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Music we hear in contests

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I have been musing about the variety of music we hear on the International stage and how much of it is, well, not so good. I don’t mean it’s not performed well – of course it’s performed well, these are the best practitioners of our style in the world! I mean it’s not all the very best music. Seems that, in an effort to do something unique, many of our competitors find some obscure song no one’s done before and, after it’s arranged to the hilt, they sing it for us.

This put me in mind of an experience I had ‘way back in school. I was opining (I tend to do that) about how contemporary music – 20th C. stuff – just didn’t hold up against the “classics”. Didn’t have the musical depth and value of the earlier stuff. A musicologist professor of mine said, “Well, you must remember that you’re hearing almost all the music that’s being written now and the music you hear from earlier centuries is only the best of the best. Time has winnowed out the stuff of lesser quality.” When you think of it, that’s true about all music of all times. I have a 40s channel on my Sirius radio. All 40s all the time. And lots of it is pretty bad stuff. Once in a while a “classic” will pop up, but for every “I Thought About You”, there’s several lesser tunes that have faded from the scene. Same is true of the 50s hits I hear at Wendy’s or whatever. Just the best stuff survived.

So, consider that we’re pretty much hearing everything anyone wants to sing on the contest stage each year. And that the “good old songs” that we remember as great (Thank you, Old School) represent a small fraction of all the songs that were sung on the contest stage in the 50s, or 60s, or 70s, or…

Just a thought. Might help with your bloodpressure next July. I know it will with mine.

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