Pop Music VS Classical Snobs

Pop Music VS Classical Snobs

A case for simplicity.
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Luther College, and really the entire town, is well known as a bastion for music. Our choirs, bands, and orchestras are all top-notch and travel the world to show their abilities. It’s a amazing blessing, but it comes with its own problems. For example, the average person will come across way more classical music snobs.

You know the type. “Oh, you haven’t heard 'Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor'? Well, you simply must! So much better than the schlock we hear today.” They’re the kind of people who’ll crap on any music made after the 1950’s even though they haven’t listened to a song made after 1920.

Keep in mind, this isn’t about people who like classical music. It’s, of course, a high quality art form with a deep history and centuries-worth of literature. This is about the people who not only love classical music, but look down from the top of their contrabass clarinet on anyone who doesn’t listen exclusively to Giuseppe Verdi or some other random Italian.

“Pop is the slow destruction of music as an art,” they’ll say. Well, I’ve got news for you. Pop and modern music is exactly what music was meant to be.

A friend of mine recently had the gall to say Beyoncé was overrated and untalented. His biggest complaint and the one I hear most often about pop music is that it’s all simple and is made for people to just party and dance around. Ignoring the fact that Beyoncé’s last two albums were critically acclaimed art pieces and not dance songs at all, music you can dance to and sing along with isn’t a bad thing.

Think about the origins of music, of sound and rhythm. I’m talking the beginnings of human history. Music was a tool for celebration! Entire tribes of people would gather together to sing and dance. If not that, music was a tool for sadness or mourning. Woeful wails would bring the entire community into a shared grief. I’m sure you’re catching on. Music was always supposed to be simple, a tool for everyone to express emotions whether they be happy or sad.

So where does classical music fit? Let’s look at the time period. Classical music’s heyday was a time of great innovation musically, but it was also a time when music stopped being communal. It would be composed to be performed at giant churches or at symphony performances or for rich people’s entertainment. In other words, it was largely for the elites. Knowledge of classical music and the ability to play the instruments in a symphony were often lessons taught to the children of nobles and the rich. Your average layman would be lucky to have heard it live, let alone be able to participate and understand the intense complexity of the music.

Classical music’s great at creating an ambience, but what good is it if it’s not for the entire community? At the time, the communal music, the music of old, was taking form in folk songs. Sure, they were simple. They were happy or sad, easy to play, and easy to listen to. That’s what made them great, and that’s why people remember "Scarborough Fair" more than Dietrich Buxtehude’s "Chaconne in E minor".

The equivalent to classical music today is, well, classical music. The equivalent to folk music today, the music that upheld the traditions all music was built on, is pop. I can’t begin to count how many times friends and I have belted "Crazy In Love" like madmen, and everyone around us who heard knew exactly what was happening. Some pop even transcends language with the energy and spirit of K-pop and J-pop being a hit in the USA (sly anime joke). Sure, some pop music is bad, but there’s something magical about that sensation of knowing that no matter who you are, you share the same spirit of music.

Of course, you can enjoy classical music without being elitist and pretentious. As someone who basically only performs classical music (outside of showtunes), I know I do. It has so much to appreciate and learn from, and without it, modern music may not be in the shape it is today. Just remember, as much as it seems so superior to simple layman’s music, it’s the pop songs that can really feel like music to everyone.
Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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11 Things You Understand If You Hate Physical Contact

Please keep your hands and feet away from me at all times.
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We currently live in a world where EVERYONE LIKES TO TOUCH EACH OTHER. People enjoy hugs, high fives, tapping others on the shoulder, pokes, ect. For someone like you and me (I'm assuming you too since you clicked on this article), this is the WORST thing in the world. Whenever I think of someone touching me (even just a poke) without my permission my reaction is like Sofia Vergara in Modern Family.

I mean, when I take that love languages quiz, physical touch is always on the bottom of my preferences. So I thought to my self, you know I can't be the only person in the world that hates physical touching. So here are 11 things every person who hates physical touch will understand:


1. When people tickle you

I don't care that it's just for fun and jokes; I'm not laughing because I want to, you are literally forcing me to laugh. I hate you, get your greasy hands off of me before I make you get them off of me.


2. When people think they need to tap your shoulder to get your attention

As if simply saying "Hey" followed by my name wasn't enough. I don't need your grubby little fingers touching me. Now I'm annoyed with you before this conversation even started, what do you want?


