Marin Alsop: Music Becomes Popular when It Has A Hook

WHAT’S IN THIS VIDEO: The pieces that are popular one place are not those that popular someplace else. Cultural context means a lot. When a piece of music gets associated with a cultural moment it becomes popular. Barber’s Adagio for Strings is one such piece. When pieces are used to sell underwear it helps too. Pieces are popular when they have a hook. There’s something about it that sounds unique; musically-identifiable traits stick in the mind.



  1. The business of a hook reminds of the start to Sibelius 1st symphony which also starts with a clarinet. For me just a listeneer the 1st symphony of Sibelius ranks with the 1st symphonies of Schumann, Brahms, Mahler and Berlioz.

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