At a recent voice conference, the use of the term “non-classical” continued with impunity.
Why is it that this term, which uses the prefix “non” to describe an entire collection of styles of music, continues? Would we tolerate the use of the term “non-CCM” to describe all styles of classical music? There is far less classical anything than there is of commercial styles, but, there it was, used by all the classically trained people, to continue to describe music theater, pop, rock, R&B, gospel, folk, country, rap, etc.
This is from Merriam Webster online:
Full Definition of NON-
1: not : other than : reverse of : absence of <nontoxic> <nonlinear>
2: of little or no consequence : unimportant : worthless <nonissues> <nonsystem>
3: lacking the usual especially positive characteristics of the thing specified <noncelebration> <nonart>
Here is a definition from “dictionary.reference” online:
Non – a prefix meaning “not,” freely used as an English formative, usually with a simple negative force as implying mere negation or absence of something (rather than the opposite or reverse of it, as often expressed by un-
1: nonadherence; noninterference; nonpayment; nonprofessional.
This prefix refuses to go away because people refuse to deal with its meaning as if it were consequential. “Oh, it’s not so bad”, is the mentality. Really? I strongly disagree.
Even people who teach so-called “non-classical” styles use this term. (I did so reluctantly for over 30 years because there was no other one). For the past 14 years we have had the term Contemporary Commercial Music and it has grown in popularity. No, it is hardly used universally, but if there are people within this community, particularly, who are supporters or advocates of the methodology developed by the person who coined the term, who refuse to support its use, what can we expect of others?
I’m not surprised, but I am surely disappointed, that we do not have more “cheer-leaders” regarding the use of the term CCM, but even more distressed that we do not have folks who will stand up against the use of “non-classical” in a public forum, particularly if they are there to present on CCM training.
If you are one of those folks, please have the courage to stand up and say, “We don’t use the term “non-classical” any more to describe those styles that arose from average people in the USA. That is because the term describes them as being of little or no consequence and of being absent as a form of music and that is unacceptable. We use the term Contemporary Commercial Music. I hope you will stop saying ‘non-classical’ immediately“. You might take some lumps for being bold, but I think those styles are worth whatever it takes.