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October 07, 2004

Classical music: dying or reviving?

This article discusses whether classical music is now a niche form of entertainment on its way downhill (like Phish!) or whether globalization can save it.

Interesting bit on China's devouring of the art form. Read it, elevate your mind. The constant online yapping about politics will still be there when you get back.

Posted by Dan at October 7, 2004 10:44 PM

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Comments

The interactive aspect he discusses in the final part of the article is, in my own opinion, the way of the future. People nowadays just aren't satisfied to observe. They need a connection. Just like fantasy baseball has taken off in the US, and Pop Idol went big in the UK, some form of interactivity, I fear, is going to become a necessary element of any form of entertainment.

So who is to blame? I put the onus directly on the late Orville Redenbacher. Microwave popcorn is the bane of contemporary society.

You, Dan, are likely old enough to remember the days when, if one wanted popcorn, one stood in front of a stove with, if they were extravagant, a store-bought aluminum pie tin with a built-in handle and a swirl of foil on top. One would wave this pie tin ofer an open flame or electric eyelet for up to 12 excruciating minutes, until the foil magically decompressed into a steaming dome full of hot, fluffy kernels. If one were on a more modest budget, the same could be accomplished with a modicum of vegetable oil, a handfull of kernels, and a soup pot with a lid.

Now, not only do we have popcorn in under two minutes, we frequently find ourselves standing in front of the microwave, trying to add our pyrokinesis to the miz in an effort to make it HURRY UP!!!!

Is it any wonder we no longer have the ability to sit and enjoy the performing arts in general, and live classical music in particular? We can't even get through a film without blowing something up.

One of my greatest fears (besides clowns, but we don't need to talk about that here) is that someone is going to find a way to incorporate a car chase into Beethoven's Pastorale.

Posted by: Mr. E. at October 11, 2004 08:33 AM

Mr. E,

My own thoughts echo yours. On top of the need to have it NOW NOW NOW and at the push of a button, America is also losing its nuance.

Movies with symbolism and hidden meanings/subplots are becoming more and more rare. Our entertainment is increasingly superficial. We don't even need to figure out when to laugh anymore; we have laugh tracks for that now, we just have to play along.

In Screenwriting classes we would take hours to deconstruct the subplots and movements in films like "Witness" and "The Last Emporer." Even today's "intellectual" films are available on a surface level only.

Classical music is a whole. It is a movement. There are notes played on the surface, certainly, but like Miles' jazz, the real action is underneath, where you have to really listen and feel to get it. I find myself just as guilty as the rest of my society for forgetting how to sit quietly, listen and feel.

Good word.

Posted by: Big Dan at October 11, 2004 09:58 AM

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