While sifting through the mass of popular radio stations in my car the other day, I found myself really bored. Just as most somewhat-informed people think that Britney Spears lacks real talent, I think that most music on the radio today is monotonous and I wonder why people prefer it to the less popular classical genre.
The first thought on your mind – seeing that I’m the Eastman editor – is probably “oh, she’s a musician,” like being a musician somehow explains the need for interesting music. Either that, or you think my expectations are too high, I can’t hear how great the lyrics are or maybe I’m just a snob.
Not all popular music is bad – I even like some of the really simple groups out there, like Green Day, who perfected the three-chord song. For me, popular music must bring something original to their sound to grab my attention. In the case of Green Day, Billy Joel Armsrtong’s voice is so clear and raw that it immediately demands an audience. And no matter how simple the chord structure is, their punk energy makes my heart race every time. There might be nostalgia mixed in, considering Green Day became a popular group in my middle school years, when I was just as confused as their lyrics.
Other groups who grab my attention are groups who pay attention to the music, and can’t help but to be original. Listening to Radiohead sends chills down my back, and the changing meters and introspective lyrics of Tool is a prime reason for my tardiness on days I stick their albums in my CD player.
But how about the music of Mozart? I can’t be the only one who can enjoy the intensity of Mozart’s 25th symphony. That work was one of the two minor symphonies that Mozart wrote, proving he only saved minor keys for special occasions. The driving eight notes at the opening statement, which are articulated on the weak beats, is not only haunting, but it has an energy that can keep me up on the latest of study nights – even more than most loud metal music.
The symphony not only has the energy of up-beat pop songs, but the instrumentation, the minor and major modulations and the melodies give the listener something new with each listening. After one listen through a pop song, I usually know both the structure and the lyrics, giving me no reason to listen a second time.
Classical music deserves a spot among the popular music of today. I know it seems un-cool, maybe even boring, but there is so much to listen for in classical music. The emotions that classical music elicits goes beyond just happy and sad to complex, introspective and even uneasy feelings.
Next time you’re going through the stations on your radio’s dial and you come across the classical station, give it a chance. It might just grab your attention.
Reguero can be reached at email@example.com.