Anyone who has been a regular reader of my blog will probably be aware that I love music--all kinds of music. Over the past month I have even gone so far as to temporarily turn this space into a music blog as I name off my lists of favorite music albums. Then taking it a step further, I expound on my lists and talk about the music that I have reluctantly left off of the lists. So far I have looked lovingly on rock, country, jazz, and other styles of music and have promised more to come. But this week I have focused on the best music--classical. And yes, I will stand by my premise:
Classical music as a genre is superior to all other forms of music.
I am certainly not saying that any of the other many genres of music are bad or have no value, but I am saying that much of what is considered good or great classical music will have more staying power than the popular music of the past 150 years and contributes more to the human spirit and intellect than most popular music. Likewise, I will not argue that all music that is included under the label of "classical music" is particularly good or with lasting value because there is bad music in any genre. I will suggest that generally speaking classical music is timeless.
Most of what I would call "pop" music is of a particular age and represents that age much like a historical document that might include a movie, a periodical or news article, or a cartoon (such as a political cartoon or other drawn media). These musical pieces depict ideas and popular fads of an era and usually sound dated when performed later. For example, we might enjoy singing or hearing "Oh, Susannah" or "My Darling Clementine", but lyrically they are historical relics and musically they sound old-fashioned.
Granted, that to the trained ear, different categories of classical music can usually be associated with particular eras and can be dated, but most people who are not educated about classical music cannot distinguish one from another even though the differences are pretty obvious and identifiable. And this is part of the argument. Listening to and appreciating classical music is far more intellectually challenging than most pop music which is another indication of its superiority.
In all fairness, I will concede that much jazz and progressive rock music almost attains the level of great classical music and indeed could eventually be fit into the broad genre label of classical, but currently the label "classical" often has a negative connotation to many music listeners.
Let me frame this argument another way. Which of the following are better if rated by quality: William Shakespeare or People magazine? A low budget film with bad acting or a respected film by a great director? McDonald's or a Wolfgang Puck restaurant? A painting by Rembrandt or a velvet elvis?
I'm tossing it to you now. Do you think any other genres are superior or equal to classical? I'm not talking about preferences or taste. I understand that many will say they just like another form better, but why? Why would you not like classical and like country, rock, or some other genre better? And other than just "liking" it, how can you argue that your listening preferences are not inferior to classical music? And finally, are classical music fans snobs?