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What do you think of classical concerts? September 26, 2010

Filed under: 1D: issues — concerttuning @ 9:39 pm
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Wordle: What do you think of classical concerts?
I asked friends and family what they thought about classical concerts, using these questions as prompts:

* What comes to mind when you think of a classical concert?
* Do people like yourself go to classical concerts?
* If you have been to a classical concert, what was the experience like?
* If you could change anything about classical concerts, what would you change?

You can read their feedback in the comments of this post or look at the wordle that all their thoughts created. Please do add your own thoughts too!


14 Responses to “What do you think of classical concerts?”

  1. Kate Says:

    * old posh educated people
    * not in my circle of friends or aquaintances, that is apart from my wonderful sister and cousins?
    * i dont think i have ever been
    * the music, sorry but being honest. i just dont like the sound. i think i like the music i do because although its simpler and repetitive and i like that, its a more primal primitive voice and that speaks more readily to my emotions and my dancing feet. maybe if they added a good rythmic drum beat i would appreciate it more. Or even an arty video or something visual, something to help attach meaning to the blur of noise that i hear when i listen to classical music. If you think about how people respond to music in films it is completely different than if just heard on its own, because the film gives meaning to the music aswell, and its a powerful emotional experience where the music enhances the feeling. And then if you hear that music again you feel more when you listen to that music. but also being honest, im not really interested in being converted into the classical music thing and the only way that i could be tempted into accidentaly enjoying classical music would be by temptation of something that i wanted to experience with it, like a film.

  2. Kate Says:

    oh yes and to prove my point about music and film, try this experiment, seeing as you are to popular music as what i am to classical:

    1, go on myspace music, you dont need to be joined up or anything. put moldy peaches into search and go to moldypeaches fan page. listen to song ‘anyone else but you’

    2, watch film juno. its been on tv tonight, maybe chanel 4, you might get it on i player – lovely film i thought about love and not just love between a boy and a girl but the relationships between all the charecters.

    3, listen to song again and i bet you enjoy it more because it means more to you.

    p.s never ask an artist for a sentence answer to a question – you will get an essay and a bit of a rant xxx

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  4. Charis Says:

    Here you are, Alice! I hope it goes well!

    * What comes to mind when you think of a classical concert?
    A real treat – a chance to do something different, cultural and enjoyable.

    * Do people like yourself go to classical concerts?
    Anyone and everyone goes to classical concerts, including me!

    * If you have been to a classical concert, what was the experience like?
    Very refreshing! I’ve always enjoyed classical concerts as I like the idea of devoting an evening to good quality music (I see it as a treat to myself!)

    * If you could change anything about classical concerts, what would you change?
    They have got o be cheaper to be accessible to students

  5. Julie Says:

    I think I go to quite a few concerts. Most of the classical concerts I go to are in the proms, as it’s cheaper. Also usually orchestral rather than chamber/singing. Anything in the rest of the year is only if it’s something unusual or interesting (e.g. the Venezuelan youth orchestra). The best or most popular concerts I’ve been to have been because of the orchestra rather than the music, either doing something different or just being really good quality, e.g. Berlin Phil, Simon Bolivar, conducted by Bobby McFerrin. I wouldn’t change much about classical concerts except to have less snobbery about any type of music being better than another.

  6. Max Says:

    What comes to mind when you think of a classical concert?
    BBC Proms or similar set-up.

    Do people like yourself go to classical concerts?
    I personally don’t, but I think I might like it. I don’t have a very good appreciation of classical music, but I like a lot of it.

    If you have been to a classical concert, what was the experience like?

    If you could change anything about classical concerts, what would you change?
    Better, more prominent advertising.

  7. Bryony Says:

    I think they are awwwwwesum xxx

  8. Rhian Says:

    * What comes to mind when you think of a classical concert?

    Orchestras, music halls, string quartets, old composers (!), sitting still and quietly for long time, not knowing what to expect (so many types of music are classified as ‘classical’ – it could be a full orchestra or a single piano, a really famous composer with well-known pieces or some weird experimental stuff!).

    * Do people like yourself go to classical concerts?

    Some. Usually when they know someone involved in the concert (playing, organising or composing). People are more likely to go to rock gigs, but most people I know are open to going to a classical concert, especially once or twice a year and they know someone who’s going. If you know someone involved most people I know will go if they can to support their friend and make sure they have an audience.

    * If you have been to a classical concert, what was the experience like?

    Good. Free wine and nibbles are always welcome! I got to explore parts of Universities and buildings that I wouldn’t usually visit. The classical concerts I’ve visited have varied widely, from full youth orchestras to famous pianists and from well-known composers to pieces my friends have written.

    * If you could change anything about classical concerts, what would you change?

    Better publicity (you usually only find out about concerts if someone you know is involved). It’s especially hard to find out about concerts when you’re not at university (at uni you’ll usually get at least a few invites via email). It would also be good to have cheaper/ free concerts! If you haven’t studied music it’s sometimes hard to understand the programmes as they have lots of complicated musical terms, so it would be good to have a guide to any technical terms used in the programme.

  9. Emma Says:

    When I think of a classical concert I think of a very big wood-panelled room and quite a long period of time out of my life (that I’ll never get back. Just joking. Sort of).

    I could go to classical concerts if I wanted to, due to my papa being a fan and also the invitations from your good self, but overall I am more of a folky pop fan and prefer things involving a person singing about their happiness or heartache.

    I have been to the odd Prom with my papa, but decided a while back that the intricacies of it all were lost on me, as was the ticket price. Everyone sits around with their eyes shut in bliss, and I have to make lists about my next week. I did enjoy the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, however.

    If I could change one thing about classical concerts, it would be to get a soulful guy such as Neil Hannon or Rufus Wainwright to write songs over the top.

