A lot of my favourite pieces of music are “disquieting” so I found this an interesting read:
A privilege of art is that our experiences will vary. We are at liberty to think that a work is soothing, or that it is boring, or titillating, or a blight upon the senses, and then to change our minds, and then to change our minds again. Insisting that classical music is a proxy for a day at the spa prescribes a proper reaction to this music before we have even begun to listen. Art yields its best results when we engage all our critical faculties, rather than confining our responses.
Every genre (save perhaps thrash metal) features works that many would consider relaxing. Monet’s impressionist haystacks and the Home Shopping Network could be described the same way. Why is classical music in particular the poster child for this feeling?
It’s just commerce isn’t it? Those who are interested in more challenging music will probably know where to look and are a very small market anyway. For the vast hordes of people who just want some aural wallpaper that makes them feel vaguely intellectual it is an obvious pitch. The same thing happens with all of the heavily marketed ‘cool jazz’ compilations. I guess it’s the same reason you so see much magnolia paint about.
The shame is that for young people in particular it might create the impression that classical (and jazz) is not for them where as in fact both genres contain such breadth and depth that there is surely something for everyone in there. The curious will hopefully always find this out of course, especially in the modern world when it is so easy to explore. It’s easier now than it was - when I was young I didn’t think there would be anything in either genre that I would be interested in, but was lucky enough to meet people who pointed me to stuff that I would like (and played it to me).
it’s just a shitty class thing isn’t it. The idea being that posh/rich people listen to classical music because it’s civilised and refined.