Tuesday, 3 May 2005

Classical sex

Okay, confess. You came in here and first thing was you had a good look at the young ladies above, didn’t you? Go on, confess.

Lovely ladies. But do you buy their records? And is classical music really about sex? Well, as the Daily Telegraph notes here, you probably will, and yes it is. But there is an irony in the marketing of Vanessa Mae and Bond that might have been lost on the marketing departments:
...one way or another, the idea has taken root that classical music in itself is completely sexless, and needs an urgent transfusion of this life-giving elixir from the marketing department.
Which is really a travesty of the truth, because classical music is mostly full of sex, or to put it better, eroticism - it's just that it's hidden, buried in music's grammar.
Every time you hear a dissonance (a tense-sounding interval or chord) melt into a consonant one, you're hearing the basic erotic pattern of arousal and relief. That's true even in the chaste polyphony of Renaissance church music (which is why some of it doesn't sound half as chaste as it ought to).
But where that pattern is spiced up with really grinding dissonances, or where it's repeated in ascending sequences, each repetition more intense that the last, then the sexual connotation becomes blindingly clear.
So there. The music really is full of sex. Intensely, blindingly so. So are the young ladies above. But are they full of music? You’ll have to buy their music to find out for yourself, but personally, I wouldn’t recommend it. Ironically, when it comes to sex in music, dusty old Richard Wagner and Wilhelm Furtwangler do it way better.

Some hot theremin players here though …

(Hat-tip to Irfan Khawaja for the link.)


  1. A guy that hears sex everywhere is in urgent need of treatment I would say.

  2. Whom do you recommend? :^)

  3. Trying to compete with Il Divo maybe. They are sexy and were on Oprah- their success requires no further explanation.

  4. Anyone who plays the theremin is bound to be sexy. For big fans of the theremin I suggest they drag themselves down to the video shop and hire the DVD of Ed Wood, that has some incredible theremin music + a video clip of a luscious beauty swaying (or whirling) along to it.

  5. Is there a post below the picture Peter? I'm having trouble lowering my eyes!


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