Is Classical Music Elitist? Part 6

Continued from:

I know, it seems like this has been going on forever, and I’ll be happy to get back to posting research, but I wanted to finish addressing this misconception. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know my opinion–classical music is not elitist, because anyone can listen to it.

So here’s the last of the posts from the discussion thread on The Guardian’s website:

Maritz replies to katyekpay:

[Editorial note: much of this has been left out, because of personal attacks, nastiness, etc. Please follow this link to see the full exchange.] No one who denigrates Classical dancers and musicians should be in the position of educating anyone on the subject. Your sneering about musicians who play Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven tells me everything I need to know about your dedication to creativity in any form. I can only hope that your influence upon the young is as narrow as your vision. [. . .] whereas the system you talk about has always had the belief that Art is “only for a select group of people.
[. . .] I have touted NO SYSTEM. I have only identified the elitist attitude of many Britons, and clearly you are among them, that music education should only be given to the privileged in Private institutions. [. . .] You have demonstrated your elitist prejudice by your judgement of popular music and dance as being less than classical art forms.
[. . .] Some popular music and dance is very creative and I enjoy both. But they are NOT classical art forms, so they cannot be “less”. You who have no respect for real artists, and who defends fakery and sham “musicians” have no right to stand in judgment of me or anyone else for saying that Popular music is not Art. Art should be accessible to everybody; giving children the chance to enjoy different art forms isn’t the same as educating them in that art form.No kidding! Yet this is the subject of the comment piece. Children go to school to be educated. Once again, there is no discussion of Michelle Obama championing the cause of garage bands. If you do not believe that ALL students deserve to be educated about classical music you are an elitist.

Whew! I certainly agree with Maritz on his last statement. Every child deserves an education in classical music. While I am not surprised by the nasty turn the discussion has taken, it is deplorable. Surely those of us who appreciate the arts can conduct ourselves with more comportment (although I do completely understand the frustration!).

No, classical music is not elitist. Anyone can check out a book or CD from the library, choose to watch a program on public television, go to the library and see YouTube clips, ask their friends, or one of the many other avenues to appreciation of classical music. Regardless of what others say, there’s nothing elitist about enjoying good music that is also healthy for you. Nor is it pretentious, as long as you actually enjoy it. The only thing pretentious about classical music is pretending to enjoy it.

Now, can we please all calm down before someone violates Godwin’s Law?

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