Music or noise? A look at 20th century sound
We’ve all done it…turned on the radio, started a CD, clicked on an online sample, even in a concert hall. Â The music starts and we think, “what the heck is THAT?!”
Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph is said to have asked,Â â€œIs music such a serious business?â€Â after a performance of new music in 19th-century Vienna. â€œI always thought it was meant to make people happy.â€
Classical music composed in the 20th century has a reputation for being thorny. Jude Kelly, artistic director of London’s Southbank Centre, is hoping to give music lovers a different attitude toward 20th century compositions with a year-long festival called The Rest is Noise, inspired by Alex Ross’ book of the same name. Â
Over the course of the next year, 18 orchestras will perform as part of the festival. Â The London Symphony has dedicated it’s entire season to music written in the 1900s.
A recent study in Britain showed those under the age of 25 were just as interested in learning about classical music as those over 55 years of age. Â Kelly is hoping this festival will convince them, along with the rest of us, that 20th century music was more than just noise.
Read Notes and Noise (The Economist)