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Music’s dying fall

In every generation there are those who bemoan the death of classical music. But what if, this time round, they are right? A living musical culture is being crushed between easy-listening commercialisation and an unmusical avant-garde which speaks only to itself

Strange how potent cheap music can be, and funny how a line from a pop song can linger in the mind. Don McLean’s American Pie wasn’t about what we misleadingly call classical music, but the line “the day the music died” echoes now through concert halls and opera houses. At the end of the millennium, are we living through the age in which the music died?

In this country, a whole series of merely technical or administrative woes distracts attention from our deeper musical crisis. We have a government which is actively hostile to the fine arts-or at least to…

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