Monday, January 17, 2005

MLK Day on Classical Stations

Today is a real challenge to classical music stations. There's only three kinds of music, basically:

  • 20th century oratoria and other hagiographic materials. Which is fine: if there ever was a day for hagiography, this is one. At least in small doses.
  • Classical versions of folk and spiritual tunes. Copland, Dvorak and.... who?
  • Classical music by African-American performers, particularly politically active ones. Marian Anderson, of course, and Paul Robeson. But this stuff is really better suited to Black History Month than to today. Lots of crossover between this category and the last one.

They can ignore it entirely, of course, or just do a bit of relevant material. Sometimes that's preferable. A few years ago on Yom Hashoah, a classical station of my acquaintance started off their morning program with the Suite from Fiddler on the Roof. Granted, they usually start their morning program with light stuff, which is usually fun. And they announced it as such (though I missed it in between home, car and office). But still, if that's all you've got, just take a pass.

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