SoundCloud has a variety of “Explore” channels. These are basically very long playlists of whatever has been recently posted. They include Folk, Rock, Deep House, Trip Hop, and a bunch of other genres about which I know nothing. The service also has a “classical” channel. The problem is that most of the content on the classical channel isn’t really classical.
Take the first piece I hear when I access the channel: “Precious Little” by Hiatus. It has classical elements: a piano, some digital orchestral background sounds. But it’s really an ambient piece. In fact it isn’t even tagged “classical.” It’s tagged “#Ambient.” Next comes “RIP Christie,” a digital elegy with those nice backwards jump cut sounding sounds you hear in Hip Hop. It’s pretty. It’s tagged “#sad.” It does sound sad. But it doesn’t sound classical.
I keep going and going down the playlist and finally I get to something classical, a lovely rendition of Iranian-American composer Shardad Rohani’s beautiful Persian Garden for violin and orchestra. This is followed by Danny L. Harle’s engaging piece Soar Away for piano, clarinet, violin, cello, and percussion.
But before that I had to encounter a mashup of ZZ Top’s hit song “Sharp Dressed Man” which is tagged “#classic rock” and “hip hop” and “mashup.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I love ZZ Top. I just don’t want to hear the band when I access a channel titled “classical.”
So how can I get an actual classical stream on SoundCloud? If I do a search modified for playlists with the tag “#classical,” that gets me a lot more of what I want. This works less well with a search modified for tracks. If you think movie soundtracks count as classical music, you’ll love the search modified for “groups” (I don’t want to get into an argument about this).
But thus far I’m finding it very difficult to easily pick up a SoundCloud stream that focuses on what musicologists call the Common Practice period of classical music and the centuries before and after. Any suggestions welcome.
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