Piano In The Past Was Better
Piano in the past was better. There was a piano culture, a portion of humanity that cared about the instrument, the music and the pianists. Now? Nothing. It's not the musician's fault that the "serious" music we make nowadays seems less moving than what the great masters of the classical period composed.
There are still great composers out there, but their voice has been stilled by the public's demand for easy, plastic trash music. It's the listener's fault, really, and the fault of those in charge of our culture. By those in charge, I mean every producer, director, moneybags, educator, actor, singer and artist.
Now It's All About Dollars
Everyone in the modern art world, including music, has succumbed to the lure of money and advancement, and the paleness of their creations shows it. The listeners have become mere consumers, accepting the dreary garbage the greedy music producers put out without question.
Young people struggle every generation to separate the false from the true. This is their choice of bands and singers. Older people have stopped buying records because there is no menu at all for them. Music producers can think of no other way to get the adult dollars than to repackage oldies.
Music For Money
One simply can't hide the motivation behind a piece of music. We will sense it if it was composed for love. If it was composed to be a hit song and make money, that, too, will be obvious to the careful listener. This difference in emotional quality may not be apparent to the average listener, but it is to real professionals.
Compare, say, Beethoven and Kenny Rogers, the now faded country star. Beethoven's music is entirely genuine, composed from a passionate need to express the feelings of a great soul. Kenny's tinsel displays a cleverly appealing get-rich-quick veneer of Nashville-Hollywood production but has little underlying emotional value.
The Greats Weren't All Greedy
And it's not the genre or Kenny at fault. Early Elvis is an example of genuine expression. Late Elvis is a perfect example of Las Vega fake, or at least real dulled by the fakeness of drugs. There is no reason for a talented person to become a composer in America today. There is no audience, there is no support of any kind in terms of a mass audience.
They Sold Your Culture
All the infrastructure, the piano companies, the teachers, the press, the stars, the records have disappeared as music companies came to be ruled by the money men. These vipers sold out your culture to Disney. Conglomerates used classical music as background for their violent, lucrative creations.
Academics now spend their time getting tenure, paying the mortgage, and advancing themselves. It doesn't pay to spread the knowledge they possess.
No More Real Record Companies
There are no record companies that produce anything except rap and pop junk. I'm not saying those styles are bad. Look at the lack of variety in the music people are offered today. In the 1950s and even the early 60s you had Elvis, Sinatra, Glenn Gould, Leonard Bernstein, The Beatles, Dylan, all vying for your record dollar.
Today, you are offered only the homogenized pop junk that floats to the top and is easily and cheaply mass produced by those money men in control of the industry. Glenn Gould and Elvis would starve today.
No Classical Radio
There are very few classical radio stations. The New York Times recently abandoned WQXR, the great classical radio flagship. This reveals that the Times has sunk to the greedy level of everyone else in the media. They sold that frequency on the dial to Talk Radio. It was very valuable. If the Times, bastion of culture that it once was, rejects classical music, there is little point in seeking a career in it.
That is a barometer of America's regard for culture. The next time you want a spot of culture, don't ask me. Ask Time-Life Books, or Disney. They own it, and sponsor your local symphony, now called the Oreo Symphonette Society.