Thursday, January 6, 2011

The problem with classical music

There are several problems with classical music. I know this because I am a self proclaimed classical music afficionado. As I sit here writing this piece I am looking over at the piano, with a large classical music score opened on it. I can tell it’s classical music because there are no words between the line-thingys where the notes live. On the bookshelf next to me is a pocket sized Dictionary of Musical Terms, I think there is an old violin lurking in an upstairs closet, and at various places throughout the house we have four recorders, a couple of harmonicas, and a penny whistle.

I don’t think the harmonica and penny whistle are classical instruments. I wasn’t sure if recorders were, so I attempted to call an actual expert on classical music. I looked in the phone book and found no entries under the “Classical Music Expert” categories. So I did the next best thing and found someone listening to classical music on their MP3 player. I did this by going to a public place and randomly pulling ear pieces out of peoples ears and then listening to what they were listening. This endeavor proved to be fraught with peril as apparently some people thought I was trying to actually steal their music, and I apologize to the elderly gentleman whose hearing aid I accidently broke. Thankfully, before the police came to haul me away, I found a young man listening to classical music. “Young man,” I asked, “is this recorder a classical instrument?” showing him the recorder I had brought for illustration purposes only. He replied cautiously, looking around for hidden cameras, in case this was Candid Camera or some other show of that ilk, “Well, no, I think its baroque.”

“Umm, no, I think it works perfectly fine.” I replied, giving a couple of healthy toots on it to demonstrate its playability.

“No sir, not broke, baroque, b-a-r-o-q-u-e.”

That nailed it, recorders have to be classical music instruments, because everything about classical music is fancy, and if this young man insisted on misspelling broke in such a fancy manner then it only confirmed my theory.

That brings me to my second point about classical music; most classical music is old. My children say I am old, and classical music is even older than I am. Some of it was written before America’s revolutionary war. This is problematic for two reasons. I have noticed that as I mature and collect more birthdays, that I get forgetful; so does classical music. I have noticed in listening to an orchestral piece, that at times it seems to totally forget the melody and just keeps wandering around aimlessly looking for it. “Hmmm, now where did I put that melody, is it under the violins? Nope, its not there. Hmm, maybe in one of the big kettle drums.” Even when the man standing up front with the pointer keeps waving it around and pointing at where the melody is hidden, the music never seems to find it. On and on, it keeps wandering, until finally the melody is discovered. The second reason that it is problematic is (urgh, I forgot second reason, note to self: when you remember second reason, put it here before posting this).

Now most classical music was written by non-English speaking persons, making the titles hard to spell and pronounce. For instance my eldest daughter is playing a piece by D. Busy, entitled, “Clare the Loon”. I am certain that something has been lost in the translation of the title of this beautiful piece of music. It seems that the title would be more fitting for a piece composed by Mr. Yankovic, rather than the proper D. Busy. Some of classical’s composers were proactive enough to eliminate translation troubles that have brought irreparable psychological trauma to Clare, who by all accounts is definitely not a Loon, by simply using numbers. Beethoven is the most admirable example as he has all his works listed as numbers: Symphony #5; Piano Concerto #4; and Love Potion #9.

The last, and most certainly biggest problem with classical music, is that most of the men and women who compose it are dead. Not only does this mean they are no longer composing any great music, but as is proven scientifically, they now are decomposing. This writer has uncovered the horrifying truth that this is actually the reason for so many composers having unfinished symphonies. As soon as they died, they immediately began to decompose rendering once finished symphonies--unfinished. This has lead to the formation of the Society to Conserve, Restore, And Preserve Classical Music or also known as SCRAP Classical Music.

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