The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #27366   Message #335314
Posted By: The Shambles
06-Nov-00 - 01:18 PM
Thread Name: Proper Music?
Subject: Proper Music?
Proper music in the UK means European classical music. Therefore proper musicians are classically trained musicians……………Is this true also for where you live?……. The purpose of this thread is not to knock fine classical music or fine classically trained musicians, but to examine the reasons for the high regard this music has and the comparatively low regard for other forms. To also look at national differences to this.

The irony of this being that some of these lesser musicians, in particular the 'pop' stars, earn far more than the respected classically trained musicians could ever dream of. They would probably trade a little of their reverence for a more secure lifestyle?

One of the reasons for this being true in the UK and possibly not quite so true elsewhere is our unique and still existing class system. There is a certain snobbery attached to classical music and even those that do not like or understand it much, will be tempted to express some enthusiasm for it and to disparage others forms.

In my experience, I would say that the main purveyor and supporter of this attitude and probably the main reason it exists, is our State radio and TV, the BBC.

In fairness I would say that all forms of music are treated equally badly on BBC TV and TV in general. The only music that TV seems to know about is 'pop' and that given its appeal is not treated very well either.

The problem is worse and the pattern was set by BBC Radio. Over many years and for very good reasons the BBC has promoted classical music. The annual Promenade Concerts and entire radio station (now called Radio 3) has been devoted all most exclusively to classical music. Popular or light music as it was known, would fight it out amongst the remaining channels. It was not until fairly recently (1960s) and in the face of 'pirate' competition that 'pop' music was given its own.

There have been occasional the oasis in this desert of classical music. Programmes on music considered more worthy, like The Organist Entertains, jazz and blues programmes have come and gone (The Organist Entertains will go on forever) but none promoted with the zeal of classical music.

Whilst being grateful for the approach that has 'given the people what they need rather than what they want', in the way of broadcast music, I am angry that in 2000, things have changed little. There are moves to introduce 'world music' on Radio 3, but it is too little and too late to change the attitude in the UK, toward other non classical forms of music that The BBC is largely responsible for creating.

There is one hour a week devoted to folk music on national BBC Radio and one hour on Blues.

How have other nations with State Radio, like Ireland fared?