Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Remember those choices for

Desert Island Discs? A friend in the UK sent me the BBC link here
www.bbc.co.uk/radio4 for the most popular choices made by the wider public.
I would not have thought that Ralph Vaughan Williams would top the list with "The Lark Ascending" but it did. Elgar followed with the Enigma Variations and then Beethoven with the 9th Symphony.
After that however came two things I have to confess I had only, to the best of my knowledge, heard of not heard. One was Queen "The Bohemian Rhapsody" and the other was Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. No, I am not a fan of that sort of popular music.
My father is even worse. He claimed not to ever have heard of Queen or Pink Floyd. Of the former he said, "No, not Bohemian Rhapsody - it's the Swedish Rhapsody." I had to explain. He was not impressed. He was incorrect about not having heard of Pink Floyd. I have mentioned Pink Floyd to him - in terms of he would prefer the Beatles to Pink Floyd. I am not keen on Pink Floyd myself.
He does know the Beatles - although he does not like what he terms "the noise". He does admit it is better than "that rubbish" - by which he means something like rap or heavy metal. Those things simply do not represent music to someone who grew up on the classical greats and things like Gilbert and Sullivan.
I wonder sometimes what he would like if he had been born when I was born. I never heard "pop" music as a child. My parents did not like it. My father turned the radio on only for the news service. They had a record player - 78rpm only for many years - but it was not often used.
The music was not the "pop" music of my childhood. It was not the "pop" music of their childhood. It was the "pop" music of generations before that.
I wonder if this is one reason why I do not understand or appreciate most of the "pop" music of my generation. I can however recognise some of it. There are tunes I recognise. There are things that have become part of the common culture. There are Beatles tracks which are "classic" and Bob Dylan tracks which even my father recognises. The Queen and Pink Floyd pieces might become classics of their time.
My nephews do some songwriting and singing. They have actually done some recordings and can very occasionally be heard on local or national radio. They occasionally do a charity gig but they take their university work seriously and it leaves little time for the hours needed to be successful. They do not care for rap or heavy metal either.
I wonder if their children will like those things. Will tracks from these types of music become the classics of the future? I wonder.

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