So classical music is dead, they say. Well, well. This blog will set out to consider that dubious factoid with equanimity, if not downright enthusiasm….
After all, classical music has died before, several times, and always manages to grow back into another great tradition even better than the last. Music should be a living artform, and the idea that we could subsist forever on works by long-dead composers and performance conventions from another era and continent was always foolish, from the beginning. Life goes on. Instrumental music and major compositions will still be made, and in fact computer sampling, notation, and audio software has invested even teenagers who can’t read music with the power to create them. We need a catch-all word to describe this music, and I’ve snagged one I like that’s been floating around the internet: post-classical. Its very vagueness, its patent inadequacy, is its fertility. It doesn’t describe the music at all, merely tells what it came after. So instead of moaning and tearing our hair, let’s look ahead to the future, and imagine how we want to shape this new musical era that’s already been in formation for several decades.