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Why don't I 'get'classical music?

(26 Posts)
LightShinesInTheDarkness Wed 08-Jul-09 15:42:55

Apart from a few of the famous pieces that everybody knows - bits that have been in adverts, 1812 Overture, ballet pieces etc.

Its not that I don't want to - every now and again I decide its time to listen to Radio 3 or Classic FM. But after I while I end up switching back to R2 or Heart FM.

Why is that? Is it lack of education - I don't really know much about classical music, never played an instrument etc etc?

I feel as if its a sign of ignorance, lack of culture etc which is why I keep going back to it. Or is it just a question of taste - I don't like tomatoes, don't like Schubert?

notnowbernard Wed 08-Jul-09 15:44:26

Ooh, a fellow philistine wink

I'm not keen and don't 'get it' either

But if I were you I'd bin R2 and Heart... there's better music out there, man grin

AMumInScotland Wed 08-Jul-09 15:54:26

Do you like the bits you are familiar with? If so, then you could almost certainly grow to like other pieces of classical music if you heard them a few times. You might be better off buying a CD or two (or downloading things if you're one of those youngsters who understands such things...) and listening to them a few times to get to know them. Then you could look for more like the ones you like.

I listen to Classic FM, but I don't like everything they play, and I think I like things better if they're either familiar, or like something I already know and like!

muffle Wed 08-Jul-09 15:57:18

I was brought up with classical music going on all the time including the most obscure and highbrow sorts as well as the popular pieces. So not lack of education or experience - I just don't like it much. There are some bits I think are beautiful but I have no great desire to listen through a while piece. I realised at about 13/14 that I do just really like pop, I like folk, I like funk and jazz but I do not like classical much. I actually felt guilty about it for years because there was definitely a pressure to like it and it was considered "proper" music - and for long time I convinced myself that one day I could make the effort - but I htink I'm past that now.

I think two problems for me are... 1) the pieces tend to be long and 2) I'm always very busy doing lots of stuff. I don't have the time or attention span to sit and listen properly.

differentID Wed 08-Jul-09 15:57:57

I love Classical music, but don't have a great deal of time to broaden my outlook much further. I know which composers I like, which performers I like.

I often can't stand pop music- most of it is just "noise" to me and I can't get it.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Wed 08-Jul-09 16:06:54

muffle - you have said lots of the things I had been thinking about, that pop/rock etc are not really 'proper' music, but classical music is.

AMIS - yes, I do like the bits I am familiar with, but they tend to be just the 'chorus' (probably the wrong word grin) of a longer piece.

HolyGuacamole Wed 08-Jul-09 16:07:18

I think I was like that. I've slowly started to get into it. I don't know much about it though blush

I started getting into classical, instrumental versions of 'modern' music, like Royal Philarmonic Orchestra version of Pink Floyd, Elton John, The Beatles and other ballads.

After that I got into English songs sung in Italian, Con Te Partiro (time to say goodbye), Por Ti Sere (you raise me up) and Ognuno Soffre (everybody Hurts). OK maybe all not strictly classical but for a dabbler like me, it is smile

And finally I started to get into movie and tv soundtracks - Gladiator, Lost, Saving Private Ryan etc.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Wed 08-Jul-09 16:15:03

Holy G - but, with all due respect, I would not call any of that classical music.

I'm talking about the old stuff - Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin.

OrmIrian Wed 08-Jul-09 16:21:35

I don't know why. I was brought up with it and love it. I like most kinds of music TBH apart from glittery pop crappy throw away stuff (only I understand my defintion of that I suspect grin). I played classical to my DCs when they were little and they liked it. At the moment they don't often listen to it by choice although they don't object. I hope that having been introduced to it it won't be impenetrable to them in later life. I think there is an element of being 'educated' into it. It takes a lot more listening to in a sense than more accessible or shorter pieces. You have to be prepared to commit yourself to a sizable chunk of time to listen to a whole symphony.

AMumInScotland Wed 08-Jul-09 16:26:25

Well, you could try getting the complete pieces that those bits come from, that would give you a feel for how the composers use the same themes and sort of wander away from them and come back to doing it in a different way - that would give you a feel for how the recognisable chunks fit into a bigger piece of music.

Then if you decide which composers and pieces you like, I'm sure people on here could suggest other things you might like to try.

