How to appreciate classical music

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Classical piece “Flutes en vacances” by French composer Jacques Casterede was performed by flute players Lesly Palomares, Claudia Cuellar, Daniela Cabriales and ensemble director Martha Fabrique. This college’s wind ensemble performed classical musical pieces at their recital April 12 at McAllister. Photo by J. Del Valle

Experts recommend starting with Mozart; college offers free orchestra concert tonight.

By Elena Longoria

Appreciating Mozart and Beethoven can be as much fun as listening to David Guetta and Beyonce.

From the medieval and Romantic eras to modern-day classical music, the genre has influenced many types of music.

“It keeps us grounded to our roots because without it we wouldn’t have the music we have today,” said music freshman Michael Sanchez March 30 in an interview. “(Classical music) opens our ears to new ideas.”

Sanchez believes in the importance of appreciating classical music because statistics have shown a decline. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, only 8.8 percent of Americans attended a classical music performance in 2012, compared with 11.6 percent a decade earlier. The majority of them were 55 or older.

Nathan Cone began working for classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM in 1995.

With more than 20 years of experience in this genre, his background includes hosting “Tuesday Night at the Opera.”

Cone believes some people are not as interested in classical music because it demands a carefully tuned ear.

“It’s music that takes more time to listen to,” Cone said April 10 in an interview.

“Time is something people don’t have much of nowadays,” Cone said.

“You invest five or 10 minutes per piece,” Cone said.

Cone suggests finding classical music at Barnes and Noble, CD Exchange, Amazon or Spotify.

He recommends two of Mozart’s compositions for their beautiful melodies: “A Little Night Music,” or Serenade No. 13 in G Major, and “Jupiter,” or Symphony 41 in C.

He also recommends “Ride of the Valkyries,” by Richard Wagner, which plays in the movie “Apocalypse Now.”

“Classical music still holds a special place in my heart,” Cone said.

Tom Sprayberry, director of guitar studies at this college, said his interest in classical music started after finding a baroque guitar music cassette in his early 20s.

According to Sprayberry, classical music has more dimension than pop music.

“I was a burnt-out metal head and it all started to sound the same,” Sprayberry said.

Sanchez believes there are still many people who appreciate classical music.

“People still appreciate it even after 100 years of it being written,” Sanchez said.

“The complexity of the music is everything,” Sanchez said.

According to The Guardian, artists such as Adele have been inspired, have used chord sequences and have written three-minute songs à la John Dowland, an English composer who invented the three-minute song in Shakespeare’s time.

Sanchez says people who want to start appreciating classical music should attend concerts.

An orchestra concert directed by Terence Frazor will be 7:30-8:30 p.m. today in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center.

The concert will be free of charge and open to the public.

Music programs and classes are available at this college for students who are interested in playing instruments or getting into classical music or other genres.

Some of the classes offered at this college are MUSI 1306COMMA Music Appreciation, MUSB 2450, Commercial Music Project and more.

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