Bach is back

Bach is back
Johann Sebastian Bach

The Guardian newspaper in the UK recently published a story about how classical music is taking hold in London's underground youth scene.

Apparently, one of the guys from Radiohead is going around doing a bunch of classical music events, and there is some DJ who performed with a symphony.

This isn't the first time that rock stars have hooked up with fancy-pants classical guys.

In 1999, Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra collaborated on a live album called S&M.

There has been a lot of stuff like this over the years. It's only natural that different sorts of musicians would want to play together.

It's fun.

It's also important. Classical music represents something important in world culture. In a word, class.

It's the music of the learned.

It's also the music of the rich.

The big problem is the hoity-toitiness surrounding it that keeps potential listeners away in droves.

I'm here to tell you, don't let the snobs win.

I can remember going to a ballet in my teens and the old guy sitting near me kept giving me the stink eye and muttering under his breath.

I had long, black hair and was wearing a black sweater with a deep V-neck. I looked like a goth hippie loser and this codger didn't like me being in his space.

This one lame incident put me off going to the ballet and I never went again. Stupid of me, really.

IT'S JUST MUSIC

The thing you have to remember is that classical music is just music, and it's not just for the old and the rich.

In the past, it took a lot of time and money to get up to speed on Mozart and Mendelssohn, Bach and Beethoven. But now, it's dead cheap and easy.

I find what I like on YouTube.

I read about it on Wikipedia.

I download it on iTunes.

The reason young people are getting into classical these days is that it's not being kept away from them like some precious old relic. It's no longer a secret.

You want to experience some of the most magnificent creations devised by the mind of man?

You can. No one is stopping you.

It's a sad, sad time for the supercilious.

jjohnson@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Oct 8, 2014.
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