Border crossings in classical genres

Posted on: June 11, 2019

“It’s easy for musicians to become trapped in the strictures of genre or style,” writes Jeremy Reynolds in last Tuesday’s (6/4) San Francisco Classical Voice. “Crossover music, despite the name, deliberately upholds these sorts of distinctions, as the whole point is to attract listeners from multiple traditions. Conversely, the advent of the internet has allowed artists around the world to experience and assimilate new musical ideas and idioms. In contemporary art music (we really need a better term than ‘contemporary art music’), lines between styles are blurring—or have always been blurring. Artists are reaching out not just to absorb new styles, but to invite performers with diverse backgrounds to collaborate and actively participate in the creation of new work…. Classical music absorbing the ‘exotic’ musical traditions of the day is hardly new…. But with the rise of the internet, this cross pollination is speeding up. Even as large institutions are clinging more tightly to tradition and the canon, music is evolving. And listeners are evolving with it…. Collaborations across styles or genres are becoming increasingly common and conspicuous.” The article includes quotes from several composers, musicians, and ensembles.

Posted June 11, 2019