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Help: I was born in the wrong century
Hi, I have a problem: I like only classical music, and not even the modern one. There is no piece of contemporary music that doesn't bore me or annoy me. I'm not a musician, though I'm a very musical person. I'm not even a sophisticated listener, I do not have any abstract musical knowledge, I just come from a family with a broad music library, and in my 20s I've started my own collection. I've learnt what I like and what I don't by trial and error: big fan of Mozart and Bach, have a crush on Schubert and a very passionate love story with Brahms; tormented relationship with Beethoven, very good friend with Haydn, Boccherini and Grieg, have an affair with Pergolesi. Prefer chamber music. Like passionate performers: Yasha Heifetz, the Budapest Quartet, Toscanini.
Now the problem: this very exclusive and not that up-to-date carnet of composers makes it very difficult for me to communicate with other people of my age. Not to mention the puzzled look on my guests' faces whenever I give a party and they see my selection of, ehm, party music. Hence the decision to broaden my knowledge, and try to listen to something "newer" and "cooler". Anything containing words annoys me incredibly (yet I do like sacred music, and certainly I am not mad about the religious message!). Jazz turns my stomach upside down and I have to resist the very strong impulse to grab the performer by the shoulders and teach him some good old fashioned 1,2,3,4 rhythm. I've turned to a relatively new and rapidly evolving genre: a reinterpretation of scottish folk (mainly Shooglenifty and Moishe's Bagel), only to find out that, firstly, nobody knows it and hence it ain't cool at all; secondly, the reason why I like it is that this music has structure, complexity, development (again, not cool); thirdly, owning two CDs of non-classical music is not very helpful if I am going to invite the same people more than once.
Hence, I am looking for suggestions. I'm posting this message in the classical music section because I somehow believe that only someone who is into classical music can suggest something I might like, or at least not hate. As a child, I had a short crush on progressive rock (I believe it's called like this? The band I'm talking about is Marillion) and even on heavy metal (Metallica-- I recently heard an arrangement of the song "Nothing else matters" for 4 cellos, played in the streets of Regensburg by four kids from the music school...irresistible!); a friend of mine noticed that this predilection shows that I like complex, organic structure, whereas I don't seem to appreciate simple repetitive stuff. I swear, I'm not being snobbish! It's really no fun to answer the question "what's your favourite music?" unless who's asking it is at least 60!
Music Discussed
The Arms Dealer's Daughter
Master of Puppets

Hi Layla,
Tough problem. Don't have too much to say but thought I'd throw some ideas there.
First, do words annoy you incredibly or words you can understand? That is, would songs in words you don't understand be ok? If so you can try to get recommendations from people in exotic countries to good popular music in their language. The music might still be a problem, but might not.

Second, what about separating your taste and party music? There are ways of downloading a lot of music, and not that I'm advocating downloading illegal music, but if you do that you can try out a lot of music you wouldn't normally buy. For instance, putting Britney Spears' new cd at your next party will surprise everyone there. (You would need to connect your computer to the stereo but that's easy). Of course you can try pop music you actually might not mind for parties, even if it's not what you really like. Or, jazz music you don't necessarily like.
I must say that classical music is awful party music if you actually have people over who really like it, as all of sudden they stop listening to what people say and listen only to the music. (Luckily most people don't like classical music, so it's usually ok.)

Third. You might like Django Reinhardt for parties. It's guitar music, and Jazz, but though I don't like Jazz either usually (don't know it very well), it's quite nice. If you saw Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown, it was featured there.

Fourth, and this is not your question, but as you say you have a crush on Schubert and prefer chamber music, I wanted to recommend, just in case you don't know it, a disc by the Weller quartet:
(Also, agree completely about the Budapest Quartet. You might also like to try Bosch)

Ok, not exactly what you were looking for, but some ideas. I suspect most of what people can recommend, as far as party music, is quite repetetive, so you're in for a bumpy ride here.
Music Discussed
String Quintet

Oh, it just occured to me some places online I could listen to the music you mentioned.
I acutally think you might like Django as Shooglenifty seems some cross of him and music from the middle ages. I also think you might like Jazz a lot, if you find the right people to listen to, as the people you mentioned are sometimes not so far from it. I don't know who to recommend though.

On the other hand listening to Moishe's Bagel I found a great solution to your problem. It's definietely " "newer" and "cooler" " - Astor Piazzolla. 
Can't say much about him, but some friends of mine really like him. He has a lot of CD's, and as its partly tango no one can tell you he's not cool.
For an example, here is a clip with Yo Yo Ma and others:

Hi Arthur,
thanks a lot for your suggestions. This is exactly what I'm looking for: some ideas.
About words in songs, you have a point there: I find them a lot more annoying if I can understand the meaning. There's also something about the quality of the voice though, I am very demanding about that too.
I will try Django Reinhardt: I usually like the music in Woody Allen's films.
And thanks a lot for the Schubert cue, I don't know that CD (although it was not my question, I am always very happy to get suggestions about the things I already know I like, so keep doing it!).

Going back to my problem: I don't think my guests expect really pop music to be played at my parties, it would be enough if I could play some decent background music, something forgettable and not unpleasant.  At the same time I'd rather avoid the atmosphere you find at a massage parlor, with the sound of sea waves and growing plants...
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Latest Post: March 20, 2010 at 7:42 AM
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