Classical guitar; audience?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Mickmac
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Mickmac » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:54 am

Guitarhancock wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:19 am
Classical guitar does not have a beat and you can't dance to it
That may be part of it but there is more to it than that. Popular music often helps young people who are trying to establish who they are in life with an identity apart from their family/parents. It has a role to play in the necessary process of individuation that all teenagers go through. It's also associated with fashion and celebrity - other things that are associated with identity development.

Classical music is seen as the music of the older generation and of the past. One reason why it is often ignored by youngsters. Classical music is also really hard. Becoming a pop star depends really on luck (longevity as pop star also requires talent and hard work). If your aim as a kid is to be liked and taken seriously, classical music is a tough road to follow.
Last edited by Mickmac on Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gwynedd
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Gwynedd » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:18 am

Mickmac wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:54 am
That may be part of it but there is more to it than that. Popular music is often helps young people who trying to establish who they are in life with an identity apart from their family/parents. It has a role to play in the necessary process of individuation that all teenagers go through. It's also associated with fashion and celebrity - other things that are associated with identity development.
That's a very astute observation. My husband had a musician friend from his youth (fronted a punk band that had some success in Boston.) He couldn't express himself without running to the turntable and dropping the needle onto a song that conveyed what he was feeling. "Here, THIS is what I'm feeling." He had to use the rock lyrics to literally put words out. He's not alone. A lot of people don't put feelings into coherent thought. I think it's why Rap and Hip-Hop really got big. More words. More people could make that music with words (doesn't take the talent of a Joe Cocker or Richie Havens.)

Classical music is something else. It hits you deep, but it uses the math part of the brain that appreciates patterns and progression. You have to train your ear. Then when you get it, it's amazing. But it's not easy. The driving rhythm of rock and the simple lyrics are easy.

My first memory at all (as a baby) is of listening to Gershwin and standing in a crib and thinking "yeah! I want more of that!" (Rhapsody in Blue, the middle movement.) And we have a bunch of good musicians in the family, so music comes naturally to me. Even so, my dad was not the classical fan. My mom played some on piano but it wasn't constant. I developed a taste for it. And pursued it relentlessly as a kid then as an adult. I did some form of amateur music all the time. FInally, decided to pursue the deep passion for guitar in my sixties. But you have to learn about music and it's an intellectual process for classical. Most people are mentally lazy, even if intelligent.

Mickmac
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Mickmac » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:18 pm

Popular music is about much more than the music for younger listener. It can be used to join a tribe, the first step outside the family. Teenagers tend to be interested in music because it is "cool" rather than good. And also because it belongs to them and not to their elders.

In most cases it's only when we are older and are no longer worried whether music is cool or not, can we really listen and decide if it is good or not. That said, for older groups classical music can be "cool" too. Signalling to others that we are educated or have refined tastes - that is something that is behind in part the rise of popular light classical radio stations.

Young people though can and do appreciate classical music. Whether they are lucky enough to be touched by it enough to disregard peer pressure or whether they have chance to be educated about it and develop an appreciation that way. Back in the old days, there used to be Music Appreciation classes in schools, I wonder if such approach still continues and whether it actually works? You were lucky to grow up in a house with music.

I tihnk above to appreciate classical music you have to have the time and inclination to listen and digest the music for itself. It's a solitary pasttime in that respect.

decamara
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by decamara » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:29 pm

Thats a good assesment about emotional growth.
Evocation of thought.
And actually wanting to attach to recordings of pieces.
Or what they mean to a person at the time.
Or what it triggers.

I find very much that listening to perfect mechanical playing/recordings are very blah, and not very emotionally stirring, or that I care to hit repeat on.

Yet emotional playing/recordings evoke a ton of thought.
And emotion, whether its in whats happening now, or the past.

And I will often play the living crap out of those recordings.

Atonal music is just far too dry for me as a listener, or eapecially a player.
I just can't get into it.

Same with what people thing should be played mechanically.
No slurs.
Cross stringing.
Or, simply playing in the first position, because its easier to play.

The guitar has SO much color capability and beauty within.

It takes far more skill, and musicianship to unlock that side of it.

And the armchair quarterbacks that argue over so much.
Suck ALL the wind out of most of it.

When it comes to an audience.

They are VERY sensitive to this.

Lightning fast scales.
Blazing arpeggios.
And plucking every single note.

Is just to blah.

