Are you a “Classical Music Person?”

The Huffington Post asked readers, “What Was Your Gateway Drug Into Classical Music?”  Author Katherine Patke created the “Gateway Classical Music playlist,” a list of 30 works based on readers’ responses and others from the Huff Post Culture team — below.
What Was Your Gateway Drug Into Classical Music?
(Scroll to see the full list)
I wondered how my friends would respond and used social media to find out.  The answers were surprisingly varied and revealed some interesting insight.  (Please comment below, sharing your experiences, thoughts, and ideas!)
When did you first consider yourself a “classical music person”? What work, composer, and/or experience is responsible for bringing you to classical music? I’m so curious to know, please share!! : )
Responses on Facebook
Sharon Irvin Barrow: When I was in elementary school. My piano teacher taught me to play mainly classical music. Mozart and Beethoven
Catherine Starek  I never knew you played piano! Thanks for sharing, Mrs. Barrow! : )
Dave Simmons: I really do find value in just about every form of live sound today! I really enjoy classical music because it has always placed such high value on the creative process. Somewhere along the way (I would say sometime in high school) as I began to learn how to play (guitar and to a less extent piano) I began to respect the time, thought, and dedicationit takes to compose and organize such a full and diverse sound! There are to many types of music today, sensory overload!
Chris Cook: I blame cartoons, particularly classics like Looney Tunes. So many classical compositions used, and subsequently attributed to something fun and entertaining. Also, Fantasia.
Catherine Starek Dave – I completely relate to your admiration, curiosity, and respect towards music and composers. I find such inspiration in classical music, especially in symphony orchestras (I am a bit biased, admittedly) with its polyphonic texture, fullness of sound, and emotionally moving motives. I also have a deep admiration for jazz and other intricately creative genres of music.In general, I appreciate many different styles of music for many different reasons. My playlist includes everything from Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and Dvorak, to Motown, Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Punch Brothers, Anna Netrebko, Brad Paisley, and Whitney Houston (just to name a few)!Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Do you still play the guitar and/or piano??
Catherine Starek  Chris – I am so glad you mentioned Looney Tunes and Fantasia! These were also some of my primary sources of classical music as a child. Joseph can attest to this…I was practically obsessed with Fantasia and the Bugs Bunny version of the Ride of the Valkyries and the Barber of Seville are still favorites of mine to this day. Tommy and Jerry, as I’m sure you already know, started without the use of dialogue and used music to help convey and enhance the storyline.
Catherine Starek ‎”From Cartoons to Social Media – How Do You Make Classical Music Accessible?” 🙂 From Cartoons to Social Media – How Do You Make Classical Music Accessible? | American Orchestra Fo  For years “cartoons put art music in ordinary people’s lives in everyday ways.”
Conversation on Google+
mark harris: Jul 29, 2012 A TV documentary on Anton Webern at 16 / Kontakte by Stockhausen when I did an evening course in electronic music at 17 / and getting dragged along to see Drumming by steve reich by my dozy sister and her equally dozy BF when I was 17. My dad was a big classical music buff but I never “got” it untill I heard the 20 century stuff…. And the friendly guys at a classical record music store who poined a young lad in the right direction

Catherine Starek Jul 29, 2012 That’s so interesting!  Symphonies usually have a hard time getting people to come around to contemporary works.  Thanks for sharing your story, Mark!
mark harris: Jul 29, 2012 In my experience people who listen to contemporary post rock / electronica / noise / techno are very open to contemporary classical work. The problem is they dont know the stuff is out there – For example I had friends raving about   Aphex Twin doing piece’s with prepared piano on one of his CD’s they were blow away when I played them some Cage. They had no idea “Classical” music was about doing this kind of thing….
Catherine Starek Aug 1, 2012 Have they continued to listen Classical music since? : )
mark harris: Aug 2, 2012 In short yes, a lot of people think of classical music as dicky bows – suits and Mozart. But I think the situation is improving when you get electronica acts like Autechre, name checking obscure electro Acoustic composers and contemporary classical work’s in interview in MIxMag. I think you’ll find people are more open to this stuff than you might think. A good starting point I find for turning people who have not been exposed to contemporary classical is Glenn Branca
Catherine Starek Aug 5, 2012 Thanks, Mark!  I will look into these recommendations. ; )

mark harris: Aug 5, 2012 That’s OK – I think a lot of people in Classical music think the only way to get people in is to offer “Classical Music Lite” – And the punter’s will run a mile if they hear any dissonance… Last year at Birminghams SuperSonic festival they had a load of heavy metal and dronecore acts… But I saw an awsome set by Tony Conrad with super amplified drone violin… The venue was rammed and at one point I looked round and the whole audience were Heavy Metal Kids / and Bikers’s with ACDC TShirts… all really into what he was doing and needless to say he brought the house down.
If kids can go to a gig and hear Merzbow (Merzbow – Minus Zero) a bit of Stockhausen or Webern would be small beer compared to what there used to…!

“Some classical music lovers are born, but many others are made.”  I now pose the question to you – What Was Your Gateway Drug Into Classical Music?
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4 thoughts on “Are you a “Classical Music Person?”

  1. Although I’d played in various orchestras and concert bands since age 8, it wasn’t until I was a sophomore in high school, playing an all-Wagner program with a summer orchestra, that I truly fell in love with classical music.

    • What a wonderful experience! I have admired symphony orchestras and classical music for as long as I can remember. I must have watched Fantasia a million times! I started playing the flute in symphonic band when I began middle school and continued to play throughout high school. My introduction to symphony performance came in my senior year of high school when I joined the youth orchestra at which point I fell in love with symphony orchestras and decided to major in music in college. Classical music and symphony orchestras have been my life ever since!

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