Richard Todd wrote:
>Ever since I've been interested in classical music, which is more than
>fifty years now, people have been wringing their hands over why young
>people don't like classical music. I mean constantly. In 1956, when
>I wore a chestnut crew cut, I was warned by serious professional musicians
>that classical music would be extinct by the time I turned thirty.
>Come on, folks, enough doom and gloom! Save it for avian flu or a rogue
While there are some who do believe it is a done deal, I believe that
the economies of scale will limit the means of distribution. The costs
of live classical music have long ago past the ability for it to be self
supporting. There are ensembles that can "make it" on a cost recovery
basis, but it requires a great deal of initiative and self management
or very little management costs.
I believe that classical music is not for everyone.
While I don't have any statistics I can believe on the subject, my guess
is that we get the bulk of our classical music though loudspeakers. I
believe this is because it is more convenient and more cost effective
and provides us with a great variety of choice.
I am reminded of Bernstein's article from many years ago, "The Symphony
is Dead." His point was that orchestras have become museums. I believe
they have always had a bit of that as a part of their function. There
was a thesis done many years ago...27 Major Symphony Orchestras(1842-1970).
For the beginning of the study, much of the old stuff was new, or
relatively new. There were times when the "new music" was more of a
part of the repertoire. I don't mean to open the door as to the "why"
involved, but just to state that modern music has seen better representation
in the relative past.
While it might not be dead, some "statistics" seem to suggest that the
orchestras are not invigorating the repertoire. As for the attendees
being older...well, as we live longer, maybe there will be a greater
potential audience for classical music.