When it comes to classical music, I admit that I’m really ignorant. All of it sounds the same to me. And that’s despite the fact that, because of my wife the musician, I’ve been hanging around the fringes of that world for a long time.
Accurate or not, my impression has always been that classical music is rather elitist, an exclusive club with a very high barrier for entry, both for listeners and especially for anyone who wanted to perform.
Which is why I have a great deal of admiration for one group of performers about which a critic sniped “How these people presume to play in public is quite beyond me.”.
Some years ago, a group of frustrated people in Scotland decided that the pleasure of playing in an orchestra should not be limited to those who are good enough to do so, but should be available to the rankest of amateurs. So we founded the Really Terrible Orchestra, an inclusive orchestra for those who really want to play, but who cannot do so very well. Or cannot do so at all, in some cases.
I love the fact that “on more than one occasion members of the orchestra have actually been discovered to be playing different pieces of music, by different composers, at the same time”.
I wonder if it made the performance better or worse.
Maybe orchestras in this country wouldn’t have a shrinking audience if there were more opportunities for the “rankest of amateurs” among us to give it a try on the stage.