Do you remember the first time you heard contemporary music? Did you immediately connect with it, or did it take time?
There’s a huge difference between listening to conventional classical music and modern or contemporary music. A lot of it is familiarity. We’ve heard Mozart and Beethoven our entire lives and it’s well-ingrained into mainstream culture. Babbit and Stockhausen, on the other hand….definitely less familiar.
Think of it like learning a new language. You don’t expect to understand it immediately, it takes time and continued exposure.
Maybe you’re new to the contemporary music scene.
Or, maybe you love contemporary music, but you’re struggling to introduce friends/family to the music you enjoy.
Here’s a few thoughts:
➡️ Listen to shorter music that introduces a few new concepts in a more familiar context.
➡️ Learn about the background behind the music, the composer and their ideas
➡️ Stay open to new ideas. Even if the music doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have meaning or purpose. Look for ways to understand it
➡️ Small, consistent amounts of exposure to new styles of music may be more effective than complete immersion. It’s okay to still listen to the music that you enjoy as you learn to appreciate something else!
Do you struggle with helping other people understand the music that you write or perform? How do you help them bridge that gap? I’d love to hear in the comments!