Gwynedd
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:38 pm

Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Gwynedd » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:14 am

I'm still chuckling about the TV person asking Berta Rojas to play something popular (Hey, Berta, how about some Freebird? Stairway?) There's no educating people; here was a newsperson who didn't even do five minutes of homework to realize that classical artists rarely play anything but classical. Although there are a few good classical style arrangements of Beatles tunes. I guess if you are going in front of the "general public" it would be well to have "Yesterday" or "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" in your repertoire.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:33 pm

Mickmac wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:54 am
Guitarhancock wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:19 am
Classical guitar does not have a beat and you can't dance to it
That may be part of it but there is more to it than that. Popular music often helps young people who are trying to establish who they are in life with an identity apart from their family/parents. It has a role to play in the necessary process of individuation that all teenagers go through. It's also associated with fashion and celebrity - other things that are associated with identity development.

Classical music is seen as the music of the older generation and of the past. One reason why it is often ignored by youngsters. Classical music is also really hard. Becoming a pop star depends really on luck (longevity as pop star also requires talent and hard work). If your aim as a kid is to be liked and taken seriously, classical music is a tough road to follow.
Classical guitar is an instrument, not repertoire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One could play on it anything with beat or not...
for dance, for funerals, for weddings, for meditation, for overdrive...
renaissance, baroque, medieval, folk, rock, blues, hip-hop, disco, whatever.
Classical guitar is an instrument, not repertoire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it is wrong to STUCK in very limited small repertoire (of nice music) which played by every "classical guitarist" and that is one and only reason why its audience are rather small... "outside" people feel it more like a kind of martial art there you learned "necessary" pieces and show off to other guitarists and then everybody compare everybody who play this limited repertoire better...
That is a big problem of "classical guitar" ...
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

Smudger5150
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Smudger5150 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:42 am

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:33 pm
Mickmac wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:54 am
Guitarhancock wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:19 am
Classical guitar does not have a beat and you can't dance to it
That may be part of it but there is more to it than that. Popular music often helps young people who are trying to establish who they are in life with an identity apart from their family/parents. It has a role to play in the necessary process of individuation that all teenagers go through. It's also associated with fashion and celebrity - other things that are associated with identity development.

Classical music is seen as the music of the older generation and of the past. One reason why it is often ignored by youngsters. Classical music is also really hard. Becoming a pop star depends really on luck (longevity as pop star also requires talent and hard work). If your aim as a kid is to be liked and taken seriously, classical music is a tough road to follow.
Classical guitar is an instrument, not repertoire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One could play on it anything with beat or not...
for dance, for funerals, for weddings, for meditation, for overdrive...
renaissance, baroque, medieval, folk, rock, blues, hip-hop, disco, whatever.
Classical guitar is an instrument, not repertoire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it is wrong to STUCK in very limited small repertoire (of nice music) which played by every "classical guitarist" and that is one and only reason why its audience are rather small... "outside" people feel it more like a kind of martial art there you learned "necessary" pieces and show off to other guitarists and then everybody compare everybody who play this limited repertoire better...
That is a big problem of "classical guitar" ...
Agreed. It was refreshing to hear someone on Spotify playing numerous modern pieces arranged for Class...nylon-string guitar. Pieces were various modern ones but I can only remember that there was a Metallica piece in there and probably a Red Hot Chilli Peppers piece.

I think that sometimes the problem is CG players! We (me included) get drawn to playing it hearing 'classical' pieces, learn all these new 'old' pieces that we learn to love over a long period and then expect we can just play them to any Tom, Dick and Harry who's never heard this music and expect them to like it.
Maybe because the pedagogy we tend to use is still geared towards the music of the past, then this continues this cycle.
That's why I think it's good to hear pieces by modern composers in tutors (Andrew York in pumping nylon for instance).
Hear's an idea - someone create a new tutor/book with many arrangements from music from the last century and the past. Learn guitar with a Lady GaGa tune alongside Bach alongside a Paul Simon alongside Brouwer alongside Metallica etc etc. You get the idea. Or maybe there is one out there.

Now back to my 'Disney tunes arranged for CG' (yes, I do have a book like that!)

PS - topic for another thread (if there isn't one already) - how to arrange a tune/piece for CG....
"Music washes away the dust of every day life." Art Blakey

"If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it." Louis Armstrong

markworthi
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:33 pm
Location: Forest Hills, NY

Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by markworthi » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:17 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:33 pm
Mickmac wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:54 am
Guitarhancock wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:19 am
Classical guitar does not have a beat and you can't dance to it
That may be part of it but there is more to it than that. Popular music often helps young people who are trying to establish who they are in life with an identity apart from their family/parents. It has a role to play in the necessary process of individuation that all teenagers go through. It's also associated with fashion and celebrity - other things that are associated with identity development.

