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Is it possible to talk of “vulgarity” in classical music?

I recently read in the Classical music section (in a region different from English speaking countries) a couple of questions regarding the “vulgarity” in Classical music. The person stated that some composers and players can be classified as “vulgar” while anothers can be regarded as “refined”. In the first class that persons ranked composers like Shostakovich or piano players like Liberace or conductors like Celibidache (based in the rude manners of the conductor), while in the second class this person ranks Debussy and Berlioz.

I am a newcomer understanding how can we label some music or musicians as “vulgar” or as “refined”. In the case of some people could be justified judging their behaviour, but what would be the criterion to classifiy a Classical piece as “vulgar” or as “refined”? Is it related with the harmony, with the chromatism, with the excess of instrumentation perhaps…?

Thanks in advance for your answers.
best regards.
Dear Gengis Kan:

I agree with you that it could be a very hard task to classify a piece of music (specially Classical Music) as “vulgar” or refined. I posted this question here to receive more information to understand – founded in some serious basis – how can someone judge a composition as “vulgar”. It is interesting to read in the answers given before you, that indeed is possible to find in a masterpiece a bit of “disgusting” taste according to some accepted parameters.

Thanks for your effort in replying my question here in English. I could read your text without problems.

Greetings my friend! (¬°Saludos amigo!)

5 comments - What do you think?  Posted by - February 23, 2011 at 1:43 am

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