>This message is for anybody who has been to a GREAT (non "classical")
>When you have been to a concert that everyone thought was great, how
>much of the concert was made up of the "classic", well known tunes by
>the band/singer, and how much of the evening was spent listening to new
>music ("off the new album")?
>I am constantly trying to balance programming between things that the
>audience is familiar with, and introducing them to new music. I just
>began thinking that I might be able to learn something from how "popular
>music" concerts are done.
>Anybody have any observations that might help?
Since pop concerts contain music mostly unfamiliar to me, I can say
that I judge each piece as it comes. Sometimes, of course, it would be
embarrassing, if I were capable of embarrassment. After a live concert,
I once asked a knowledgeable friend whether Ellington's "Rockin' in
Rhythm" was considered one of his better works.
In New Orleans, this situation is reversed when it comes to classical
music. Most of the audience knows very little about classical music.
However, they are pretty strong in their likes and dislikes and they
don't seem to care about whether the cognoscenti agree with them. I
heard incredible complaints about Beethoven's Missa Solemnis (and it was
a good performance) in the lobby afterwards, mostly along the lines of
"what a boring piece of crap." Now, very few classical enthusiasts would
On the other hand, many like the comfort of brand names, even if they
haven't sampled the brands. After all, I went to an Ellington concert,
rather than to a Lee Konitz concert.
So it seems to me we have two competing forces: one, most people haven't
heard the music, so in that sense every piece is up for grabs, and you
might as well satisfy yourself, at least partially; two, people like
Also, one might consider educating the public in two ways: giving them
familiarity with the canon (the classical Top Fifty) and broadening
interest to music outside the canon. Many arts organizations, despite
their promo material, don't really care about this, but they tend to be
the more short-sighted organizations. Basically, they want a gig. They
don't realize, however, that without a solid base, they won't have gigs
after a while.