This feeling inside…….I get it every time I think about the many great singers who have sung all over the world in styles that have nothing to do with classical music. Over the last 100 years, audio recordings of all kinds of people singing all kinds of music have been made and heard by millions of fans all over the world. Many of these singers have had substantial careers lasting a very long time (like Ella Fitzgerald) or have sung music that was certainly not beautiful, in a traditional way at least, (Mick Jagger), and many of the styles have left a permanent mark on the music world, altering tastes or influencing other artists. Many of them also have managed to sound good, 30, 40, even 50 years into those careers. Isn’t that significant?
It would seem that there is much to study, much to examine, much to understand. Culturally, musically, artistically, and personally, because of the enormous diversity of the styles, there is at least as much to delve into in CCM as there is in classical music. Yet, the amount of interest in and study of any kind of CCM is far less in formal academic circles than is that of classical styles.
Ever think about why that would be? Why has no one questioned this in almost 100 years? Why didn’t the study of our own music seem like a relevant, dynamic topic? Why would we perpetuate the notion that only those who had studied classical repertoire were “trained”? Why is this limited vision of training accepted as being the norm, the necessity?
It is time to really make a lot of noise about this. The time to stop this nonsensical attitude is NOW. When should we look around and say “music theater history” is just as important as “classical music history”? In another 100 years? When should we consider the history of jazz to be equal to the history of orchestral music? In a couple of decades? When should we ask ourselves whether or not the development of country music or American folk music, or gospel, is worth knowing about right alongside of knowing about the lives of Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, Puccini or Britten? Next year?
If you are someone who can answer those questions with the word, “yes”, in terms of whether or not it should be right now, then stop reading this blog and go do something about it. PLEASE!!!!
NOW is good. Now.