Seventh meeting 12 March 2012.

Subject: "why don't people like opera?"

People who attended: Dave, Barry and Masood.


masood said...

Selection of things that got talked about. Debating societies are too formal: informal groups like this one are better. The BBC TV series 'Orbit'. The (quite) interesting fact that about 30km under your feet there is molten rock. The strange idea that rock could be liquid. The Pioneer 10 probe. Fascination of everybody with the existence of extra-terrestrials. ... Why don't people like opera? The appreciation of opera (and 'classical' music in general) requires a technical (ie all that stuff about notes and keys and chords and form) understanding. So does that mean the appreciation of classical music by people (for example me) ignorant of the technicalities is inferior to appreciation by people who know about that kind of stuff? Compare football where the appreciation does depend on technical understanding, in particular knowledge about rules and tactics. ... Degrees of enjoyment: the enjoyment of bland food is not as good as the enjoyment of unusual and stronger tasting food, for example (Barry) store-bought bread vs home-made bread. Or (Dave) standard beer vs speciality beers. Even though most people prefer the bland store-bought bread and standard beer. Elitism. Difference between classical music and pop music. Reason for opera being not so much liked due to accessibility: people don't grow up with opera and it's not on the radio all the time the way pop music is. Classical music requires more effort to appreciate. What kind of effort is that? ... The theory of evolution by natural selection (Barry). Theory of ID (intelligent design) better than that? The book "Who Made God" by Edgar Andrews. Pro-ID arguments. Life couldn't have happened by chance. Why do such clumsy animals such as giraffes survive? Black and white moths and natural selection. Random mutations insufficient to account for new species? ... How on earth did we get from talking about opera to talking about the theory of evolution???

Anonymous said...

and Brian Cox - don't forget Brian Cox! We also talked about Brian Cox. (He's amazing!)

PS Elitism... we should come back to that, that was one tangent that we didn't explore!

Rounsfell said...

The appreciation of classical music requires no more technical understanding than does the appreciation of thrash metal. Not being part of your debating group I don't have to prove this, I can simply assert it. Ha.

masood said...

Thanks for your comment Rounsfell. You're welcome to join our group. Whether you prove or assert is entirely up to you. But note that we will thoroughly examine any assertion you might make. Because "the unexamined assertion is not worth making". (PS "assertion examination" is not a euphemism.)

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