3. When someone you barely know reaches in for a hug

I don't know who the heck you're thinking you're about to hug because it sure isn't going to be me. Hugs are reserved for people I know well and like, not you. Okay release me now, I am not enjoying this. LET ME GO.


4. When people tell you that you aren't an affectionate person

Are you aware there are ways to show my affection without constantly being all over you like a koala bear? Yes, I'm affectionate, hop off.


5. When someone is in your personal space

We could be best friends, we could be complete strangers. We could be lovers, I could hate your guts. We could be in private, we could be in public. I don't care what the situation is, if you're in my personal space uninvited GET OUT. There is no reason to be so close to me unwarranted.


6. You don't know how to comfort people

When you see an upset loved one, most people think they you should comfort then by pulling them into a long lasting hug. But, that's the kind of things that your nightmares are literally made out of. So, you stand there confused how you should comfort your friend/relative while also not sacrificing your touch moral code.


7. When people say you "look like you could use a hug"

Um no. I never could use one, get off of me. I will let you know when I want one.


8. When you're hugging someone wondering how soon you can release

Please end my suffering.


9. When you arrive at a social gathering and people rush to greet you with hugs

Let's not.

10. When you try to leave a social gathering by just waving to get out of goodbye hugs

Please no one make me hug you.


11. That one person who is allowed to hug you/touch you

This person, typically a significant other or best friend, gets to break all the "no touch" rules and we gladly accept their hugs and cuddles and public displays of affection. But only them, no one can copy them.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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12 Classics That All College Students Should Read

Reading is important — yet many people forget about books.

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These are the classics that I think all college students should read.

1. "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

This classic by J.D. Salinger is a staple for many high school kids. Yet, I believe college students should revisit this novel, as it's a great portrayal of adolescence.

2. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Love him or hate him, Jay Gatsby is one of literature's most recognizable characters. "The Great Gatsby" is a tragic story of a man stuck in the past, and a grim warning of the empty happiness money buys.

3. "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells was far beyond his time. His novel, "The Time Machine," explores what would happen if time-travelling could happen. It's both an evocative and frightening tale, full of important philosophical questions.

4. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde 

This novel is about the degradation of Dorian Gray, and his descent into depravity. It showcases one of the greatest character declines in literature. By the end, Dorian Gray finds his life to be empty, his hedonistic lifestyle pointless.

5. "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami 

Haruki Murakami is famous for his surreal novels. "Norwegian Wood" follows a college student in Japan, as he navigates life after a tragedy. It's both beautiful yet melancholy. If nothing else, it'll get you listening to the Beatles' Norwegian Wood.

6. "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte 

I consider "Jane Eyre" to be one of the first feminist novels. It's a fantastic Gothic novel about an independent and strong woman — Jane Eyre — who meets the mysterious Mr. Rochester. It's more than a romance — it's a commentary on Victorian societal expectations of women, with Jane representing objection to it.

7. "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

This novel is a beautiful story about a girl in Nazi Germany. Liesel Meminger knows the importance of books, and uses her knowledge and kindness to save a Jewish refugee. It's a poignant novel that expresses the importance of literature and books.

8. Any Sherlock Holmes mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

If you've watched the Sherlock series with Benedict Cumberbatch, then you should definitely give the novels a go. The mysteries are exciting and intriguing, despite their old age.

9. "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens

This is one of my absolute favorites novels. It follows a young boy named Pip, who befriends a beggar, meets the depraved Miss Havisham, and falls in love with unattainable Estella. This novel is at once a bildungsroman and a tragedy.

10.  "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov 

This controversial novel by Vladimir Nobokov follows the perspective of Humbert Humbert, a depraved man who falls in love with 12-year-old Lolita. Nobokov showcases his mastery of the English language, while writing a depraved and tragic story following two terrible people.

11.  "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Perhaps one of the most famous novels of all time, "Pride and Prejudice" stands the test of time by showing how two outwardly opposite and contrary people can come together and form an amazing love. It's about accepting one's flaws and getting to know people beyond surface level.

12.  "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque

This is a fantastic novel that depicts the absolute horrors of war, particularly World War I. If this doesn't enlighten you about the realities and horrors of war, then no book will.

Reading is important as it broadens one's horizon. Literature is one of the greatest inventions of mankind.

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