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Old 06-09-2017, 12:21 PM   #361 (permalink)
Raskolnikov's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 9

Originally Posted by Frownland View Post
It's a pretty common place for people to go dress up, be nice, and feel classy for a night. I've had workmates (I work in the mortgage industry in San Diego, so yuppies are abound) say they were going to to the orchestra and when I follow up with classical music discussion (which composer? what kind do you like?), they usually say something along the lines of "oh I just go because it's nice." These people are typically desperate slaves to social custom and would break their fingers if it was the socially correct/propelling thing to do.

I actually think it's becoming less common the more we move away from classical music being exclusively for kings and royal elite, but it's still present.
I think this kind of exclusion is a big part of what turns ordinary folks off to classical music--the pretense that you have to know something about 19th century music to be able to enjoy it, or even be accepted by the audience at the hall. I know next to nothing about sports, but I'd be a little put off if one of my coworkers drilled me on teams/players/stats after I mentioned that I'm going to a basketball game that night. Does that make me a slave to social customs?

You're right about classical music having a strong association with aristocracy and royal patronage, but I think that hurts it a whole lot more than it helps it. I think a lot more people would be exposed to and benefit from classical music if there weren't such a strong perception that you need education, insider knowledge, wealth and power to enjoy it. If someone wants a good excuse to get dressed up, have a nice dinner and enjoy the whole concert hall experience, why should you stop them? After all, they're putting their money into the same orchestras that folks like you and me are, which allows them to keep performing that beautiful music. You shouldn't need any cultural credentials to enjoy or be welcome at the symphony.
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