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(Slate)   Classical music is dying in America, because people are tired of pretending to be interested in orchestral music that isn't composed by John Williams   (slate.com) divider line 109
    More: Obvious, chamber music, classical music, fat lady, program note, New York City Opera, Kingsley Amis, The New Yorker, Pearl Jam  
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936 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 22 Jan 2014 at 10:16 AM (25 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-22 10:19:27 AM
But Sir Mixalot's entire canon is on iTunes!
 
2014-01-22 10:19:36 AM
I like listening to old timey big band and swing when I'm making breakfast on Sunday mornings
 
2014-01-22 10:25:21 AM
That's funny, I just started listening to it.
 
2014-01-22 10:26:01 AM
I love classical, but I am over 40 so that kind of confirms their "getting old" notion.

/love rap, rock and jazz as well so maybe just eclectic
 
2014-01-22 10:26:59 AM
During the day, once the morning news shows have ended, the NPR station here plays classical music all day. It's like an audio sleeping pill.
 
2014-01-22 10:29:50 AM
The previous demographic that might have switched to classical music at a certain age has more options than ever before for music.

I, for example, do not listen to as much bangin' peak hour techno or darkstep drum n' bass as I used to.  I really don't have to switch to jazz or classical though, as there's gobs and gobs of more relaxed music like dub techno and ambient.

So I can have my bass at less than 170 BPM and sit in my rocking chair on the porch drinking beer and chilling out.
 
2014-01-22 10:30:50 AM

The Muthaship: That's funny, I just started listening to it.


I've been enjoying it via Sirius XM for a few years now. I was never into it before that.
 
2014-01-22 10:30:58 AM
...or Danny Elfman
 
2014-01-22 10:34:14 AM
200 years from now, what will be considered "classical music"?
 
2014-01-22 10:36:29 AM

cgraves67: The Muthaship: That's funny, I just started listening to it.

I've been enjoying it via Sirius XM for a few years now. I was never into it before that.


Ha!  That's what got me going.  Channel 76!
 
2014-01-22 10:39:32 AM
More accurate headline would be:

John Williams is the greatest composer who ever lived. Compared to his work, everything is pretty much shiat.

Soundtrack for E.T. is the single greatest musical accomplishment ever.
 
2014-01-22 10:45:04 AM

Cymbal: More accurate headline would be:

John Williams is the greatest composer who ever lived. Compared to his work, everything is pretty much shiat.

Soundtrack for E.T. Empire Strikes Back is the single greatest musical accomplishment ever.

 
2014-01-22 10:46:56 AM
Classical music is  great live -- there is nothing like hearing a giant orchestra play a powerful piece of music.

But the reality is that the modern generations have been taught to listen to music differently. Classical music is background music, and even the modern orchestral stuff is relegated to the score of TV shows and films. We're constantly taught through media that music is meant to fit the mood, not be entertainment in and of itself.

The dynamic range of orchestral music, so wonderful in person, doesn't fit the modern sensibility of listening to music through tinny speakers or dinky headphones. Many people can agree that Holst's The Planets is really great to listen to, but if you want to hear what makes  Mars, Bringer of War so awesome, you have to turn the sound up to hear the intro and then turn it down to hear the crescendo because the range exceeds what you can comfortably hear through popular speakers (unless you're listening on a really nice stereo system).

Classical music is also named in ways that make it confusing to the average listener. Symphonies, Opuses, Concertos and Suites are more often named with numbers than descriptors, and it can be downright intimidating to ask people for help in identifying a piece you want to hear again because those who know classical music tend to be snobs about it.

So, yeah -- there's a reason the genre is dying, and also a reason John Williams will prevail down the road (even if he's really just an adept copycat who takes his best ideas from the classics). Classical music defined the early 20th century because it was often performed and easily recorded. Today, it's as culturally relevant as opera.
 
