The missed revolution in classical music

If we follow the historical pathway of music-culture's compositions through the centuries, we find its time-structures developing to more and more complicated textures, which, as a consequence, are more and more difficult to grasp for listeners. We refer to late 19th century, when high-lifted rituals of articial music had gone astray in enhanced processes of autonomization which left the "low" music, just made for entertainment, far behind their own practices. Of course, we have to diagnose a split-up of society as well, divided in civil elites and masses of underclass people who wouldn’t find their pleasure with high-art-music. Its rhythmical and tonal textures were simply too complicated. Yet this split-up modus has been subsequently softened by industrialization, which, like a paradox social process, sharpened the gaps between social classes, but also facilitated special ways to passing borders up to other realms of cultural and social products. A process, which clearly included all commercialized products of music. The rise of jazz is an outstanding example for an upperclass (entertainment) music taking its ways "downstairs" - via muscians of all classes to listeners of all classes.

Here we end up at a certain weird point, refering to classical music's culture. It has, at least in broad parts, missed this big social revolution of music and society. A revolution, which unleashed a "worker's class" of cramped musicians, who were supposed to be willing servants of dreadful scores, their composers and conductors. Meaning, the rise of an advanced entertainment sector of industrial music created a new class of operating musicians, who liberated themselves by just doing their own thing. After the gigs, i.e. the shows for the upperclass, these musicians were drawing back to make something of a better niveau. They invented Jazz in multifacetted styles.

One can melt this in his mouth: Musicians, coming from lower parts of the society, play a (actually “low“ rated entertainment music) for upper-class people, to create something higher out of it. And the cultural results make them climb up the social ladder, at least on the long run.

Meanwhile the traditional, non-commercial orchestras, went on their old way without a new designation in their luggage. The civil ghetto of high-art-music should survive without any need of change, as long as minimal parts of the concert programs were reserved to composers who actually were alive and who worked in the footsteps of Beethoven, Schönberg or Stravinsky. The self-establishing Avantgarde scene contracted silently with the old music’s Establishment. Give me a groat and you may keep your dollar note, they might have thought. But the millions were made in the pathways of the real revolution. It must have been hard to ignore that.

And nowadays classical music stars like Lang Lang or David Garrett are staged like Pop stars. Which is a little awkward, too. But the poor victims of the ignorance of a whole cultural Establishment are still the orchestra-musicians who are forced to give their inspiration to a music, which would need a complete restart on behalf of the missed revolution. A restart which would include a thorough reformation process of the musical education system, including the ultimate bridge between Jazz music and its worthy ancestors. This bridge is not wishful thinking, but the true task, music's history is bringing to us. Because Jazz is a veritabel heritage of french baroque music, imported by french immigrants in New Orleans. Even their musical phrasings were similar to what Jazz musicians today perform.

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