Proms, Pageantry And Popularity

Why couldnโ€™t the quartet find the composer? Because he was HADYNโ€
โ€œActually, classical music is pretty cool โ€“ but some people just canโ€™t HANDEL it.โ€

Is Classical Music Popular?

Question: What other genres of music written over 500 years ago can still excite audiences โ€“ both young and old โ€“ in a contemporary setting today?

Answer: Classical music, of course.

Everyone is familiar with the pomp, pageantry, and popularity of classical music concerts.
Now, even at Proms classical music is fast becoming the pace-setter.

See You AT The Prom

At a packed Londonโ€™s famous Royal Albert Hall on July 29, 2017, the audience was captivated by a night of traditional and contemporary classical music.

Prom Night At Londonโ€™s Royal Albert Hall

It was Prom night, and, for many, the thrill of a lifetime. This night, an audience would be served Piano Concerto #1, by Stephen Hough, and an opportunity to hear works by living composers for the first time.

The hot temperature under the dome only seemed to ignite the audiencesโ€™ passion through their exuberance and enthusiastic applause.

Indeed, the BBC Proms demonstrate classical musicโ€™s appeal to the many as well as the few.

There was a time when classical music was considered โ€˜elitistโ€™ โ€“ itโ€™s listeners mostly old, white, rich or retirees.

However, Proms are breaking down those barriers and leveling the playing field as one of the most popular classical music festivals in the world. They are easily accessible and do not discriminate in its appeal to black and white, rich or poor.

So again the question โ€ฆ..

IS CLASSICAL MUSIC POPULAR?

Is it still relevant in todayโ€™s society? Has technology and the influence of pop and rock concerts eclipsed that of classical music?

On the surface it may appear so, however, in many ways, not only is classical music popular, but this genre of music is actually growing stronger.

The historical importance of classical music is well documented. Famous composers were lauded for their works while the violin and keyboard were the instruments of choice.

Other genres of music like Jazz, rock and pop were introduced during the 20th century. This new and more danceable music became more popular and casual. This greatly impacted traditional chamber music and composers, whichย had to take a backseat to the new craze for a while.

So what are some of the things symphony orchestras are doing today to increase their popularity?

Outdoor summer concert series โ€“ where audiencesย enjoy classical and movie favorites at a picnic.
More pop concerts in a casual setting which draw more diverse audiences
Classical Outdoor Summer Concert
Making more orchestral and classical music accessible to casual audiences.
Composing more film music, such as themes from Star Wars, adding to the excitement and relevance.

Active Engagement

Classical music is not only about passive listening but about active engagement. It provides an opportunity for resurrecting your creative genius by learning an instrument or composing a piece.

Playing and creating contributes to brain health and a childโ€™s mental development, according to verifiable scientific data.

Moreover, what on earth can compare with the mellifluous melodies of a HADYN or HANDEL?

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Classical musicโ€™s influence

It comprises a complexity of different styles, countries, and cultures over hundreds of years.
This lends itself to the uniqueness and popularity of this genre of music, as well as providing many unforgettable moments of listening enjoyment.

The music of Mozart, Brahms or Beethoven, represents excellence at its highest level and is sure to guarantee a life-enriching experience.

Whether proms, concerts or movies, Classical musicโ€™s influence is inescapable.

Is classical music popular?

You be the judge.

What do you think?

Your comments, questions or constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated.


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Sources: The Carolinian โ€“ Sept.6/17

โ€“ Evening Standard โ€“ July 14/17

Photos courtesy โ€“ Wikimedia Commons/

-Pixabay

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