This is a hilarious novice users guide to classical music, written from an Indian/British business point of view. Tongue in cheek and cheeky! With some sage advice thrown in for good measure. Here are some excerpts. Follow the above link for the full article.
...The atmosphere has all the electricity of a Tata annual general meeting.
And then the musicians, all elegantly dressed, walk in, to enthusiastic applause. They sit down and start tuning their instruments. Sounds of gravitas hang in the air. Neville looks at you, his face contorted in utter delight and says: “Such warm…” And you say: “I know! Bloody air-conditioning isn’t working!” Neville completes the sentence: “…tones of the double bass and the cello.”
Inside Neville’s head, you are now in a box marked ‘Philistine’.
...The classical music of the West is much like the economics of Adam Smith. It is about division of labour and specialization.
...You heard it? Did you like it? What did you like? If you heard passages that were slow and which moved you then that’s nice. If there were brilliant passages that filled you with hope and joy then that’s nicer. If you heard a dialogue between two instruments which built up to a climax, then that’s something to notice. At these time just nod to Neville, and smile as if you’ve just got your year-end bonus. Just. Don’t. Clap!
...You survived the concert. Liked it, even. And now you want to know more.
First, get rid of your deference. Chances are that you know more classical music than you think. Tom and Jerry cartoons for instance. “Whenever Tom is trying to do something nasty to Jerry or Jerry is trying sneak up on Tom, it is usually to the accompaniment of some really serious work of Chopin, Mozart or Beethoven,” says Dhanvanti Rajwade, a student of medicine and the piano. Today this music is on most mobile phones. If a ring tone goes: “Tum TUM tarara tum TUM tarara tum…,” that’s Vivaldi. When a hotel reception puts you on hold and you hear: “Ting ning ting ning ting ning tinini ning…”, that’s Beethoven lovely Fuhr Elisse.
...If you always prefer happy, upbeat music, Vivaldi will work, and so will large parts of Mozart. If you like your music angst-filled and stormy, Beethoven might be a good starting point. “Bach is very mathematical and logical and can be good way to get initiated,” says Purandare. But when in doubt pick Mozart. Nobody got sacked for choosing IBM; nobody repents after picking up a Mozart.
“The important thing,” Purnadare continues, “is to listen a little bit regularly because that goes a long way towards initiation.” Familiarity allows you to pick patterns and identify the parts you like. Says Balaporia: “The one tough thing about classical music is that it is nuanced, so it is important if you focus on the music and not let it play in the background. Once you remember parts of a piece, you will start appreciating it when you listen to the same piece in a concert.”