Today’s elite lacks the patience and culture for classical..

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Sigbold
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29 Dec 2013, 1:40 am

Jacobin

Quote:
by John Halle
Today’s elite lacks the patience and culture for classical music.

Doug Henwood is not the first to observe that the American empire has entered a decadent phase. He is, however, among the few to focus his attention on how the “social rot produced by market-regulated societies, from the macro level of investment down to the socially shaped psychology (has begun to dictate) how we think and feel.” Henwood is right to wonder “how the imperium can long survive this sort of pervasive rot” as the ideological and cultural foundations on which the bourgeoisie rest, and through which it, at least in part, claims its legitimacy begin to founder.

As if on cue, at about the same time a piece appeared in the house organ of neo-liberalism the New Republic taking aim at an admittedly tiny but nonetheless significant bourgeois institution, classical music instruction, which middle-class parents, and those striving to move up the class ladder, have imposed on their children as a kind of secular catechism for generations.

Its author, New York Times religion correspondent Mark Oppenheimer concedes that “(s)tudying music or dance over a long time teaches perseverance and can build self-confidence” and “that there is virtue in mastering difficult disciplines.” But he is at pains to draw a rigid distinction between what we do in our spare time and work — or, more precisely, what we should do in each.

(...)


As one can see this article is about how present Western elites have less and less appreciation for classical music. The reason can be found in the lower time preference of the present population who do not have the time to learn how to value such music and instead want quick gratification of their desires. And a focus one pure profitability that of course leads to a focus on the lowest common denominator. And the conclusion that spending money on high culture is seen as wasteful. Alto the author rightfully points to market-thinking and it (neo)liberal logic (and it was a pleasant surprise that the term liberal was used in its original meaning in an American piece). He also limits himself to it, and only barely touches upon issues not related to liberal economic practices. Therefor the mindset that there can be no standards of quality when it comes to art is subjected to less criticism. And the writer could have done more in that regard then just mentioning it. Here is a point that a critique that focuses mostly on the economic lacks.



thinkinginpictures
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29 Dec 2013, 2:48 am

People have to work all the time, that's the main reason that people don't value fine arts.

Even the elite is expected to work now. We have created a workfare society that emphasizes corruption and competition, as the only virtues, linked to each other.

Humanity compete on how to be the most cruel, simple-minded and intellectually decadent creatures. I fail to see how humanity deserves to live from now on.



Fnord
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29 Dec 2013, 3:14 am

Classical music? We've heard it all before.

How about something new and original, instead?



thinkinginpictures
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29 Dec 2013, 4:03 am

Fnord wrote:
Classical music? We've heard it all before.

How about something new and original, instead?


1. I doubt you have all all classical pieces in your life.
I ONLY listen to classical music (I include medieval and renaissance) and film music/soundtracks (which is somewhat in the same kind of genre) and I surely haven't heard it all.

2. You could always make your own classical pieces, if you know how to do it. There is a certain set of rules, which, if followed, makes music classical.
It doesn't have to have been composed in the old days.

All you need to do is to follow the Catholic rules of music, for renaissance and earlier, and Bach for the "classical classical".



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29 Dec 2013, 8:21 am

Fnord wrote:
Classical music? We've heard it all before.

How about something new and original, instead?


New classical music is still being written, and no, it is not in the same style as Mozart/Beethoven.
If you want something new and original, do a search for current classical music.


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Fnord
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29 Dec 2013, 9:44 am

The 'Classical' music era was an approximately 100-year period that spanned most of the 16th century, and extended into the 17th century. Before the Classical era was the 'Baroque', and after the Classical was the 'Romantic'.

The musical eras break down like this:

Medieval: 0500 to 1400

Renaissance: 1400 to 1600

Baroque: 1600 to 1760 (Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Alessandro Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti, and Antonio Vivaldi.)

Classical: 1730 to 1820 (Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert.)

Romantic: 1815 to 1910 ( Jean Sibelius, Frédéric Chopin, Gioachino Rossini, and Felix Mendelssohn.)

Modern: 1890 to 1930 (Arnold Schoenberg, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Achille-Claude Debussy.)

