Classical music is simply great music

Posted on: June 4, 2010

Thursday (6/3) on the Atlantic Monthly website, Benjamin F. Carlson writes, “Even if you have eclectic tastes, if you’re under 30, chances are good you listen to little or no classical music. This isn’t an admonition; it’s a fact, and one you’ve probably heard before in an admonishing tone. For decades, classical music has been in lugubrious decline. This trend has become a grave concern for people whose livelihoods are built on the music. Later this month, the League of American Orchestras is convening a conference to kick-start an ‘Orchestra R/Evolution.’ Whatever innovations they devise, it’s likely that, barring some unforeseen revival of interest, this decline will continue. That’s where this essay comes in. Though I belong to that generation putatively responsible for the decline, I enjoy 300-year-old fugues. I was weaned on Outkast and the Kinks. And, weirdly enough, Prokofiev and the Pixies. I feel lucky to know the big secret: there’s no trick. It’s just music. … My thesis is that people aren’t listening because they haven’t had the right introduction, and because of the image. … Classical music is old, but it isn’t for old men. The music survived because it is some of the best work humans have done in four centuries. … So begins this series of posts meant to introduce my generation to classical music.”

Posted June 4, 2010