Classical Music Is My Favourite: Opinion Essay
In this paper I will talk about why the art of classical music is my favourite, how and why it constitutes as an art and issues that surround it. Classical music has been with us for a long time. We can hear it everywhere television, radio, orchestra and even movie. It is a music that can be identified easily. Classical music is a platform for musicians to express themselves based on emotion or ideology to public. However, is classical music a form of art? does it even recognise as an art? Does modern day society still listen to classical music? I will explain the reason why classical music is an art and my reason to like it.
Classical music is music composed during 1750 to 1820 with many work from some of the famous composer during the time like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and etc. Classical music is an era of common-practice period and between the Baroque and Romantic era. Classical music usually performs by orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo performers and etc. Most instruments used during classical era is piano however there are more and can be categories into four part. First, the strings where the instrument played by plucking and striking, which include violin, cello and double bass. Second, the woodwinds which majority made from wood and tube like shape that have an opening on the end and mouthpiece on the opposite. Instruments that in this category are flute, clarinet, bassoon and etc. Third, the percussion family of which hitting, shaking or scraping will produce sound. The instrument includes castanets, rattles, chimes and etc. Finally, the brass which the player has to blow through the mouthpiece for the air to vibrate to produce the sound. The instruments that can be seen in this category are trumpet, tuba, trombone and etc.
Classical music has been some of my favorite art and other people in the modern society. The music from the era has its own unique style and used in movie, television show, animation and etc. For example, Richard Wagner ‘s rider of the Valkyries has been used the cartoon like the Simpsons in many of its episode, this shows that classical music still has relevancy in the modern era but not as a trend but as a style and its unique ways of music. For me, its related to my childhood because most of the cartoon back then were filled with classical music. Example, Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny and etc. For classical music to be successes in animation, elements of entertainment are the main key without it cartoon will be stale and lack of dynamics in the action of the characters. The reason people like music in general from a personal stand point, we love how it sound and the rhythm, style and harmony it brings. In scientific view, music plays a major role in effecting our brain. A study was published title NeuroImage, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) by a research team led by Dr. Vinoo Alluri from the university of Jyväskylä, Finland, study the response of the brain of an individual listening to modern Argentinian tango. The researchers found music employs large-scale neural networks. For example, processing the musical activate the motor areas in the brain and the solidify the idea that music and movement are connected. This is the first time a study like this have been perform using music instead of constructed music-like sound stimuli. This shows that an individual might have different taste and surely some people will like classical music for expression of harmony and the rhythm it creates. This can simplify from the quote of Victor Hugo, a poet, novelist and dramatist,” Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent “.
Classical music can be seen as an art because music is a type of beauty in which vocal and instruments can express emotion by playing with rhythm, melody, and elements of harmony. Music is an art that can last forever in the human society with many unique style based on culture and contemporary. Music has never been a new thing to a society because the concept of music is still same, the only thing change are the way it’s played with rhythm and melody through the progression of the society same goes for classical music. I think is an art because of how represent the emotional expression just by using instruments, but with vocal it could be better. Many philosophers have their view on this. For example, Immanuel Kent (1724-2804) who put music, lowest in his ranking of the arts. He stated that music considered as just an entertainment for enjoyment because of wordlessness of music, however, combined it with poem may become a conceptual value. Another by the name, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) saying that art, “though it expresses the divine, must yield to the philosophy”. He knows how powerful music is by expressing many emotions. Hegel like vocal music than instrumental, saying that music without word is just as subjective and indefinite. He held rhythm as an essence of music to match innermost self. Hegel claim that music unlike any other arts, no freedom in existence in space, not “objective” in that sense, the basic rhythm of music is based on the experience of the hearer.
Classical music brings changes and new idea for the next era of music. However just like any other art, it also has its fair share of issues and controversies. The issues that I discuss here are theories, factual and some just rumors or negative rumors about the musician of classical era.
Parsifal is a three-act acts by German composer Richard Wagner and performed at Bayreuth, Bavaria, Germany on 26th of July 1882. A loosely based on Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, the 13th poem about one if the Arthurian knight Parzival (Percival) and his quest to get the Holy Grail. Many interpretations show the theories of Aryan-advocate Arthur de Goubineau as the main inspiration. Hermann Levi, a German Jewish orchestral conductor, was the conductor for Parsifal. However, Wagner opposed him and going to his benefactor King Ludwig to plead. King Ludwig wrote back to him saying all human beings were brothers. Wagner wrote back he “regard[ed] the Jewish race as the born enemy of pure humanity and everything noble about it”. In a sense, Parsifal is a stronger version of the Aryan hero persona as represented by Siegfried and the personality of Klingsor in the story have Jewish stereotypes.
Another work that interprets as anti-Semitics is St John Passion by JS Bach. In 1995, a student protest in Swarthmore College, Philadelphia after members of the choir declined to sing what they think are anti-Semitic words. The gospel in question refers to the enemies of Jesus as “the Jews, the Jews, the Jews”; the word is repeated 70 times throughout the 110-minute work.
We know as a modern society today, reject the idea and concept of anti-Semitism. We should take this example and change the mentality about Jewish stereotypes. An action of an individual doesn’t represent religion or race. It’s just a scapegoat to blame on. We must take care of each regardless of religion, race, belief, and etc.
The Eroica “Bonaparte Symphony”
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55: ‘Eroica Symphony’ or formerly known as ‘Bonaparte symphony’ by Ludvig van Beethoven (1804). The name Bonaparte Symphonic was named by Beethoven. The usual letter to Leipzig-based publisher Breitkopf und Härtel, where Beethoven wrote in 26 August 1804, about this latest symphony,” I think it will be interesting the musical public”. Napoleon was a well-known name at the time. Beethoven was impressed by Napoleon‘s effort to reform society for the working class that would enjoy equality. A symphony inspired by Napoleon not only to Beethoven but for the general public. At the same time, Beethoven was planning his concert tour to France.
Things don’t go well for Beethoven, after completing the symphony and being sent to his publisher, on the 2nd of December,1804, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself as the emperor of France. According to his friend and student Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838), Beethoven received the news with anger; his hero had just become a tyrant and he will not dedicate his work to such a person. In hate, he tore the title page of the symphony and cancelled the France tour. He gave the symphony a new title, Eroica, showing more of heroism in general than specific needs. An inscription added the thought “composed to celebrate the memory of great man,” referring to the earlier Napoleon, a person who now is just a memory.
This shows that the musician has control of his work and get inspiration from the event around them. It’s up to them to represent an individual, race or country. Whether it is bad or not, Classical music is an art for them to speak their intention and believe to the public.
In conclusion, classical music is an art where the freedom of expression exists but the public will have the final words and how they interpret it. Whether the expression from the musician is supported or rejected, it still shows the nature of the art, a limitless platform to those who want to express themselves among many, be unique from others and make their message and emotion to be known. Let’s learn from the past mistake and make the music today with more artistic value.
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