In search of the lost audience

'Dean Dixon used to do little music quizzes from time to time when he was at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Sheets would be handed out to us and we would try to answer the questions about the music Dixon was about to when was the first key change in the work, where did the development start etc.We used to compare notes in the interval and then Dixon would replay the piece and indicate where the answer were and explain how the relevant section started and why it had been composed that way.I thought it was a great idea and learned a considerable amount about the "nuts and bolts" of the music.

Now, I have just been to the Boulez weekend at Festival Hall here in London, and Pierre-Laurent Aimard (seen above) gave a talk with some examples before each of the 3 recitals of the piano music, which helped a lot with my understanding of this pretty formidable music.

Talk with music examples can work in the right circumstances in my view.'
That email from a reader in response to a recent post points down an interesting path. Classical music is full of contradictions: social media is having little success in bringing in new audiences, yet while music education is 'hot' talks with music examples are 'cold'. Presumably because they are technology-lite and exclude classical music's numerous middle feeders. Coincidentally my pre-concert talk with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, complete with hummed music examples, can be heard here.

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