Is technology starting to undermine what makes classical music great?

Posted on: August 30, 2011

In Sunday’s (8/28) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed writes, “Popular music and classical music may be distinct genres with their own traditions and social mores, but cross-pollination has long been the way of most musics. … Hand in hand with this exchange of musical ideas has been an enthusiastic exchange of technology. … But something has suddenly gone terribly wrong in this mutual musical wonderland of give and take. The technology is starting to take over. … Social media consultants are increasingly being hired by orchestras and other arts institutions and given the mandate to fill theaters and museums with young bodies by creating online video games, misleadingly marketing classical music as if it somehow related to pop culture like, say, reality TV. … Treating classical music as if it were pop culture is no attempt to move an art form in a new direction but rather to find a convention for everything. … But audiences deserve the opportunity to approach something new without being told what to expect and be allowed the mental space to take it in. … Is the role of technology to open us to new possibilities or is it, as more and more in Silicon Valley are trying to do, to enmesh us in an environment envisioned by Apple or Google?”

Posted August 30, 2011