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Why are pop 'musicians' so famous and rich, and classical musicians not? (Read 11695 times)

Offline oxy60

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I wonder how many of you have actually sat in with a band, playing a keyboard with those 1, 5, 4, chords on quarter notes exactly in rhythm. Not before or after the beat with no rushing and no dragging. The songs could be from three to six minutes and the sets are 45 minutes.

It is not as easy as you think!
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline mwtzzz

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I wonder how many of you have actually sat in with a band, playing a keyboard with those 1, 5, 4, chords on quarter notes exactly in rhythm. Not before or after the beat with no rushing and no dragging. The songs could be from three to six minutes and the sets are 45 minutes.

It is not as easy as you think!

not only that, but if you get lost, you have to be able to fake it until you find your way back; if you make "mistakes" you have to ignore them and move on; you have to be able to hear the changes; and as I said you need to be able to play by ear and improvise.
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Offline davidjosepha

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well said but i dont think justin bieber is the right example for an exceptionally talented pop artist

That's my point though--even a moderately talented pop singer is bringing more new stuff to the table than most classical musicians.

Offline mwtzzz

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And don't forget that jazz did not develop out of classical music, it developed from pop music. And jazz is every bit as complex and challenging to play as classical.
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Offline pianoplunker

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not only that, but if you get lost, you have to be able to fake it until you find your way back; if you make "mistakes" you have to ignore them and move on; you have to be able to hear the changes; and as I said you need to be able to play by ear and improvise.

I do all that when I play classical.  :-)

Offline oxy60

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not only that, but if you get lost, you have to be able to fake it until you find your way back; if you make "mistakes" you have to ignore them and move on; you have to be able to hear the changes; and as I said you need to be able to play by ear and improvise.

I still count bars in simple forms like 12 bar blues. And isn't "fun" try to guess the key that they didn't tell you?
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline ajspiano

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since most classical musicians are unable to improvise and don't understand harmony

Thats pretty freaking bold. Given that in australia at least, anyone who did exams to 8th grade or diploma level (lots of people, and not a level that is all that accomplished for a classical musician) also faces prerequisite theory or musicianship exams to 4th or 5th grade. And music theory at that level includes writing in 4 part harmony, as well as recognition of things like modulations in composition, major and minor scale structure in all keys, primary and secondary triads, transposition, melody writing etc.


Offline ajspiano

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I wonder how many of you have actually sat in with a band, playing a keyboard with those 1, 5, 4, chords on quarter notes exactly in rhythm. Not before or after the beat with no rushing and no dragging. The songs could be from three to six minutes and the sets are 45 minutes.

It is not as easy as you think!

I've done it numerous times with no rehearsal and learning the songs by ear live on stage..

Must be why I'm one of the people who think popular musicians have skills.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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I've done it numerous times with no rehearsal and learning the songs by ear live on stage..



Actually I don't think doing that is that difficult. 

Once you figure out what key it's in, you're set.

I had to do something similar for my friend when he was asking her to prom. 

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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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not only that, but if you get lost, you have to be able to fake it until you find your way back; if you make "mistakes" you have to ignore them and move on;

That's the same for all genres of music.
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Offline ajspiano

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Actually I don't think doing that is that difficult.

Once you figure out what key it's in, you're set.

Its a little dependent on the song.. Some music is pretty straight forward, some things like to throw curve balls.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Classical musicians are fine for what they do, but since most classical musicians are unable to improvise and don't understand harmony, they are not "complete musicians."

I'm pretty sure almost ALL musicians can improvise and understand harmony.  

You like HAVE to learn and understand it to pass your theory classes in college irrespective of what genre of music you deal with,
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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Its a little dependent on the song.. Some music is pretty straight forward, some things like to throw curve balls.

Well I guess I haven't done as much as you. 

Incidentally, I think jamming is an important skill to have. 

Omg it's soo fun... ::)
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Offline ajspiano

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Incidentally, I think jamming is an important skill to have. 

Omg it's soo fun... ::)

It would be daft to call yourself a musician without it.

The other side of my previous point is also that there is a big difference between hitting notes that fit with the harmony and producing a quality improvised arrangement that fits in well with an entire band. I don't actually find it difficult either, but I can recognize that thats because I have developed the right skill set, just as you probably have. I can assure you there will be plenty of your peers (as in your age piano student who sit around intermediate to early advanced classical [not necessarily saying your fit there, just a cross section of pianists at that age who've been learning most of their life]) who find this VERY challenging, in some cases probably flat out impossible without a big learning curve.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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It would be daft to call yourself a musician without it.

