display | more...

In Pierre Bourdieu's book Distinction, there's a figure (the text of which is reproduced below) representing the result of asking lots of people, in sixties France, about three particular musical pieces, and tries to show a correlation to social position.

Now, most people, including me, will react negatively to Bourdieu, saying That's not me!. Sure, but there are some important points here, and I don't want to conflate them:

First, and this is just a stickler aside, but:

Why the unevenly distributed hype for Well-tempered clavier and distaste for the plinkyplonk waltz?
I remember when I started to really like Bach—when I started programming, and later, when I studied some composition. It doesn't surprise me that teachers and artists hype it since they understand the principles behind it, and I'd also wager that something similar lies behind the distaste for Blue Danube, even though overexposition is a contributing factor.

Second, the main issue is that society somehow "values some tastes better". If that's true, that's the real problem, when equality is a goal.

1. Well-tempered clavier


Labourers
0
Household servants
3
Craftsmen, small shopkeepers
2
Clerks
1
Middle-level civil servants
4.5
Commercial middle management, secretaries
9
Technicians
10.5
Medical and social services
11
Primary schoolteachers
7.5
Cultural mediators, art craftsmen
12.5
Industrialists, commercial entrepeneurs
4
Upper civil servants
5
Private sector executives, engineers
14.5
The professions
15.5
Secondary schoolteachers
31.5
Teachers in higher education, producers of art
33.5

2. Rhapsody in Blue

Labourers
20.5
Household servants
3
Craftsmen, small shopkeepers
20
Clerks
22
Middle-level civil servants
27.5
Commercial middle management, secretaries
26.5
Technicians
42
Medical and social services
20
Primary schoolteachers
20
Cultural mediators, art craftsmen
22.5
Industrialists, commercial entrepeneurs
25.5
Upper civil servants
15.5
Private sector executives, engineers
29
The professions
19
Secondary schoolteachers
12.5
Teachers in higher education, producers of art
12

3. Blue Danube

Labourers
50.5
Household servants
35.5
Craftsmen, small shopkeepers
49
Clerks
52
Middle-level civil servants
34
Commercial middle management, secretaries
29.5
Technicians
21
Medical and social services
15.5
Primary schoolteachers
10
Cultural mediators, art craftsmen
12.5
Industrialists, commercial entrepeneurs
21.5
Upper civil servants
20
Private sector executives, engineers
18.5
The professions
15.5
Secondary schoolteachers
4
Teachers in higher education, producers of art
0

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.