Thursday, 12 July 2012

How would you describe ‘classical’ music?

Is ‘classical’ music art, serious, legitimate, concert or erudite music? (Wikipedia)

Or is it about perception?

“I call it pretty music but the old people call it the blues” – ‘Little’ Stevie Wonder

A couple of years ago some research showed that there is a large number of people who attend ‘cultural’ activities but regard classical music as ‘one step too far’. Why?

“It’s not for us” As classical music is the art music rooted in the traditions of Western music, in the broad period from the 11th century to present times, I’d argue that it’s actually for all of us. Like any artform, the work can be studied, investigated and researched – if that’s what you want to do. But you can also just enjoy it with no special study. I do.

“It’s hard to take in new music” True, up to a point. Sometimes some new piece of music is just immediately right. (For me, two examples: Ray Charles ‘What’d I Say’ and John Adams ‘Grand Pianola Music’).

“I get classical, but I’m not sure what contemporary classical music is” The term ‘contemporary music’ is sometimes used to describe music composed in the late 20th century through to the present day. Our definition is music by living composers, which means a lot of new music!

Because of the unfamiliarity of this work, we’ve selected a pool of composers who will be regularly programmed, backed up by examples of their music on our website. We’ll be adding examples of their work regularly through the year – from our previous concerts and from the ones this year. Keep an ear out.

“I’m not sure what to do at classical concerts” A starting point is to have a look at another blog of ours ‘Overcoming the constraints of tradition’ which, we hope, answers some of the new concertgoers concerns.

“It’s too expensive” Often true, but you only really find that out after you’ve been! We have set a price of £10 for all concerts, reduced to £8 for the usual concessions. We also have a student rate of £3. We are able to do this because of the financial support that we receive from our sponsors (all listed on our website

Back to Little Stevie: what we or you call it is not important. It’s if you like it.

1 comment:

  1. This has made me realise that I don't really know what classic, classical or classicism really mean in this context. There are so many different meaning that could be applicable - than unless I stop to question it, I just assume I understand!