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Classical Notes

It Takes Two to Tango (by Piazzolla)

Posted at 2:19 PM on March 12, 2006 by Bob Christiansen
Filed under: The blog

Don Lee's post about Elliott Carter in particular and attention-grabbing music in general makes me wonder about radio and the concert hall's need for each other. One thing that radio can't do well is to require time spent listening to new music that doesn't automatically fit most listeners' tastes. The concert hall, on the other hand, has a captive audience (mostly an acquiescing one) and can provide the space for new sounds to be heard and evaluated.

Now comes the rub: concert halls also have to please audiences, so just programming new sounds won't work for them either. If both of us wish to only entertain, we know what music works. If both of us want to expand the definition of concert music, to teach, to grow along with an audience we know what we have to do, we just have to make the decisions to do it.