Classical Music with Rock Star Edge — Why Critics Need to Relax When it Comes to How Classical Musicians Dress

by on September 25th, 2012
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On November 3, 2011, the Washington Post published an article titled “Classical Musicians Gone Wild?” by Maura Judkis. The piece delves into modern world of classical music and the stereotypes that classical musicians still face. Many young classical musicians are receiving heat from critics for showing more skin than ever and trying to use sex appeal to broaden their fan base. Here is a look at one classical musicians take and why I applaud the Washington Post for giving this issue attention.

The World Has Changed Since the 18th Century

Let’s get something straight folks. This is the 21st century. We have come a long way from the days of Johann Sebastian Bach. Classical musicians no longer wear powdered wigs, high collared garb or all black. Why then, should classical musicians be expected to dress in a prim or demure manner? Classical musicians come from all walks of life, each with different values and wants. I find the thought that all classical musicians should present themselves in the same manner as utterly ridiculous. We show a lot more skin now than people did in the 18th century. Maybe it is time that Classical music critics align themselves with the times.

Modest Dress in Comparison with Pop Stars

The outfits that are receiving outcries are demure in comparison with what pop stars like Britney Spears or Lady Gaga walk on stage wearing. What is wrong with infusing a little excitement into a musical genre that is viewed by many generations as being old or dull? I see nothing wrong with generating as much buzz as possible for the classical music genre.

Classical Music is not About Being Tight around the Collar

Regardless of what any music historian or music critic says, Classical music is not about being tight around the collar. Classical music has long had a reputation of being stuffy. Now we have some younger musicians who act and dress like others in their generation; are producing exciting classical pieces and could potentially draw in plenty of music fans. Don’t put a wedge in modern classical music’s growth; let the musicians be who they are and dress how they want. Any such buzz about the classical music genre is a welcome change.

More from this Contributor:

Musical Instruments from a Bygone Age: History of the Zither

What is Musical Tempo Language?: A Guide to Understanding Italian Tempo Markings in Classical Music Pieces

The Life of Johann Sebastian Bach: Six Things You Probably Don’t Know About the Musical Genius


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