    Yours, unrepentantly philistinic,


  10. Bryony Says:

    I obviously love classical concerts so probably don’t have much of interest to say, but one thing I’ve thought recently I’ll pass on. I think any attempt to make classical concerts more widespread and accessible (obviously a great thing) needs to find a very fine line and not risk changing the nature of classical music itself. I recently played for a festival which in trying to be the classical version of Glastonbury had tooooo many items that were musically very close to the easy access pop culture of a rock festival while still trying to maintain the ‘classy champagne and afternoon tea’ image that classical music conjures. In doing this they robbed classical music of it’s most wonderful essence and (literally) bankrupted themselves by putting off exisiting classical music lovers and failing to show those not yet fans what is really unique and special about classical music (that it is amazing, not that it is high class). So perhaps I think classical concert programmes themselves (and the standard of playing) should remain fundamentally the same but that maybe their packaging could be worked on (as with the LPO’s free beer thing, Domus Ensemble, your themed concerts, children’s activities etc.) – hope that helps – sounds like an interesting discussion!

  11. Becky Says:

    – I guess my first thoughts would be of an orchestra and a lot of cultured people, mainly older
    – I have friends who do go to classical concerts, as does my younger brother (18) who plays in a rock band but has a general interest in music, although I never have
    – not sure what I’d change given that I’ve never been to one!

  12. Alex Says:

    * it depends on the programme – e.g. choral, instrumental or orchestral music, what composers they’re playing. Generally positive feelings though, with occasional apathy.
    * yes, but perform more often. There were a few faithful attenders of concert at university who weren’t ‘dragged along’, but not very many!
    * It depends whether I’m watching or performing, but if watching ranges between excruciating – dull – interesting – exciting depending on the standard and the music played.
    * Tricky one. It probably doesn’t help that there are an awful lot of ‘OK but not brilliant’ concerts going on (in Devon at least) which probably help put any newcomers off. A lot of it could depend on the thoughts and feelings people associate with the music, which would explain why older people are more likely to go to classical concerts. A concert combining classical music with something ‘different’ might be be the best introduction – like the Rameau prom in 2007 with all the wild dancing (http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2007/interact/reviews/15jul.shtml if you didn’t get to see it). Kate’s suggestion of combining classical music with film sounded excellent.

  13. D G Says:

    these are stream of consciousness responses, hopefully not too late of a reply!
    #1 I think of imagination, a body of literature, inspiration, something to look forward to
    #2yes, people like me go to classical concerts. this means i identify myself as a classical music lover, but also a supporter and promoter of culture-as-education and a worthwhile perspective in general
    #3 the experiences have varied widely depending on quality of the music, enthusiasm of the players and audience, numbers of players and audience, presentation, venue, expectations, advertising, etc.
    #4 i would change the reputation classical music concerts have. it seems people assume it is not for them, and that participants in classical music assume they can’t connect with those people, or they haven’t figured out a way how to do so. it seems there is a cultural divide. i would love to be able to play for these people until they identify with this kind of music as music personally, and until they feel they are welcomed as the target audience. i bet a lot of people would like classical music if it didn’t have a stodgy reputation. i think people also connect better to more “contemporary” non-classical music because it seems more relevant to their lives. a guitar or keyboard or voice are more common instruments, more likely for them to use than an expensive cello or a harp. stringed instruments are seen as for little kids, and something childish to give up as a busy, adult with a real professional life. at least wind instrument can be played in bands, which are associated with sports, also more popular and relevant than classical music.

  14. Tamara (aged 14) Says:

    What do you think of when you imagine a classical concert? What do you think it will be like?
    – When I imagine a classical concert, I mainly think of the orchestra and conductor. I also think of the people that go to classical concerts, the audience. Mainly for them imagine them in black tie outfits. I think classical concerts are interesting because its music that might have no lyrics and so you can focus more on the instrumental side. Things that I would focus on are; what instruments/family is playing, the key changes, and is there a story to the music?
    If ever, when do you go to classical concerts?
    – Sadly, I only go to classical concerts when my school organises a trip to them or I’m performing in them. I went to my first classical concert in Year 5 to the Barbican to learn about the sting family with the London Symphony Orchestra. They also played one song from the ballet version of “Rome & Juliet”, which, coincidentally, is also the theme song to The Apprentice. The next concert I will be attending is The South Bank Concert in January with my school.
    Why do you go to these concerts? E.g. family taking you, performing in it…
    – I go because I want to hear different types of classical music and just different types of music in general. When I do go to classical concerts now, it’s because I’m performing in a choir or my school are holding a Concert to play the GCSE and A Level compositions, which I will be getting involved this year.
    Do people like you go to classical concerts? Why or Why not?
    – Well I don’t normally listen to Classical music in my spare time. Sometimes I will search for classical on YouTube, but it’s not on my iPod. I especially didn’t listen to Classical music when I was very young because I was under the influence from friends that classical was “Boring”. That changed when I went to that concert in year 5, and now I listen to classical when I can, in a get a lot of it in music class. I guess I would like to go to more Classical Concerts when I can, but my parents are normally busy, so I can only go when my school organises it.
    Is there anything that discourages you from attending concerts?
    – Apart from the lack of time that I can spare due to GCSE‘s and the lack of time my parents can take me, no, I would like to go to more classical concerts.

    What would encourage you to go to more Classical Concerts?
    – i feel that Classical concerts aren’t advertised as much as, let say, a rock concert, or hip hop etc… As of that, I don’t feel much influence to see a Classical concert.

    What would be your ideal concert?
    – I think my ideal concert would be one where you could hear all the different types of classical in different forms ( e.g. sonata ), and by different composers. It would also be ideal if it was more influential towards teenagers around my age.

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