Emo Classical

Yes, it has been 6 weeks since I last updated my blog–odd for someone who used to post multiple blog entries a day. Despite my best intentions, my job became became less optional–we depend on it now. That said, the job and I have grown to suit one another, I find the field I’m working in fascinating, Kelly’s school is great (and will take care of her after school on occasions I have a meeting), and Neil’s still rocketing along in our home school. By the way, his blog has become more regular and interesting than mine, particularly if you’re a math geek.

Yesterday, he had a language arts lesson in which he had to do a compare and contrast essay on the music he likes, and that which is parents like. He found it difficult, since we all pretty much like the same thing. However, for the next day’s lesson, he has to review and deconstruct someone else’s essay on the same subject, so I had to write one too. In the end, I realized I’m turning into my parents. Well, ok, my father (he was the one who loved classical music; I didn’t want to get into Heino). And I never thought I’d be digging classical music, and that when I would, I would discover both my father and I were into emo classical. Here’s the essay:

I like listening to indie rock bands like Everclear, Oasis, and Brand New. My parents liked to listen to classical music, especially the Romantic composers like Schumann and Strauss.

At first, I thought our musical tastes had nothing in common. Rock music is faster and more energetic. It also has lyrics I can relate to: it’s like musical poetry.  It takes a long time to listen to a symphony, while you can listen through a rock song in about 3 minutes. If you really like the song, you just listen to it again, while you can’t really repeat a one-hour symphony.

But now that I’m older, I see the similarities. Indie rock bands express emotion; so do the Romantic composers. They just do it in a different way. For instance, Gustav Mahler, a romantic composer, put syncopation into his 9th Symphony to make it sound like a broken heart. Some people call this a “symphonic poem” and it’s like an all-music version of the poetic lyrics I like in rock music. Also, romantic classical music almost always has a motif running through the symphony, so you essentially have a song that repeats itself within the a bigger musical story.

So it turns out my musical preferences really may not be that different from my parents’ after all.

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