Saturday, July 12, 2008

The "Best" at New Age Piano Playing Revisited

After reading the thread on who's the best New Age pianist at the piano world forums, I had to laugh to myself. Now, I've come across people who like to compare styles with one always coming out ahead.

It's always those trained classically who can't stand the New Age piano style. You'll hear them say things like "it's OK if you like it but it's so simplistic," or "I can't understand how people can listen to this." It's as if they have to justify their own reasons for liking something.

And this always has something to do with "sophistication" in the form of advanced harmony, theory etc.

Yet these same people don't get it. They don't understand how someone can simply love something for it's own sake without analyzing it for "worthy" qualities. The music itself is worth enough. But don't try and explain this concept to these people unless you want them to write an essay as to why their music is better.

I tell you ... I just don't understand why certain people feel this need to put down another genre. Any ideas?


  1. Anonymous12:48 AM

    Perhaps They can't get past their own ego and have to justify there own position by putting someone or something else down.

  2. Anonymous3:48 PM

    I've also come across this attitude in completely different venues.

    For instance, I recently had a multi-post discussion in another forum about website design. I was describing a site-building program which is simpler and easier than those which professional webmasters use (and more practical for someone who might only build one or two sites), but with the potential for impressive results.

    One such professional, who had clearly invested a great deal of time and effort into learning how to build sites from scratch, became quite angry and defensive. He slammed my software of choice (never having looked at it!), and even made unwarranted personal accusations.

    While I respected his hard work and his own choices, the fact is that there are many alternatives, some admittedly poor, but others excellent. However, although he calmed down after a while, he clearly (and understandably) felt threatened.

    Most of the pianists who criticize New Age piano have a large investment of time and money in traditional lessons and practice. So they also feel threatened, fearing that it negates what they and others have worked so hard to achieve. It's difficult for them to accept that something simpler is just different, rather than inherently inferior.

    Personal reasons for enjoying a particular musical style, song, performer, or instrument are deep and complex and usually impossible to dissect and analyze. If we could all play well with others, regardless of our differences, the world would be a more melodious and harmonious place.