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Thursday,November 26,2020
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Make Yourself Familiar with Classical Music
What word do you think of when you hear classical music?  'Difficult', 'boring,' 'aristocratic' etc. Many people think of the classical music like this.  Although such soap operas like 'Beethoven Virus' and 'Nodame Cantabile' whose themes are related to classical music have recently gained popularity, these prejudices about classical music can't easily be thrown out.  Influenced by my father's taste in music, I have loved classical music since I was a young girl.  So it is natural for me to appreciate classical music but I have found it difficult to express my feeling for the music because I have known prejudices about classical music exist.
<Is it the music of upper classes?>
The answer is 'No'. The answer is 'No'.  The history of music has varied with the parton of the music and the most of the partons  had been in the upper-class.  According to cultural background, classical music was only appreciated by upper-class at that time.  On the other hand, now is the time when the class distinctions are ignored so thing are different.  In this democracy society, appreciators of music are the masses not the privileged minority.  There has been developments in classical music like the invention of electronic instruments and addition of dancing into classical music.  For these reasons, classical music could be appreciated by public. said Kim Mi-Ok. 
<Into the fascination of classical music>
  If you think classical music lacks character, you misjudge it!  The followings are two characteristics of classical music which I think are the most important.
 First, the styles of classical music are various depending on composers. Mozart's music is bright and playful and some of his music have been re-made for children's songs.  His  piano music has formal construction as well as startling contrasts, complexity and even dissonant harmonies.  Beethoven's music has a much  more different mood compared to Mozart's music even though he lived in the same era with Mozart's. His music is magnificent and expresses intense feelings.  You can also find these characteristics in his most famous masterpiece piano concerto "Emperor".  Chopin, a composer of the romantic era, always included  piano in most of his music composition.  So he is often called a poet of the piano.  His music is splendid and requires a high level of technical skill.  One of his masterpieces "Fantasie-Impromptu" shows this characteristic.  Bach, who is my favorite composer, belonged to the Baroque era, which came earlier than the composers mentioned above.  His music is not as splendid or as complicated as Chopin's but it is totally complete.  He vivified the rigid form of music of Baroque era although it's melodious are simple.  I usually listen to music when I do a lot of work late at night.  Beethoven's music breaks the silences of the dawn, while the sound of Bach's music feels like a ride in the wind and sinks naturally into the silences of the dawn.  I feel his music is a blessing to me.  The characteristics of music depend highly on who the composer is. When you hear classical music that you don't know, guess the composer based on these distinctions. It's one of the charms in appreciating classical music.
 Second, the expression of the music varies with its performers.  I couldn't forget Ida Haendel's violin recital four years ago.  She played one of my favorite pieces, Bach's Chaconne, and I was fascinated with her performance.  She had a rich quality in her tone and powerful impression when she gave her performance although she was seventy six years old at the time.  ‘Classical music’ is indeed 'classics'  handed down from past generations.  The soul of music is reborn and the music re-tells its history through the performers.  There is "Cadenza" in the second movement of Mendelssohn's violin concerto op64 where the orchestral accompaniment is stopped for a moment while the violinist plays a solo.  The violinist performs freely with his own tone, intonation, and musical imagination.  So the concerto becomes totally different in mood depending on the musician's abilities.  Comparing the performer with others who played the same pieces adds to your fascination with classical music.
<Conclusion>
 Classical music is all around us.  When you wander around the campus, drinking coffee in the cafe, even watching TV or movies, there is always classical music played.  Many people think the admission fee for classical music performances is expensive but there are inexpensive or free ways to watch the performances such as discounted prices for university students, free outdoor performance or free listening radio channel dedicated to classical music only.  Winter, the season when Grieg's Solveij's song appeals to our mind, has come to us.  As a university student living in a highly cultured society, I propose you throw out your prejudice towards classical music and widen  your musical horizon.

Song Ji-won  jiwonsong@dongguk.edu

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