Classical music is seen as the music of the older generation and of the past. One reason why it is often ignored by youngsters. Classical music is also really hard. Becoming a pop star depends really on luck (longevity as pop star also requires talent and hard work). If your aim as a kid is to be liked and taken seriously, classical music is a tough road to follow.
Classical guitar is an instrument, not repertoire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One could play on it anything with beat or not...
for dance, for funerals, for weddings, for meditation, for overdrive...
renaissance, baroque, medieval, folk, rock, blues, hip-hop, disco, whatever.
Classical guitar is an instrument, not repertoire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it is wrong to STUCK in very limited small repertoire (of nice music) which played by every "classical guitarist" and that is one and only reason why its audience are rather small... "outside" people feel it more like a kind of martial art there you learned "necessary" pieces and show off to other guitarists and then everybody compare everybody who play this limited repertoire better...
That is a big problem of "classical guitar" ...

Long discussions have arisen in this forum about what is implied by the term "classical guitar"-- whether it connotes conventions of performance and a canonical repertoire, et cetera, versus the straightforward identification of the instrument itself. To me, "classical guitar" used as a term to identify the instrument is a bit misleading, an unfortunate limitation that has resulted incidentally from its long association with classical music. As Andrei notes, all kinds of music are possible on the nylon stringed instrument that has come to be known as the "classical guitar", and there's no reason to believe that the potential of this instrument to win over large audiences has been reached.

However, as a term used to describe a genre of music, a technique, and a repertoire, I have no problem with the term "classical guitar". When I volunteer to a stranger that I play "classical guitar", this is what I mean; and this is what I feel is understood (even if vaguely) by the public. It conveys simply "classical music played on guitar". Reggae played on this instrument is not classical guitar.

To me, the whole discussion of the small audience for classical guitar can follow two parallel paths: one, why is classical music for guitar not more popular? And two, what is the potential for players of the nylon stringed guitar to reach larger audiences?

Mickmac, I like your answer to the first question, the idea that classical music offers limited extrinsic appeal-- the "coolness" factor-- to young people; an interesting follow up question would be why this is the case. After all, especially when we're talking about classical music for guitar-- the very fact that its pursuit is an esoteric one and that its mastery comes usually as the result of many, many solitary hours of rigor should elevate its esteem at least as high as that of fencing! Its likening to a martial art should earn it some respect.

It's also interesting to speculate about the ways in which the expansion of the classical repertoire has not garnered large audiences. Maybe we're waiting for the next discrete jump-- a new performer or composer of classical music for guitar that somehow penetrates the "coolness" barrier the way that Julian Bream or Andres Segovia was able to do.

Regarding the possibilities for players of nylon stringed guitars to capture the imagination of large audiences by performing pieces outside of the classical repertoire-- I think it's an eventuality. But it's also fun to speculate about how this will be possible. I refer you all to the Estas Tonne discussion of a few days ago! :D

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:16 pm

markworthi wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:17 pm
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:33 pm
Mickmac wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:54 am


That may be part of it but there is more to it than that. Popular music often helps young people who are trying to establish who they are in life with an identity apart from their family/parents. It has a role to play in the necessary process of individuation that all teenagers go through. It's also associated with fashion and celebrity - other things that are associated with identity development.

Classical music is seen as the music of the older generation and of the past. One reason why it is often ignored by youngsters. Classical music is also really hard. Becoming a pop star depends really on luck (longevity as pop star also requires talent and hard work). If your aim as a kid is to be liked and taken seriously, classical music is a tough road to follow.
Classical guitar is an instrument, not repertoire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One could play on it anything with beat or not...
for dance, for funerals, for weddings, for meditation, for overdrive...
renaissance, baroque, medieval, folk, rock, blues, hip-hop, disco, whatever.
Classical guitar is an instrument, not repertoire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it is wrong to STUCK in very limited small repertoire (of nice music) which played by every "classical guitarist" and that is one and only reason why its audience are rather small... "outside" people feel it more like a kind of martial art there you learned "necessary" pieces and show off to other guitarists and then everybody compare everybody who play this limited repertoire better...
That is a big problem of "classical guitar" ...

