AJ Logo Get ArtsJournal in your inbox
for FREE every morning!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

The Problem With Classical Music? Presentation

By Clayton Adams

Re: 'Why Classical Music Has Fallen Off The Cultural Literacy Menu' , by Douglas McLennan

As a long time lover of classical music and a semi-literate person by osmosis, I must disagree with Mr McLennan. He places far to much emphasis on the elite members of the critical and intelectual community.

I think the main reason people listen to classical music is that it is very good music. It has populist roots which are not addressed by the classical music community today. To appreciate it as music one must in most cases overcome the local classical (usually NPR) radio station. In very few cases do DJs on these stations make the music interesting. The chatter is of pretentious antique people mumbling, sometimes in an english accent. There is no fun or passion.

I teach for my university in Paris in the summers and I love to listen to the french classical stations because the DJs make it more interesting. Even my students listen. I believe the fault of lessened popularity of classical music is in its presentation. 'Modern' classical music (surely an oxymoron) has become so intelectualized that it has forgotten that its roots lie in the popular music of the past. French techno music is very good and sometimes students will comment on the similarity to some modern classical music. They say the music is difficult and emotionless ('artsy') when compared to techno - I must say sometimes I agree.

I have just discovered your site and have it well bookmarked.

Thank you,

Clayton Adams

Home | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©
2002 ArtsJournal. All Rights Reserved