[lit-ideas] Re: Why are the greatest composers all German?

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 12:24:27 -0400

Donal: Plus, of course Bachers and Mozzie and Beethy were popular in their time - even if not always as recognised as hindsight might tell us.

Would debate that for kicks.

You don't have to read _Revolt of the Masses_ to see that their audience and intentions were different. Sure Beethoven used pop music--one of his piano trios uses a pop song called "Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu" as the basis for variations--but Beethoven never left his finished work at the level of a pop song. Pop music is content with leaving its material at the musical level of ... pop music.

What makes people bristle at the claims of serious music to superiority is emotional appeal. Even the most basic pop music can be moving and speak to the heart. People then mistake the emotional appeal of a piece with its musical level and say, "See, Mr. Elitist? ABBA is as deeply felt as Brahms."

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