For centuries, classical music was at the forefront of musical innovation, but what about now? Are we at the end of the road?
What is your favourite genre of music? Similar to math, music is often known as the ‘universal language’.
Why? Because music allows individuals from around the globe to connect with just one body of music or song! In terms of musical genres, there are over 1,300 varying music genres.
These genres embody different chord progressions, scales, vocal tones, instruments, etc. However, genres that are popular to the masses change as time progresses.
For example, fashion trends! Fashion has evolved over the years, but certain pants, hoodies, shirts, and dresses become a focal point for a given period. From a month to even five years, fashion trends tend to dissolve over time into the distance, until it is relieved in another generation.
There is a similar notion to popular music. The popular genres in today’s musical climate tend to favour pop, hip hop, and even rap! Because of this favouritism, one genre has been losing substantial listening popularity. This genre is called classical music.
Major Impact Going Unnoticed
We have heard the term classical music throughout our lifetimes. Some may know of famous classical composers such as Beethoven or Mozart. But is this where the knowledge of classical music ends with the current and generation?
Classical music compared to the sounds of Nicki Minaj or K- Pop group BLACKPINK is that its lyrics are told through instrumental harmonies and melodies instead of standard lyrical pop structures.
According to TheTide.com, classical music is a genre that has made an impact on modern music but the influence has gone unnoticed or appreciated. In 2012, Classical pianist Charlie Albright discussed a study done by the National Endowment for Arts.
The study concluded that only 8.8% of Americans had attended classical music performance in the previous 12-month period, compared to 11.6% a decade previously. In 2021, the percentage continued to decrease.
In The Shadows
There could be many reasons as to why classical music has gone into the music shadowlands. One reason could centre around “concert etiquette” established as general rules of classical concerts in the 20th century.
Before this time, classical music atmospheres were more relaxed. For example, at the time, mid applause during an orchestrated piece was widely accepted. Today, random acts of applause are highly not encouraged and could be seen as disrespectful.
So, the younger generation may be put off by these notions and the constant pressure to stay still and silent for hours. Therefore, a huge reason why classical music could be diminishing.
However, many would argue that classical music is not weakening as time progresses, based on the material being taught, learned, and performed throughout the world! This perspective can be deemed reasonable based on classical music’s longevity so far.
Although people may not dive into classical music as much as others individuals, individuals on a global perspective still know who Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach are. In terms of musical careers, there are still prominent classical music fields of study and professions solely based on this music genre.
Learning classical music is also still seen as an intelligent and impressive skill to obtain. As younger generations learn the instrumentation of piano, many are encouraged to learn classical pieces from Mozart and other classical composers.
Because the music genre is favoured over electronic pop sounds of today’s music, gives the notion that the genre shall live on for years to come.
Can It Be Saved?
There is no doubt that popular music of today such as pop, hip hop, and rap overshadow the orchestral sounds of classical music, it simply just means that classical music does not have as much attention as it use to.
From an artistic perspective, I studied classical music through my younger years in high school. I have sung pieces in Italian and other languages through the songs of classical music. It truly is a beautiful music genre. In my honest opinion,
I did not appreciate the genre at the time. When my music teacher would assign us songs of classical offspring, I would greet them with a dramatic eye roll. It was not as interesting as the songs my mother would play as she would pick me up from school, or the music I would dance to frantically in my room. It did not stimulate my musical mind.
However, as I continue my career in music, I appreciate the dedication I had to the genre in my younger years, as my vocal abilities have benefited from the training tremendously.
So, if the younger generation does not appreciate classical music as older generations, this is okay. If they are hardcore music listeners and lovers of music in general, they will surely come around.
In return, I do hope that others can recognize the impact classical music has on modern-day music and allow the classical genre to stay alive for many more years.
Want more from Isaac? How about this on music’s influence on long-term relationships:
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