20th century: 1901 to 2000

Contemporary: 1975 to present

21st century: 2001 to present

Of course, many non-musicians define 'Classical' music as any composition featuring acoustic instruments, especially piano, violin & cello, woodwinds, brass and percussion; and lasting longer than 3 minutes. Others poor souls define the 'Classical' music era as any time before the electric guitar was invented in 1931.

Any musical composition written after the early 1800s can not be considered 'Classical' music, but only written in the 'Classical' style.

Again, I say that as far as 'Classical' music is concerned, we've heard it all before; especially those of us who have learned a 'Classical' instrument (I play violin, clarinet, and a little piano), played 'Classical' music, and are over the age of 50.



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29 Dec 2013, 10:34 am

Sales reports of recorded classical music tell a different story.

Quote:
Even with copy protection, classical music has surprised many doomsayers with its robust sales over the past year. On Apple's iTunes, which controls over 70 percent of the digital market, classical purchases account for 12 percent of sales, four times its share of the CD market. Last year, classical was the industry's fastest-growing musical genre, despite the closing of Tower Records, which represented 30 percent of the total classical market share (this bump was partly due to popular crossover acts such as the Italian crooner Andrea Bocelli and the operatic boy band Il Divo). Industry figures are hopeful that dropping copy protection – thus allowing for big, clear-sounding and noncompressed audio files – will generate even stronger interest in classical downloads.



http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0601/p13s02-almp.html

So the "elites" (and apparently a lot of non-elites) have a strong taste for classical music and have not abandoned it at all. What they have abandoned (sort of) is going to see these concerts live in enough numbers to support certain orchestras and making their kids learn an instrument. This isn't an abandonment of the genere (as he claims). It's an abandonment of the cultural signifiers that have long been associated with it. It is no longer the class marker that it once was. To which I say...good!



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29 Dec 2013, 12:01 pm

Saying how decadent Western elites are is an old complaint. In 1905, Kaiser Wilhelm chastised the elites for letting an oriental power (Japan) defeat a Western one (Russia). In 1928, Oswald Spengler's "Decline of the West" made a similar argument about decadent Westeerners. Such arguments have been around forever. There is such a thing as relative decline of one elite over another, but this happens almost entirely for economic reasons.



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29 Dec 2013, 2:34 pm

Fnord wrote:
The 'Classical' music era was an approximately 100-year period that spanned most of the 16th century, and extended into the 17th century. Before the Classical era was the 'Baroque', and after the Classical was the 'Romantic'.

The musical eras break down like this:

Medieval: 0500 to 1400

Renaissance: 1400 to 1600

Baroque: 1600 to 1760 (Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Alessandro Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti, and Antonio Vivaldi.)

Classical: 1730 to 1820 (Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert.)

Romantic: 1815 to 1910 ( Jean Sibelius, Frédéric Chopin, Gioachino Rossini, and Felix Mendelssohn.)

Modern: 1890 to 1930 (Arnold Schoenberg, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Achille-Claude Debussy.)

20th century: 1901 to 2000

Contemporary: 1975 to present

21st century: 2001 to present

Of course, many non-musicians define 'Classical' music as any composition featuring acoustic instruments, especially piano, violin & cello, woodwinds, brass and percussion; and lasting longer than 3 minutes. Others poor souls define the 'Classical' music era as any time before the electric guitar was invented in 1931.

Any musical composition written after the early 1800s can not be considered 'Classical' music, but only written in the 'Classical' style.

Again, I say that as far as 'Classical' music is concerned, we've heard it all before; especially those of us who have learned a 'Classical' instrument (I play violin, clarinet, and a little piano), played 'Classical' music, and are over the age of 50.


I'd like your sources for these claims.

According to a wikipedia article, citing sources, classical era spans from the mid-16th century to the early 20th century. What characterizes classical music is the techniques and composition methods used.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_music

You are confusing the time periods/historical ages with the musical ages. These are not correlated. For instance, Renaissance music was composed far into the 17th century even though the renaissance officially stops around ca. 1590 with the beginning of Early Baroque Era. That doesn't make the music composed in, say, 1599, or 1601, baroque music.
It still conformed to the Renaissance style of composing music, until Bach.



