Can cartoons save classical music?

by Jason Gross

17 January 2006

 

There’s a good article in the Post and Courier by Adam Parker (”Minding A Composer’s Business”) about the challenges that composers and classical music face nowadays.
  
There’s been a lot of these articles, with writers desperately looking for some light or ways out of the problems of shrinking interest and audiences but what’s especially noteworthy are certain observations that Parker comes up with: “New works are what keep classical music alive, yet new music is rarely what most audiences want to spend their money on.”  True enough and there’s also this nice history lesson:  “Where once children’s cartoons were scored with the music of Rossini, today’s kids get teeny pop…”  Yes, that’s where I initially learned about classical music and got to appreciate “Swan Lake” or “The Rings.”

Though Parker doesn’t explore this path more, don’t you think this might also be a solution to classical’s problems?  Not just indoctrinating kids on Bugs Bunny and other old school cartoons but maybe even a new crop of cartoons that’s acted to the classics.  Granted, they’ll probably chose the ol’ European masters but John Zorn has scored Japanese cartoons already so it’s not THAT far-fetched an idea…

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