Why isn't classical music more popular?

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Goliath, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    The Fifth Dimension
    That's good to know. :techman: This will teach me to post before I've had my morning coffee.

    Not at all. I just don't understand why Beethoven is so popular--and as a consequence, I resent the way he seems to overshadow so many other, better composers.

    I've listened to Beethoven's works, and tried to find value in them, repeatedly. I even picked up a second set of his complete quartets recently, to see if it was the performances on my first set that were the problem. And while I do occasionally hear things that I like--the final movement of the Ninth Symphony (of course), or the second movement of the "Ghost" trio, for example--for the most part, his stuff just doesn't do anything for me. In fact, I once heard his "Grosse Fugue" performed live, and it bored me stiff.

    By contrast, I hit it off with Schubert's music almost at once. I haven't heard anything in Beethoven's entire oeuvre that would compare to the "Death and the Maiden" quartet

    Yes. As the saying goes: once burned, twice shy.

    I stand by what I posted there, nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2008
  2. atozz

    atozz Ensign Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Hi Camelopard,

    I am also a huge classical music fan. Interestingly enough, I rather dislike most of the "popular" pieces used repeatedly in advertising or in film scores. I suppose the problem might be that most of the REAL classical is not well known at all and you cannot like something which you do not even know it exists. Not liking a classical piece that you heard on tv does not mean that you do not like the whole classical - it is a matter of finding the right piece and sometimes the right performance.

    As for Beethoven, he is so popular because people KNOW THAT HIS MUSIC EXISTS. Amadeus brought Mozart to the wider audience and Immortal Beloved (the film) did the same for Beethoven. Still, their names alongside with Bach and Vivaldi are probaly the ONLY names the majority of "regular" people would recognize. Nobody would like Elvis or Metallica if they didn't know they exist.

    Classical is both popular and hugely niche - there is a set of well known pieces like "4 seasons" etc. that are used for commercials, films etc. and there are lots of (much better) pieces that are NEVER played on mainstream media, only from CDs by people who discovered them after becoming fans of the classical genre.
     
  3. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    the Frozen Wastes
    Anyone living in the UK should watch Maestro. It's a group of celebs trying to learn how to conduct an orchestra (in this case the BBC Concert O) with the winner conducting at the LNotP. It's exactly what reality TV should be. Very entertaining and educational.
     
  4. Warp14

    Warp14 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    The Ghetto Of Tucson
    Maybe because classical music is public domain and there's no royalties to get somebody rich.
     
  5. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    the Frozen Wastes
    Every time an artist or an orchestra produces a new version of a classical piece, they get royalties, the same as any other performer.
     
  6. Warp14

    Warp14 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    The Ghetto Of Tucson
    What? Really? So I guess the only difference is the dead composer's estate doesn't get anything out of it.
     
  7. atozz

    atozz Ensign Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Yeap, in pop music there is only one performer of a given piece and the performer is usually the composer herself/himself, unless they do covers but a cover has to be different in some way. In classical music the composer (not necessarily "dead composer" - many of them are alive and well) stands behind a huge complexity of a multitude of instruments that make up symphonic orchestra or composes a piece for vocals and instruments and therefore cannot perform the piece in person (still, some of them did - like Bach himself playing the organ and Beethoven playing piano).

    Anyway, in classical there is always "the composer" and "the performers" which causes huge differences in the way a given piece may sound like each time it is performed. Also, some people do a so called "HIP" (historically informed performance) with instruments that were around when the composer composed his piece.

    Finally, mind you classical musicians DO get payed and it CAN be a lot. Hardly anyone knows the classical genre well, so the biggest sales are there for pop genres. However, with the ability to buy online from any place in the world, the base of fans may grow as large and that would mean VERY comparable profits made on each record.
     
  8. HRHTheKING

    HRHTheKING Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Location:
    Royal Estates


    Probably because it contains no Timbaland association.
     
  9. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    The Fifth Dimension
    :eek:

    AAAHHH!!! ZOMBIE THREAD!!!

    But seriously...

    That's probably true.


    And I never thought of it quite that way. Good point.
     
  10. opali

    opali Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    It isn't as if Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 is going to end up on VH1 One-Hit Wonders, so if it continues to be carried along generation to generation, and the respect and appreciation of its beauty and complexity is passed down, that is satisfying enough for me.
    I bought my kids some great CD's called Classical Kids. They listen to them over and over. Granted, the pieces are just samplings, but it has helped them to familiarize with each composer. Now, when they see a car commercial (what is up with Vivaldi and car commercials?) they recognize it, and instead of it being some blah blah background music, their ears pick up on it. Same thing if we catch it on the radio if I have classical in the background at home or in the car. They enjoy it, they are familiar with some of it, they appreciate it, and really, that's all I can ask of them.
    I have also introduced them to artists like Violinist Nigel Kennedy, who dresses a bit like a punk rocker, and calls the Classical Brits 'Old Farts.' He is an amazing Violinist and because I adore Vivaldi, the kids have to listen to him a lot. He puts life into a bunch of notes that would otherwise be fodder for advertisers selling their luxury cars.
    Throwing some classical-crossover bond at them lately has been just for fun, to see what they think of four cool women in heels jamming with their cello and violin.
    The good news is, they don't hate classical. But if they get a choice, they would rather pull out my 80's music and dance to Katrina and the Waves.
     
  11. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    The Fifth Dimension
    That's exactly how I was first exposed to classical music--through LPs with a selection of short excerpts. Except my parents didn't buy them for me--they were just sitting around.

    Yeah, kids gotta be kids. As soon as I got old enough, I was out slam-dancing and stage-diving at hardcore punk-rock concerts. But I never completely lost my enjoyment or appreciation of classical music. So I still have something to listen to--even when the only rocking I do nowadays is in my chair.
     
  12. Holdfast

    Holdfast Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2000
    Location:
    17 Cherry Tree Lane
    Having a 40-45 minute commute instead of a 10-15 minute one now has meant I've been listening to Classic FM a bit more these days. Sure, Classic FM is like the Chicken McNugget Happy Meal version of listening to classical music, but it suits my mainstream classical tastes fairly well.

    Although it was rather bizarre when they played the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba en route to work and then when I got into work, I needed to ring the IT helpdesk and got greeted by the same tune when placed on hold. That made me reconsider my tastes a little. :wtf: