngsters of today in my country, will one day be the only form of music of Bhaarath. If that happens, it will be a colossal loss for the world of music and humanity in general.
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      Jul 25 2013: Not really Dr.

      Classical music will live on as its an important aspect of any music.

      Bollywood music might be popular among listeners but don't forget, many are moving to english music and to be honest, I have many friends all over India and none of them listen to Bollywood music and neither do I.

      Bollywood music is actually at risk imo and honestly, bollywood music is very boring since the bollywood music is just nonsense. The lyrics are bad, the music too. Anyway, classical fans will live on and pass the knowledge to any wannabe musician as its an integral part of any music.
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        Jul 26 2013: I disagree with ur views concerning Bollywood music. Yes, the Bollywood music of today has stepped down to crass dance beats from its previous lofty standards set in the 60s, and 70s. That way even Western Rock and pop have stepped down from their dizzy heights that they soared to in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. 80s pop and rock are some of the most melodious tunes out there. Most of today's western music is insipid. Regardless, I urgeU to listen to the timeless Bollywood melodies of old, esp those sung by the likes of Kishore, Lata, Rafi and others and those composed by the erstwhile RD Burman. U may have a completely different opinion of Bollywood music.
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          Jul 27 2013: I do have a different opinion.
          And thats the generation gap. Which I'm positive I'll face with my kids.

          This gap is why we have different opinions and tastes which then lead to stuff like popularity of classical music being diminished along time.

          Classical music is dying. It won't die but its dying.
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    Jul 24 2013: Weddings. There is the 'Bridal Chorus,' when she goes down the aisle, from Wagner's 'Lohengrin' and then the 'Wedding March,' when she comes back up the aisle, from Medelssohn's 'A Midsummer's Night Dream.' I'm not Christian, but I listen to Bach's Easter Oratorio and Ascension Oratorio on those days.

    And movies, my goodness, unless you were on a long road trip and were passing the time by taking turns naming movies with classical music in them.... One that came to mind was 2001: A Space Odyssey. But I couldn't remember the composer and I looked it up and its not one, but two major composers, Johann Strauss II's 'Blue Danube Waltz' and Richard Strauss' 'Also sprach Zarathustra.' Anyways...
  • Jul 23 2013: I think people prefer something shocking, exciting them. And that is the kind of popular music. There are techniques which make musics more attrative. It is called "Hook", meaning that repeat intensive part endlessly. People are likely to like those kind of music in general. But some are easily tired of them.

    I feel distracted when my MP3 player offers popular songs sometimes. So these days, I am kind of classical music savvy. It is more calm, quite, and has a lot more room to think of myself. (^^ )/
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    Jul 22 2013: Tobias M: "... if u make it a subject u destroy the magic behind it."

    I agree that that's very often true, but it doesn't have to be. I really learned to appreciate good poetry and art in a "Fine Arts" overview course in a "Jr. College" (now "Community College") in Chicago in the late '50s. It was an elective course, and what made it exciting was an enthusiastic teacher who made the poems come alive and who explained how to participate with the poet in creating meaning in the works. (My poetry site - - hopefully testifies that the enthusiasm remains.)

    So, as has been said countless times, it's the teacher who makes the difference. I will also say that I think this kind of course, and "Music appreciation," are subjects that should be taught without grading. They are courses designed to light a fire of interest and enthusiasm for a subject, which has nothing to do with drudgery and competition for grades. The subject should be presented in the most interesting and enthusiastic way possible, and many students will find something that hooks them. (I think the no-grade principle would be good for all such overview courses, such as a broad "Science" course that introduces students to all the scientific disciplines for the purpose of giving them the opportunity to be fascinated. Tobias is right, I think, that this doesn't happen in the ordinary stressful classroom.)

    By the way, I'm preparing a discussion topic on the unequaled contribution of black Americans to music over the past couple of centuries. Look for it.
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    Jul 22 2013: I think it's because to appreciate good classical music it seems to need a certain peaceful ness, a kind of quietfullness condition, and modern life doesn't offer much moments like those required. Listening classical music as a background it's more easy but it's not the same thing.
  • Jul 22 2013: Well yes we have that advantage. But also because of this we learn in school a lot about classical music. And even for me who plays piano, and loves classical music that destroyed temporarly a lot of my enthusiasm for classical music. To make it a compulsory subject in school won't help the popularity of this music in any way. The reason is if u make it a subject u destroy the magic behind it. The personal relationship u have with music normally and you make it a technical theory framework that nobody wants to hear about if he doesnt want to study the theory of music.
    So there is nothing really you can do to make it more popular. Most people come to classical music when they are older anyways. Because when u got a stressful job and your family in your back and u have a bit of freetime u dont want to listen to electronical Dance music or what ever. U like music that lets you drift away, think about different things then your all day stuff. Ofcourse thats not a fact but something you can keep in mind to satisfy this voice in urself thats telling you that classical music is dying and everything is going to hell (:P)

