A similar interest/disinterest among the masses also seems to apply to punk rock, free jazz and experimental music. However, there are probably more fans of those left-field sounds compared to what was once the most popular music ever.
That's why classical music, which has been kicked to the fringes of society, is way more punk than wrecked groups of past (The Ramones, Operation Ivy, Mars) and present (AIDS Wolf, Sissy Spacek, Fat Worm of Error).
Here are five reasons why that's the case.
5. Nobody Listens/Cares Sales of classical music albums seem to dip more and more each year. This doesn't include the overabundance of microgroove LPs from dusty corners of second-hand bookshops, which, if you're looking for a cheap way to get into the genre, is a fine start.
4. If People Are Listening, They're Probably in Europe, Where Misunderstood Sounds are Appreciated Free-jazz icon Albert Ayler found success in Holland and Scandinavia while the Art Ensemble of Chicago killed it in France and Italy. Thing is, these cats were American and had to move to Europe to cut records and play to more than five audience members. Maybe U.S.-based classical music groups should do something similar?
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3. Every Classical Music Concert Begins with Killer Free Improv Have you ever taken notice of an orchestra before they settle into the matinee or evening program? The "warm-up" is actually classical musicians shredding like Kaoru Abe in a style that would put Ornette Coleman's double quartet or anything the Electric Eels did to shame.
2. Mastery of Weird Instruments Did GG Allin know how to play the French horn? Does Patti Smith have a firm grasp of a bassoon's intricacies?
1. Classical Music Defines the "Life Is Hard" Phenomenon There would be no Metallica or Sex Pistols if not for classical music's inherent ties to depression, anti-socialism and the impossible burden of living on this planet with the rest of the cretins. Punk rock and metal artists have bottled that magical darkness, but not as effectively as Tchaikovsky, Wagner and Mahler.