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Old 12-27-2015, 03:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why is classical advertised as relaxing?

Not many people I know listen to classical at all, and most who do only listen to it when they're studying or trying to fall asleep. The pieces they know are generally limited to Moonlight Sonata or Clair de Lune. They're both great pieces, and I try not to act like a snob, but when someone says, "Yeah, I really like classical. Especially Moonlight Sonata. It's great sleep/studying music," I get really frustrated because I know that means they don't really care about it/think it's boring/haven't explored it much.

The worst part is when I ask, "Which movement is your favorite?" and they give me a funny look.

"Movement? What do you mean?" they say.



I mean, I don't know that much about classical, but I at least know THAT. Of course, I don't want to act like a snob, so I do my best to patiently explain to them what a movement is and why it's there.

But the main point of this slightly rambling paragraph is WHY THE HECK IS IT ADVERTISED AS RELAXING? If we want people to explore it more and really appreciate it for the art form it is, why call it sleep music? That's basically saying, "It's boring. You can fall asleep to it really easily."

Just... why? I'm wondering if this bugs anyone else.
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Old 12-27-2015, 03:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I know what you mean ...A lot of classical requires concentration -- not relaxation.
Delius, Debussy, Bach, Elgar to name a few
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Because it works well as relaxing background music.
Sure it's kind of a waste to listen to it that way, but most people aren't all that interested in the finer details of a composition, no matter what genre.
No reason to get upset about that.
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Doesn't bug me. People like what they like. Don't take it personally if they don't like what you like or think boring what you think is interesting/amazing.

Just remember: there's no reason for you to have proprietary pride or shame or whatever in taste in music. You didn't write, perform, or produce the music, so no matter how much you love or identify with your favorite music, it really has nothing to do with you. Therefore, if someone dislikes what you like, it has nothing to do with you. So...there's no reason to get upset.
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Because it works well as relaxing background music.
Sure it's kind of a waste to listen to it that way, but most people aren't all that interested in the finer details of a composition, no matter what genre.
No reason to get upset about that.
A lot of times that is true. When I listen to classical, I have a couple of options. I can listen to it actively and work to feel the emotion the composer was trying to communicate, or I can let it fade to the back of my head as I work on other things. Good point.

But... I think you're sort of missing the point. I'm not frustrated with the fact that people don't really want to spend the time and effort to learn all about classical music, I'm frustrated with the fact that the supporters of classical are calling it relaxing sleep music, which is just another way of calling it boring and will likely dissuade people from learning more about it and cause them to trivialize it and lump all classical music in with that category.

For that matter, there are some pop fans I know who can name the entire list of albums an artist has produced, sing half their songs from beginning to end word for word, name the artist's siblings, favorite color, favorite food, etc. People absolutely care enough. When they start talking about how they like so-and-so and how they're the best band in the world, and I say I don't know who they are, they act like I'm an idiot for not knowing how supposedly great their music is. If I started telling them about Chopin and how I think he was the greatest composer to walk the planet, they said, "Who's that?" and I acted the same way they do when I don't know the band they're talking about, I would immediately be singled out as an elitist snob. I don't want to sound like I'm trying to belittle what you're saying, I just think you're missing some things.

Last edited by chopinisawesome; 12-27-2015 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Still learning how to use the programming code...
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mordwyr View Post
Doesn't bug me. People like what they like. Don't take it personally if they don't like what you like or think boring what you think is interesting/amazing.
It doesn't bug me when someone doesn't have the same musical tastes as I do. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It bugs me when people don't even TRY it because they automatically see it as boring. I don't particularly like pop, but I used to, and I've at least tried it. Honestly? If you say classical music is boring... well... classical music spans hundreds of years. If you look hard enough, you'll find something you like. To be honest, it has more variation than most pop music out there. Makes you wonder why there are so many genres of pop music, but classical music is lumped into one category.
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chopinisawesome View Post
But... I think you're sort of missing the point. I'm not frustrated with the fact that people don't really want to spend the time and effort to learn all about classical music, I'm frustrated with the fact that the supporters of classical are calling it relaxing sleep music, which is just another way of calling it boring and will likely dissuade people from learning more about it and cause them to trivialize it and lump all classical music in with that category.
I don't think anyone who is seriously into classical music sees it as just that.
As to why casual listeners describe it that way, I've already answered that. Because it works well that way.


Quote:
For that matter, there are some pop fans I know who can name the entire list of albums an artist has produced, sing half their songs from beginning to end word for word, name the artist's siblings, favorite color, favorite food, etc. People absolutely care enough. When they start talking about how they like so-and-so and how they're the best band in the world, and I say I don't know who they are, they act like I'm an idiot for not knowing how supposedly great their music is. If I started telling them about Chopin and how I think he was the greatest composer to walk the planet, they said, "Who's that?" and I acted the same way they do when I don't know the band they're talking about, I would immediately be singled out as an elitist snob. I don't want to sound like I'm trying to belittle what you're saying, I just think you're missing some things.
I was talking about composition and how some people are more interested in it than others. What does all that have to do with it?
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by grindy View Post
I was talking about composition and how some people are more interested in it than others. What does all that have to do with it?
I know virtually nothing about the composition of classical music. I like it because it's music, and if people can learn about their favorite bands, they can learn just as much about different composers. I'm sorry if what I said sounded grouchy and irrelevant. That's all I meant.
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chopinisawesome View Post
It bugs me when people don't even TRY it because they automatically see it as boring.
Again, why? Why are you annoyed? Did you write, perform, or produce the music? Are you related to the musicians/composers? No? Then it has nothing to do with you, and your proprietary sense of annoyance makes no sense.
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chopinisawesome View Post
I know virtually nothing about the composition of classical music. I like it because it's music, and if people can learn about their favorite bands, they can learn just as much about different composers. I'm sorry if what I said sounded grouchy and irrelevant. That's all I meant.
Huh... and here I was thinking we were talking just about music and not about learning about composers and/or artists' siblings' favourite colour.

Why don't you make the effort to learn more about the private life of some pop starlet? Maybe it would make you appreciate her fabulous edginess more.
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