    Hope i could help some of you :)
  • Jul 22 2013: Classical music harkens to a different time. Be it an opera, symphony, quartet or a piece written for a particular instrument, time to listen in required. In today's world people do not or cannot stop to do so. It is not currently touched upon in a general education as it once was. Only a small percentage of young people are exposed to it or show an inclination to learning about it. Perhaps life has become too fast paced. Additionally, the opportunity to listen to live performances has suffered. Many have been priced out of these opportunities. Commercialism has taken over many aspects of artistic pursuits as it has in sports, medicine and many other aspects of life.
  • Jul 22 2013: Classical is really so much better live, so is Jazz. Rock was made for the transistor radio and translates to reproductive systems very well... and that makes it so cheap it will kill every for that doesn't tranlate as well. Take some time to understand T Adorno for kicks.
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      Jul 27 2013: Now I know why you put a little smile up there next to my mention of jazz..........

      And thank you for your mention of T Adorno...........had never heard of the old chap before...........his insight on the changes in music was well worth the reading in Wiki.

      Perhaps the same could be said of poetry?

      Times change...............It's nice that we keep the old, but continue to enjoy new creative works.

      It's kind of like friends.........
      • Jul 27 2013: Thanks Mary.
        Adorno is a Marxist, his general take is on the commodification of music, as industrial capitalism tends to do to all that falls within it's gravity, in the process it tends to destroy higher qualities of existence... including human character.

        I watched this again in the last few days:
        ;.. I keep finding more on The Game from it.
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          Jul 27 2013: Do you really think that human governments can have such a deep effect on the human character?

          Have you been affected? If so, how?

          And "The Game" ?........I'm sorry, not familiar with it.
      • Jul 28 2013: Human nature is hugely adaptive/plastic. Govs set chains of events into play which can change us to vast degrees, viz in extremis, in gov wars a psychopath may be your best friend and turn seemingly kind people into genocides.

        Second question would need some discursive comment and i don't type that well. I am not as I would wish to be, to be so is to be a target in a society dominated by opportunists. i have had very bad experiences in this vein.

        The Game is global empire.
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    Jul 22 2013: That said, and I'm shamelessly, vainly, lazily (take your pick or choose all three) quoting myself from a reply to a reply much further down:

    "Appreciation for classical music, like Shakespeare, must cultivated and that being so they have difficulty competing with our quick-fix, instant-gratification, short-attention span world."
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    Jul 21 2013: Simple. (And I hate it when people say that.) But think of a pie graph of musical genres. One slice of it, the largest slice, has always been classical music, but then you have to make new cuts to fit in each new genre of music. Are you going to cut the smaller slices of the pie into ever smaller pieces or is some of it going to inevitably come from classical music?

    It's isn't that we appreciate classical music less it is that we appreciate music more.

    I would even argue it is self-evident that classical music makes society ignore classical music. It goes like this: At one point classical music was predominately Baroque and then overtime new additions to the genre like Contemporary and Late Romantic drew attention away from Baroque. So while classical music as a whole might have grown, attention from one part of it was taken from one part of it to another, focusing to a degree on one area and ignoring to a degree another. You can use a pie graph to think of that, too.

    Plus, I would be cautious myself to say it is ignored by the majority of society, because classical influences are alive and well. And part of it is ingrained in modern customs: think back to Independence Day when Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture was played and look ahead six months when it will be the Nutcracker.

    Or go to a bookstore and you see the same thing. The Western Canon makes up smaller percentage of books sold for the exact same reasons that influence classical music.

    Worst case scenario and it does "one day vanish"? Remember that there are pieces of classical music 'cast into the cosmos', to paraphrase President Carter on the Voyager spacecraft.
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    Jul 21 2013: I believe recorded classical music is still doing well, though symphony orchestras are struggling in many places. Most of the music programmed in symphony halls is between 100 to 200 years old. Those composers wrote music that connected with the people. By the early 20th century composers - influenced, I think, by the existential movement, as were painters, writers and other artists - were writing experimentally and often self-servingly in my view, without much thought of the listener. (The talented "classical" composers who wanted to write in more accepted forms turned to writing movie scores.) The public never warmed to the "modern" music, and the CM concert program remained that of the 19th century, where it still is. While the old composers will remain popular, you can't keep a genre vibrant without fresh input.

