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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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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The Muppets Should Host The 2019 Oscars, You Know This To Be True

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The Muppets should host the Oscars this year. OK? Especially due to all the press/controversy surrounding the Kevin Hart hosting situation.

The Muppets are a symbol of unity, kindness, and peace. They always make you smile, because they're just that wholesome!

If we had the Muppets host the Oscars, we wouldn't have to worry about the worn-out political commentary, the bad jokes, and all the celebrities trying to one-up each other. Everyone would be made fun of!

We could have Kermit as the main host (duh), with Miss Piggy always trying to butt in and steal the spotlight, Gonzo and Rizzo would work the red carpet pre-interviews, and the Hecklers would be up in their same balcony seat, like always.

We don't need some super-serious awards show right now. We need a cute cast of characters who won't try to get "fake deep" or political (because sometimes you just need a break from politics, right?), and instead will just focus on making the Oscars an actually enjoyable viewing experience.

We need the Muppets!

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