TIPPINST – Howard Goodall presented a very interesting programme on Monday morning on Channel 4 as to how versatile and complex some of the beatles music was. ‘The big story of 20th century music,’ he says, ‘is the way that classical and popular music collided with each other to create a new musical mainstream … In the 1960s, with classical music at its lowest ebb, the most important composers in the world were without doubt The Beatles.’
Songs like Elanor Rigby were based upon 14th century dorian scales (i.e. church/folk music). Lennon and McCartney had the ability to integrate other cultures into main stream pop.
Goodall argued that classical composition lost its way by breaking with the traditional ‘language’ of Western music that listeners understood. The Beatles, he says, threw music a lifeline by building on foundations abandoned by the modernists – keys, harmony and different scales.
Hopefully this programme will be repeated in the future.
Howard Goodall’s Twentieth Century Greats
08 Jun 2005