2014-01-22 10:51:52 AM
I love the happy-go-lucky style of orchestral music that I associate with 50s movies and tv shows, but I have no idea what to call it so I don't know how to look for it.
 
2014-01-22 10:54:38 AM
Classical music requires a good carrier and delivery medium.

Lossy compressed to hell MP3s and iTunes garbage ruins the signal, which is further degraded by "Beats" headphones or $100 Home-Theater-In-A-Box systems.

/thought as technology approved so would sound quality
//I miss SACDs
 
2014-01-22 10:55:06 AM

Orgasmatron138: Cymbal: More accurate headline would be:

John Williams is the greatest composer who ever lived. Compared to his work, everything is pretty much shiat.

Soundtrack for E.T. Empire Strikes Back

Jurassic Park is the single greatest musical accomplishment ever.
 
2014-01-22 10:56:55 AM

Vacation Bible School: Orgasmatron138: Cymbal: More accurate headline would be:

John Williams is the greatest composer who ever lived. Compared to his work, everything is pretty much shiat.

Soundtrack for E.T. Empire Strikes Back Jurassic Park Saturday Night Fever is the single greatest musical accomplishment ever.

 
2014-01-22 10:59:31 AM

zappaisfrank: During the day, once the morning news shows have ended, the NPR station here plays classical music all day. It's like an audio sleeping pill.


Our local NPR station did that until last year.  Now it's mostly talk-oriented programs.
 
2014-01-22 11:02:08 AM

The Muthaship: cgraves67: The Muthaship: That's funny, I just started listening to it.

I've been enjoying it via Sirius XM for a few years now. I was never into it before that.

Ha!  That's what got me going.  Channel 76!


I prefer channel 75 myself. The long pieces on 76 mean that fewer pieces get played each day. 75 plays shorter pieces and thus has more variety. 75 also has weekend programs that spotlight movie music and contemporary classical music.
 
2014-01-22 11:02:21 AM

peterthx: /thought as technology approved so would sound quality
//I miss SACDs


Are there online stores that offer high quality FLAC (24 bit)?

I forget what quality SACD is.

I'm guessing it's not more common because people don't seem to be clamoring for it, but a good soundcard plus something like Foobar seems infinitely more suited for audiophile playback needs as opposed to iTunes.
 
2014-01-22 11:04:30 AM

cgraves67: The long pieces on 76 mean that fewer pieces get played each day


I do agree.  I like 76 because I have long drives every day.  I swear, it seems that the long pieces make the time fly by.  It's like I don't even realize it, and I'm there.

/and the same piece is still playing!
 
2014-01-22 11:18:42 AM
Robert Frost said that it was poet's job to make every work as distinct as possible. I'm sure that holds true of music. The composer of an art piece, if he's serious, is trying to write something that sounds as different from every other piece of music as he can. And yet still communicate with an audience. That's a contradictory impulse. Popular music is trying to make music that sounds only enough different from everything else that you can pick it out of a lineup and buy it.

It's a completely different experience.
 
2014-01-22 11:25:43 AM

Glitchwerks: peterthx: /thought as technology approved so would sound quality
//I miss SACDs

Are there online stores that offer high quality FLAC (24 bit)?

I forget what quality SACD is.

I'm guessing it's not more common because people don't seem to be clamoring for it, but a good soundcard plus something like Foobar seems infinitely more suited for audiophile playback needs as opposed to iTunes.


SACDs used DSD encoding which is actually supported in Foobar. 5.1 mixing was also the norm, really opened up classical recordings. Instruments are no longer fighting each other like they are when confined to two channels.

I can count on one hand the number of audiophile grade stores there are available. I'm sure there are more but they are a niche of a niche of a niche. I really want a pressed disc for music that won't disappear when a hard drive decides to take a dump.
 
2014-01-22 11:38:03 AM
Jon Williams' plagiarized garbage is the last kind of classical I want to listen to.
 