    CM has also suffered from its reputation as unemotive, and prissy piano teachers deserve a share of the blame for that. Young students repeat unmusical exercises without the relief of fun, when they should be playing with the instrument and getting the joy of music into their bones. Scales are necessary, but God save us from teachers who make learning (whatever subject, really) a chore instead of a joy.

    A great thing about any subject is that when you invent or discover new forms, you have a richer field. But I sense that when it comes to music, many younger folks (y. than me, that is, which includes most people) have narrowed their field. Instead of adding new musical forms to the old and enjoying all, they lock in on the new and forget all that has gone before. It's easy to see in popular music, where the great songs and singers of the 1940s-60s, for example, which should be part of everyone's song bag, are completely forgotten in favor of the latest rapper. Same with CM.

    Finally, I think many younger people are not motivated to sit still for an hour and work at active listening and interpretation, which CM calls for.
    classical guitarist
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      Jul 22 2013: WAIT! There were great songs and singers in the 40's and 60's? JK.

      Your comment, "While the old composers will remain popular, you can't keep a genre vibrant without fresh input," made me think of Bela Fleck's 'Perpetual Motion' album. Back when it was released it caught the attention of my then eighteen-or nineteen-year-old self and made me look anew at classical music.

      Second point, "work at active listening" is key. I think that is the only reason around the turn of the millennium the dial tuned into a classical music radio and internet stations. NPR's Guide to 300 Essential Works of Classical Music, or some-such title I found at a book sale, helped with the active listening and appreciation. As did Bose headphones.

      You'd think with all the technology available younger people would take advantage of watching or listening to all the performances on YouTube and articles on Wikipedia and blogs in the blogosphere (sp?) or online fanclubs, etc. There has to be one for Franz Liszt somewhere, I mean, Litsztomania, it only sounds logical, right?
  • Jul 21 2013: Cartoons have changed.
  • Jul 21 2013: A key problem I see in our education system and our culture is the acceptance of form as substance. I believe this tendency has created a culture with little actual substance. Great music requires great passion, and the only passion people have indicated up until now is for more and more stuff. I remain hopeful, though, because now people are waking up and getting angry. Not the fear/hate kind of anger, but the "holy crap, we've been duped" kind of angry. As the old structures collapse from their own weight, I believe the people will discover new ways of being, and in that they will find passion again.
  • Jul 21 2013: I dont think that classical music is ignored by society or even the youth. I live in germany and maybe its different (even though idont think it is) but i dont know any kid any person that never hear classical music or that say i hate classical music. Its the only form of music i know, very person has some kind of connection to and the only one i literally never hear anyone say he hates it. i heard people say they hate electronic music, punk, metal, all kinds of music. But never this. I cant imagine that classical music will fade out and doesnt exist anymore in our society. Its just not presend in the daily media. But u dont know what happens inside every room in every house. I am absolutely sure WAY more people are listening to classical music then u think ;)
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      Jul 22 2013: I agree. More people are listening to classical music than he suspects. Germany does have the advantage that it is the home to so many great composers. I don't need to tell you that. In America, however, most classical music is found on public radio, meaning publicly funded radio stations, and even then it gets an ever-decreasing amount of air time. The point behind this is that classical music doesn't appear to have much of a presence in mainstream American culture. But it only appears that way. I bet if he looked harder he'd see it is flourishing in many ways.

      And I do hear people say they hate classical music. That's a reality and it makes me cringe, but they are entitled to their opinions.
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    Jul 21 2013: Building were not made without a study in caveman architecture, Medicine can not be learned with out knowledge of bones, flesh and biology. Why should creative arts be taught without understanding of Tribal beats and dances, Baroque and Classical music going straight through our present day music. The unfortunate thing about creative arts is it is not for the masses. Like math, science and any other choices of study we learn the one thing to carry us through life. Football and basketball can be profitable careers, but so are the creative arts. Do we fall short in educating children in the field of creative arts? YES! Without exposure, there is a select few with interest in the classic artist of the Baroque and Renaissance period and it's tribal beginnings to music. Do we truly foresee classical music falling with the likes of the pyramids? All I know is rhythm and the beat will go on.
  • Jul 21 2013: I think that classic music is difficult to connect with and that people struggle to find any benefit in listening to it.

    It doesn't have lyrics so the whole connection through words and so therefore it can't tell a story or verbally express emotions.
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    • Jul 20 2013: Oh won't somebody please think of the jerseys.