Is Classical Music Dying?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A recent study found that classical music is dying. We take a look at the study and what it means for the future of classical music.

The current state of classical music

It’s no secret that classical music is in a bit of trouble. Ticket sales are down, audiences are aging, and orchestras are struggling to stay afloat. But is classical music really dying? Let’s take a look at the current state of classical music and see if there’s any hope for its future.

A brief history of classical music

Classical music is often seen as the product of High Culture, something that is somber, serious, and cultured. It is music that is meant to be appreciated by those with a trained ear and a refined taste. It is, in short, elitist. And classical music has certainly had its share of elitist patrons and composers over the years. But classical music has also been enjoyed by the masses throughout its history. It has always been a part of everyday life, providing background ambiance at court functions and social gatherings, serving as popular entertainment at public festivals and dances, and even being used to sell products in commercials and film trailers.

Recent years have seen a decline in classical music’s popularity, however. Record sales have plummeted, concert attendance is down, and orchestras are struggling to stay afloat financially. Some people believe that classical music is dying. Others contend that it is merely evolving into something new. But whatever the case may be, there can be no denying that classical music faces some serious challenges in the 21st century.

The current popularity of classical music

Classical music is not dying, but its popularity is certainly waning in today’s society. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, only 9 percent of Americans say they listen to classical music regularly. This is a significant decline from 1982, when 18 percent of Americans said they were classical music fans.

There are several reasons for this decline in popularity. First, classical music is simply not as widely available as it once was. In the past, people could hear classical music on the radio or buy records or CDs. Today, however, there are fewer classical music stations on the radio and many record stores have closed down. Second, classical music is generally not taught in schools like it used to be. As a result, fewer people are exposed to it at a young age. Finally, some people find classical music to be too complex or difficult to appreciate.

Despite the decline in popularity, classical music is still enjoyed by many people around the world. And there are signs that its popularity may be beginning to rebound slightly. For example, the number of people attending classical music concerts has increased in recent years. Additionally, new technologies like streaming services and online radio stations have made it easier for people to discover and enjoy classical music.

The future of classical music

We are in the 21st century and the music industry is ever-changing. So, is classical music dying? Let’s discuss the future of classical music in this article.

The potential for classical music to grow in popularity

Recent studies have found that classical music is grow in popularity, especially among young people. A report by the Philharmonic Orchestra found that 43 percent of people aged 8-18 said they were interested in learning more about classical music, and that same year, 37 percent of people aged 18-24 said they had been to a classical music concert in the past 12 months.

There are many reasons for this renewed interest in classical music. One is that it is seen as a more intellectual and sophisticated form of entertainment than pop music. Classical music is also seen as a way to relax and escape from the stresses of daily life.

With this renewed interest in classical music, there is potential for it to grow even more in popularity. This could be done through increased education and exposure to the genre, through both traditional and non-traditional channels. For example, more classical concerts could be held in nontraditional venues such as bars or clubs, where they would be more likely to attract young people. Alternatively, educational programs could be created that teach young people about the history and culture surrounding classical music

The challenges facing classical music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820 (the Classical period), this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.

Western classical music has long been an important part of high culture. It acquired its modern form in about 1730 with the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel. The Classical period was one of a number of historical periods defined by art historians and critics, not always coinciding chronologically with actual musical history. These are usually referred to as epochs, rather than periods (for example: Renaissance music, Baroque music, Classical era).

During the 20th century, Western classical music was divided into two main periods: the first half being dominated by Romanticism while Modernism dominated the second half. Exceptions include some works by Bela Bartok,Edgard Varèse, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky that are usually seen as belonging either to Romanticism or Modernism respectively. After 1950 there was an increasing rejection of Western classical tradition by composers in favor of so-called world music or popular musics from various cultures; however many composers continued to work within a traditional idiom (especially during late Modernism).

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