The Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

poster with color drawings of violin, viola, violoncello, bass, drum, tympani, harp, French horn, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, bassoon, English horn, triangle, cymbals, piano

Instruments of the Orchestra

So said Samuel Langhorn Clemens, writing as Mark Twain. And classical music’s death knell has been sounded many, many times, and yet, somehow, classical music manages to thrive in likely and unlikely places. From the underprivileged elementary schools in Philadelphia, where Tune Up Philly has launched its own El Sistema-style program, to Wigmore Hall in London, which increased ticket sales by more than fifty per cent, classical music, like a weed, keeps sprouting up in unexpected ways and locations, despite having been declared dead so many times.
And that’s because there’s just something about classical music that somehow remains immortal and timeless. Our brains physically respond with something akin to joy when we listen to classical music. We feel more relaxed, our bodies work a little better and so we feel a little better. And classical music is self-reinforcing, so the more we hear of it, the more we want it.
So don’t believe the naysayers, who proclaim that classical music has had its day. Go out and listen to classical radio, either locally or on the internet. Find someone to teach you to sing or play an instrument. Go attend a local concert — even a free one, and thank the musicians afterwards. And rest secure that classical music will be around for our own lifetimes, and far beyond.

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