The Pendulum Swings: Classical Music Today

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The Internet Allows Global Music to Influence Western Classical Music

The Pendulum Swings: Classical Music Today

In classical music of today and definitely in pop music, the pendulum has definitely begun to swing back towards normalcy. I would venture to say that the beginning of the 20th century until the 1970s saw the most experimental music. Since then, most of the experimentation has been made in technology, not strict acoustic classical composition. Movements like aleatoric music and even minimalism are already decades, if not half a century old, while newer movements like postminimalism (composer John Adams, for one) and neoromanticism (composer Jennifer Higdon) have reverted back to more traditional uses of new composition techniques.

Popular music, for all its insanity in personality, really has done little in the way of musicality. That is not to say that there are not any talented musicians in pop music, because there are many, but that American popular music seems to be in a creative rut. The dying music industry is attempting to choke creativity be oversaturation of a particular sound with particular artists. This obsessive corporatization of popular music genres worked well for many decades. However, with the economic crises, fans are more likely to swap their fave artists' mp3s than pay for an overpriced concert ticket or buy a new car just because their fave
Classical Guitarist Brad Richter and Cellist is playing the commercial for it.

Part of the demise of a specific aesthetic labeled "classical music" is the diversity in classical music now possible through technology. For the last century in a half, at least, Western classical music has toured the globe, with musicians as far as Latin America and Asia contributing to the musical conversation. However, it wasn't until the internet explosion that we were able to find out about the lone composer writing her symphony in South Africa or the aged music Australian music professor premiering his violin concerto to a group of students. The internet makes this type of knowledge available instantaneously and makes cross hybridization of musical styles immediate.

I, too wonder, where this is all going. Hopefully the media moguls will loosen their grip on free expression so the indie musician struggling in the Indian slums or the young girl writing her first song on her dad's farm will have an equal chance of success. 

What do you think?


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