Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My thoughts on classical music...


   Music reflects the time and place in which it was written. Aaron Copland, who was considered to be the first truly American composer, reflected the sound of the wild west in many of his pieces. Anyone who listens to the overture to "William Tell" or "Billy the Kid" can hear the clip clop of horses hooves and the creaky wheels of horse drawn wagons throughout the pieces. His music reflected that era in American history in a very beloved way. Over the years American music has drastically changed to reflect the drastically changing times. From the early European influences of Beethoven and Stravinsky, to the jigs and fiddles of the Irish emigrants, to the 60's rock music which young people used to create an identity apart from their parents, each element of music added to the repertoire has resulted from a changing society.
     It is no wonder then, in this crazy, modern society that we live in, that the music of today is loud and crazy as well. Classical music, in some sense, has gone out of style. Its beauty and peacefulness  no longer reflect society. But even though it no longer reflects a peaceful time, it can still bring beauty to its listener. Perhaps it stands out more now than ever before. Go to a classical concert and watch the audience. The music, though not upbeat enough to make a audience clap along or stand and scream, has a different effect. It has the power to touch a soul with nothing but pure beauty, its  contrast from the fast moving world outside the concert hall is somewhat startling at first, it doesn't fit in, but for the listener, it can bring back, even for a moment, a time of stillness and quiet, a hour of beauty and peace.
     I enjoy modern music just as much as anybody else but I have also grown to appreciate the complexity of classical music. I have sat in the concert hall many times over the past few years and pondered why this music didn't seem to fit in with modern society and came the realization that it no longer reflects society. However, in the scary day and age in which we live, there is a lot of sadness and a lot of wrong going on. School shootings, the murder of innocent children, and the bombs that are no longer on the battlefield but in our home towns where we least expect them. Perhaps now more than ever we could use a little beauty here and there.
     So in conclusion, yes, I am a advocate for classical music. It contains a complexity and requires a talent that is not always found in today's music. Enjoy the modern music that reflects the world in which you live, but, when you could use an escape, go to a classical concert.

This video features one of my favorite violinists.... turn it up really loud and enjoy...