Classical Music Popularity Amongst the Young Generation
Classical is the so-called \”academic\” music, which is related to the succession of musical genres and forms (opera, symphony, sonata, etc.), melodic and harmonic principles, and instrumental composition, which emerged in Europe in the XVII-XIX centuries. In other words, classical artwork is the music of the past centuries that has stood the experience of time and has the audience in today’s society. Nowadays, classical compositions precipitously lose popularity and become unknown to the majority of young people. In present days there are numerous contemporary musical styles and trends that do not have any connection with classics. New compositions are characterized by inanity and absurdity. Nevertheless, the simpler the song is, the more popular it will be. This fact can be proved by the current musical preferences of teenagers. Thus, it is necessary to mention that further cultural development has very bad prospects and can lead to widespread dullness and degradation of individuals. Consequently, in order to prevent the negative consequences of modern cultural evolution there is the need to identify the problems of low popularity of classical music and provide the appropriate attempts to solve them.
The Reasons for the Low Popularity of Classical Music
Based on the foregoing, it can be mentioned that classical music is not popular among the young generation, and there are several reasons for it. Analyzing this problem, the acknowledged scholar conducted research and identified the reasons why teenagers do not prefer listening to music from the past centuries (Hall 155). The first problem is the lack of rhythm in classical artworks. The contemporary impetuous way of life affects the music. Therefore, the most popular songs are very rhythmic and quick. The new trends, for, drum-and-bass, or dubstep cannot be listened to by the older generation; they even cannot call it music, because, for them, it is just a set of horrible sounds, that damage the human hearing system. Moreover, the lack of intensity or the passivity of old songs creates a sleeping atmosphere and cannot be used for entertainment purposes. The young people want to “chill” and, for this purpose, they need rhythmic music. However, the fact that all the old songs and compositions are slow is untruthful. For, if to listen to the artworks of the Russian composer Tchaikovsky, it is possible to find very rhythmic music, which is breathtaking (Hall 200).
The second problem is the inability to dance to the classic music. One of the most popular ways to have a rest among the young generation is to go to a disco or to have a party at home with loud music and dances. Obviously, it is impossible to create a party atmosphere listening to the artworks of Bach, or Beethoven. Nevertheless, if to address the historical facts, people always had dance evenings and had a good time listening to a classic song. Moreover, there is the need the emphasize that, initially, music was not created for dancing; the purpose was to enjoy its masterpieces (Johnson 98).
The lack of energy becomes the next factor against the classical music distribution. Thus, as was stated afore, the contemporary youth listens to “crazy” songs in order to be in the rhythm of modern life while old songs cannot give this energy boost. Consequently, there is no necessity to listen to them. Additionally, the term “relax” also changed its meaning significantly. For teenagers, this term means doing something insane, or very exciting, and it has no connection with the way of having a rest some time ago (Kramer 211). However, a person, who thinks that the old music does not have energy, probably, does not listen to the symphonies of, for, the German composer Brahms.
The next reason is the semantic load of songs. The modern compositions are very simple and do not contain a deeper meaning. Nowadays, teenagers do not have high moral problems; they mostly think about domestic issues and do not need to listen to meaningful songs. If to analyze texts of popular performers, it becomes clear that they are pointless and stupid. On the contrary, old songs contain a hidden sense and high moral values. To illustrate, today people cannot understand the meaning of Felix Mendelssohn’s music because it is simpler to listen to mindless songs and not to care about moral self-development (Kramer 56).
One of the most important and big problems is the contemporary stereotypes. If to conduct the unanimous interview it becomes clear that for some young people, the artworks of famous classic composers are interesting, and they willingly substitute the modern songs with these masterpieces. However, these people cannot share their views because the majority will not support them, and consider these teenagers as not trendy and boring; nobody will keep company with them. Thus, the desire to listen to beautiful songs is destroyed by the general meaning that it is not modern. Moreover, the willingness to listen to classics often becomes the cause of ridicule and humiliation (Kramer 200). Consequently, even when smart young people realize that the old music helps for self-development, and can give a lot of moral pleasure, they become the subject of bullying.
