Is classical music on life support, or simply in a cyclical recession? Certainly, its long history of survival beyond the lifespans of other types of popular music, doesn’t foreshadow an early demise. But it may be facing some significant health issues, such as aging benefactors, and a technological upheaval of its current business model. It’sContinue reading “The Classical Music Recession”
Classical Music, as most people know it, is everything from Bach to Copland.
This is not to be confused with the Classical Period/Era, which technically only
includes music written between 1750 and 1820. Think of the Classical we all
know, as the mother genre, for a group of sub-genres that were popular during
different periods, or eras. Chronologically, they would be baroque, classical,
romantic, impressionist, and 20th century.
Contemporary Classical then,
by definition, must include 21st century music. But, is there really any
classical music being written today? That probably depends largely on
instrumentation. However, not every modern arrangement that includes orchestral
instruments can be considered contemporary classical. If Lady Gaga’s arrangers
add a string section to one of her songs, does that make it classical? A summer
Pops concert employs a full orchestra to perform pop, rock and jazz tunes. Is
that classical? You hear a remix of Beethoven’s Fifth set to a dance beat. Is
Perhaps we should look at history, as well as
orchestration. If a new(er) piece harkens back to the sounds of that
Bach-to-Copland genre, that may be one clue. If the style doesn’t originate
from some other established genre, like jazz, rock, dance or ethnic music, that
may be clue #2. If it adds something new, or different… advancing those
classical sounds, then you may have found Contemporary Classical.
of the evolution of classical music as a progression, like making your way
across monkey bars. Each rung is a different “great master,” who added
something new to the advances of the predecessor. From Bach to Mozart, to
Beethoven, to Brahms, to Tchaikovsky, to Debussy, to Stravinsky, to Copland.
Each of them reached for something new, while using the previous rung for
More than a decade into the 21st century, we may be, arguably,
stuck on a rung, waiting for the next great master.
This is a new Blog, to discuss the future of classical music, in homes, in education, in entertainment and in our lives. The proliferation of free music on demand, and declining demographics for concertgoers in some areas, threatens the viability of the classical music industry. Even more, the decline in demand for new orchestral music,Continue reading “The Future of Classical Music”