September 24, 2009
Rebirth: The Future of Classical Music
Brief outlineWhat's missing from this outline: details, objections to what I say (and my answers), liveliness, fun, and music. I'll spend a lot of time in the book writing about music itself.Part I -- The CrisisChapter I --Rebirth and ResistancePart II --The Nature of Classical MusicClassical music is changing. The changes can lead to its rebirth. One reason for change is the classical music crisis - the fear that classical music is receding from our culture, and that its audience might disappear. But there's resistance to change, and some people don't even believe that the crisis is real.Chapter II - Dire DataWhy the crisis is real. Proof that the audience really is aging. How dramatically younger it used to be. How its aging signals a very large cultural shift. Tangible evidence that this shift really happened. The decline in classical music ticket sales. Recent data from the National Endowment for the Arts, and how it shows that the classical music audience will almost certainly shrink.Chapter III -- Falling Behind (The Problem of Funding)Why money for classical music will become harder to raise.Chapter IV -- Renegade CultureThe central problem -- our changing culture. The world has changed, but classical music (mostly) hasn't. Which explains why people -- of all ages -- have lost interest in it.Chapter V -- Defining Classical MusicWhat classical music really is, and why we should save it. Its great tradition.Chapter VI -- The Myth of Classical Music SuperiorityWhy classical music isn't better than music of other kinds. Why it's harmful to think that it is.Chapter VII -- World Gone Wrong: The Failure of Classical MusicPart III -- AlternativesWhy classical music - in the ways it's presented today - no longer makes sense. Why it functions now as a refuge from contemporary life.Chapter VIII -- Pop Music and Popular CulturePart IV -- The Rebirth of Classical MusicWhy popular culture is smart and valuable. What it can teach classical music. Why classical music has to coexist with it.Chapter IX -- Classical Music in the PastHow classical music used to be freer, and more expressive. How this can inspire us now.Chapter X -- What Should We Do?How classical music has already changed. Problems we still have to solve, and recommendations for further change.Chapter XI -- Rebirth for RealThe future. What classical music might look like, after it reconnects with our current culture, and becomes a truly contemporary art.
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