I think it does take practice to get used to classical music in more than "advert-length" pieces, but it is worth it.

Blackduck Wed 08-Jul-09 16:26:53

I like some, not all - it is very variable....
I don't 'get' Jazz (well a large 90% of it anyway). Some poeple say if you listen to something often enough you will get to like it, I say 'try Steve Reich's Drummming and then come back and tell me that'!

randomtask Wed 08-Jul-09 16:31:13

I don't 'get classical music' either. I think it's a case of horses for courses. I can listen for 5 mins and then want to pull my hair out/stick pins in myself etc. However, I'm like that with Abba, Queen and the Beatles too!

I was brought up listening to rock and although I like some soul music as well, rock is definitely in my blood.

My husband buys classical as his Dad used to play it but also buys rock. I have noticed a lot of his 'classic' music doesn't ever get the wrapping taken off.

I think you either 'feel' music or your don't. Nothing wrong with it!

sweetnitanitro Wed 08-Jul-09 16:32:13

I was brought up with it too and for that reason I hate it grin too many bad memories of being forced to sit through boring concerts at a young age.

I think it is down to personal taste rather than culture and education. I've spent years studying music and I still like a bit of cheesy pop!

If you want to get into something you can feel snobby about, you could try jazz. grin

bloss Wed 08-Jul-09 16:32:19

Message withdrawn

HolyGuacamole Wed 08-Jul-09 16:33:58

ROFL lightshines - yeah I know you're right, but for me, in a relative sense, some of it it is kinda classical wink

To be fair though, I honestly thought that the scores from the movies I mentioned are classical?

Oh, my ignorance is showing blush

<runs away>

beckysharp Wed 08-Jul-09 16:35:29

"Holy G - but, with all due respect, I would not call any of that classical music."

Well, what is it then?

What is the difference between John Williams' score for Star Wars (instrumental music written for money, for an event) and Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks (instrumental music written for money, for an event)? What is the difference between an instrumental arrangement for orchestra of an REM song, and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Greensleeves?

I'm not being snarky, but truly interested in the distinction you're making.

bloss Wed 08-Jul-09 16:42:08

Message withdrawn

FAQinglovely Wed 08-Jul-09 16:44:05

ahh well - there's plenty that don't get "pop" music (and "pop" music encompassing anything that you wouldn't call "classical" grin).

LightShinesInTheDarkness Thu 09-Jul-09 12:57:25

bloss - thanks, I would be pleased to have your ideas about pieces I might try.

beckysharp - I've no idea what distinction i was making when I said that - in my mind though, there was a difference between 'Hall of the Mountain King' and 'War of the Worlds'. Maybe its an age thing - the classical music I am talking about is much older. And actually I quite like a lot of instrumental music (ie no words) - but lack of lyrics surely isn't the only thing that makes music classical?

Someone who knows about these things will be along to help us in a minute...wink

Katisha Thu 09-Jul-09 13:12:13

How about this?

OrmIrian Thu 09-Jul-09 13:12:55

I remember listening to a bit of a programme with Stephen Fry about this history of classical music on Classic FM a few years back. He was suggesting that classical Music had stagnated a bit - the 'good' stuff was getting so extreme and inaccesible and untraditional, that many people don't like it and is largely enjoyed by a small elite. The music in the orchestral tradition that seems more classically classical (iyswim) anmd accessible is being written for the movies - Star Wars, Chariots of Fire etc.

OrmIrian Thu 09-Jul-09 13:13:46

I mean new 'good' stuff that is being written today.

Katisha Thu 09-Jul-09 13:26:30

Stephen Fry has a point - there is definitely a hardcore element to new "serious" music (for want of another term.) But there is also accessible stuff like the famous symphony by Gorecki which got very popular a few years ago, or the spiritual music of John Tavener.

But film music is becoming acceptable again in the classical music world - a lot less snobbery about it now. A lot of the Hollywood film composers were "serious" musicians who had fled from Nazi Germany for example, and carried on composing in America but found they got good money from the movies.

bloss Thu 09-Jul-09 15:27:42

Message withdrawn

LightShinesInTheDarkness Thu 09-Jul-09 17:19:00

Thanks, Bloss - are you a music teacher, by any chance?!!

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