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Post By
The Avenger

Location: New Jersey
Member Since: Thu Dec 02, 2021
In Reply To
Superman's Pal

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,780
Subj: Re: Is classical music dead?
Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2022 at 11:48:48 am EDT (Viewed 202 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Is classical music dead?
Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2022 at 11:14:34 am EDT (Viewed 212 times)

    What is classical music? Is it a certain technique of composing? Is it anything written for a symphony orchestra? Or is it married to a certain era of history?

Exactly! Which answer we pick is crucial to any subsequent discussion. I almost want to say, "I know it when I hear it," but I guess that's a cop-out.

If we say classical music is anything written for a symphony orchestra, then we're faced with what to say about heavy metal songs which have been adapted to a symphonic format. Example: Led Zeppelin's Kashmir.

We also need to remember that a great wealth of classical music has been written for a single instrument, or for two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine instruments.

If we say classical is married to a certain era of history, then we're faced with what to say about young classical composers active today. Example: Alma Deutscher.

    Like you said, movie scores seem like the modern equivalent. Usually written for an orchestra, usually instrumental pieces. They usually lack the verse-chorus structure of pop songs, featuring longer movements, character motifs and such. John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone, Danny Elfman might be the modern Beethovens...

In my opinion, they absolutely are!

    Didn't some of the classical composers write their scores for operas and plays as well?

I know Mozart definitely did. Also Stravinsky and Debussy both wrote ballets.

    Then you've got the Trans-Siberian Orchestra or Mannheim Steamroller keeping it alive.

I'm listening to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as I type this! (Alexa is such a useful gizmo.) Where Led Zeppelin "classicalized" their rock songs, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra "rockified" classical works (with a great deal of artistic license). This is their take on (or response to) Beethoven's 5th symphony.

    Your post reminds me of Mr. Holland's Opus in which he pens "The American Symphony" which attempts to bring moderns American styles (or instruments) into his symphony.

    I don't know if that's what you mean exactly.

It fits beautifully into our discussion! Here's "An American Symphony" played by young people scattered geographically and brought together virtually during the height of Covid (September 7, 2020).

For some reason that piece made me think of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man", composed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1942, when the USA had recently entered World War II.

Here's Emerson, Lake and Palmer "rockifying" it.

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