Long discussions have arisen in this forum about what is implied by the term "classical guitar"-- whether it connotes conventions of performance and a canonical repertoire, et cetera, versus the straightforward identification of the instrument itself. To me, "classical guitar" used as a term to identify the instrument is a bit misleading, an unfortunate limitation that has resulted incidentally from its long association with classical music. As Andrei notes, all kinds of music are possible on the nylon stringed instrument that has come to be known as the "classical guitar", and there's no reason to believe that the potential of this instrument to win over large audiences has been reached.

However, as a term used to describe a genre of music, a technique, and a repertoire, I have no problem with the term "classical guitar". When I volunteer to a stranger that I play "classical guitar", this is what I mean; and this is what I feel is understood (even if vaguely) by the public. It conveys simply "classical music played on guitar". Reggae played on this instrument is not classical guitar.

To me, the whole discussion of the small audience for classical guitar can follow two parallel paths: one, why is classical music for guitar not more popular? And two, what is the potential for players of the nylon stringed guitar to reach larger audiences?

Mickmac, I like your answer to the first question, the idea that classical music offers limited extrinsic appeal-- the "coolness" factor-- to young people; an interesting follow up question would be why this is the case. After all, especially when we're talking about classical music for guitar-- the very fact that its pursuit is an esoteric one and that its mastery comes usually as the result of many, many solitary hours of rigor should elevate its esteem at least as high as that of fencing! Its likening to a martial art should earn it some respect.

It's also interesting to speculate about the ways in which the expansion of the classical repertoire has not garnered large audiences. Maybe we're waiting for the next discrete jump-- a new performer or composer of classical music for guitar that somehow penetrates the "coolness" barrier the way that Julian Bream or Andres Segovia was able to do.

Regarding the possibilities for players of nylon stringed guitars to capture the imagination of large audiences by performing pieces outside of the classical repertoire-- I think it's an eventuality. But it's also fun to speculate about how this will be possible. I refer you all to the Estas Tonne discussion of a few days ago! :D
2 questions arises from your nice post:
1. Is there "classical violin"?, "classical flute"? "classical piano"? etc.
No... why? are those instruments used for certain repertoire? - no... players play different music and could actually play all kind of music... and probably nobody will say that there is something wrong or not authentic in doing it...
2. What is "classical music"?
- is it really only music of Classicism period? - no ...more than that
- maybe only music of Classicism period + Renaissance, Baroque? - no ...more than that
- - maybe only music of Classicism period + Renaissance, Baroque, Medieval, Modernism, Avantgarde? - no ...more than that etc.etc.
seems like this is very wide term... maybe meaning more than that? and maybe meaning music accepted by "Academic circles" as such?
But whatever it is - it is very clear that in "classical guitar" performance we could hear the same 20-50 pieces again and again... therefore that what understood by most as a "classical guitar"... and then it is very narrow... very short path...
and something more like martial art - rather than art like painting or sculpture, or poetry etc.
Why is that? Why in 21st century we could not be more free in our approach? Why couldn't we do and understand "classical guitar" music like art of painting or sculpture, or poetry etc.? Why we do not unleash our inner selves through it, why could'nt we share our own passions and visions? Why "classical guitar" audience expecting to hear those same 20-50 pieces again and again... ?
Or we could state it another way: that is why "classical guitar" audience is very small ... because "classical guitar" audience expecting to hear those same 20-50 pieces again and again...
Segovia created "classical guitar" . He brought it to intelligentsia and concert goers as something new! Not perceived as a primitive amateur played instrument etc." but THE NEW HIGHER value term "classical guitar" !!!
At his time it was really good way to promote guitar! It really worked!
Nowadays? ... no. no more. no any "great new master" will repeat this model of development and promotion. This model still will exist, but it finished it development. It is naturally exhausted itself.
Last edited by AndreiKrylov on Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

Smudger5150
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Smudger5150 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:20 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:16 pm
2. What is "classical music"?
- is it really only music of Classicism period? - no ...more than that
- maybe only music of Classicism period + Renaissance, Baroque? - no ...more than that
.............and maybe meaning music accepted by "Academic circles" as such?
A question and probably a few corollaries from what's already been eloquently put...

