There is the usual claim of the 'dramatic'force of classical music.You know,the pathos,the sublime.And it's difficult to get that on folk music.I once heard a very 'suffered','felt'version of 'the Butterfly'on fiddle,which got me pretty much in the stomach for its tackiness.But then again.When I need music to help me 'feeling',I listen to a cello sonata from Kodaly which happens to be a very sensible 'çut and paste'of hungarian folk tunes.And just the other day I heard and orchestral piece written from a local folk band(VERY well accomplished task.I would expected to be impossible to write an openly folk piece for a Philarmonic Orchestra...and I was just so impressed from what I heard!And I consider myself a very tasteful listener,so trust me)which was just great.Music notation is just like every other written language-a structure. You get the pattern from your eys to your brain,and then you're able to bend it however you want it like.Like reading a book:your imagination does the job.Notation is notation.The music lies in communicating something out of it.
And if folk expresses no feeling,as they claim,how about jazz?!I love jazz,but you really have to be inventive most of the times to detect anything in it but wit and broken nerves.
And classic music,for most instruments,is easier than folk-it gives you some pace.
Probably so called composers were musicians who got a little bit over theirselves.Ravel had to repeat his tune some twenty times in Bolero,while average folk group is happy with four times...that could show something...
And shambles,I absolutely agree with the very good point about harmony.