Out with the Old, In with the New

I want you to think of your favorite piece of music. I bet that you chose something written far before you, or even your parents, were ideas, let alone alive. Even I picked an older piece. Immediately, a problem with the way we as musicians perceive music has presented itself. We perceive older music as far greater than the works that are written today. Whether it be the program for a student recital or for the concert of a premier orchestra, one thing that remains that music from the past is played more than music from the present. Now, this is not going to be an article tearing apart the great composers of bygone eras. Rather, this is an exploration of how we as musicians can help to support the composers of today and turn them into revered figures for the next generation just as we revere Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven.

There are many ways to help with the growth and evolution of classical music. In this article, though, I have selected five simple steps that can be taken in order to keep our beloved genre of music alive.

Listen:  An easy way to expose yourself to newer music is to go out and listen to it. You do not have to listen to hours of music a day, but even one or two pieces composed in the past decade each day will help to expand your knowledge of the ever-changing classical music scene.

Play: Once you begin listening to this newer music, try to find a couple of pieces that you will want to play, and learn them. Hopefully, the opportunity will present itself to perform them for an audience, thus spreading it onto fresh sets of ears.

Spread the Word: Music has never become popular from just one person enjoying it, so once you find a few pieces that you really enjoy, let your friends and colleague know to listen them. If they do not like them, encourage them to find modern music that they do like and to spread that to others.

Ask Around: One way that has really helped me learn more about the music as a whole is asking my friends to give me pieces to listen to. Each person has their own preferences, so by the time you ask ten people, you probably will get at least thirty different pieces to listen to, and thus growing what you know.

Go to Concerts: While endlessly listening to music on Spotify may be more convenient, there is nothing quite as enlightening as going out to a concert and seeing this music be performed live. Almost every concert will have at least one newer piece on the program, and the more that you go to, the more you will learn about both old and new music.

In conclusion, new music is there for you to listen to. The only thing that is stopping you from helping classical music grow is you. Go you and explore all that modern composers have to offer. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

June 21, 2017