ain't baroque! :||
Don't Fix It

Is it possible to kill an entire musical genre?

Because I WANT TO DO IT.

Man, it feels like forever since I last did an opinion post! And in honor of the occasion, let me lay some disdain on ya. (Well, no. Not on YOU. I really like YOU. But you know what I mean.)

Part of my job involves standing at a concierge desk before concerts, giving out press tickets, directing people to the closest bathroom, etc. There is a bit of overlap, in deference to stragglers and people who got stuck on the beltway, where I’m doing this about ten minutes into the concert itself. The music is piped into the lobby during this time, which is why I am always sure to beg off the smooth jazz concerts, because seriously, what is up with smooth jazz?!

Really, I’m asking. Because I’m worried – why do I find this particular genre so distasteful? Is it something about my ear? My right brain? The musicians are perfectly talented individuals, and my GOD to people flock to their performances, but for some reason the instant I hear that mellow saxophone I’m in full on MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP mode.

Okay, I’m trying to articulate exactly what bothers me about it. It’s so… even-keeled. And calm. And peaceful. Soft and lulling. Which is to say nothing ever really happens. I feel like splicing a bunch of late-era Schoenberg into all the records just to liven things up (and come on, that would be pretty funny, don’t you think?).

I’m sorry, smooth jazz fans. I don’t mean to rag on you – okay, I did mean to rag on you, a little. I hope you can move past that, though, because now I’m opening the floor to you, or at the very least the people who understand you. What is it I don’t get about smooth jazz? Why do you love it so much? You can tell me. This is a safe space, I swear.

And while we’re on the subject: is there any genre of music or even era of classical that you can. Not. STAND?

About Jenn

Despite being the former digital marketing intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jenn German does not like Mozart. Beethoven could've totally beaten him up. Also she has an arts management graduate degree from American University, but this changes nothing.


3 thoughts on “Is it possible to kill an entire musical genre?

  1. The thing about smooth jazz is that it makes you feel like you are walking through a supermarket with a shopping trolley or perhaps standing in an elevator to a hotel in a strange town or on hold on a phone when you know you will be waiting a while or maybe you are in a taxi in LA and the driver says thing like cool bro . As to hate a genre.Well. I cannot say I particularly hate a whole genre. The whole swearing thing in American rap music is annoying. If they changed the words rap would be fine.Playing christmas carols in concert band can get a bit dull for the clarinetist but hey we are a team sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.Recorder bands in grade three might not sound real hot but the sentiment behind them and the fun every one has is infectious.This guy I knew played in a wedding band back in the day and he mentioned a couple of tunes that made him sort of laugh and groan in the same breath they were ‘Ive gota lovely bunch of cocunuts’ and ‘running bear’. Whenever the dance the gypsy tap was going to be performed it was always the coconut song. Now there is a genre that is a bit hard to get your head around these days i.e. the old time dancing music however if you have ever been to a nursing home when they start to sing these songs the residents remember all of the words and they love it.Back in the day before tv it was an aural culture. It is something to behold. I am not going to rush out and buy an old time dance band recording.When I was a kid I had a recording called clarinet gold which I probably would not bother listening to these days. What do you trhink about Acker Bilk. In clarinet circles you get some interesting responses.

    Posted by wowbanger | January 15, 2013, 4:15 pm
  2. Do you know what it is? It’s winey! It just lacks integrity. Melodically, harmonically, and in its improvisation. It thinks its jazz, but i a disgrace to the jazz tradition. Don’t worry, I’m right there with you.

    Posted by Justin Mathis | January 17, 2013, 8:54 am


  1. Pingback: “Jazz was the maggot-infested flesh of a dead body” | If it ain't Baroque... - April 1, 2013

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