Saturday, August 02, 2008

Boring, confusing or just plain wrong


When I write 'Steinway' everyone knows I mean a concert grand. That's why big corporations throw millions at creating brand names. Yet elsewhere classical music uses descriptors that are boring, confusing or just plain wrong. Does contemporary music include composers who are dead? Does early music exclude Bach? Does new music embrace twentieth-century music? And, as the excellent Music in a Suburban Scene quite rightly points out, why should world music ignore western art music? It's a subject I've written about before and nobody seemed very interested. So that's a good reason for raising it again - what's in a name?

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1 comment:

Erin said...

Contemporary classical seems like the best fit to me, but obviously not perfect. 'Modern classical' sounds too much like it sounds different from not-modern classical, which isn't necessarily the case. It's all a bit subjective though, and unless a community really engages with the name, it stays just a label.

It's true, a name everyone rallies around helps connect people.

My favourite lately has been the new contemporary classical (or whatever) club night and record label Nonclassical.