How modern is the music being played today?

Posted on: February 7, 2011

Bachtrack, a website that features a searchable database of classical-music performances around the world, has released the results of data collected about concerts, opera, and ballet that took place in 2010. Among the countries surveyed in the study are the United States, the U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Austria, the Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, and the Netherlands. The study was done by Alison and David Karlin, classical-music enthusiasts who run the Bachtrack website. One of the primary questions the Karlins sought to answer in their study was how modern is the music being performed today, i.e., the birth dates of the composers of the works. The basic trend? Most music played is by composers born before 1880, after which the amount falls off steeply. Their findings also include information about start times of concerts and the most commonly performed piano concertos, violin concertos, cello concertos, choral works, ballet, and sonatas. A write-up of their findings can be found at the Bachtrack website, which also includes a link to an excel spreadsheet with the raw data.

Posted February 7, 2011