2014-01-22 11:41:11 AM

Ed Grubermann: Jon Williams' plagiarized garbage is the last kind of classical I want to listen to.


Ouch, I actually lost IQ points reading this post.
 
2014-01-22 11:45:14 AM
Who is composing new music? Who are the stars of the modern classical scene? The answer: nobody and no one, at least no one I've ever heard of. I can count on two hands today's classical stars, and most of them have been around for a while now.

For an art form to survive, it needs new blood, new direction. Can't say I am not guilty of living in the past when it comes to classical music--mostly, I hanker for the Baroque and back--but I can't think of the last time I heard a contemporary composition that blew my hair back.

Alas, if it is heading in the same direction as most music--towards the saccharine and unoriginal--I suppose the listening public gets what it deserves. Bravo, Il Divo! Sing that fake Puccini song one more time--I didn't get enough of it when Andrea Bocelli carted out his thirteen versions of it. Maybe they'll turn it into a dance mix.
 
2014-01-22 11:51:57 AM
P.S. John Williams really raised the bar when it comes to movie scores, but he is hardly groundbreaking.
Listen to this piece by Ravel, composed at the beginning of the 20th century. You'll swear it came either from the Poltergeist or the Close Encounters soundtrack.
 
2014-01-22 11:52:02 AM
Don't forget about the late great Jerry Goldsmith.
 
2014-01-22 11:54:17 AM

The Muthaship: Vacation Bible School: Orgasmatron138: Cymbal: More accurate headline would be:

John Williams is the greatest composer who ever lived. Compared to his work, everything is pretty much shiat.

Soundtrack for E.T. Empire Strikes Back Jurassic Park Saturday Night Fever Conan the Barbarian is the single greatest musical accomplishment ever.

 
2014-01-22 11:54:31 AM

awfulperson: The answer: nobody and no one, at least no one I've ever heard of.


Francesco Tristano is doing interesting stuff with classical piano and modern music.  He's probably not well known in most classical circles, but he's popular among electronic music fans.
 
2014-01-22 11:57:35 AM

Big Beef Burrito: The Muthaship: Vacation Bible School: Orgasmatron138: Cymbal: More accurate headline would be:

John Williams is the greatest composer who ever lived. Compared to his work, everything is pretty much shiat.

Soundtrack for E.T. Empire Strikes Back Jurassic Park Saturday Night Fever Conan the Barbarian is the single greatest musical accomplishment ever.


My wife and I used the main theme from Conan at our wedding reception as the wedding party was being introduced. It was awesome.
 
2014-01-22 11:57:43 AM
I have thought about the decline of classical music as well.  It seems from a musical perspective that the craft peaked sometime in the 19th century.    Think about how difficult it must be for a composer to write all these parts and make them fit together without the benefit of any recording or playback devices as he wrote.   Nowadays a self-styled producer just copy-pastes a few beats together, finds a nice phat low bass note and repeats it over and over again in Protools and that is what people want to hear.

It is sort of like the moon landing.  How could we have been so awesome back then with so little when we have so much now and suck?
 
2014-01-22 11:58:28 AM

Big Beef Burrito: The Muthaship: Vacation Bible School: Orgasmatron138: Cymbal: More accurate headline would be:

John Williams is the greatest composer who ever lived. Compared to his work, everything is pretty much shiat.

Soundtrack for E.T. Empire Strikes Back Jurassic Park Saturday Night Fever Conan the Barbarian Gilligan's Island is the single greatest musical accomplishment ever.

 
2014-01-22 12:03:28 PM

Glitchwerks: awfulperson: The answer: nobody and no one, at least no one I've ever heard of.

Francesco Tristano is doing interesting stuff with classical piano and modern music.  He's probably not well known in most classical circles, but he's popular among electronic music fans.


Haha, I was already doing the "oontz-oontz"es three minutes before the DJ started up. :D

Rather intriguing, if a bit repetitive.
 
