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CLASSICAL  November 2005

CLASSICAL November 2005

Subject:

Re: "Why young people don't like classical music"

From:

Deryk Barker <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 15 Nov 2005 20:51:05 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (64 lines)

Frank Wales wrote:

>Mary Esterheld wrote:
>
>>I think it would be more to the point to try to understand why young
>>people have such short attention spans and try to correct that problem.
>>
>>[Is there any evidence at all to suggest that young people
>>have shorter attention spans now than they once did?  Or are we
>>proposing changing the fundamental nature of young people?  -Dave]
>
>Speaking as someone with modest expertise in attention-span problems,
>I can assure you that not having the patience to wait for someone to
>get to the point isn't the same as having a short attention span.  ....
>
>If you're feeling frustrated by that horrendous run-on sentence, you're
>feeling only a part of the frustration I felt watching this interminable
>shot that took about two minutes to convey a simple plot point.  Today,
>the whole thing would have been over in about fifteen seconds, with
>editing to cut out all the stuff (walking, fishing for change, dialling
>and dialling of digits, operating the phone, re-telling of dialogue we
>had already heard, more walking) that burned our time without advancing
>the story.

I see no emoticon so I presume you are serious. You want to remove any
kind of atmosphere from tv/movie entertainment and focus solely on
'plot' or action?

>And things continue to move on: shows like 'The Robinsons', 'Arrested
>Development' and '24' find new ways to cram in *more* characterization,
>plot and story into *less* time.  I believe this is A Good Thing, not
>just on TV but in all media, even if the cost is that we neglect some
>of what went before because it is now considered wasteful of time.

My experience of network tv in N America (which admittedly, as a proportion
of my life, grows smaller all the time) is that all that smoke and noise
is simpy sound and fury signifying nothing.

I (my wife also) am constantly surprised, watching recordings of old
British tv series, how frequently several major plot incidents happen
within a single episode, where one's memory would have had them in two.
And yet the programmes themselves do not seem to move at lightning pace.

Just last Friday my wife and I watched A Room with a View, which for
some reason I'd never seen before.

Yes, it's two hours of my life I'll never get back, but I can't think
of too many better ways to spend a couple of hours.  Slow as all get
out, but who cares - I don't.

>As an antidote to worries about how awful classical music would
>sound if it were subjected to MTV-style smash-cuts to eliminate the
>supposedly-needless notes, I would suggest that there isn't a better
>example of getting to, and sustaining, the point in any art form
>than Beethoven's Fifth.

"MTV-style smash cuts" and the genius of compressed form that is the
first movement of beethoven 5 have little, if anything in common.

And tastes differ: in Ken Russell's A Song of Summer, Eric Fenby is
reproved by Delius while listening to the the finale of Beethoven 5 -
"mere notespinning!"

Deryk Barker <[log in to unmask]>

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