The other side of my previous point is also that there is a big difference between hitting notes that fit with the harmony and producing a quality improvised arrangement that fits in well with an entire band. I don't actually find it difficult either, but I can recognize that thats because I have developed the right skill set, just as you probably have. I can assure you there will be plenty of your peers (as in your age piano student who sit around intermediate to early advanced classical [not necessarily saying your fit there, just a cross section of pianists at that age who've been learning most of their life]) who find this VERY challenging, in some cases probably flat out impossible without a big learning curve.

I'm two posts away from beating you in total number of posts... 8)

No but yeah, that's surprising. 

Because I don't think I've encountered a pianist who can't jam.  Actually most of the pianists at my school don't actually know any pieces, but they're like REALLY good jammers.
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Offline ajspiano

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youve been a member for less time. you win.

it will depend on many things a guess, at your age my experience was the exact opposite. There was only one other pianist in my school who could jam and was technically proficient. probably 95% of pianists who had studied classically were around grade 6-7 and not capable of any form of improv or jamming.

Offline j_menz

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Because I don't think I've encountered a pianist who can't jam. 

I've never tried and have no real interest in doing so. Not sure that puts me in that category or not.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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I've never tried and have no real interest in doing so. Not sure that puts me in that category or not.

I need to do Bach, you need to start jamming with people.

Go on now, find a percussionist and a violinist and get to business.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline j_menz

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I need to do Bach,

Yes.

you need to start jamming with people.

Go on now, find a percussionist and a violinist and get to business.

No.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline pjaul

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I have two things to say to the replies that claim classical musicians aren't offering anything new to the world of music, but simply re-interpreting.

1.  This is why I think all classical musicians should devote at least some time to playing works of modern composers.  Not modern as in early 1900s, but modern as in living, breathing composers.

2.  Many musicians don't care if what they are doing is new or old.  I know none of my interpretations thus far are ground breaking, but I don't care.  What is more important to me is the personal satisfaction and emotional fulfillment the music gives me.

Offline ajspiano

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Offline outin

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2.  Many musicians don't care if what they are doing is new or old.  I know none of my interpretations thus far are ground breaking, but I don't care.  What is more important to me is the personal satisfaction and emotional fulfillment the music gives me.

Which is one explanation to the question on this thread. Who is going to pay a lot for YOUR personal satisfaction and emotional fulfillment? Much fewer I believe than those who like to pay for something designed especially to make them happy.

I am not very fond of cheap tricks to try to make me happy, but I undertand that I am part of a minority here...

Offline ajspiano

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the key is in being unaware that its a cheap trick..

Offline outin

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the key is in being unaware that its a cheap trick..

Oh yes, and I am easily fooled by some of the greatest :)

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Yes.

No.

That's it, you're definitely the first one tipo be replaced by nobler beings. 

I'll make sure this one hates Bach and jams a lot.
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Offline j_menz

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lol. arrogant fool.

Just arrogant.  ::)

That's it, you're definitely the first one tipo be replaced by nobler beings. 

I'll make sure this one hates Bach and jams a lot.

Nobler beings don't hate Bach.

"tipo" is quite inspired, btw.  ;D
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline ajspiano

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Nobler beings don't hate Bach.


..as a person, the music they find pretty foul.   ?

Offline oxy60

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I need to do Bach, you need to start jamming with people.

Go on now, find a percussionist and a violinist and get to business.

This I must hear! Please record a short clip next session. We're all ears.
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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This I must hear! Please record a short clip next session. We're all ears.

My Bach, or jamming with someone?

If it's Bach, I already posted a p&f from WTC back in like November of last year.

If it's jamming...

School is over.  So I can't do anything.
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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Just arrogant.  ::)



I'm agreeing with your alternate personality...
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Offline oxy60

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My Bach, or jamming with someone?

If it's Bach, I already posted a p&f from WTC back in like November of last year.

If it's jamming...

School is over.  So I can't do anything.

It's jamming. What kind of music do you play with the ensemble you mentioned?
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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It's jamming. What kind of music do you play with the ensemble you mentioned?