There is one more similar cause of the low popularity of classical music. The young people are afraid to be old-fashioned. In a century when fashion is changing very rapidly and everybody tries to be the trendiest, old music is popular and the willingness to listen to it can be a cause of disrespect and reluctance to communicate with such a person. Now the artworks of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, etc. are “not cool”; thus it is impossible for teenagers to be supporters of genuine art and to be trendy simultaneously (Johnson 56).
These problems cause the extremely slow distribution of old artworks in modern society. It becomes a cause of several problems, which can lead to a total disregard of the amazing masterpieces of recognized musicians.
Consequences of Classical Music’s Low Popularity
The absence of moral culture and the inability to understand the value of classical music leads to negative consequences in society, especially among teenagers. The low popularity became a cause of the very slow distribution of classical art. Nowadays, it is quite difficult to find a sales outlet, where everybody can buy compact discs with old music. The Internet sources also do not allow downloading these songs or symphonies. Obviously, for business entities, it is much more profitable to sell recently released songs and albums because they are more popular simultaneously (Johnson 112). Consequently, it is more lucrative to provide the trade of modern goods than distribute, and popularize classic music.
The next threat is that contemporary teens do not know the classics; subsequently, their general intellectual level is also very low. People do not know the recognized composers and musicians. It is awful because a few decades ago such nescience was considered as an indication that the person is discourteous. Moreover, several modern composers face the problem of the lack of inspiration, thence they try to use old melodies and adapt them to contemporary needs simultaneously (Johnson 87). Therefore, the amateurish interference distorts masterpieces, while the young audience, due to the lack of education, thinks that these songs are original, and create erroneous ideas concerning old music.
Solutions to the Problem
The aforementioned problems and threats can be successfully resolved. However, it is extremely important to mention that there is no necessity to force young people to listen to and love classical music. There is a wrongful approach which can lead to very negative results. The main purpose is to popularize classic artworks and create a situation when it is trendy to listen to it. Subsequently, the youth becomes interested in it without any pressure.
This task can be performed in different ways. The first one is to establish governmental, state, and local popularizing programs that allow modern teenagers to realize the beauty of old classical songs, and give them the possibility to understand the hidden sense of these compositions. However, there is no need to provide additional school or college classes, because, as was stated, it will create the opposite reaction. Every person can try to understand that listening to old masterpieces is not bad and shameful, moreover, they should realize that it can be very popular and exciting (Johnson 141).
There is one more way to increase the popularity. Thus, it is important to prove the popularity giving of several famous people, who are well respected among the youth. For, sportsmen, film stars, politicians, or modern writers can show their positive attitude towards the old masterpieces. For the execution of this task, it is enough to involve popular people in these popularizing programs and give the possibility to refer to teenagers and recommend them to try to understand the original value of classical music. These actions can help to change the aforementioned stereotypes and explain to the youth that it is not bad to pay attention to old music. Of course, nobody can persuade teens to refuse contemporary art, and, moreover, there is no need to do it.
Additionally, it can be wise to enlist the help of modern recognized musicians and create new variants of old compositions. If to make it professionally, preserve the uniqueness, and add new, professional adjustments, it can help to make the old artworks more understandable for new listeners. However, it should be done carefully, without radical changes (Johnson 130). This step can prevent teens from listening to amateur remixes which do not have any aesthetic value, and make the attempt to harmonize old art with contemporary needs.
Finally, conducting the research, was managed to establish the most significant causes of classic music’s low popularity, their potential negative consequences and threats, as well as to find the effective solutions which can positively affect the current state of affairs (Kramer 250). Additionally, it is important to mention that a new generation has modern thoughts and preferences, thus, it would be groundlessly to make efforts to change their views. However, despite this fact, every person has to know, at least, the most famous artworks of well-known classical compositors, and have the ability to understand not only pointless simple modern music but also the value of the high moral and thoughtful unique masterpieces.
- Hall, Stuart. Questions of Cultural Identity. London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 1996. Print.
- Johnson, Julian. Who Needs Classical Music?: Cultural Choice and Musical Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.
- Kramer, Lawrence. Classical Music and Postmodern Knowledge. California: University of California Press, 1996. Print.
- Kramer, Lawrence. Why Classical Music Still Matters. California: University of California Press, 2009. Print.