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Umm, Care to Try Something a Little Different?

June 3, 2006 at 5:15 AM

I was one of those really weird kids who was raised in a subculture. I never listed to anything with a rock beat, jazz rhythms...country. Just didn't do it, if you can believe. Only classical. I barely know what the beatles are and can only really identify one of their pieces. I learned a month and a half ago what U2 was, via this wonderful website....

I decided this past semester, however, that as a music major I really should at least be able to distinguish between 50's music and 90's music. So my friends gave me a bunch of CDs and I started listening. I tell you, I honestly tried to like that stuff. I tried my very, very best. But alas, I can't! It's simply...hopeless. When I turn on the radio and try to surf the stations I inevitably end up wondering how in the world anyone could enjoy that stuff. The stuff just dosen't make sense! Now, I have discovered that I like a little bit of country - that's fun, and I heard a Josh Groban CD one time about a year ago and liked that. :-) But otherwise, I have to say, I just don't like it. So, after my intensive, emotionally charged search, I turned on the classical station. And...WHAT!!! I couldn't believe it....this music was actually pretty!!!! Gosh, at least now I know what I like. :-) And after all that racket I sifted through, I am much less critical of performances/compositions which may be slightly less than perfect. After all, some would argue, it's the soul of the music that makes the difference.

Disclaimer: to all those of you who happen to enjoy music other than classical and country, please understand that I mean absolutely no offense whatsoever. I'm so glad that you enjoy it. And frankly, you're probably better off being able to find musical pleasure in a whole lot more places than I can. If, however, you believe that I may have unfortunately encountered only that music (so called) which falls short of what could be labeled as "worthy pop music," feel free to leave suggestions. I am still game to give pretty much anything a whirl. :-)

Until that time, I...uh...apparently LOVE CLASSICAL MUSIC!!!!

From Mitchell Pressman
Posted on June 3, 2006 at 10:07 AM
I think you're lucky, Jenna. You love the kind of music you play. And if anyone gives you a hard time, you can always tell them what Pope Benedict called pop music: "a cult of mediocrity." (I happen not to agree with that, but it IS a wonderful phrase)!
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on June 3, 2006 at 8:55 PM
Well, I don't believe you, but anyway, you owe it to yourself to take a jazz history class there. It'll start off with the common roots of both (jazz and pop).
From Samantha Hiller
Posted on June 4, 2006 at 2:19 AM
Growing up with classical as well, I recently discovered my love of country, and Josh Groban is absolutely amazing (he also found his way onto my desktop somehow....)
From Jenna Potts
Posted on June 4, 2006 at 4:34 AM
Jim, I really didn't even know who Michael Jackson was until just under a year ago....yeah, you would be suprised. :-)
From bill _
Posted on June 5, 2006 at 4:14 AM
Interesting. Well, define classical for us, can you?

Do you like Berg, Bruchner, Adams as much as Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Bach?

Can you stomach Glass?

Can you tolerate renaissance winds? How about natural horn music? Harpischord? Opera?

Organ recitals?

I think the term "classical" doesn't tell me very much.

Rock has much more in common with Beethoven than with Berg for instance. Some jazz structure has more in common with serialism than with Bach--at least to my ear, even if theory isn't the same.

So you've got to refine your reactions--are you reacting intellectually, viscerally or emotionally? Is it the nature of the instrumentation (electified etc vs "acoustic") or is it the structure of the harmony, or melody, or both?

What will happen if you listen to Syrian music? Or Afghan? Or Gamelan? Or northern Indian classical? or Carnatic (southern) Indian? Or like a million variations of music from Latin America?

You've only just barely scratched the surface.

Tuning in to a radio station with a familiar *format* will always make you feel at home--and I understand what you mean scanning the dial....but there is much more out there than what is on the radio dial. In fact there is very little diversity on the radio dial. Frighteningly little diversity in fact.

In Philadelphia, most of the time you cannot even find *any* classical after dark anymore. A top 5 metropolis, and only 1/2 of a classical station.

Good luck with your musical awakening.

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