The Name Game…

The great conductor Leonard Bernstein once lamented the limits and imperfections of the term Classical Music. We use it, he said, “to describe music that isn’t jazz or popular songs or folk music, just because there isn’t any other word that seems to describe it better. While the musical form is not my favorite I do believe he had a point.

Nearly a half century later, the author and musicologist Alex Ross had a similar complaint. He said “I hate ‘classical music’: not the thing, but the name,” he wrote. “The phrase is a masterpiece of negative publicity, a tour-de-force of anti-hype.

During the intervening decades (basically the whole of my lifetime) Classical Music has waned in popularity and loss most of its public engagement. It’s slowly beginning to work its way back, gaining some level of respect, relevance and even shockingly I know some commercial viability. But it needs all the help it can get and I believe that has to start with a major re-branding and re-conceptualization.

I actually think there is a great new word for Classical Music, one that’s been hiding in plain sight, as they say. I hereby propose that we call it Composed Music after all it is what it is.

My friend and keyboard musician, Dr Bill Rhodes has spend his entire career blending the genres together it pieces that he performs regularly and he would never dare to say it was classical music its simply composed music. It’s music created by a talented musician who takes themes, styles and ideas and produces them into new and fantastic works.

We need to be OK with the fact there is really no different between music composed in the 18th century to music composed just last week it is just that composed music.

Just my way of thinking…check out Dr Bill Rhodes at Symphonic Piano

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