January 2011

'Forced' to Like Pop Music

January 16, 2011 06:36

 Like millions of other young people, I like the television show Glee. It took me ages actually to get down to the watching the episode because frankly I though it´d just be a TV replay of High School Musical. But I gave it a try and ended up really liking it. Actually I liked it so much that me and my friends threw a Glee themed party on Halloween with very entertaining results. 

There are many things I like about Glee but the thing I enjoy most is the music. I have never been a great fan of pop music but there are some pop songs I like and listen to. But I was reasonably apprehensive towards an entire television episode being dedicated to cheesy pop music. But I was proved wrong. Glee does involve a lot of pop music but there have also been some brilliant musical numbers, old time classics like Make em laugh, classic rock medley´s and some truly beautiful classics. Time and again I have been touched by the music in the episodes and I´ve even been introduced to some new numbers I´ve come to love like Rose´s Turn and Defying Gravity. Plus I love seeing some old pop tunes being put into a new "costume" and often they are better than the originals. 

Music is so incredibly diverse. As a classical musician it´s very easy for me to dismiss all pop music as terrible and wrinkle my nose in disgust at rock numbers. But if I keep on avoiding music just because it belongs to a certain genre I´m certain to be missing out on a whole lot of truly brilliant music. Because some pop music is brilliant, well written and carries a message. That´s why I´m very happy there´s a television show like Glee that actually brings music to people, not just pop but also other genres as well. It forces classical nerds like me to listen to pop music and enjoy it and introduces brilliant non pop music numbers to people whom would normally faint if asked to listen to a non pop music piece. 

So I will continue to watch Glee and like and to get to know some great pop music along the way and that´ll force me out of my classical nut.

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Looking down

January 9, 2011 09:33

There´ll always be one moment from my violin life that´ll stick to my mind;

I was preparing a violin test and I had decided to play the 1st mvt. from Bach A-minor concerto as my baroque piece. I was looking for a good edition of the piece in the locla musicstore when a fellow violinist I knew from orchestra came and we chatted a bit. She asked what I was playing and I told her I was playing Bach as well as a hungarian dance by Brahms. The violinist looked at me with a mixed look of pity, self-satisfaction and snobbery. Then she told me breezily that her teacher had decided that she should play Mozart 5th. I then showed her the notes of the Bach concerto and she said she didn´t recognize it. She walked off and I felt like an idiot, holding my Bach.

Later that term she announced another violinist that her teacher had decided she´d play Mozart 5th instead of Mozart 3rd because the 5th one was harder and more virtuoso. It was not a coincidence that the violinist she spoke to had recently started to play Mozart 3rd.

I felt like an idiot play the Bach, compared to Mozart. But when I was telling other violinists aoout my repetoire they were all sincerely interested and we had a good time discussing our repetoire. Thoe violinists were all better than me and playing more advanced pieces but the crucial difference was that they didn´t look down on my repetoire. They didn´t feel self-satisfaction or were snobs about the fact that they were better than me. And I didn´t feel the least bit jealous that they were playing more advanced pieces than me. All the repetoire we had was interesting and challenging.

I have encountered  violinists that were great snobs about their repetoire and would look down on any piece of music that was not as "good" or "advanced" as what they were playing at the moment. But I have also encountered violinists that are very advanced and have not once looked down on repetoire that´s less advanced that what their playing or judged people based on their repetoire. And to me, that´s the spirit.


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