By Madison Miller
Classical music is an art form that has endured through time and incites emotion in listeners across the globe.
Stephen Heyde, director of orchestral activities and conductor-in-residence, said classical music, also called art music, goes past the brain and into the heart.
“I believe there are things in art music that can make everyone’s life richer and that’s why I’m so passionate about it,” he said.
But this passion is not only on the side of instructors. Grapevine senior and music major, Jared Dickerson said he too finds classical music to be powerful.
“As life changes and the world changes around us, the beauty of music remains strong and will always be there for us,” Dickerson said.
Art music is music than comments on the human condition, Heyde said. It has a museum nature and it is important to preserve the feelings of the past.
According to Heyde, there are two types of music: art music and entertainment music.
“All music is important to me, but classical music is important to me because it has values that I think are very special and uplifting,” Heyde said. “For me, there’s a place for every kind of music.”
A misconception of classical music is it does not hold any reward for listeners, Heyde said.
“Music is not always beautiful,” Heyde said. “Art is not always beautiful. And sometimes it’s quite compelling because it depicts things that sometimes we want to turn away from.”
Heyde said classical music is overlooked because there is a perception that it is boring, stiff and old. He said that is because people have not been introduced to it.
Classical music passes the test of time because it speaks to people no matter what state of mind they are in, Heyde said.
“We can hear what these great minds were thinking and feeling sometimes 300 years ago,” he said.
The values of the past and understanding how other people approached them are, in Heyde’s view, illuminating and comforting.
“There’s a spiritual aspect to it,” he said. “I believe that music itself is one of the greatest gifts God’s ever given to us.”
Heyde said classical music continues to be a foundation for choirs and orchestras everywhere.
“It’s not that I want to impose my music on others,” he said. “I want to invite them into it so they can find something that, all of the sudden, they think, ‘Wow.’”
One thing classical or art music requires is patience, he said. Pieces can be extremely long and sometimes too long for the radio.
“Patience is something that is in very short supply in our life,” Heyde said. “In every concert, something will connect with every person if you’re patient and if you’re receptive.”
Dickerson said no matter where people are from, they can appreciate that a classical piece of music can be relaxing and sometimes inspire them.
But Heyde said popular music is important to him as well.
“It represents, to a degree, a slice of your life,” Heyde said. “It’s like remembering music from a high school prom or a wedding day. Life is filled with a lot of diversity and good music is too.”
Heyde said he believes classical music is making a comeback in this generation.
Dickerson said he disagrees with Heyde for a very specific reason.
“Classical music isn’t making a comeback because it never really went anywhere,” Dickerson said.
However, a survey conducted by Nielsen SoundScan located on statista.com, an online database of statistics, found that classical music album sales deceased from more than 13 million in 2008 to 7.5 million in 2012.
Heyde said educating this generation on classical music is important.
“If you don’t sample other things of life, you’ll never know the riches that could have been yours,” Heyde said.