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Old 08-21-2019, 09:07 AM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 32,034
When I was in grade school (Bach was two classes ahead of me) the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra did a regular radio series that was beamed into all the schools. That was high-level music appreciation, interspersed with pieces of classical music. The first album I ever bought was Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite.

That's also when I learned that classical music albums were very much like early rock albums. Early rock had one hit single surrounded by whatever sludge could be recorded in a day, bulk for the sake of justifying a higher price.

The Grand Canyon Suite was typical of what the RPO played us. It had one gloriously melodic section surrounded by tweedly-deedly. Whenever I heard the full album of the classical snippets fed to us I heard one hit single surrounded by sludge.

I know rock has a beat, but - more importantly, I think - it has a melody. You could hum to it. You had to: it stuck in your head forever. That's a big reason why classic rockers don't appreciate much of modern music; beat is emphasized over melody. Rock developed out of the tradition of of folk music, and folk musics, at least western ones, almost always centered on a hummable melody.

I'm sure classical lovers will now rise up to insist that those dull classical stretches have plenty of melody, along with all the other virtues claimed for them. No doubt. I just don't hear them, any more than I hear the virtues in a thousand rock albums that I can't stand but are worshipped by others.

The major difference is that rock has a mechanism for just playing the hit singles, while classical forces you to listen to the whole album. Metaphorically. On radio or in concert you don't get just the one good part, although you can do it at home. A good mix tape of classical probably would attract a lot of new fans. And alienate a lot of old ones.