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    Thread: Is Classical Music a dying breed?

    1. #1
      Out of the Matrix Neo Neo's Avatar
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      Is Classical Music a dying breed?

      I am curious to think of what DVs thinks about classical music, and whether or not its fading out of popularity (or has already phased out) or is going to make a comeback at some point. And also, since I play classical music myself, I'll redefine the date range as starting from the 900 BC to about 1960 AD, since the term "classical music" as a genre is misleading because it really specifies music in the 1800s. Some prominent composers specifically from the classical period are Beethoven, Alberti, Boccherini, and C.P.E Bach. Sorry I had to get that rant out, its just misleading because technically Western/European music is split into various periods and labeling it as all "classical" is technically wrong. Even though I just refer to it as "classical music" as well lol.

      And I'll also say that I enjoy rock, metal, and other types of music as well, not just classical music. Anyway, I feel that because of the internet and pop music, that classical music has been largely dwarfed and am wondering what everyone's take on this music situation is.

    2. #2
      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
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      Modern composers still make original songs for soundtracks: Clint Mansell, Thomas Newman and the rest.

      I'm a big fan of OSTs, but I like atmospheric music in general. Whatever it is about classical that I like so much, I can find in post-rock artists like Sigur Ros as well. I have a pandora channel set up after Sigur Ros that I listen to constantly, and it comes up with a lot of what you could label modern classical.

      Videogame soundtracks are another possibility. Two Steps From Hell makes a lot of videogame tracks and their pandora station gets a lot of classical OSTs and stuff as well. I listen to it when playing Magic The Gathering because it's typically more epic than atmospheric.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 06-25-2014 at 07:24 AM.

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      Frigid Academic Aristaeus's Avatar
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      Classical music and opera is pretty much all I listen to nowadays, though once in a while I will settle for 80's rock. The only living bands or composers I listen to regularly are Chris de Burgh, Enya, and Celtic Woman. At home, I always blare mine classical music day and night. It keeps me calm and focused during the day, and helps me sleep at night. Honestly, I do not know what I would do without it.

      Personally, I do not see how other humans get into rap, techno, screemo, that creepy "gaga" lady, and all that other modern stuff. I was never into those genres, even when I was younger. Most people think I am weird because I listen to so much old stuff. [Shrugs] That being said, to each his/her own.

      I usually cannot really tell what is popular or not, since I am really more of an observer of society than a participant, though classical music, from what I have seen, is definitely decreasing in popularity, especially amongst the younger generations. For mine own sanity, I hope the genre never dies; it is hard enough for me to find pure classical radio stations as is.
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      I can pretty much listen to anything that isn't rap, dubstep or the most insufferably happy of pop songs. I much prefer instrumental to songs with lyrics in. Anyways, regarding classical, I like it far more than most modern music, though I think appreciation for the true oldies is at a low and may well fade entirely. Some current composers, most notably in video games, are trying to keep it alive, though. In any case, regardless of how bad my generation gets, I'll always stubbornly support it.

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      Music is language, and different music styles are different languages. Classical is a very complicated language, which has many more nuances than pop/rock etc., and for this reason it is more difficult to get into (especially, if you're not really young).

      Probably for this reason it has not been very popular for the past 80 years or so, and particularly since the 1960's young people have apparently not given it many chances - instead they have concentrated on the 'non-acoustic' styles.

      I don't think that classical is less popular today, than it was a generation or two ago. There is a relatively small audience for it (of course still numbering in the hundreds of millions [EDIT: Actually, that's likely an exaggeration, but tens of millions at least]), and this will probably continue to be the case for a long time (I believe).

      Many people try, slowly, to get into classical music when they're into their twenties or thirties, even though they never touched it before. The classical/pop-crossover genre is testimony to that (I believe), and that area is thriving.

      I got into classical as a child in the 1970's, and I was the only one in my class with any interest in that kind of music. Most other long-time lovers of classical music can probably say something similar. It's a lonely road, which is course reason for many to stay away from it (they don't want to be 'odd'). On the other hand, it's perfect for those who take pride in being their own unique person, and in making their own highly individual choices in life.
      Last edited by Voldmer; 06-25-2014 at 02:06 PM.
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    6. #6
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      I'm by no means a classical aficionado, but I've seen one of my favorite albums so far this year (it came out last year, but I first listened to it in 2014) get labeled as "modern classical." I feel it may be a far cry from the type of music this thread is actually about, but I just wanted to pop my head in as an example of how the music may still be relevant.

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      Out of the Matrix Neo Neo's Avatar
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      Wow, I wish I could reply to everyone's posts all at once, as I see lots of good input. And yes Sefalik, for sure your post is relevant!

      I think quoting everyone would be excessive so I'll just reply by names. To Original Poster, Aristaeus, and splodeymissle, yes I do feel that things like modern classical, video game, OSTs from movies (anime for me lol) and so forth are carrying it forward. Definitely Two Steps from Hell! I think mixing preexisting classical music with modern takes or styles is one way of showing it is alive and while. Albeit not in its traditional instrumental/stylistic setting, but definitely is present when you also look at groups like Two Cellos or the Piano Guys.

      I am still a little concerned for classical music in its own settings though. Its just weird for me when I think how baroque music like Bach and Mozart gets recognized, Beethoven, and whole musical periods with several well-known composers to orchestral/band musicans go unnoticed. So yes Voldmer it does get complicated, for example there is the stuff pre-1200s, baroque, renaissance, classical, romantic, contemporary, and the now "modern" music. I studied music in college, and even then the vast majority of composers that are covered just scratches the surface of what is available.

