15 November 2004

Minor music

In an article from The New York Times titled The Critical Masses, author Anne Midgette attempts to understand the future of classical music and comes up with this:

If this discussion underlined anything, it was that classical music is a niche market — rather, a blanket term for an agglomeration of niche markets. There are organ aficionados who hate opera, contemporary-music fans with little use for Elizabethan lute songs. Perhaps because critics are expected to address all of these niches with equal expertise and authority, we forget, when we worry about the future of our field, that each niche is doing pretty well.

The biggest crisis in classical music today is taking place in its major (possibly outdated) institutions: the symphony orchestras trying to sell thousands of tickets, the record labels looking for blockbuster recordings.

I agree. Naxos is doing fine selling its 20th/21st century symphonic catalog to the small group that listens even though they can't fill stadiums and sell t-shirts to go along with it. The market's not equal to the GDP of a small country, but it exists and will continue to exist for a while.

[ posted by sstrader on 15 November 2004 at 11:29:55 AM in Music ]