Appealing to Base Instincts

Blog: Why Criminals Are Afraid of Classical Music

Teenagers, especially those with uneducated ears, don’t like classical music, and they think it’s not “cool” to be seen by their peers listening to it.

Still other explanations are in the nature of classical music itself. Much of it conveys a sense of order, symmetry and beauty, that conflicts with the disorder and ugliness in the minds of hooligans.

Musicologist Giovanni Bietti explains that Beethoven — who was convinced that music could make a great social contribution — Mozart and Haydn had a rational image of music, which is why in their works the initial contrasts are always resolved through the rules of composition, giving order to thoughts. This discourages those who don’t accept the rules.

It’s like the link between criminal behavior and rap, through the rap lyrics and the “music” — or rather cacophony — itself.

I think it has more to do with the heavy, simple bass rhythms that are a feature of modern music.  Think:  pounding on a log with a club….

BTW, there’s  a reason that among the young, Asians dominate classical music performers.  Ask any local piano teacher.

Posted in Music permalink

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Appealing to Base Instincts — 9 Comments

    • I’ve got to agree with Steve here. It’s simply that proficiency with a classical instrument has ceased to be a social marker for native-born Americans. Same discussion we had with the whole spelling bee thing a few months ago. It’s not that there’s some kind of genetic predilection, it’s simply that vanishingly few children are going to choose either classical music or “spelling words not even listed in most dictionaries” as something they’re genuinely interested in, and the fashion has turned against forcing children into those activities for their intellectual betterment.

      Among immigrant families, their native fashion is both that such activities are still a marker of social status, and that they are very much willing to provide the discipline necessary to get their children to take up those activities. At this point the question is, is there an inherent good in doing classical music, beyond the sort of benefits that you would get from doing anything intellectual as opposed to watching six hours of TV a day? Or is it mostly just leftover cultural cargo-cult from societies who took their cultural cues from Britain?

      I won’t deny that there’s an intersection between mathematics and music. But to argue that classical music contains a kind of order that is inherently rejected by people with disorderly minds is the worst kind of poppycock.

      • “…is there an inherent good in doing classical music, beyond the sort of benefits that you would get from doing anything intellectual…”

        There is at least one.

        People who studied classical music as children, as they age, have a greater ability to distinguish speech from noise than those who did not.

        This has been studied in seniors with the same hearing loss profile (among those who studied music and those who didn’t) and is independent of whether the subject stopped playing, even decades earlier.

      • “interested in” I like that phrase. I used it about a year ago while talking with a friend. We like to hang out and talk because we challenge eachother just in common conversation by the USE of words, not their spelling. We don’t quiz eachother, we just speak as we speak because we know that we both know the words.

        Small example, I mentioned that his garage felt funny. I worked in high voltage environments for a partion of my life, so I “sense” things like that, nothing special, just a familiarity, and he said he likes it too. I said, “It must be like a faraday cage or some shit, can I get a beer.” That’s an exact line.

        He thought it was hillarious.

        Does the fact that I can “sense” the thrum of technology make me smart? NO! I just once knew what it was like, does that I know what a faraday cage make me smart? absolutely not, it’s just vocabulary, what makes people “smart” is their willingness to be interested in things, and though I have a capacity for knowledge, that has nothing to do with my smarts. It’s all about the fact that I was taught to be interested in pretty much everything that doesn’t end in “studies.”

  1. there are two reasons. One is, no MAN wants to be a french horn player, not even FRENCH men want to be french horn players, or other things you have to engage in oral phallic actions with, so not having any skin in the game (get the gay joke) men don’t care about orchestral assemblies because they don’t take part in 1/3 to 1/2 of the performance to begin with.

    The other is price.

    Even the elegant instruments, like Cello, ARE RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE, and the violin, RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE.

    Rock and roll guitar and bass and drums are the soccer of music.

    It’s more accessible, while not quite being gay.

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