Why is Classical Music Such a Big Deal?

Don't get me wrong, I love instrumental music, especially soundtracks. But I've never really understood why people like classical music so much. It's not really that enjoyable to listen to. Like, I understand that it's extremely complex technically, but it honestly doesn't sound that great. The Final Fantasy X Piano Collections Soundtrack is better than any classical music I've ever heard. And that's from a VIDEO GAME!


Yeah, I know, it's just my opinion. But I want to know why other people like it so much...? I just don't understand what's so great about it...

Update 2:

@lorenz again: I'm pretty sure music mattered before the Beatles came along...

6 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Please do not take my answer as being personally annoyed at you- you have done nothing wrong.

    Classical music, firstly, is not a 'Big Deal'; for some it is a matter of life and death, while for others such as you it is insignificant.

    The classical music you mention ('soundtracks') is designed to accompany something and enhance it, not to be listened to on its own, and whether it even is classical music is debatable. Also, if I am not mistaken, the first movement of Debussy's 'Sonata for Violin' is on one of the Final Fantasy soundtracks- it is classical, and a fantastic piece. Video games are getting higher budgets, and consequently are attracting better composers and performers.

    I would argue that your attitude stems from ignorance of the great works of 400 years of geniuses. They are not called masters or prodigies flippantly- these people knew what they were doing and were respected by appreciative audiences accordingly. Not anyone can write good classical music.

    Your question pretty much sums it up: "I understand that it's extremely complex technically". The resulting emotions, feelings and understandings is thus far more complex and profound than what popular music can achieve.

    I admit I have enjoyed the occasional dubstep, dance, rave, trance etc. track (as ridiculous as it may sound after reading this answer), but alcohol is involved, and there is a much more social dynamic in dancing at a club/ gig/ concert/ rock performance etc. You are surrounded by people who think that what they are listening to is cool, and you also think that what you are doing is cool; you consequently share the same feelings and views of each other for a pleasant night, where you think of each other as 'cool'. This is a mechanism of social bonding rather than mutual appreciation of some great music.

    Thus I think classical music's recent neglect stems from social matters,not from the music itself. If you listened to it more you would find pieces and composers you like, and would enjoy it more. Have you heard of Ravel, Stravinsky, Francaix, Byrd? I could list another hundred excellent composers, all with their distinctive styles. To illustrate my point, how many people from your country (England?) that you know enjoy Gamelan music or Indian Hindustani music? Ever heard of those types of music? If the answer is no, then how do you know whether or not you like the music. It also shows that the less your society listens to one type of music, the less enjoyed and understood it is by that society. Classical music included.

    So, I love classical music for the following reasons:

    1. It is FAR more profound than most popular music

    2. It is (mostly) harmony, rhythm, and melody driven, unlike most songs with banal lyrics these days.

    3. It incites deep feeling and emotion

    4. As a composer I find the possibilites endless. Classical music IS NOT FORMULAIC as many people believe- it does not sound clichéd, nor all the same, and there is great potentential for exploration.

    5. You get to pick which pieces from the past 550 years you want to listen to; the worst have been forgotten, so if a piece has survived for more than 50 years it is practically guarenteed to be excellent.

    6. There is absolute genius involved in classical music. Listening to it is partially an appreciation of someone's genius, and sometimes partly a mental exercise in identifying what they have done.

    I could write far more, but these are the first ideas which came to mind. I hope you find the answer interesting, read it, and perhaps feel encouraged to look up some classical music. Try Debussy, Scarlatti, Byrd and Haydn. If you do not find something you like out of those four diverse composers I would be very surprised.

  • 9 years ago

    It helps to understand what you're listening to.

    For example, Wagner's opera Gotterdammerung is full of "leitmotifs," or short orchestral snippets which represent a character or stage prop.

    When the character Siegfried is killed, the orchestra plays a funeral march which sounded like so much noise to me the first time I heard it.

    But then I analyzed it and found that the leitmotifs in the funeral march told the story of Siegfried's life.

    Now I can't listen to that piece dry-eyed.

    I used to think Mozart's music was just so much fancy filligree.

    But I was told that Mozart was one of the first and one of the best composers in the sonata form, which involves terms such as "exposition," "development," and "recapitulation."

    So I bought a copy of the Mozart piano sonatas, along with a book on analyzing those sonatas, and went to work studying.

    Now I feel differently.

    Fugues are a whole sub-category.

    Fugues involve their own list of terms, such as "episode," "counter-subject," and "augmentation."

    Most listeners aren't familiar with these terms, so they are likely to hear a whole lot of nothing.

    That's why a fugue has been defined as a composition in which the voices come in one by one and the audience goes out one by one.

    All this is very difficult to explain in a music appreciation class, in which the students come in with all degrees of musical experience.

    For this reason, music appreciation teachers usually begin the course with "program music," or compositions in which the music represents something which most listeners could understand.

    In the Peery Gynt Suite by Grieg, one piece represents the sun coming up and the birds singing at dawn. Another piece represents the death of the title character's mother.

    In a Persian Market by Arthur Ketelbey is another good one. In this piece, there a theme each for the caravan, the king, the beggars, the snake charmer, and the beautiful princess.

  • 9 years ago

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    Nice on not catching the reference. What's so great about The Final Fantasy music?

  • 9 years ago

    The Final Fantasy Soundtrack is simplistic rubbish. Your problem is that your opinion is based on a lack of education, ignorance and the impulsiveness of youth.

    It does not sound that great TO YOU. That is because your ear is not sufficiently developed to appreciate it.

    There is 400 years of music that you so readily dismiss as not sounding that great... do you realize how ridiculous that sounds. Although that is not as ludicrous as the person who thinks there was no music of value before the Beatles LOL.

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  • 9 years ago

    idk in my opinion music didn't matter until the beatles and umm i take music history classes so i think i kno what im talking about..............

    Source(s): me
  • 9 years ago

    its not. listen to this

    "clockwork" by - nov3k


    Youtube thumbnail

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