With the Academy Awards coming up this Sunday, I thought a movie-music vote was in order!
Here is the question I've been pondering: should certain movie soundtracks be considered classical music?
Now, obviously I'm not referring "Classical music," music from the period between 1730 and 1820 that encompasses the time of Mozart.
I'm referring to the more generic use of the term "classical music," with a small "c," the term we commonly apply to Western art music, which ranges from Renaissance church music to Beethoven symphonies, from the Rite of Spring on through 21st century music.
Why would I consider such a thing? Because it would seem that, over the years, soundtrack music has become a fixture in the classical world.
Driving around Los Angeles this week, for example, I noticed that the classical music station has been airing movie soundtracks almost non-stop, in preparation for the upcoming Oscars. I've heard music from La La Land, Rogue One, Moonlight (which does some interesting stuff with violin sound)...the list goes on.
For a long time, symphony orchestras have featured "night at the movies" concerts, and in recent years the Hollywood Bowl actually screens full movies, with the score played live by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Certainly movie soundtracks are long-form art music. As with any other genre of music, the quality of soundtracks varies widely, from genius invention to complete schlock. If you are a classically-trained composer in the 21st century, soundtrack music -- for movies, video games or shows -- is certainly one of your most promising options for employment.
I would even argue that the soundtrack is one of the most relevant new-music forms of our current times.
Should it fall under the umbrella of "classical music"? Please vote, and then tell us your thoughts about it.
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