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Roots of the ClassicalThe Popular Origins of Western Music$
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Peter Van der Merwe

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198166474

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198166474.001.0001

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The Rude, the Vulgar, and the Polite

The Rude, the Vulgar, and the Polite

Chapter:
(p.131) 10 The Rude, the Vulgar, and the Polite
Source:
Roots of the Classical
Author(s):

Peter van der Merwe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198166474.003.0011

This chapter introduces the main concern of the book: the interaction of ‘rude’ (‘folk’), ‘vulgar’ (‘popular’), and ‘polite’ (‘art’) music, from about 1760 on. It deals, first, with the differentiation of these categories at this period, then with the neoclassical ethos and its ideal of the simple, natural, and (as we should now say) ‘accessible’, all of which entailed a new attitude to popular music. Whatever its ideals, in practice neoclassicism was highly eclectic. Its music made constant use of the popular, habitually setting it off against the learned.

Keywords:   folk music, popular music, art music, neoclassicism, accessible

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