The Dead Symphony v.s MTV

September 23, 2016 | | 2 Comments

The performances by the orchestra we saw on the 21st and the music videos we spoke on in class Monday have very stark differences. The orchestra, for example, was of the classical genre, while the VMA performance by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé are mainstream pop artists. When speaking about orchestra in broad terms, it would not be far-fetched to assume the majority of people may have preconceived notions of people from the upper echelon of society dressing up in formal attire while attending a concert hall ready to watch a conductor violently shaking his hands leading the musicians. On the other hand, considering mainstream music one probably thinks about whatever artists turns up in the top 10 on iTunes or what plays on popular radio stations.



As the name suggests, mainstream music is very popularized and largely followed by all. There are television channels like MTV, Fuse, and VH1 among other solely dedicated to coverage of pop culture and mainstream music. On the contrary classical music, in particular, the orchestra is – at least to my knowledge – not as heavily enjoyed by the majority. One reason could be that classical music does not sell anymore. With the advent of things like YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify that remove us further and further away from live music, people become increasingly disinterested in paying to go see a live performance of even their favorite artists either because of the price tag or inconvenience. On top of this there is no effort in following your favorite artists when celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Beyoncé receive critical acclaim and news coverage for simply being seen in public, whereas classical music is pushed to the wayside to die.


Personally while I do not follow orchestra and classical music in general, I can still identify with it very much so because of my history in games. Titles like The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Halo together with other popular titles all employ orchestras when making their soundtracks. The nostalgia as well as other factors made the performance very enjoyable for me.


2 Comments so far

  1.    Benjamin Kayumov on September 24, 2016 2:31 am

    Music at one point was simply that: Music. But just like any classic or long term idea it has found its niche and became into its own business. If it wasn’t for music videos and modern day music MTV would not be successful as they are today in the business mind. Lets not discredit the old classical music if you will. In some cases it founded the music we hear today and was more of the pioneer of the music industry that started out as business and leads it to its upgrade.

  2.    Anna on September 25, 2016 11:48 pm

    I was really interested in how you described the preconceived notion of a performance like the one we attended. I hadn’t been to see many (if any) orchestral, symphonic, etc. performances before I became a performer myself and since I began playing music I was never able to see performance as just music happening and a conductor flailing about, probably because I knew what the conductor was doing and how each movement had purpose. It is really interesting to me though that other people see it differently, though.

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