      I don't know, I may have a biased view since I've seen some really uptight and elitist attitudes of classical musicians, on how "their" music is better and other genres don't deserve attention or recognition, or are not the cliche "real music". I think it really turns away would-be admirers of classical music, since these elitist musicians either talk down or too complicated about it. Even within the classical music dates I gave in my OP, I've talked to people about certain Debussy or impressionistic music and other students just can't handle it. An example if you want to know what I'm talking about, is if you look up Claude Debussy - Nuages, on youtube. Nuages means clouds, so the music is supposed to depict clouds floating by and stuff lol. I think its nice and calming, but other classical musicians shun this kind of stuff. Shouldn't music majors be open to it at least, since they're supposed to be music majors? Not that they have to love or enjoy it all, but knee-jerk reactions, blank faces, facepalms, and shaking heads aren't the kind of reactions I would expect from people that want to make this part of their career. (ie its just music it doesn't bite). I don't know, part of me is just on my soap box now

      Edit: and the Debussy is from the 1900s as well.
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      Member braha_kahn's Avatar
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      to answer your question: no

      Original Poster summed it up quite nicely!

      I'm a big fan of modern day "classical" music from composers like George Crumb, Morton Feldman, Iannis Xenakis etc... Some of them are dead now though

      but the genre is still alive and kicking (even in my country! Like the young composer Bram van Camp & the Logos Foundation (network of composers who use robots to play their music))
      Last edited by braha_kahn; 06-26-2014 at 07:14 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Neo Neo View Post
      I am curious to think of what DVs thinks about classical music, and whether or not its fading out of popularity (or has already phased out) or is going to make a comeback at some point.
      Its popularity has declined in recent times due to pop music which is easily accessible and targeted to the general population. I think pop music will continue to grow, only into different branches. It's my hope that classical music will also survive.

      Quote Originally Posted by Neo Neo View Post
      And also, since I play classical music myself, I'll redefine the date range as starting from the 900 BC to about 1960 AD, since the term "classical music" as a genre is misleading because it really specifies music in the 1800s.
      No, classical music refers to any of its periods. You're confusing "classical music" with the Classical period; the meanings of these terms are distinct. Classical music's periods according to Wikipedia are

      Spoiler for :


      Quote Originally Posted by Neo Neo View Post
      And also, since I play classical music myself,
      What instrument and composers?
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      LD's this year: ~7 tommo's Avatar
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      "Classical" music is probably the longest surviving music of any genre.
      It's not going to die any time soon.

      It's also the inspiration for a lot of modern music.
      I think trance and some other electronic music is the modern equivalent.
      One person composing a piece for a whole "orchestra", except the orchestra is digital now.
      When these songs are played by real instruments, and with live singers, you can see the similarities more clearly.




    11. #11
      Out of the Matrix Neo Neo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Neo Neo View Post
      And also, since I play classical music myself, I'll redefine the date range as starting from the 900 BC to about 1960 AD, since the term "classical music" as a genre is misleading because it really specifies music in the 1800s. Some prominent composers specifically from the classical period are Beethoven, Alberti, Boccherini, and C.P.E Bach. Sorry I had to get that rant out, its just misleading because technically Western/European music is split into various periods and labeling it as all "classical" is technically wrong. Even though I just refer to it as "classical music" as well lol.
      Quote Originally Posted by reci View Post
      No, classical music refers to any of its periods. You're confusing "classical music" with the Classical period; the meanings of these terms are distinct. Classical music's periods according to Wikipedia are

      Spoiler for :


      What instrument and composers?
      Hi Reci, that is basically what I meant though, that when someone looks up "classical music" as a category/genre online (like in iTunes, Youtube, Spotify, Pandora ect) they are really accessing the entire Western/European tradition of music from basically pre 900BC to now. You are right and as I said in my post above, "classical" technically references that specific period in 1800s (or late 1700s into the 1800s).

      I was a music major in college and play cello; my goal is cello performance. As to the Wikipedia article, I think it only presents some basic date ranges. Composers' lifetimes can often extend beyond one period into another, or be boarderline, so periods shouldn't be thought of as cut and dry date ranges but instead guidelines for stylistic periods. Wikipedia leaves out the pre-classical period, individual styles of each period, and the date range of contemporary music keeps being pushed forward and has not been officially labeled at an specific/arbitrary date, just what is generally agreed upon. Often it depends which composer someone is referencing to determine the specific period of music. As an example of this in class for Gregorian chants and settings of the Mass, the dates for tests were just "pre 9nth century" for the sake of simplicity and because not much else (musically) was happening during that time frame. Once it gets post-classical, and definitely into the romantic and 20th century, there are so many composers and styles that it becomes difficult to talk in concrete date ranges. Rather it becomes easier to reference specific composers or styles.

      So basically, yes the term "classical" refers to a specific time period, there is some leeway with period dates, and I was saying that the everyday usage of the term "classical music" really encompasses the entire Western/European musical tradition. I don't want to come off as uptight or angry either, I'm just trying to clarify and respond to your post.
      Last edited by Neo Neo; 06-28-2014 at 06:29 PM.

    12. #12
      Out of the Matrix Neo Neo's Avatar
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      And Tommo, that's cool! I wasn't aware of that kind of electronic music. I like For an Angel a lot, the Adagio for Strings sounds catchy too but its a shock to me since I'm used to it being a slow gradual piece lol. Yeah at least for most pop songs, the structure and chord progressions can be traced back to early Renaissance music or functions based on classical music standards. Its funny for me to think about how songs today aren't very different from the "pop" music of the Renaissance in that sense lol. Still can sound pretty bizarre to our ears though.

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