General Question

Leminnes's avatar

Why is classical music so unappreciated?

Asked by Leminnes (33points) December 25th, 2007
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

AreaOne's avatar

Honestly, because it is not in the main stream. Popularity often times wins out whether the music is actually good or not. I can bet you that if MTV played classical music for 30 minutes one day, the next week it would be the big new thing.

Weird how that happens…..but it is today’s society.

mikebrowne's avatar

AreaOne is 100% correct.

It’s exposure, usually through marketing, that popularizes something.

Take for example the number one movie on any given week. The films with the largest marketing budget, some in the 10’s of millions, get the biggest audiences. Word of mouth is almost dead as films and music aren’t given enough time to develop an audience any more. We’ve essentially become sheep listening to and watching what we’re told.

felipelavinz's avatar

I partly agree: I think that many people just like hearing rhythmical noise, so they turn on the radio/TV and listen to whatever it’s on; they don’t look for new music or look up their favourite artists influences… people that do, often discover that classical music it’s the foundation of practically everything we listen today —through labyrinths of mixtures and new influences, but it’s there. I think this is the people that actually like music and know how to appreciate music, people that don’t… they just like noise… or can’t stand silence.

samkusnetz's avatar

i think the main reason word of mouth is dead on classical music (using “classical” to mean “european chamber and orchestral music written between roughly 1400 and 1900) is because it isn’t happening… it’s in the past. word of mouth is dead, and the composers are dead. nobody alive today ever heard the phrase “have you heard mozart’s latest concerto?” so there’s no momentum on the subject. about the best you can do is notice a virtuoso performer or conductor, and indeed, you do often see a flurry of press surrounding such people.

the truth is that attention is focused forward, and new music will always get more attention, deserved or not, because it’s new.

kevbo's avatar

I would also add that classical music was written for an elite and leisure-minded audience and would venture that “popular” music in its many, many forms was the music of the working/peasant class, so even in a supposed golden age of classical music, society’s majority was enjoying music that was similar in complexity and high-minded purpose as today’s hip hop, rock, rap, etc. You can’t dance (freely) to most classical music, you can’t (colloquially, I mean) drink and sing to it. Its relative lack of repetition means that it’s not easily learned, and it is resource intensive in terms of number of musicians and their relative training (not to mention training the ear of the listener). Whereas with popular music, all you need is a red guitar, three chords and the truth.

While it is infinitely more accessible today that it probably ever has been, it’s also probably a prisoner of its own elegance in that people who believe they are (or who aspire to being) upscale will seek out classical music or opera much as they would Nordstrom or Rolex, while people who believe they are (or feel an affinity toward a) downscale set of tastes such as discount stores or two dollar watches (or whatever) probably seek music that aligns with those tastes.

I suppose if classical music were co-opted by pop artists, we’d see more “appreciation.”

Spargett's avatar

Because the lyrics are hard to sing along to and the beat isn’t catchy.

cwilbur's avatar

Classical music operates with different expectations and structures than popular music.

Consider your average pop song, with verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus. That’s a structure of a song that people have internalized by hearing hundreds of them, and so it gives them a framework for understanding a new pop song. Not all pop songs adhere strictly to this formula, but enough do, and enough treat it as a basic structure, that it’s broadly understood.

Well, your average sonata-allegro has exposition, development, recapitulation, and coda, and in the 19th century people internalized these by playing and hearing hundreds of sonata-allegros. But your average 21st-century listener hasn’t, and so doesn’t have a framework in which to understand a new sonata-allegro.

So to understand classical music, you need to listen to a lot of it. But you don’t get a lot of enjoyment out of that unless you understand it. So unless people have a reason to (their mothers make them take piano lessons, they think it will make them seem sophisticated, they see other people enjoying classical music and want to understand what they get out of it), they won’t invest the effort to learn to appreciate classical music, and they’ll just listen to the music they’re familiar with instead.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther