Where have all the composers gone?

24 11 2009

Here is the problem. No one has time for classical music these days. Let us explore the underlying issues. A commonly asked question is why there aren’t any composers of note today, like Beethoven, Mozart, et al. Here’s your answer. There is always something good on TV. With no TV in those pre-20th century days, there were long stretches of time in which composers could practice their craft. And avoid personal hygiene. These days, how can anything of note be completed when there is a new episode of Heroes?

Perhaps it is time to change the parameters. Why not make symphonies 5 minutes in length, 1 or 2 minutes per movement. This way, everyone wins. The composers are happy. They can create something in a fraction of the time, and still have time to program their PVR. The listenership too, is happy. No longer do they have to sit through long, ponderous symphonies, with the ever-present possibility of their mind wandering and thinking of whether Prison Break will be pre-empted for a Presidential Debate. In fact, many works could be squeezed in before even hitting the shower, before work.

Still not satisfied? How about a version of Beethoven’s Ninth in 2 minutes? And I don’t mean by just speeding it up. I mean by leaving ‘the boring bits’ on the cutting room floor, so that all you get is pure gold, as Beethoven would have wanted it. How many of you have fast-forwarded to that choral part that everyone knows?

Smack of something sinister, this tampering with what is sacred? Get over it! There is simply not the time to worry about these distracting side issues. Let’s face it, classical music these days sits and molders in public libraries across the country. Concert halls play their symphonic works to empty seats because, let’s face it, the home team got through to the third round. Oh, and that girl on House is so hot!

Next, I will tell you how you can watch a movie on a 2-inch screen, so that you can enjoy the works of Seth Rogen and Adam Sandler while sitting on the crapper. Oh wait, Apple already did that.

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