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Is present day classical music a dying form, and if so, is mixing with other genres a viable option

to increase interest?

There are many ways to approach answering this question. “Classical” music is such a

vast world, and so integral to society and possibly every genre of music. To clarify, the term

“dying” is meant more as “dwindling.”

The first part of this question, to me, has two facets to it. The first is as it reads; is

classical music dying, and the second, why? So, is it dying? Yes, I found that “​2012, only 8.8%

of Americans had attended a classical music performance in the previous 12 months, compared

to 11.6% a decade earlier​” (Albright). Also, because we are “creating a yet greater supply of

musicians without giving much thought to the development of demand for music” (Freeman,

195). This trend only continues today. Now as to why? That would be the change from seeing a

concert being a fun experience to the stiff aura of today. Now “clapping mid-piece was

unacceptable. Applause between movements, or parts, of pieces became that way as well.

Regular concertgoers would shoot glares of disdain toward anyone violating such rules.

Coughing? Forbidden. Performers speaking from the stage? Discouraged” (Albright).

Now as to if mixing genres is viable, I believe that to be a resounding, definite yes. For

information on this possinew bility, I turned to YouTube. I made two comparisons. First, I found

the most viewed video on the page of the New York Philharmonic, which was Dvorak 9 from

one year ago with 1.6 million views. I then went to ThePianoGuys’ channel and found a video

from the same time of an Jungle Book/Bach mash-up with 5.9 million views. I then thought I

should look at videos by the same artist, so I took violinist David Garrett. His Mendelssohn
Violin Concerto has 391k views, and his Viva La Vida cover has 55 million. Obviously in both

cases the video with non-classical music in it has much more views.

In conclusion, it is a viable option to save classical music by performers mixing other

genres into their performances. This will hopefully widen the audience range and at the same

time end up reintroducing classical music to general audiences.


Freeman, Robert. ​The Crisis of Classical Music in America.

Albright, Charlie. ​'Classical' music is dying...and that's the best thing for classical music.