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RE: Bizarre twist in musical taste (long)

That's a question that's troubled me ever since I was a kid. Why was the greatest music written over 150 years in the past? Why don't we have our own Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven? Surely, a society that is more technologically advanced, better educated, richer, and has more people in it should be able to produce better music than 18th-century Germany? And yet nothing we create today -- either in the popular realm or the conservatory -- holds a candle to it.

The best I've come up with is a shift in the primary audience that accompanied a shift in purchasing power from the aristocracy to the middle class to the masses. It isn't a sraightforward matter of education, although that plays a role (both negative and positive) in the change.

In any case, I agree that great music will survive. My main concern is that as it has become increasingly a dead art and fallen out of our culture, fewer and fewer children are being exposed to it. I'm saddened when I see friends who have the IQ to appreciate Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, but who never get to know their music during the crucial childhood period when musical syntax is mastered. Life without Mozart seems like no life at all.


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