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CLASSICAL  January 2005

CLASSICAL January 2005

Subject:

Re: "Jeopardy" Players Spurn Classical Music

From:

Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 3 Jan 2005 16:12:22 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (61 lines)

Bernard Chasan wrote:

>If this is a dark age, if the barbarians are doing better than ever,
>our duty is clear.  We need to save civilization.  Put on a cd!!  Read
>a good book!!

As far as saving civilization...stop your contribution to National Public
Radio...do a radio program on you local community radio station...get
on the board of your local arts organizations...start letter writing
campaigns to get your local classical station to really play classical
music and not wall to wall Dittersdorf (well, ok, so he did write a few
good pieces) but you get my drift.

Ultimately, I think we may be fighting a loosing battle. While I know
not everyone is fond of the Johnson book, "Who needs classical Music?"
there are some thoughts in it I find valid. With the mass availability
of music, I believe we run the risk of cheapening it.

The other day, as I was listening to a 78 minute CD...I started thinking
about how difficult it was to listen to music before the record player,
we either went to a concert...which meant leaving home and setting aside
some time to listen and paying our money, etc.  or learning how to play
music ourselves...then, when we had records, they would only play for a
few minutes...so one was more involved in the process of even playing a
record.

I believe we are developing a generation with shorter attention spans...
Not all of my Freshman students have that short attention span, but many
do...I wonder, how many people are willing to devote the time to get to
the point of a 60 minute discourse...say a Mahler Symphony.

>Spread the word!!  There may be more of us than we might imagine.

Naxos can sell about 10-15,000 of each title...well they do have great
distribution and advertize a great deal...but, for me, when I think about
it...even with all of those resources...world wide sale of those numbers
says we are small in number...or perhaps we have too many choices...

>Recently retired from the Boston University Physics Department,

God how I envy you!

>Best wishes for the New Year - dress warm, you are needed to save
>civilization.

Which civilization?  As the Oxford states: To make civil; to bring out
of barbarism, to instruct in the arts of life, and thus elevate in the
scale of humanity...

So the question is, who defines what is barbaric and what is not?  Bartok's
Allegro Barbaro doesn't seem all that barbaric to me...

Some years ago, one of our ethnomusicology students said..."of course
the symphony is dead.  (of course Bernstein said that many years ago)
It has no relevance to our society." While I would like to think it
should be relevant.  I wonder if there will be enough who do find it
relevant to provide the money to keep it going.  For me...there are times
when I think it is only through the recording that we will preserve this
"irrelevant" art form.

Karl

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