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04 March 2017


Bev Erickson

Standing "o" for your rumination! Couldn't agree more.


"Classical Music" has always been more of a marketing term than a musical one... I gather it was invented in the early 19th century to encapsule and elevate Bach to Beethoven.

"Common Practice", roughly 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century will never have the same cachet but is probably more descriptive of orchestral and choral art music Western ears prefer. Here's an interesting description of it:

Here's one of my favorite pieces of all time, with the very first movement, the Domine ad adjuvandum, never failing to induce a state of wonder between my ears:

Monteverdi recycled the fanfare of that first movement from what some call the very first opera, 1'Orfeo, 1604. I first got turned on to that as my childhood music tastes went from Tijuana Brass to Mason Williams to Walter/Wendy Carlos "Switched on Bach" to buying a boxed set of the Brandenburgs (Otto Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra, IIRC Adolph Scherbaum was the trumpeter on the 2nd) only because I wondered what the 3rd and 4th sounded with traditional instrumentation. The door to the wider world of music then flew wide open.

As long as the 'educated' think music isn't needed in everyone's education, we'll have a continued erosion of art music (for lack of a better term) of all types. That door would not have been opened for me had my schools not had a music program... but by the time I got to Junior and Senior high late '60's, early '70's, there were too few stringed instrumentalists to support "orchestras"... so it was band or choir only.

What Americans now call a "liberal arts degree" is literally a Trivial Arts degree. Music was in the top tier of what a free man or woman should know to be considered educated, and that included (in modern terms) mathematics, chemistry, physics and music.

Here's a parting gift, near the end of the above performance of the 1610 Vespers

No, the cornettos aren't valved instruments. They predate trumpets, as chromatic as the flutes or recorders of the day.

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