I don't know what's it called. 

Someone just starts playing in a key and we all just play whatever we want.

But we usually have someone on the drum set, a violinist, a saxaphonist, and a pianist. 
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline j_menz

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I'm agreeing with your alternate personality...

Which one?
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline ranniks

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And don't forget that jazz did not develop out of classical music, it developed from pop music. And jazz is every bit as complex and challenging to play as classical.

For me jazz is ten times more tough than classical. I don't know why. But I have a hunch that tells me it has something to do with the rhythm.

Also, why pop musicians are famous and classical musicians aren't? Well...That's not exactly true. Ever heard of Andre Rieu? Well, that's not exactly fair, but it's not always singing.

Besides, instead of getting annoyed by this fact - which is very valid if you ask me - people should compose more. A new Bach would certainly be awesome.

I have a dream: that one day I will compose music for the piano, violin, cello and all kind of different instruments. Halls will be filled with people wanting to listen to my music. And for the heck of it I'll put big body guards at the front so that no pop singers can come in and enjoy the bliss. The president of the states, the queen of England and all royalty would be welcome and of course everyone else.

People will speak of my name in delight. Juliard will beg me to teach at their school and the world will forever remember my name as the one who has brought classical music back to its rightfull stature.

Alright, too much ego and too much day dreaming. :p

But yes, someone do us all a favor and do the above.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline j_menz

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ajspiano duh!   :P

Not one of the options, I'm afraid.  ::)

I believe I've explained that previously. About a gazillion times.  :P
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline oxy60

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For me jazz is ten times more tough than classical. I don't know why. But I have a hunch that tells me it has something to do with the rhythm.

Also, why pop musicians are famous and classical musicians aren't? Well...That's not exactly true. Ever heard of Andre Rieu? Well, that's not exactly fair, but it's not always singing.

Besides, instead of getting annoyed by this fact - which is very valid if you ask me - people should compose more. A new Bach would certainly be awesome.

I have a dream: that one day I will compose music for the piano, violin, cello and all kind of different instruments. Halls will be filled with people wanting to listen to my music. And for the heck of it I'll put big body guards at the front so that no pop singers can come in and enjoy the bliss. The president of the states, the queen of England and all royalty would be welcome and of course everyone else.

People will speak of my name in delight. Juliard will beg me to teach at their school and the world will forever remember my name as the one who has brought classical music back to its rightfull stature.

Alright, too much ego and too much day dreaming. :p

But yes, someone do us all a favor and do the above.


Jazz does require you to count and keep the beat.

Andre has a silent blinking metronome visible all over the orchestra just to keep it together.

Ah yes, Julliard, the black hole of music. Teach there or go there and you will never be heard from again.
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline ranniks

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Jazz does require you to count and keep the beat.

Andre has a silent blinking metronome visible all over the orchestra just to keep it together.

Ah yes, Julliard, the black hole of music. Teach there or go there and you will never be heard from again.

Guest teaching I guess then?

I would hand out each student a sheet of music of random pieces and ask them to write in the back of the sheet what their motivation to learn the piano is. Then I'll send them out of the room and select a few who have dazzled me with their words.

Sounds like a tv drama, no? Lol.

Offline ajspiano

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Guest teaching I guess then?

That's where you're not accountable for the on going success of the students so you can just talk crap that doesn't actually mean anything, and demand that the students make sense of it and improve..  those who don't just aren't good enough.


Offline ranniks

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That's where you're not accountable for the on going success of the students so you can just talk crap that doesn't actually mean anything, and demand that the students make sense of it and improve..  those who don't just aren't good enough.



That movie scene is brilliant might I say. I might watch the entire movie.

And what you're saying is true. If I sounded like I meant it, I apologize. I meant no harm by it.

In any case, I think that Bachv2.0 (in lack of a better term) would be able to teach consistently aside of writing hall filling orchestras and piano concertos.

I have this prejudice idea that all people from juliard, and in this case the piano students, are all pricks and robots who lack emotion. But that is inappropriate to say along with not being true most likely.




Offline j_menz

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In any case, I think that Bachv2.0 (in lack of a better term) would be able to teach consistently aside of writing hall filling orchestras and piano concertos.

