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The Confusing Realm of the Terms “Classical”, “Classicism” & “Classic” in Music

12 September 2014

09:30 - 10:30 hrs (GMT +7)

In this talk the different meanings of the term “Classical” or “classical music” will be discussed first. In a second step the paper presents some thoughts about the transferability of these terms, before I suggest two alternatives of application in a Southeast Asian context. It will become clear that the knowledge about the historical process that coined these terms in the West may be of interest, in order to understand the European way of compositional and cultural development. 

However, in Southeast Asia or even in each country/culture here, one has to cultivate the consciousness of one’s own “classical realm”, which cannot be the Western way. In this regard I will propose the idea of multiple modernities. They may develop mainly in a contemporary space, but finally will create the notion of various classical music traditions in the region. 

For an educational institution, I may suggest a two-channelled approach, where, on one side, the own cultural realm is continuously discussed, strengthened and developed. On the other side, developments in the world – not necessarily the European one – shall be addressed in order to consolidate the idea of the cultivation of plurality in the art of music.

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