Over at Proper Discord, one of my posts from 2004 made it to the #5 position in the list of “30 things that won’t save classical music.” Proper Discord’s author asserts “Classical music doesn’t need saving and the only thing that will increase its reach is for the people involved to do their jobs better.” For the most part, I agree with the latter half of that sentiment and would go so far as mentioning that was exactly the point from my article that made the #5 spot…
Granted, based on the title alone, How to Save Classical Music – Step One, most readers wouldn’t assume that was the point but in order to get the people involved to do their jobs better, we need to know what it is they should be doing and how it should be done. Consequently, examining current efforts and results and exploring new directions is a process that can’t be avoided.
Regardless, I found several suggestions on the list are actually quite good and would fall into the category of doing our jobs better; such as increased transparency, improving the physical concert space, and taking full advantage of technological platforms.
On the other hand, I wholeheartedly agree that one-off ideas centered around attracting attention via flash in the pan tactics are, at best, monumental wastes of time and, at worst, downright counterproductive. Live animals onstage during Carnival of the Animals might be fun to watch but it will do more to get folks interested in exotic animals than Saint-Saens.
Is there any silver bullet solution that will open the floodgates to unlimited revenue and packed concerts? No. But doing a better job at what we’ve done all along on the business side of things and expecting a different result isn’t very promising either (anyone else feeling a little insane?). Instead, perhaps a better perspective is captured in Adaptistration’s About page.