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Bach, Beethoven, Brahms...................and Elvis????

 
 
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 05:24 am
A lot of music was written over the last couple of thousand years or so. Most of it has been gratefully lost in the mists of time. What has remained is the distillation of the best.

Every once in awhile, I get to thinking about some of today's (and yesterday's) composers and artists, whether in concert or popular music. There are some that were wildly popular in their time, (which may have been no longer than a couple of years ago) but all but forgotten now.

If you could see into the future, which contemporary (over the last 60 or so years) composers and/or performers do you think still will be popular to the audiences 100-200 years from now? What makes that individual stand the test of time?
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 08:18 am
Well, I will start. Of all the popular singers in the last number of decades, I think that Frank Sinatra will stand the test of time. Even though he has been deceased for many years, you still hear his music played. In fact, XM radio has an entire channel devoted to his music.

I think that the songs that he sang are timeless, and his pacing and inflections of the words of the songs are out of the ordinary. A word about the timelessness. There were many fine singers who were of their times, and the concerns of their particular era. When you hear them now they seem anachronistic.

I think that Sinatra speaks to us using the basic themes in humanity.............love, loss, longing, that will never change.
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Robert Gentel
 
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Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 03:39 pm
@Phoenix32890,
Beatles and Bob Dylan should make any contemporary list I'm involved in.
cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 04:59 pm
@Robert Gentel,
It should be BB King. Wink
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 05:16 pm
We're talking popular music here, right? So I won't mention such 20th century greats as George Gershwin or Aaron Copeland. They're sort of neo-classical, I suppose. But when we think of timeless s0ngs of the last century and their composers and lyricists, Cole Porter stands out for me, even though he was a teeny bit before my time. His songs are truly timeless and will provide repertoire of singers for a long, long time to come. As for performers, I agree with Phoenix re: Frank Sinatra, but I don't think we can ignore his predecessor, Bing Crosby, or his contemporary Nat "King" Cole. These voices, too, are timeless.
cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 05:26 pm
@Merry Andrew,
What I saw were B...B....B....and....BB Smile
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etan
 
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Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 07:25 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Actually Gershwin -- along with Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, etc -- WERE popular music, and I think they'll easily stand the test of time.

I mean, one issue you haven't addressed is that music from before the 20th century was difficult to preserve. There were no recordings. It was hard for composers to get noticed outside of cultural events and royal functions (depending on the location). Music was written down, but paper corrodes. It was difficult for people to spread the word about musicians. The composers you note have survived largely due to groups of people who were staunchly committed to preserving their works. If a composer wasn't lucky enough to get one, that was it.

Now, we have recordings, and excellent methods of preservation, not to mention communication. Someone in China can record, upload, and send me a concert they heard minutes ago. And though hard drives die and computers are hardly immortal, I think all these changes will allow even marginal bands to stand the test of time. I mean, thanks to the internet bands from the 20's and on who practically no one had ever heard of are now being rediscovered and developing cult followings. How cool is that? I think if anything, we're going to expose ourselves to even more old music as time goes on -- not less.
Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 07:52 am
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:
We're talking popular music here, right?


M.A. Not necessarily. My interest was in ANY music that a member believes will be heard in 100-200 years. As far as concert (classical) music goes, when it was written, years ago, much of it was a popular entertainment, especially after the Baroque era. Before then, most of the music written was weither geared to the nobility, or as religious expression.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 07:55 am
@Merry Andrew,
M.A. Even now, except for "White Christmas", how much Crosby do you ever hear? The same for Nat "King" Cole. Cole's voice was wonderful, but I would suspect that most of the younger folks have never heard of him, except as Natalie's dad. On the other hand, Sinatra is still quite visible.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 07:59 am
@etan,
Etan- I absolutely agree. I think that technology has allowed us to preserve so much more music than in the past.

Robert- I concur about Dylan. His stuff is timeless.
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