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Classical (Music) Mythology 101

Here are a few common myths and misconceptions about classical music:



1. The Myth of the Composer Deity

Classical music is the food of the gods and only the divine are capable of creating it.

2. The Myth of the Super Conductor

There's magic in that stick, and all a great conductor has to do to instantly inspire his musicians is wave it.

3. The Myth of the Exclusionary Rule

Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Respighi and all the other populist types don't belong in the Pantheon with Bach, Beethoven, Brahms or Schubert, Schoenberg, Scelsi.

4. The Myth of Music Trivia

The only concern of music history is music.

5. The Myth of The Big Five

The only American orchestras that matter are the ones in New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland.

6. The Myth of Perpetual Revolution

The whole point of music is to keep turning the world on its head.

7. The Myth of Classical Beauty

Good music is supposed to be beautiful.

8. The Myth of the Old School

There are two ways to play anything -- "old school" and "new school" -- and "old school" is usually superior.

9. The Myth of the Life Or Death Performance

Every performance matters, and every flaw is a sin against humanity.

10. The Myth of Authenticity

It is futile to ask WWJD -- What would Johann (Sebastian Bach) do?

11. The Myth of Historic Fads

Classical music was the pop music of centuries past ~ and today's pop is tomorrow's classical.

12. The Myth of Imminent Extinction

Classical music is on the ropes.

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© David BŁndler , 2015

Last revised: July 27, 2015