Random comments on several different messages.
>More or less at the same time there was an article in Harpers or the
>Atlantic which shocked me by its (then new) multicultural claims that
>classical music was simply one of several musical traditions, none of
>which were better or more privileged than any other.
I actually enjoy and listen to many forms of traditional "world" music.
Much of it is interesting and enjoyable in its own terms and is deserving
of a wider audience. I would argue, however, that western classical
music (WCM?) *is* different and arguably in a different category all
together. I can't think of any other single musical tradition with the
depth and breadth of material that WCM has.
>I was under the assumption that public broadcasting has a tax exempt
>status because it is supposed to fill a gap in what is offered in
Indeed, I had always thought that the entire reason for the existence
of both PBS and NPR was to provide a venue for material that simply does
not get "air time" in commercial television and radio.
>Does *anyone* need Charlie Rose....
I could also add NPR's "Car Talk" to that list of wasted air time. ;-)
>One need look at the list I provided above to see that music is not
>shorted on NPR.
Having recently moved from a market (Chicago, IL) which until recently
had *two* full-time classical radio stations, to one (Birmingham, AL)
that only has one, part-time classical station (local NPR) I certainly
miss the easy availability. The times I am most likely to listen to
music on the radio (during commutes to and from work, and on the weekends)
are the times the local NPR station programs predominantly syndicated
NPR material (news, talk and what might loosely be referred to as "comedy")
>Look, music is NOT dead. It's alive and well and thriving at your local
>Best Buy store.
I certainly don't see a huge variety of classical music at my local Best
Buy. Plus, without a local radio station which plays a variety of old
and new classical music, you are severely limited in your ability to
identify CDs to purchase (I probably have a less than 50% success rate
in buying unheard CDs). This is alleviated to some extent by places
like Borders and Barnes & Noble which offer listening stations, but even
there the number of stations is so limited (especially in the classical
music section) that you don't get a very large cross section to choose
Right now this list is my primary source for ideas and suggestions for
new classical CD purchases. While it is a very good source, it does not
compare to the hours of weekly listening I used to be able to do as far
as exposure to new recordings and new compositions.
>Perhaps the methods of retrieving it are different, but for a very small
>price if not completely free, there are ways to experience endless hours
>of fine music of every stripe, shape and color.
If you are referring to streaming and downloadable music over the internet,
this is certainly a good thing IMO, and gives you ways to access classical
music that did not exist before. It is still not a real substitute for
over the air broadcasts, however, and I will continue to miss that.