Di contrib



 Latest contributions 
Home Improvement tips 
 Jenny's letter
 Nsta Research into 'Gap year style' volunteering for the over 50s - what can we learn?       Debora
Getting right the work/life balance
RSS Feed for latest articles

Music Appreciation

  • It is quite untrue that English people don’t appreciate music.   They may not understand it but they absolutely love the noise it makes” .     Sir Thomas Beecham       
  • Musical people are so absurdly unreasonable. They always want one to be perfectly dumb at the very moment when one is longing to be absolutely deaf" .      Oscar Wilde
Why do I prefer Beethoven to Buxtehude?
(or Brahms to Bax?)
In one of his early novels, Evelyn Waugh has a precocious thirteen year old explain: “Why Berlioz just failed to achieve greatness.” 
A musically undereducated pensioner, I am unable to answer such questions. I don’t even know what a ‘fugue’ is, apparently essential for the understanding of music, let alone such musical terms as phrasing, pitch, major/minor keys, time, and other basic elements.
I wish, for example, I could be more enthusiastic when invited to listen to Haydn’s Creation, Bach’s St Matthew Passion and anything by Britten.
I do listen to a great deal of classical music. I go to concerts, the opera and listen to both Radio 3 and, less often, to Classic FM. I have an extensive collection of recorded classical music at home to which I listen, selectively, regularly.
But what, I frequently ask myself, does it all mean? I enjoy the more popular classics but find more serious music tedious. I feel that if I understood what was going on in the composer’s mind and with a more formal education in the basic structure of music, my understanding and enjoyment would be enhanced.
Do you have similar feelings about classical music?   Worry not! Help is at hand at the following websites:


Julian Nokes, 31/07/2009