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29 Dec 2013, 3:19 pm

John Adams was clearly overly-optimistic

John Adams wrote:
"The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain."


Many generations later, and the arts are still considered by many to be a waste of effort. We haven't quite turned into the sort of nation that our Founding Fathers envisioned. For shame, for shame.



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29 Dec 2013, 3:26 pm

His eras are pretty much what both my junior high teacher, and my college professor , and his textbook, all taught us.

Youre confusing the two "classicals" (big c and small c).

All non rock post-renaissance (1600 to now) chamber, or symphonic music written by composers is called "classical music".

But there was a period of classical music called the "Classical Period"- last half of the 1700's until 1820 of a certain style exemplified by Haydn, Gluck, and Mozart. So not all classical music is Classical music.

The Classical period within 'classical' music coincided with the 'neoclassical age' of art and archetecture- so called because of it obsession with imitating ancient Greek, and Roman, art and archetecture. Which was when our nation's capital was built which is why the city has the Greco-Roman look it has.

Most teachers and textbooks label the whole 1600 to 1750 period that predated the Classical period as the "Baroque". Though I admit (from what I recall studying) the music of 1600 until 1700 was more a continuation of the Renaissance than not. It wasnt until the 1700 to 1750 period that you had the truely "baroque" sound appear in Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi.

Often there is even an "Impressionist" period in classical music ( equivalent to the period of Impressionist art) inserted between the Romantic and the Modern Ages (1880 to 1910) that included Debussey, Ravel, and Satie.



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29 Dec 2013, 4:23 pm

My SATTV provider has several good channels,one of the best is the the ARTS channel,9406 on Dish.There would have to be some sort of demand,or they would not feature them.
Kids used to get a good dose of classical music on the old classic cartoons.
I would enjoy going to a concert,but not the long drive.So I enjoy my CD's instead.
The local music store has a limited selection of sheet music,mostly country and western.
I was glad that my kids both took band,they both enjoy music.Art and music were my favorite classes,but I'm hardly elite.


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29 Dec 2013, 4:26 pm

Misslizard wrote:
but I'm hardly elite.


You're a member of WrongPlanet. How elite can you get?



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29 Dec 2013, 5:01 pm

I spoke with some middle-aged rock-n-rollers at church today, and they told me that 'Classical' music spanned an era from about 1949 to about 1963 - a 14-year period. Some jazz musicians may tend to look at the 1920s through the 1970s as the 'Classical' era. Blues musicians might say that the 'Classical' era started around 1890, peaked during the Great Depression, and declined to its present state sometime after the mid-1960s.

Right now, though, 'Classical' popular music runs from about 1970 to about 1995 - Led Zepplin, The Who, The Police, Genesis, INXS, Fleetwood Mac, and so forth.

I'll stick with what I was taught at uni - that the 'Classical' Music Era ran from about 1730 to about 1820, and that anything written after that period could only be written in the 'Classical' style, but not be considered 'Classical' music. I've heard it all.

Otherwise, defining 'Classic' music seems to be entirely subjective.



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29 Dec 2013, 6:32 pm

Fnord wrote:
The 'Classical' music era was an approximately 100-year period that spanned most of the 16th century, and extended into the 17th century. Before the Classical era was the 'Baroque', and after the Classical was the 'Romantic'.




I have a Master's in music. :)
Small-c classical is generally used to refer to all of the music you listed there.

Quote:
From Wikipedia, because I couldn't be bothered coming up with a definition: Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western music (both liturgical and secular). It encompasses a broad period from roughly the 11th century to the present day.[1] The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common practice period.


To more specifically refer to the Classical Period in Western art music, big-C Classical is used.


_________________
Music Theory 101: Cadences.
Authentic cadence: V-I
Plagal cadence: IV-I
Deceptive cadence: V- ANYTHING BUT I ! !! !
Beethoven cadence: V-I-V-I-V-V-V-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I! I! I! I I I