Whilst I do rather like the idea of a Bach v2.0, what makes you think he wouldn't be writing pop songs? There's more money in them, and he did have a penchant for secular cantatas in v1.0.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline ajspiano

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I apologize.
Not necessary.

Quote
That movie scene is brilliant might I say. I might watch the entire movie.
Based on a true story, the guy impersonated a doctor for 11 months before his 20th birthday.

Offline sv3nno

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pop music often includes more aspects of art than just music, such as dancing, poetry, stage performance, lightning


have you ever heard about opera?
Live With the Earth, not On it.

Offline sv3nno

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I wonder how many of you have actually sat in with a band, playing a keyboard with those 1, 5, 4, chords on quarter notes exactly in rhythm. Not before or after the beat with no rushing and no dragging. The songs could be from three to six minutes and the sets are 45 minutes.

It is not as easy as you think!

three to six minutes? you sir obviously don't have any idea how long classical songs can be... and three minutes is kindergarten stuff.
45 minutes?
classical musicians sometimes have to perform a few instrumental concertos in 1 concert... and instrumental concertos range anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 hour. and i hate to break it to you -  that's 40-60 minutes of technically demanding performance, a work of precision often huge complexity, not a primitive sequence of 1, 4 and 5 chords in quarter notes... LOL!! and the fact that you have to play along with and orchestra. that's right, and orchestra of 100+ instruments, not a band.

Live With the Earth, not On it.

Offline sv3nno

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That's my point though--even a moderately talented pop singer is bringing more new stuff to the table than most classical musicians.
that's because all the talented pop stars (whose music i loved) are dead now. e.g. Michael Jackson.
Live With the Earth, not On it.

Offline davidjosepha

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that's right, and orchestra of 100+ instruments, not a band.

100+ instruments conducted by a single person who is visually cueing everyone. The majority of those 100+ instruments are also just playing the same thing as everyone else with that same instrument, or, at the very least, their section. Indeed, it can be very difficult to keep with an orchestra, but your number is somewhat irrelevant.

Offline gyzzzmo

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I really, Really hate pop music. It requires little to no talent, while the classical genres require alot of talent and skill to do well... Yet, 90% of pop musicians are insanely rich And famous, while 99% of the classical musicians are the exact opposite...(yes, Lang Lang is the remaining 1%.)
I mean, Opera singers could EASILY perform ANY pop song, and it's the same
 with classical instrumentalists.
I think it's so unfair that those with much, MUCH more talent and skill can't get anywhere in the music industry...
What do you think?

To get back to topic.....
First, a lot of popartists do have a lot of talent, and do require a lot of practice. Mr OP seems to hate them all, that black-and-white-attitude also explains the silly statement.
Secondly, some classical pianists do live in huge houses, earn a lot of money by selling CD's (even though, i ofcourse have to admit, there are a lot less of them than rich pop artists).
Thirdly, rational people understand its really not THAT cool to be rich and famous. Money has actually only very few advantages compared to all the disadvantages it has, and the fame.

And as an answer for the title of this topic (as any dumbo can figure out):
Young people want new things, young people have better access to media, young people are easier to persuade and young people tend to find trivial things very important. Thats why classical music is not so popular and thus not that sellable. Voila, thats why few classical musicians are able to much money.
1+1=11

Offline oxy60

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100+ instruments conducted by a single person who is visually cueing everyone. The majority of those 100+ instruments are also just playing the same thing as everyone else with that same instrument, or, at the very least, their section. Indeed, it can be very difficult to keep with an orchestra, but your number is somewhat irrelevant.

How hard can it be. Learn your part and follow the conductor. Your piano part will contain the last few notes of the instruments that precede you and there are rehearsals...

Many of you are faking knowledge of something you have never done. Don't  be ashamed to ask a question rather then just try to evoke an answer by misstating the situation!
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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How hard can it be. Learn your part and follow the conductor. Your piano part will contain the last few notes of the instruments that precede you and there are rehearsals...

Many of you are faking knowledge of something you have never done. Don't  be ashamed to ask a question rather then just try to evoke an answer by misstating the situation!

+1
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Offline timothy42b

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How hard can it be. Learn your part

Yup.

Quote
and follow the conductor.

Eh, there's the rub.  Pianists are notoriously bad at this, and at keeping a beat steady enough the orchestra can follow.  (I've never played piano with an orchestra - I have played in an orchestra accompanying a piano)
Tim