Moribund Music

Can Classical Music be Saved?

By Carolyn Beckingham

I've stood in front of audiences, including at the Sage [Gateshead], and you just see a sea of white hair. When I watched the final on TV, I could see only a few people who were my age - and they were mostly my friends. It annoys me so much that classical music is pigeonholed as something aristocratic and uptight, snobby and above itself. Ultimately things will have to change, because once the current group of concertgoers are dead, no one will be listening. - Mark Simpson, BBC Young Musician of the Year 2006 in the Guardian, July 17, 2006 *** This book examines frequently asked questions about the future of classical music. It addresses the question of whether popular music has taken the place of classical music, and, if so, how much this matters. The book also explores the origins of the split between classical and popular music, the rise of youth culture, and the concept of elitism, along with the consequences of these changes. The phenomenon of "crossover" music is addressed, and the arguments in favor of, and against, its use as an introduction to classical music for new audiences are put forward. In a wide-ranging discourse, the author tackles many of the issues that divide music lovers, including audience behavior and the place of music in schools. Moribund Music also provides a major focus on the problems of opera, such as the accusation that it is inherently sexist, the question of original languages as opposed to translations and supertitles, amplification, and production styles. This book is essential reading for all those interested in how music plays an essential and informative role in everyday life.

220 pages

Publication Date: 1/20/2009
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781845192761