I know this is a classical guitar forum/website but I've been wondering how classical guitar music becomes accepted as part of the 'repertoire'.
So when one mentions expanding the repertoire by playing music that is deemed 'outside' of the repertoire, one wonders if they're breaking some kind of forum rule :oops:
i.e. "We're here to talk about classical guitar, not 'other' music...'.
But, new guitar music will be written/arranged etc for the guitar and may eventually be accepted as 'classical'.
Is the answer that a piece just needs to become popularised by players, or, entered onto guitar literature or exams? And once one of these things, happen and enough players play these pieces then they are into the fold, so to speak?

Reason I'm dwelling on it because I believe a limited repertoire limits the audience, as Andrei rightly points out.
And when someone informally asks me to play, I know they'd appreciate it more if I played something they know - which is why Beatles arrangements are becoming/have become popular.
So when CG people bemoan others not knowing/wanting/appreciating the accepted repertoire, then it shouldn't be a surprise.
Yes, we love the elitism/achievement aspect of CG but IF we want to increase the audience then, as others have said, the repertoire may need to include arrangements of popular tunes to draw people in.

Either that or someone get a nice new or old guitar piece in a blockbuster film to get the exposure again! (Prob wouldn't work in an Avengers film though :( )
Or someone to make a cheap range of smaller classical guitars to replace recorders in schools with clear guidance to teachers on how to play very easy ensemble work (I know how much some of you (dis-)like hearing guitar orchestras - imagine a bunch of 5 year olds making a racket!! Then again, it might put them off forever....)
"Music washes away the dust of every day life." Art Blakey

"If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it." Louis Armstrong

markworthi
Posts: 257
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:33 pm
Location: Forest Hills, NY

Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by markworthi » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:59 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:16 pm

2 questions arises from your nice post:
1. Is there "classical violin"?, "classical flute"? "classical piano"? etc.
No... why? are those instruments used for certain repertoire? - no... players play different music and could actually play all kind of music... and probably nobody will say that there is something wrong or not authentic in doing it...
2. What is "classical music"?
- is it really only music of Classicism period? - no ...more than that
- maybe only music of Classicism period + Renaissance, Baroque? - no ...more than that
- - maybe only music of Classicism period + Renaissance, Baroque, Medieval, Modernism, Avantgarde? - no ...more than that etc.etc.
seems like this is very wide term... maybe meaning more than that? and maybe meaning music accepted by "Academic circles" as such?
But whatever it is - it is very clear that in "classical guitar" performance we could hear the same 20-50 pieces again and again... therefore that what understood by most as a "classical guitar"... and then it is very narrow... very short path...
and something more like martial art - rather than art like painting or sculpture, or poetry etc.
Why is that? Why in 21st century we could not be more free in our approach? Why couldn't we do and understand "classical guitar" music like art of painting or sculpture, or poetry etc.? Why we do not unleash our inner selves through it, why could'nt we share our own passions and visions? Why "classical guitar" audience expecting to hear those same 20-50 pieces again and again... ?
Or we could state it another way: that is why "classical guitar" audience is very small ... because "classical guitar" audience expecting to hear those same 20-50 pieces again and again...
Segovia created "classical guitar" . He brought it to intelligentsia and concert goers as something new! Not perceived as a primitive amateur played instrument etc." but THE NEW HIGHER value term "classical guitar" !!!
At his time it was really good way to promote guitar! It really worked!
Nowadays? ... no. no more. no any "great new master" will repeat this model of development and promotion. This model still will exist, but it finished it development. It is naturally exhausted itself.
Hi Andrei,

Very interesting post you made. I wonder when the term "classical guitar" came into common use. It's strange that I've never considered its etymology-- I'm sure someone here will respond-- but I would guess it was in the early part of the 20th Century, and possibly a result of the efforts of Segovia to cordon off a realm of legitimate (i.e., "classical") music, from his point of view, to be played on the instrument. I think this is what you're saying above. And I suppose, since the violin and piano have not had to earn their "legitimacy", nobody has bothered to attach "classical" to their appellation.

Be that as it may, "classical guitar", and classical music in general, seems to retain this meaning... it is "classical", in part, because it distinguishes itself from "popular" music-- which, as you point out, directly explains its relative lack of popularity. (Mystery solved). Still, it's possible that the classical guitar's limited audience, which arises from its own narrow definitions and canonical repertoire, is nevertheless a natural and sustainable model. Perhaps it's meant to have a small audience, to evolve and thrive even within its own constrained environment. Could it be that the next great master will be a composer of so-called modern "classical" music for guitar that somehow manages to strike the right chord with the public, taking modern music in an unanticipated direction that attracts-- rather than estranges-- listeners?

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