Baseball and classical-music fans: same or different?

Posted on: May 13, 2011

Wednesday (5/11) on the New York Times blog Opinionator, David Lang writes, “It’s spring and baseball season is under way again—for me, always a welcome event. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the game and its history. … And, surprisingly, that made me think of classical music. … It turns out that classical music fans do a lot of the same remembering and measuring as baseball fans. Both baseball and classical music have a great sense of history, a tremendous respect for the past, and a slew of nerdy people like me who want to know all the details. Both are made of people who argue passionately with each other about who was the greatest. We handicap our favorite composers and performers, we buy 20 recordings of the same piece just to be able to argue about interpretations. We want to know as much about where we have been as we can. The strange thing is that music fans and baseball fans remember the past with very different results; appreciation of the past helps baseball fans enjoy the game in front of them, while sometimes classical music’s illustrious past can keep us from enjoying what is happening right now. Can it be that loving what we have heard before has the potential to make us love what we are hearing now just a little less?”

Posted May 13, 2011