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Part of the problem here, I think, is that as musicians we conveniently pigeon hole different styles without ever really considering that much music overlaps.  Music has always evolved through the ages, often with major technological advances - the improvement and invention of new instruments for example.  I think what we have had in the 20th Century, rather than music evolving naturally, there has been a tendency to force the issue in a desperate attempt to find something beyond tonality.


In a way, this musical extremism, has altered our perception of music greatly, and I do think that because of this as generic listeners we are far more open to music, that even 50 years ago may have been unpalatable.  The big success for me though, is where these contemporary ideas have become interwoven with the traditional to produce something that is accessible.  I won't use the horrible term "audience friendly" (if you want this go and listen to a concert of Leroy Anderson for an evening (not that I'm knocking him, I really like his music!), accessibility is something entirely different.  Music should be challenging the listener, and to an extent making them think about what they are hearing.  I think the key here could be structure - I'm thinking rhythmic stability and cohesion is the most important aspect.  When music moves away from this, combined with rampant atonality it essentially becomes a random series of sounds.  Noise.




I think the above might be worth listening to, and I'd be interested in your thoughts - the genre may not be quite what you are used to, but it is music that has been very well received and is a fantastic mix of contemporary and more traditional (quoting directly from Verdi).  This to me is very challenging, but also extremely accessible music rather than just a mathematical exercise (for want of a better description). 

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