2014-01-22 12:06:12 PM
Yet, Video Games Live sells out near every show, and the Hyrule orchestra is packed full. Orchestra music has changed from classical to video game soundtracks. 'One Winged Angel' and 'Zelda's Lullaby' are the popular classical music of our time.
 
2014-01-22 12:08:48 PM
John Williams has never composed a damn thing, he's an arranger.
 
2014-01-22 12:17:18 PM
I learned to appreciate classical music watching Looney Tunes as a kid.
 
2014-01-22 12:17:30 PM
I spent New Year's Eve seeing a performance of Die Fledermaus at the National Opera House in Budapest. I like classical music, but it was mostly a Christmas present for my girlfriend. However, it was an amazing experience. Seeing an opera/symphony/ballet or anything like that done live is something special.
 
2014-01-22 12:18:05 PM

BKITU: Big Beef Burrito: The Muthaship: Vacation Bible School: Orgasmatron138: Cymbal: More accurate headline would be:

John Williams is the greatest composer who ever lived. Compared to his work, everything is pretty much shiat.

Soundtrack for E.T. Empire Strikes Back Jurassic Park Saturday Night Fever Conan the Barbarian Gilligan's Island  Krush Groove is the single greatest musical accomplishment ever.

 
2014-01-22 12:19:34 PM

Glitchwerks: The previous demographic that might have switched to classical music at a certain age has more options than ever before for music.

I, for example, do not listen to as much bangin' peak hour techno or darkstep drum n' bass as I used to.  I really don't have to switch to jazz or classical though, as there's gobs and gobs of more relaxed music like dub techno and ambient.

So I can have my bass at less than 170 BPM and sit in my rocking chair on the porch drinking beer and chilling out.


You mean stuff like chillwave? I agree, that music is awesome for relaxing.
 
2014-01-22 12:30:44 PM

verbaltoxin: You mean stuff like chillwave? I agree, that music is awesome for relaxing.


Nah, more like this.
 
2014-01-22 12:44:20 PM
More accurate headline would be:

John WilliamsFrank Zappa is the greatest composer who ever lived. Compared to his work, everything is pretty much shiat.

Soundtrack for E.T.You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 2 is the single greatest musical accomplishment ever.


izquotes.com
 
2014-01-22 12:49:22 PM
I love classical music, especially baroque, and utilize Last.fm and 1.FM regularly in addition to to local NPR and Radio Arts Foundation. Maybe I can reverse the trend.
 
2014-01-22 12:51:46 PM
I just spent the morning listening to Bach.
 
2014-01-22 12:53:32 PM
I am heading to a shostakovich concert in 26 days, so I'm getting a kick
 
2014-01-22 01:03:19 PM
I love old classical music--Mozart and Bach and stuff. Hate anything "classical" from the modern age. Not just don't like it, I fricking hate it. I guess it's Mozart and Vivaldi forever.
 
2014-01-22 01:09:27 PM
 
2014-01-22 01:19:50 PM
The Googles Do Nothing:

It is sort of like the moon landing.  How could we have been so awesome back then with so little when we have so much now and suck?

Because the abundance of technology makes things so very easy, that all of the effort and creative problem solving necessary to produce something truly original is missing. Technology can give us perfection - perfect tempo, perfect pitch - but it can't give soul, feeling, or the simple real beauty that comes from imperfection.
 
2014-01-22 01:22:27 PM

zappaisfrank: During the day, once the morning news shows have ended, the NPR station here plays classical music all day. It's like an audio sleeping pill.


images.sodahead.com
 
2014-01-22 01:29:48 PM
I have been listening to classical music my entire life ... but I'm over 50 now so I guess I qualify as the dying, "older" audience.

No mention in the article of some very popular contemporary classical composers like Philip Glass or John Adams.

I defy anyone to listen to Adams' "On the Transmigration of Souls" (his 9/11 requiem) and not be moved to weeping, existential despair.  Which is actually a lot better than it sounds.
 
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