Friday, April 25, 2014

Now he's got a graph

What on earth is this? I quickly ran through the list of all the pieces of music that have appeared on the Classic FM Hall of Fame since 1996, and tagged any that I considered "Classic FM music", the stuff that's not "classical" in the strict sense. So this is a graph of the number of such pieces in each chart, beginning with 0 in 1996 and rising all the way to 47 in 2014.
The 3 pieces that appeared in 1997 were Jenkins's "Adiemus", Zipoli's "Elevazione", and Nyman's "The Piano" soundtrack. The following year, Nyman dropped out, and Paul McCartney's "Standing Stones" stormed in at no.76 (it's only been seen once since 2002). 1999 saw the first of the movie Johns, Williams's "Star Wars" music, then 2000 gave us Ungar's "Ashokan Farewell", Einaudi's "Le Onde", and the other John (Barry)'s "The Beyondness of Things", as well as Williams's "Schindler's List". I could go on like this all day, but anyway, the point is: from about 1% in the early days, "non-classical" now constitutes about 15% of the Hall of Fame.
What's important to note is that a lot of the "non-classical" music is actually new music, which gets into the HoF not long after being written or recorded. (I find it interesting that the once-ubiquitous Myers "Cavatina" has only been in the HoF once, at no.299 in 2003!).
I should also point out that "non-classical" seems to account for much less than 15% (I'd say, at a rough guess, below 10%) of the station's output.

Now go draw your own conclusions.

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