Great Comment from Keith Ridenour: how “communality” in folk music culture could enlighten classical

great commentOn the post Musical Perceptions: Classical Music Culture- Virtuosity as Vice, Communality as Authenticity?, several people offered surprisingly fresh ideas about how to make classical music more like the "communal" music cultures of folk music.

Keith Ridenour offered the following comment. I particularly like his last sentence.

After performing pop music of various kinds for 30 years, I am trying to get away from music styles, notes, forms, even instrumentation.

The average listener doesn't walk away from most performances ruminating over the third part of a concerto. They don't think really of in tune, out of tune, tight , loose, if the solos were hip or in a classical vein authentic. Either you "touched them" or you didn't.

I watch the audience as we play some of our musty tunes from the 30s and 40s and they are polite. but when they can recognize a tune that is from the last 20 years or so their heads perk up and they sing along, enjoy it more.

What I'm really saying is that for us as musicians to get someone away from You Tube to a concert we need an emotional reason for them to go. They know what they like and they have an idea when they leave if they will ever try whatever again. So, the lines I'm thinking are "who might benefit in what way from something I can perform and what instrumentation makes sense that I can create, manage, and promote."

I am recently retired from a day gig and am dusting off my mus ed degree and the things I learned at Berlee College of music to see what I want my next 10 years to look like. I have the luxury of not needing music as a living income so I don't have to grovel for 70 dollar a night bar gigs until 2 in the morning.

Anyway, that's where my head is at. I think we are poised for some new way of presenting music/the arts that nobody's thought of. I am leaning more and more toward small, intimate house performance where I educate, entertain and enlighten while they (the audience) smile.

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