----- Original Message -----
From: "Roger and Allison Kulp" <[log in to unmask]>
> I find it very sad,that we are at a point,where there is no attempt made to
introduce the classics to a mass audience,as there was in previous generations.
Caruso and his generation were best sellers.Toscanini and The NBC Symphony.The
Met was on AM commercial radio up until the middle 1980s.The great Yehudi
Menhuin clips on YouTube,were first shown in movie theaters alongside Bugs Bunny
cartoons.(Don't get me started about Looney Tunes.) Toscanini,Bruno
Walter,Charles Munch,and Leonard Bernstein were all regularly seen on early
TV.This all seems to have stopped about the time The Fairness Doctrine went
> Makes you wonder where all those 20 something classical vinyl collectors I see
Basically, what happened was fairly simple! In the mid-fifties, the younger
folk all started listening (for the most part exclusively...I was there...)
to rock'n'roll...and, insofar as they had any interest in playing music...
they were trying to learn how to PLAY rock'n'roll! Classical music was
pretty well ignored by these people...and to the extent their parents
listened to it, is was more for the purpose of "puttin' on airs" than
any serious interest in the material (though there were a smallish
number of "serious" (in both senses of the word) classical-music fans
who supported the music and its players.
As well, symphonies (and other "serious" artists) started drawing from
a "past-based" repertoire...litlle, if any, music composed after the
early 20th century was ever heard, on radio or in public.
Since rock'n'roll (and its successor genres) is a rhythm-based music,
intended more for dancing than listening. it was/is the antithesis of
classical music. In fact, to most young (or once-young, these days)
listeners, classical music is 1) boring...you can't dance to it...and
2) all sounds the same. Anyway, this is what they thought/think!
Further, rock'n'roll (usw.) is essentially music distilled into its
simplest form...a lot is based on 12-bar, 3-chord blues forms...and
very little (Beatles excluded) involves more than at best 6 or 8
I can testify from personal experience (I have, or used to have, a
"blues band" of my own) that trying to get modern rock/blues musicians
to play even older pop tunes can be a frustrating experience...AKA
"You want WHAT chords?! I've never heard of them!"
The interesting thing is that here in Toronto we have a commercial
(apparently successful) classical-music FM station...however, judging
from its regular advertisers, it seems to be aimed at an affluent
(dunno why I listen, eh?!) and aging (I qualify there!) demographic.
I'll admit I have little expertise in the classics (and no interest
in its vocal forms...!) but I do find it more restful to listen
to "Classical 96 FM," even given its limited and repetitive repertoire
than to the even-more-monotonous 21st-century pop alternative!
And I'm *NOT* going to accept the other alternatives..."adult contemporary"
(defined as "Mantovani's greatest hits")..."New Country" (sixties rock,
badly played and with added fiddle and pedal steel to get "country"
credentials)...or "oldies" (the same two dozen sixties/seventies hits,
repeated ad infinitum/nauseum...)!
So, the only way to have "saved" classical music would have been to
somehow get Bernstein(?!) onto "American Bandstand" (a rather strange
concept at the very least...?!)
Steven C. Barr