Is classical music superior?

It has sometimes been stated that classical music is superior to other forms of music. Why would a person say it? Well, human beings are consummate imitators, and if a person stands to gain by publicly making another copy of it, then imitation – camouflage? – is a strategy for success.

There are other possibilities. Listening to and performing classical music does not conventionally engage the human body in dance. The relative passivity of the body in classical music may therefore signify by default – to some, at least – that this form of music is more cerebral than other forms of music which have a dance component and, therefore, is superior. Certainly, the body produces bodily sensations and perceptions (e.g., propioception). Take those out of the picture, and what is left: mind. Is it correct?

2 thoughts on “Is classical music superior?

  1. Maybe the times have changed. Nietzsche wrote somewhere — I believe it was in The Birth of Tragedy — that (classical) music impels the listener to move the body. So maybe in Nietzsche’s days classical music was more similar to pop music than we realize.

  2. Interesting said! This is the best arguments I’ve seen regarding to the topic, and I do agree to the second point that Western classical music is cerebral, instead of being visceral or verbal. While musicians from other traditions or pop music are allowed to move freely, Western classical musicians and audience are restricted in their suit and ties.

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