Originally Posted by JayG
I agree. Everybody has to start somewhere. I'm pretty sure that people who think it's annoying that classical "newbies" aren't immediately drawn to opera and the subtler forms of classical music wouldn't pull out Pierrot Lunaire, Wozzeck, or a Bach cantata disc if they had a friend who was curious about the genre. It makes sense that the kind of music mentioned in this thread would be the most immediately appealing. Over time, the rest will come.
While I fiercly defend the traditions and the sophistication of the world of classical music, it is very arrogant and dangerous to look down upon people who are just beginning to explore the genre. The classical music audience is already shrinking, and it's not being taught in the schools, so we can't afford to let snobbery turn away the few people that find their way to the music we love on their own. Orchestras can't survive without people in the seats, and the smorgasbord of classical recordings would dry up without customers to purchase them. It benefits us all to nurture people's interest.
Under this mind set, unfortunately, comes the fact that the classical labels will cave to this audience by actually undermining the very art in composition.
The very conservative choices for recording by classical labels such as EMI are coming dangerously close to destroying the genre's potential and beauty. There aren't nearly enough conductors arranging more innovative or modern pieces, and we can thank the collective industry's attempts at drawing in a more "layman" crowd. Labels try to release pieces that a younger and more ignorant crowd would recognize through usage in film and television.
Must we really use this logic? Obviously, whatever these labels are doing isn't working. Why not get more sales out of the demographic it already possesses?
As for the whole "snobbery" thing, I just find it upsetting that people cannot branch out. Few people go out of their way to try new things, musically. This is what annoys me. It annoys me that a very credible art form, opera, is barely surviving, while commercialized genres such as hip-hop and pop, in which only a handful of truly different, unique, and innovative people are present, continue to enjoy high sales and influence. It's not about a particular individual by which I am annoyed, but rather an entire way of thought shared by the majority of the civilized world. The following:
|While I fiercly defend the traditions and the sophistication of the world of classical music, it is very arrogant and dangerous to look down upon people who are just beginning to explore the genre.
... is not what I mean. I am only concerned about those who explore the genre, but have very narrow musical tastes, and therefore can only dare experience the kind of music that they already know. There are plenty of people who enjoy all ends the musical spectrum, and don't require any "weening". If you necessitate this kind of thing, then you probably will never fully appreciate the music.
Don't get me wrong - I am all for curiosity and exploration - everybody needs to begin somewhere. It just is a little suspicious when somebody demands only a very specific kind of piece. The amount of Dream Theater fans, for example, that would never dare pick up Verdi's Requiem, because it's a classical piece containing vocal soloists and a choir, is appalling. After all, the mere technicality of the music found in Requiem is on par, if not greater than, any Dream Theater piece. This kind of superficial examination of music is what is leading to further genre separation and the death of the art in the music industry as a whole.