[A] lot of people, through lack of exposure, or from too much exposure to the ear-deadening horrors of most popular music, simply cannot appreciate classical music. This is ok, much like the monasteries in the dark ages of Europe, we few will preserve the essence of civilization during our dark ages. One day there will come a Renaissance. In the meantime, the power and essence of classical music will become purified and concentrated. Do you know why we only have seven plays by Aeschylus and seven by Sophocles? They wrote many more. But the scholars, grammarians and monks of Byzantium and the monasteries copied and preserved only those works chosen as being the best. They did this for more than a thousand years…
Still, that makes 3011 look awfully grim:
I sincerely hope that it won’t be that long before classical music comes back into its own. But who knows? I can just see a blogger of the far future saying “do you know why we only have seven symphonies by Haydn and seven by Mozart and seven by Beethoven?”
I don’t expect things to get quite that bad. For one thing, for us to lose a whole lot of Mozart, for instance, we’d pretty much have to lose Köchel’s catalog too, and I have to believe there’d be enough Persistent Completists out there who’d wonder about all those missing numbers once K. 626 (the Requiem in D minor) turned up somewhere. This phenomenon already exists in pop music: there are the so-called Whitburn collectors, who seek to own every record that ever charted, based on Joel Whitburn’s Record Research series, and a lot of otherwise-unavailable source material is keyed to Whitburn’s index, which has conveniently (for users, if not for Billboard, which licensed Whitburn’s work) been converted to spreadsheet format.
And besides, the correct number of symphonies to have is nine.