I remember as a kid in elementary school once a year we piled into the bus and went to a classical symphony concert. It was one of those things that was done just for us school kids. I don’t remember too much about those concerts now so really didn’t know what to expect when I went to one last week.
I learned many things that evening. First, I learned there is a pre-concert talk to give you some background on the music to be played. In this case, it was given by my nephew. To be truthful some of the technical stuff I did not understand but it did help me to better sense the emotions the composers tried to convey. Other things I learned was about the tonal scale. I didn’t even know there was one. And so you know, it has 12 notes.
The easiest way I found to explain the experience is with baseball. The pre-concert talk is like all the talk and speculation before the game starts. It is where you can learn all the stats of the players too. Maybe there should be stats on symphony musicians too. Categories like mistakes per measure or errors per concert. Once the game begins, you meet the manager/catcher otherwise known as the conductor. All the players are on the field. The basses are in left field, the percussion is in center and the brass is in right. And as the music, or game, is played each team member has their part to perform. Intermission is 7th inning stretch without singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Then when the game, or concert, is over and the home team wins the crowd goes wild. There is even a whistle or two.
My hope is that this will make classical music less intimidating and maybe even move you to go to a concert. Just think baseball when you go. Someday you might even set a radio button in your car to a classical music station.